PRISONER OF THE CROWN is book 1 in the Chronicles of
Dasnaria world. This series is part of the overarching
Kingdoms world. The Twelve Kingdoms books so far
have been romances, although in some cases it has taken all
of a particular trilogy for a couple to reach their Happily
Ever After. Let the reader be aware, however, that Jeffe's
new high fantasy book is not romantic. The author hints that
there will probably be an HEA by the end of book three, but
let me tell you, PRISONER OF THE CROWN is the farthest thing
from a romance. I'll admit that I did not pay super close
attention to Kennedy's pre-release blog posts, so the utter
darkness of this story took me aback.
The author says on her blog, "[Jenna's] husband is a
monster. He's not an alphahole, not a hero-in-disguise, not
a villain transformed and redeeemed. This is Jenna's story
and no romance AT ALL in this first book." Yup, yup, and
double yup. This book may keep you up at night with
Imperial Princess Jenna was raised in opulence, every whim
catered to, and every unimportant desire met instantly.
She's been raised in a stifling seraglio, never even seeing
the sky or a man for her whole life. Her awful mother, the
First Wife of the emperor, has twisted Jenna's upbringing to
teach her how to rule via guile and treachery in the corrupt
world of the palace seraglio. To survive, Jenna has learned
to hide her hate and despair away, until she learns that her
brutal dictator of a father has betrothed her to a true
psychopath. Sheesh, every individual of any power that Jenna
interacts with is horrible. My heart aches for her.
Jenna's struggle to exist as a free individual is
agonizingly fraught. The stakes are so high, and Jenna seems
to be barely hanging on by her fingertips. I spent a lot of
time reading with bated breath as scenes played out! I
wondered how in the world Jenna's agony would be resolved by
the end of this book, until I reached the last page and
discovered there is no resolution in PRISONER OF THE CROWN.
Now we have to wait for September 4th for Exile of the Seas,
book 2 in the trilogy. Kennedy's PRISONER OF THE CROWN is a
dark and grim fantasy detailing the degradation and despair
of royal princess, although I'm confident the end result
will be worth the agony of the journey.
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…