Review: The Mark of the Tala by Jeffe Kennedy

Reviewed by Jen

I was turned on to this series with the novella Jeffe Kennedy included in the Amid the Winter Snow anthology. It was good enough that I needed to go check out the back list in The Twelve Kingdoms and I was not disappointed. This was a good fantasy romance that reads quickly and easily enough that I devoured it all in one sitting.

Princess Andromeda is the middle daughter sandwiched between two other princesses who seem far more remarkable. Her older sister is strong and powerful, the heir apparent to their father’s kingdom. Her younger sister is an unparalleled beauty. Andi, meanwhile, tends to fade into invisibility. That is, until she meets Rayfe.

It starts off innocently enough. Andi is riding her horse on the edge of her father’s land when something spooks the animal and she falls. Rayfe is there looking all foreign and menacing and still somehow hot. Though they have never met, he recognizes something in her. He knows she is meant to be his queen. Though this makes no sense to Andi, all she has to do to get away is agree to kiss him. That kiss seals her fate.

She returns home, only to find that she now has a connection to Rayfe. It infuriates her father and eventually kicks off a war between her father’s land and the Tala, Rayfe’s people. Turns out, Andi’s mother was one of the Tala too–their queen in fact–and when she left them, she had always promised one of her daughters to come take the throne. Only, Andi’s mother died before ever sharing the details of that promise with her girls. The story follows Andi’s conflict as she must choose between the people and the home she has always known and the strange magical world where she feels such a deep connection.

As I said, I enjoyed this quite a bit. It was cool to focus on a middle sister who is neither beautiful nor powerful, at least on the surface. This book follows Andi as she comes into her own in ways she never imagined. I also really like Rayfe. He’s got this Alpha, animal thing going on, yet he doesn’t ever take it to a point where he bullies or abuses the heroine. It’s just enough to be sexy, and there are hints vulnerability there as well.

The next book belongs to that beautiful younger sister I mentioned, and I care about her already, not just because of the anthology, though that does help. But also because this book really sets up her story well. I wish there had been a little more on the backside of Andi’s love story, but I am hopeful we will see more of her, Hero, and the Tala people in the books to come. World building here is interesting and I want more of all of it. Can’t wait to jump in to Amelia’s story.

Rating: B+

Click to purchase: Amazon

Mark of the Tala
by Jeffe Kennedy
Release Date: May 27, 2014
Publisher: Kensington

Comments

  1. I absolutely want to go check this out after reading Amid the Winter Snow. I haven’t gotten it into my schedule yet but I will! I’m glad you found it worthwhile to go read more of the story.

    Anne

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