The Mark of the Tala (The Twelve Kingdoms #1)
by Jeffe Kennedy
What is it about:
Queen Of The Unknown
The tales tell of three sisters, daughters of the high king. The eldest, a valiant warrior-woman, heir to the kingdom. The youngest, the sweet beauty with her Prince Charming. No one says much about the middle princess, Andromeda. Andi, the other one.
Andi doesn't mind being invisible. She enjoys the company of her horse more than court, and she has a way of blending into the shadows. Until the day she meets a strange man riding, who keeps company with wolves and ravens, who rules a land of shapeshifters and demons. A country she'd thought was no more than legend--until he claims her as its queen.
In a moment everything changes: Her father, the wise king, becomes a warlord, suspicious and strategic. Whispers call her dead mother a traitor and a witch. Andi doesn't know if her own instincts can be trusted, as visions appear to her and her body begins to rebel.
For Andi, the time to learn her true nature has come. . .
What did I think of it:
Voodoo Bride and I are big fans of Jeffe's work, so we were very happy when we heard about this trilogy. We were even more happy when Jeffe sent us an ARC of The Mark of the Tala.
This is a wonderful story.
I loved reading how the three sisters interact with each other. It was very recognizable. I could relate with how Andi felt, and why she seeks her solace away from court and family.
And that's how she meets Rayfe. I wasn't sure what to think of Rayfe at first. He's mysterious, a bit dangerous, but very intriguing. I really liked how Andi is torn about him and what happens as well. There might be an immediate attraction, but by no means insta-love. Instead Andi does the sensible thing at first: defend herself, and run away.
Then Andi discovers important secrets have been kept from her, and suddenly two countries are fighting over her.
I really love how Andi tries to do what is right, even if that means doing things her family doesn't approve of. She is faced with difficult choices, and is willing to sacrifice herself for those she cares about.
The complex relationship between Andi and Rayfe is also great to see develop. There's attraction, but Andi isn't foolish enough to mistake that for love. She keeps on her guard, and I loved seeing the two of them slowly getting to know each other better.
The ending was satisfying, but also leaves lots of things open that made me wonder what will happen next for the three sisters. All in all this is a beautiful story that captured me and has me eager for more. I can advice this to anyone who loves Romantic Fantasy. I will most certainly reread this book often, and I'll eagerly await the next book in this trilogy.
Why should you read it:
It's a wonderful Romantic Fantasy read.