Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperback
Date of publication: September 24th, 2019
Genre: Romance, Fantasy
Series: Forgotten Empires
The Orchid Throne—Book 1
Welcome to the world of Forgotten Empires from award winning author Jeffe Kennedy that begins with The Orchid Throne.
A PRISONER OF FATE
As Queen of the island kingdom of Calanthe, Euthalia will do anything to keep her people free—and her secrets safe—from the mad tyrant who rules the mainland. Guided by a magic ring of her father’s, Lia plays the political game with the cronies the emperor sends to her island. In her heart, she knows that it’s up to her to save herself from her fate as the emperor’s bride. But in her dreams, she sees a man, one with the power to build a better world—a man whose spirit is as strong, and whose passion is as fierce as her own…
A PRINCE AMONG MEN
Conrí, former Crown Prince of Oriel, has built an army to overthrow the emperor. But he needs the fabled Abiding Ring to succeed. The ring that Euthalia holds so dear to her heart. When the two banished rulers meet face to face, neither can deny the flames of rebellion that flicker in their eyes—nor the fires of desire that draw them together. But in this broken world of shattered kingdoms, can they ever really trust each other? Can their fiery alliance defeat the shadows of evil that threaten to engulf their hearts and souls?
The oldest records and recollections agree that it all began with the discovery of vurgsten.The Orchid Throne by Jeffe Kennedy
I was excited to read The Orchid Throne. When I read the blurb, I thought to myself: “I am going to like this book.” I mean, it had the two genres I love the most: Fantasy and Romance. Now that I have read The Orchid Throne, I was a bit disappointed. It fell short of my expectations.
The Orchid Throne starts slowly. It creeps along. There were several times where I wanted to swipe to the end of a chapter because it was that slow. I understand that the author was world-building but still. Once Conri and Euthalia met, the plotline got going. By the end of the book, it was moving along quite nicely. But, the slowness of the first half of the book did put me off.
I wished that I could have connected with Euthalia more. But it was hard to. A big part of me not being able to connect with her was the usage of the royal Us, Me, We (etc.) as part of her dialogue. It drove me nuts reading that. I did like the glimpses of the woman underneath the facade, though. The woman that peeked through was a tough cookie. But that was overshadowed by the games she was forced to play.
I did like Conri. I felt that he was more fleshed out than Euthalia. He was upfront and honest with his end game. He wanted to kill the Emperor. He didn’t play games or deal with court intrigue. He wanted to get there and get it done. And in no way did he want anything to do with the prophecy.
I wish that more information was given on Ambrose, Sondra, and Tertulyn. I was fascinated with Ambrose, but so little information was provided about him. He was shrewd, and everything he did was part of a grand plan. Plus, he had a crow as a familiar, which I loved. Sondra was Conri’s right hand. She was a strong woman who had been through a lot in her life. It showed both mentally and physically. I liked how she brought Conri down a peg or two during the book. Tertulyn intrigued me. I have a couple of suspicions about her, but nothing was confirmed in this book. I can’t wait to see what the next book will bring with her!!
I will say that I have never had a favorite villain before. But the Emperor Robho might be one. He doesn’t make a physical appearance in the book, but his presence was always there. He was feared and hated by Conri and Euthalia. Euthalia feared his letters. Which makes me wonder, what will he be like in person? If his letters were enough to strike dread in Euthalia, the real deal must be terrifying. And I can’t wait to read it!!!
I wish more time had been spent explaining what the Abiding Ring did and why it was so crucial that Conri gets it. There was a primary blanket reason, but I believe that Ambrose is hiding something. I did find the ring fascinating. The way it responded to Ambrose was telling. As was the way it responded to Conri.
The romance angle of the book was “meh” for me. Conri and Euthalia did have some insane chemistry. But that didn’t translate to hot sex scenes. Unfortunately, the first sex scene was awkward and uncomfortable. That set the tone for me. The rest of the sexual encounters seemed the same way for me.
I liked the fantasy angle of the book. But a lot of what was going on with Euthalia was released too late. But to keep it until the end of the book? I didn’t like that.
The end of The Orchid Throne was exciting. None of the storylines were ended. I am interested in what will go in book 2.
I would give The Orchid Throne an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.
I would reread The Orchid Throne. I would recommend it to family and friends.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**