Title: Prisoner of the Crown
Author: Jeffe Kennedy
Publisher: Rebel Base Books
Publication Date: June 12, 2018
My rating: 2 stars
About the book:
She was raised to be beautiful, nothing more. And then the rules changed . . .
In icy Dasnaria, rival realm to the Twelve Kingdoms, a woman’s role is to give pleasure, produce heirs, and question nothing. But a plot to overthrow the emperor depends on the fate of his eldest daughter. And the treachery at its heart will change more than one carefully limited life . . .
THE GILDED CAGE
Princess Jenna has been raised in supreme luxury—and ignorance. Within the sweet-scented, golden confines of the palace seraglio, she’s never seen the sun, or a man, or even learned her numbers. But she’s been schooled enough in the paths to a woman’s power. When her betrothal is announced, she’s ready to begin the machinations that her mother promises will take Jenna from ornament to queen.
But the man named as Jenna’s husband is no innocent to be cozened or prince to charm. He’s a monster in human form, and the horrors of life under his thumb are clear within moments of her wedding vows. If Jenna is to live, she must somehow break free—and for one born to a soft prison, the way to cold, hard freedom will be a dangerous path indeed…
Prisoner of the Crown by Jeffe Kennedy is the first book of the The Chronicles of Dasnaria fantasy series. However, what I didn’t know when picking this one up is that this is a spin off of a bigger series by Jeffe Kennedy, The Twelve Kingdoms. Not having read the rest of the books I’m not sure how much is missing reading this series alone.
The story in Prisoner of a Crown starts with Princess Jenna as a child being raised in what seems to the children as paradise, that is until getting a little older. As the children of the Emperor’s many wives grow older the boys start to learn the ways of a man and the girls begin to be taught to become a wife.
When Princess Jenna is of age she is promised off in marriage having always been told that she would become the first wife of a powerful man. The man chosen for Jenna by her parents however has had quite a few wives before her all having died at a very young age and Jenna’s marriage quickly turns into one of nightmares.
Starting off this fantasy read I have pretty high hopes for the book so you may wonder where it all went wrong. Well, the truth is the entire book really consists of just what the blurb says it does and there isn’t much more to it which was rather disappointing. What we have is page after page of world building putting the story firmly into a time when women were property and men ruled the lands but in my opinion this could be done in say 10-20% if not much more than that and move the story forward after that. Instead this ends where the actual story seems to begin so in the end I was just rather frustrated. Now I question whether or not to continue onward with the next book if the pacing is going to continue to be as slow as this start but the writing definitely had it’s merits so it would be a shame to miss what could turn into a great read from here on out.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
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.
Jeffe can be found online at her website: JeffeKennedy.com, every Sunday at the popular SFF Seven blog, on Facebook, on Goodreads and pretty much constantly on Twitter @jeffekennedy. She is represented by Sarah Younger of Nancy Yost Literary Agency.