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Fantasy Romance Review: The Mark of The Tala by Jeffe Kennedy

The Mark of The Tala by Jeffe Kennedy (The Twelve Kingdoms #1)


Synopsis from Goodreads

Queen Of The Unknown

The tales tell of three sisters, daughters of the high king. The eldest, a valiant warrior-woman, heir to the kingdom. The youngest, the sweet beauty with her Prince Charming. No one says much about the middle princess, Andromeda. Andi, the other one.

Andi doesn't mind being invisible. She enjoys the company of her horse more than court, and she has a way of blending into the shadows. Until the day she meets a strange man riding, who keeps company with wolves and ravens, who rules a land of shapeshifters and demons. A country she'd thought was no more than legend--until he claims her as its queen.

In a moment everything changes: Her father, the wise king, becomes a warlord, suspicious and strategic. Whispers call her dead mother a traitor and a witch. Andi doesn't know if her own instincts can be trusted, as visions appear to her and her body begins to rebel.

For Andi, the time to learn her true nature has come. . .

Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository


* * *

 This was a quirky dark fantasy, and I found it quite enjoyable. Thank you, Grace Draven, for the recommend!

Andi is stuck in a sort of a limbo. A middle sister, a princess good for forging an alliance through a marriage between two kingdoms, she is neither a fierce warrior and a strong ruler like her older sister, Ursula, nor stunningly beautiful and gentle like her younger sibling, Amelia. Instead she walks unnoticed through the halls of the castle and spends most of her time away, riding her horse into the wild lands.

On one of such ventures she clashes with a dark stranger and barely gets away, but not before leaving behind some of her blood. And everything she always perceived true flips.

 This is the most striking part of this story, - that everything is not what it seems. Andi has mixed heritage and is part Tala, which is a race of magical shapeshifters. The man she met is the king of Tala, and Andi has been promised him a long time ago. However her father reneges on his bargain, and all hell breaks loose.

Suddenly Andi is torn between her loyalty to a father who is not what he always seemed, but a darker, sinister version of himself, and her desire to explore a part of her nature  that's been long closed off to her.

 Rayfe, her dark stranger, is delicious. Almost an antihero, he keeps his cards close to his chest and does not share much with Andi, but what resonated strongly with me is that both characters did not want to overdramatize things and put their feelings above all. They both recognised the problem and decided to work together to solve it. I absolutely adore pragmatic heroes, and these two were not only that, they were sneaky and devious.

 Overall, an intriguing book. It doesn't reveal all its secrets straight away, but the writing was solid and world-building beautiful with plenty of heat between the main characters. I am looking forward to the next book in the series. Recommended.

* * *

Довольно-таки экцентричное тёмное фэнтези. Мне понравилось, благодарю Грэйс Дрэйвен за рекомендацию!

Энди - средняя сестра и наиболее незаметная из трёх принцесс королевства. Она - не воин и блестящий стратег как Урсула - её старшая сестра, но она также не обладает красотой и мягкостью Амелии, её младшей сестрички. Единственное, чем она хороша - это ездой на лошадях, и именно в момент одной из её диких прогулок, она сталкивается с тёмным, опасным незнакомцем.  Проливается кровь, и её жизнь безвозвратно меняется.

 Дело в том, что Энди наполовину Тала (раса магических оборотней), и была обещана в качестве суженой с рождения тому самому незнакомцу, Рэйфу, королю Тала, однако её отец категорически отказался от исполнения своего обещания.

Между Тала и воинами её отца начинается война, и Энди разрывается между преданностью к отцу, которой у неё на глазах превращается в холодного психопата, и новоявленным желанием принять вторую сторону её натуры, о которой рассказывает ей Рэйф.

Сам Рэйф - вкуснейший антигерой, и что вообще здесь мне импонировало: и он и Энди - здравомымлящие, прагматичные герои, и читать о них очень приятно. Добавьте к этому солидное яркое построение мира и умные, интересные диалоги, сильное притяжение между героями...и я уж точно буду читать эту серию дальше. Рекомендую!

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