Blog Tour, Excerpt & Review: Warrior of the World by Jeffe Kennedy @jeffekennedy

Posted January 2, 2019 by Melanie in Blog Tour, Book Review / 20 Comments

Blog Tour, Excerpt & Review: Warrior of the World by Jeffe Kennedy @jeffekennedy Warrior of the World by Jeffe Kennedy
Series: The Chronicles of Dasnaria #3
Published by Indie on October 9, 2018
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 215
Format: eARC
Source: Author
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One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Just beyond the reach of the Twelve Kingdoms, avarice, violence, strategy, and revenge clash around a survivor who could upset the balance of power all across the map . . .

Once Ivariel thought elephants were fairy tales to amuse children. But her ice-encased childhood in Dasnaria’s imperial seraglio was lacking in freedom and justice.. With a new name and an assumed identity as a warrior priestess of Danu, the woman once called Princess Jenna is now a fraud and a fugitive. But as she learns the ways of the beasts and hones new uses for her dancer’s strength, she moves one day further from the memory of her brutal husband. Safe in hot, healing Nyambura, Ivariel holds a good man at arm’s length and trains for the day she’ll be hunted again.

She knows it’s coming. She’s not truly safe, not when her mind clouds with killing rage at unpredictable moments. Not when patient Ochieng’s dreams of a family frighten her to her bones. But it still comes as a shock to Ivariel when long-peaceful Nyambura comes under attack. Until her new people look to their warrior priestess and her elephants to lead them . . .

Excerpt

Prologue

I was an Imperial Princess of Dasnaria and I grew up in paradise.
Tropically warm, lushly beautiful, replete with luxury, my childhood world was without flaw. My least whim was met with immediate indulgence, served instantly and with smiles of delight. My siblings and I spent our days in play, nothing ever asked or expected of us.
Until the day everything was demanded—and taken—from me.
Only then did I finally see our paradise for what it was, how deliberately designed to mold and shape us. A breeding ground for luxurious accessories. To create a work of art, you grow her in an environment of elegance and beauty. To make her soft and lusciously accommodating, you surround her with delicacies and everything delightful. And you don’t educate her in anything but being pleasing.
Education leads to critical thinking, not a desirable trait in a princess of Dasnaria, thus I was protected from anything that might taint the virginity of my mind as well as my body.
Because I’d understood so little of the world outside, when my time came to be plucked from the garden, when the snip of the shears severed me from all I’d known, the injury came as a shock so devastating that I had no ability to even understand what it meant, much less summon the will to resist and overcome. Which, I’ve also come to realize over time, was also a part of the deliberate design.
I wish I could take credit for extracting myself from the brutal horror of the marriage they forced me into, but I can’t. If not for my baby brother Harlan, I would’ve continued through the harsh winter of my wedding journey, my physical and emotional injuries muted by the numbing teas and smoke they supplied me with, and inevitably to worse torture and eventual death.
But Harlan broke me out and we escaped. Miraculously, I even made it onto a sailing ship, bound for a greater world I knew nothing about, while Harlan remained behind, a captive
of our ruthless family.
Even then, I likely couldn’t have survived on my own. Full of fear and ignorance, I barely left my cabin, having no idea what I might do with myself. Until Kaja, Warrior Priestess of Danu, coaxed and then forced me to face my future. She taught me to defend myself. She gave me a disguise and vows of chastity and silence to protect me from discovery.
She gave me my self back again.
And Ochieng… He gave me stories, a home, and my heart’s desire.
Without these people, I couldn’t have survived. But I can’t be the helpless kept princess all my life. At some point I need to find the warrior in myself.
If only I knew how.

Review
I continue to love this series by Jeffe Kennedy. She has created a really great character in Ivariel/Jenna, who has had both a luxurious life and an abused life. She finally gets her happy ending in this story, but I don’t see this as the last of her story. I don’t know how she will have more to her story, but I feel like this is not the last we will see with her.

So, Warrior of the World picks up where Exile of the Seas leaves off. Ivariel is recovering from the events at the end of the previous book. The D’tiembo family continues to embrace Ivariel, even after learning her secrets. Ochieng declares his love for Ivariel, again, he doesn’t see her past a flaw, which I love seeing in him. I do feel he should’ve been more up front with Ivariel about his family’s customs. He introduced her as basically a fiancee without explaining that to her.

I really love the D’tiembo family. We get to spend more time with them, especially Zalaika, Ochieng’s mother and head of the family. She is a tough woman and really does everything to protect her family, not just making sure they are safe, but also happy. Yes, she is a little over eager in trying to push Ochieng and Ivariel together, but that is what a lot of mothers do, so it fit.

“I apologize that I didn’t tell you right away,” I said.
Zalaika waved a hand, dripping with water droplets. “It’s important news, but hardly that urgent. We are not canceling the festival of kuachamvua, I can tell you that.”
“But Ochieng and Desta said—”
Zalaika raised her brows, silencing me. For all the ways, obvious and subtle, that she was unlike my mother, she shared the ability to assert herself with the smallest gesture. “Are my sons the head of the D’tiembo family? Are my daughters, for that matter?” She glared owlishly at her daughters, who had the temerity to giggle like girls. Another vast difference: I never, ever would have dared laugh at my mother. “No,” Zalaika told them. “Not yet. And while I yet breathe, we live our lives to enjoy and celebrate what we have—not to fear what we might lose. That is the D’tiembo way.”

I continue to love the elephants in this series. I really feel the different personalities of the different elephants. I love seeing Efe come into her own. She is a young elephant the family rescued. She has scars around her ankles where the previous person chained her. The D’tiembo family doesn’t chain any of their elephants. There is nothing to stop them from walking away and not working for them. There is also Violet, who is the matriarch of the herd. She was the rock of the herd, especially Efe.

I really enjoyed watching Ivariel grow. She has some times where she regresses and is too hard on herself, but that is to be expected from a young girl who has been what she’s been through (I think she’s still only eighteen, which is the age she is when she is married off in book one, Prisoner of the Crown.). I don’t know what is next in this world Kennedy has created, but I don’t think this is the last we will see of Ivarial.

About Jeffe Kennedy

Jeffe Kennedy is an award-winning author whose works include novels, non-fiction, poetry, and short fiction. She has been a Ucross Foundation Fellow, received the Wyoming Arts Council Fellowship for Poetry, and was awarded a Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Award.

Her award-winning fantasy romance trilogy The Twelve Kingdoms hit the shelves starting in May 2014. Book 1, The Mark of the Tala, received a starred Library Journal review and was nominated for the RT Book of the Year while the sequel, The Tears of the Rose received a Top Pick Gold and was nominated for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Best Fantasy Romance of 2014. The third book, The Talon of the Hawk, won the RT Reviewers’ Choice Best Fantasy Romance of 2015. Two more books followed in this world, beginning the spin-off series The Uncharted Realms. Book one in that series, The Pages of the Mind, has also been nominated for the RT Reviewer’s Choice Best Fantasy Romance of 2016 and won RWA’s 2017 RITA® Award. The second book, The Edge of the Blade, released December 27, 2016, and is a PRISM finalist, along with The Pages of the Mind. The next in the series, The Shift of the Tide, will be out in August, 2017. A high fantasy trilogy taking place in The Twelve Kingdoms world is forthcoming from Rebel Base books in 2018.

She also introduced a new fantasy romance series, Sorcerous Moons, which includes Lonen’s War, Oria’s Gambit, The Tides of Bàra, and The Forests of Dru. She’s begun releasing a new contemporary erotic romance series, Missed Connections, which started with Last Dance and continues in With a Prince.

In 2019, St. Martins Press will release the first book, The Orchid Throne, in a new fantasy romance series, The Forgotten Empires.

Her other works include a number of fiction series: the fantasy romance novels of A Covenant of Thorns; the contemporary BDSM novellas of the Facets of Passion; an erotic contemporary serial novel, Master of the Opera; and the erotic romance trilogy, Falling Under, which includes Going Under, Under His Touch and Under Contract.

She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with two Maine coon cats, plentiful free-range lizards and a very handsome Doctor of Oriental Medicine. She is represented by Sarah Younger of Nancy Yost Literary Agency.

Rating Breakdown
Plot
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Writing
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Characters
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Dialogue
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Overall: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
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Melanie

I’m Melanie, and I like to live vicariously through fictional characters. I enjoy reading and listening to mostly fictional books in the paranormal genre, including Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance and Horror. I will read contemporary romance on occasion, but not often. I will occasionally throw in a biography, usually autobiographies of people that I find interesting. Listening to autobiographies that are narrated by the author have been great in my experience.

I started listening to audiobooks when a new book in a series was coming out and I wanted to get a refresher, but didn’t have time to read all the books (I think it was Anita Blake). I fell in love. I stayed with strictly re-reading books that I’d already read for a long time. I eventually tried an audiobook for something that I hadn’t read first and was hooked there too. Now, I listen to audio for both re-reads and first time. I have some series that I’ve given up reading and only listen. I try to get any many books/audiobooks from the library to help save on my budget. Books on CD and the newer digital downloads from the library really allow me to listen more. I then purchase my favorites (because who can wait in line for your favorite book??) and less mainstream books from Audible or some other online retailer.

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Posted January 2, 2019 by Melanie in Blog Tour, Book Review / 20 Comments


20 responses to “Blog Tour, Excerpt & Review: Warrior of the World by Jeffe Kennedy

  1. Lorna

    Honestly, I don’t read fantasy of this kind. That being said, the elephants intrigue me. Does the reader get the thoughts from the elephants? I hate when a series I love comes to an end. Let’s hope the author decides to use this heroine again.

  2. Sounds like this is a great ending to the series and it’s always nice when you have the feelings there might be more stories with those characters. I like how you describe the elephants with how they each have their own personality, that sounds well done. I like it when in series you can se the change/ growth of a character throughout the series, it’s so rewarding and fun to see. Great review!

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