Review: For Crown and Kingdom by Grace Draven and Jeffe Kennedy

Reviewed by Jen

I’ve really enjoyed Jeffe Kennedy’s Twelve Kingdom books, and it was an anthology that led me to it. Imagine how excited I was to see this story nestled in another anthology with one of the same authors who took part in Amid the Winter Snow! I was already a Grace Draven fan, thanks to Wraith King series, so I’m always down to read something else from her.

Let’s start with the Kennedy short. The Crown of the Queen is a novella told from Dafne’s point of view, but be forewarned, this is not a romance. (I think that comes in the next book.) Instead, this is like an extended epilogue to The Talon of the Hawk. It takes place immediately after Ursula took the life of her father, the king. Dafne has been hanging out in Annfwn for the past few weeks, but when she gets to Ordnung, Ursula still has not been crowned High Queen. The entire story follows Dafne’s efforts to guide Ursula through the process of taking the throne.

As a fan of the series, I enjoyed this novella, but I don’t know if a new reader will know what’s going on or care. There is an arc, for sure, but it’s all tied in directly with the previous books in the series. I liked seeing more of what’s happening with these sisters and if this was designed to get me excited about an HEA for Dafne, it worked. I’m really looking forward to her story.

The Undying King is Draven’s novella and although it’s a standalone, it has all of the rich, glorious flavor of her other work. If you’ve never read from this author, or if you’re looking for more of her stuff to glom onto, this story is a good bet. Draven does dark fantasy so well.

This story follows Imogen, an orphan who was born with a death-curse. Anyone she touches dies instantly. Before her adopted mother (a witch) dies, she tells Imogen about the Cededa the Fair, a powerful mage who has drunk from the waters of immortality and has been cursed to an unending existence. Cededa owed the old witch a favor and he may be able to help lift Imogen’s curse. So she travels to his hidden, broken kingdom to seek help.

Cededa has lived thousands of years. He barely remembers what it is to taste… to sleep… to feel desire. But when he touches Imogen, her curse leeches away some of his Otherness. When she first arrived, he planned only to pay his debt to her mother. That plan changes when her touch helps bring back some of his missing humanity. As for Imogen, she can’t help but be taken, not only by Cededa’s beauty, but by the only skin-to-skin contact she’s ever felt in her entire life.

I don’t want to spoil too much, but I will say it’s a sensual journey. The way these two come together is satisfying, but the tone and scenery are such powerful factors in this story, they can’t be overlooked. Like everything else I’ve read from Draven, I enjoyed it immensely.

Worth buying the anthology for Draven’s story alone, but as a fan of the Twelve Kingdoms, I enjoyed both contributions.

Rating: B/B+

Click to purchase: Amazon

For Crown and Kingdom
by Grace Draven and Jeffe Kennedy
Release Date: May 29, 2016

Comments

  1. I’m enjoying these reviews immensely. I definitely plan to read more of Jeffe Kennedy and Grace Draven after reading Amid the Winter Snow. (I already read everything by Elizabeth Hunter and Thea Harrison) Such great authors! Anne

  2. I never actually read this short. And yes Dafne’s is the next romance. I think you will like it. She was a favorite character of mine.

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