The Orchid Throne by Jeffe Kennedy @JeffeKennedy @StMartinsPress

Posted September 26, 2019 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review / 20 Comments

Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Orchid Throne by Jeffe Kennedy @JeffeKennedy @StMartinsPressThe Orchid Throne by Jeffe Kennedy
Series: Forgotten Empires #1
Published by St. Martin's Press on September 24, 2019
Genres: Fantasy Romance
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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As Queen of the island kingdom of Calanthe, Euthalia will do anything to keep her people free—and her secrets safe—from the mad tyrant who rules the mainland. Guided by a magic ring of her father’s, Lia plays the political game with the cronies the emperor sends to her island. In her heart, she knows that it’s up to her to save herself from her fate as the emperor’s bride. But in her dreams, she sees a man, one with the power to build a better world—a man whose spirit is as strong, and whose passion is as fierce as her own…

Conrí, former Crown Prince of Oriel, has built an army to overthrow the emperor. But he needs the fabled Abiding Ring to succeed. The ring that Euthalia holds so dear to her heart. When the two banished rulers meet face to face, neither can deny the flames of rebellion that flicker in their eyes—nor the fires of desire that draw them together. But in this broken world of shattered kingdoms, can they ever really trust each other? Can their fiery alliance defeat the shadows of evil that threaten to engulf their hearts and souls?

I was delighted to be offered this book as I enjoy what little I’ve managed to read by this author. I want to read more.  The Orchid Throne is the first in a new series,  Forgotten Empires. I had a bit of the first book in a series, in a new world issues at the beginning. There are many, exquisite details about the the land, the clothes, and the people. It takes a bit to assimilate the information and have it come together into the story.

Poor Euthalia. A women’s life is not her own in most historical times and choices are so limited. She is certainly clever and compassionate. She works hard to protect her people and it is not easy.  Conri, had no choices forced into slavery at only 10 years old. It has made him strong, hard and angry. Still, he is remarkably reasonable and cares about his people.

Each of them has advisors, but they are in charge. Lia has many advisors but not all of them are good. In fact, I suspect some are spies or worse. I’m looking at you Tertulyn. Conri has fewer and they seem to be better and a restraint on his worst impulses for revenge. Although Sondra has her own anger to control.

There is no magic in this world according to the evil emperor, Anure, who has made life difficult for Lia and Conri, and well, everyone.  He executes all suspected of being wizards. Anure is the suspense in the background, waiting to bring everyone down but himself. Of course, he uses magic for himself.  Lia knows there is magic and tries to cultivate scholars in her kingdom who are knowledgeable, to learn more. Conri doesn’t really believe but has his own wizard, so he starts to know it. I love magic and look forward to earning more about it in this world as the series continues.

The tale is nearly at the end by the time the couple meets and “battles” each other. The stakes are high and once they have decided how they will proceed, we are at the end. So while not a cliffhanger, there is much of the story for us to learn. The series continues with The Fiery Crown in 2020 and I’ll definitely be reading.

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.

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  • 2019 Releases

Posted September 26, 2019 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review / 20 Comments

20 responses to “The Orchid Throne by Jeffe Kennedy

    • Fantasy / science fiction tropes are especially subject to the first book syndrome since the overall story arc is over several books. Usually, but not always they follow one couple or group of characters throughout the story. It’s easier in romance and PNR since each book is usually one couple’s whole story. Fantasy tends to be more complex in plots than most romance also.

  1. Jen

    I absolutely love this author and adore her Tala fantasy romance books. I grabbed this one and started it, but struggled with it. I’ve gotten the audiobook and will see if it works better for me in audio. So glad you really liked this one!

    • I find listening to fantasy or sometimes even scifi on audio is helpful to get into the story easier because of the performance of the narrator. Also the narrator makes the decisions on how to pronounce all the unusual names of places and people.

      Anne recently posted: Closer by Kylie Scott
  2. Melanie

    I read this story when I was on vacation, but I’ve now gotten the audiobook from Tantor, so I’m going to listen and review on audio. I’m excited to revisit this story, as I really enjoyed it the first time through.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Books of My Heart