The Golden Gryphon and the Bear Prince by Jeffe Kennedy @jeffekennedy

Posted January 27, 2021 by Melanie in Book Review / 12 Comments

The Golden Gryphon and the Bear Prince by Jeffe Kennedy @jeffekennedyThe Golden Gryphon and the Bear Prince by Jeffe Kennedy
Series: Heirs of Magic #1
Published by Brightlynx Publishing on January 25, 2021
Genres: Fantasy Romance
Pages: 278
Format: eARC
Source: Author
AmazonBarnes & NobleApple
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Follows The Long Night of the Crystalline Moon in the UNDER A WINTER SKY fantasy holiday anthology.

A Legacy of Honor

Crown Prince Astar has only ever wanted to do the right thing: be a credit to his late-father’s legacy, live up to his duties as heir to the High Throne of the Thirteen Kingdoms, and cleave to the principles of honor and integrity that give his life structure—and that contain the ferocious grizzly bear inside. Nowhere in those guiding principles is there room for the fierce-hearted, wildly free-spirited, and dizzyingly beautiful shapeshifter, Zephyr. Still, even though they’ve been friends most of their lives, Astar is able to keep Zephyr safely at arm’s length. He’s already received a list of potential princess brides who will make a suitable queen, and Zephyr is not on it.

A Longtime Obsession

Zeph has wanted the gorgeous, charming, and too-good-for-his-own-good Astar for as long as she can remember. Not that her longing for him—and his perfectly sculpted and muscular body—has stopped her from enjoying any number of lovers. Astar might be honorably (and foolishly) intent on remaining chaste until marriage, but Zeph is Tala and they have no such rules. Still, she loves Astar—as a friend—and she wants him to at least taste life before he chains himself to a wife he didn’t choose. There’s no harm in him having a bit of fun with her. But the man remains stubbornly elusive, staving off all of her advances with infuriatingly noble refusals.

A Quest to Save the World
But things change when a new terror threatens the Thirteen Kingdoms. Following prophecy, Astar and Zeph—along with a mismatched group of shapeshifter, warrior, and sorceress friends—go on a quest to stop a magic rift before it grows beyond anyone’s ability to stop. Thrust together with Zephyr, Astar finds himself increasingly unable to resist her seductive invitations. And, in the face of life and death battles with lethal monsters, he begins to lose sight of why having her, just once, is such a terrible idea

When I was given the opportunity to review this book, I jumped at the chance and didn’t even look at the blurb. So I had no idea that this was another spinoff of The Twelve Kingdoms series. This series follows the grown children of the couples of the original series and of the spinoff series, The Uncharted Realms and The Chronicles of Dasnaria.

This first story features Astar, the son of Princess Amelia and nephew of High Queen Ursula. He is also the heir to the throne of The Thirteen Kingdoms. He got this designation at birth before the former High King Uorsin died, so he has always known that this will be his fate. He takes this responsibility very seriously, which means he is far from the life of the party. He is also expected to marry for the good of the kingdom, like many royals.

Zephyr is a free spirit and loves her life as a Tala. She is the daughter of Zyr is a Tala male who’s first form is the gríobhth, which he passed down to his daughter. A gríobhth is what we would call a gryphon, with a body of a lion and head and wings of an eagle. The Tala have a different view of relationships. Many are not monogamous, while some have settled down with a mate.

This book was a bit more “new adult” than I prefer. There were some times early in the story where there were some almost more young adult type conversations, but once the action started, the group does seem to grow up and act more like the adults that they are.

One other complaint I had was that Ursula and her sisters were even trying to push Astar to marry for royalty and not love, when two of the three of them are with men who would not be worthy of their list. Since this is a romance (not to mention the title), I don’t think it is a spoiler to say that Astar does indeed follow his heart and not what he was ordered by his queen.

All in all, I did enjoy this story, even with the complaints I mentioned above. The action scenes were really great and there were some wonderful suspense scenes as well. The romance was well written, like all of Kennedy’s stories. And I do love all the characters. You can read this story without having read the original series, but will not have the full backstory of the parents of these characters (and I do love those stories too, so worth a read). I’m really looking forward to the next book, The Sorceress Queen and the Pirate Rogue, which will be out in April 2021.

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
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Overall: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Follow me
Please follow and like us:
Follow by Email
Visit Us
Follow Me

Posted January 27, 2021 by Melanie in Book Review / 12 Comments

12 responses to “The Golden Gryphon and the Bear Prince by Jeffe Kennedy

    • Thanks. I had a really good time with these kids (they’re adults, but in their 20s, so they’re still kids to me)

  1. Its really strange that I have never read this author and I love fantasy romance, I definitely need to try her out. Sorry to hear that this book didn’t quite live up to expectations but at least it had some positive traits to it.

    Great review.

    • This entire series is eleven full books. The original is about three sisters, which has a full story arc, so you can quit there or go on to the other two spin off series. I recommend you look at the completely collection. This book hasn’t been added to the end of this list, but I’m sure a librarian will get to it eventually.

  2. Jen

    Thank you for your review. I opted not to pick up this one – I needed a break from the series, and after reading your review I’m glad I did. The things you mentioned would really annoy me, too. So I’ll hold off and maybe pick it up later.

    • I understand Jen. I didn’t even realize this was more in that world, because I was offered a book and jumped on it. I should’ve guessed, with the name, but didn’t think about it. I didn’t read the blurb or anything. Tell it is fantasy by Jeffe Kennedy and I know I’ll enjoy it.

      Melanie recently posted: Quiet in Her Bones by Nalini Singh