The Tears of the Rose (The Twelve Kingdoms #2)
by Jeffe Kennedy
What is it about:
Three sisters. Motherless daughters of the high king. The eldest is the warrior-woman heir; the middle child is shy and full of witchy intuition; and the youngest, Princess Amelia, she is as beautiful as the sun and just as generous.
Ami met her Prince Charming and went away to his castle on the stormy sea-cliffs—and that should have been her happily ever after. Instead, her husband lies dead and a war rages. Her middle sister has been taken into a demon land, turned into a stranger. The priests and her father are revealing secrets and telling lies. And a power is rising in Ami, too, a power she hardly recognizes, to wield her beauty as a weapon, and her charm as a tool to deceive…
Amelia has never had to be anything but good and sweet and kind and lovely. But the chess game for the Twelve Kingdoms has swept her up in it, and she must make a gambit of her own. Can the prettiest princess become a pawn—or a queen?
What did I think of it:
You might know by now that Voodoo Bride and I are big fans of Jeffe's work, so it won't come as a surprise we were very happy to get an ARC of The Tears of the Rose.
Book one in this series was about Andi, the middle sister of three. The Tears of the Rose is about Amelia, the youngest.
Now I will confess Amelia didn't really make a good impression on me in the first book. Not that she was unlikable, but she came across as a bit shallow and spoiled. Amelia being the heroine of this book I expected these flaws to be downplayed.
And that's where Jeffe proves to be an amazing writer. Instead of downplaying Amelia's flaws, they're right there for everyone to see. Amelia is spoiled, shallow and selfish at the start of this story. She might have some cause, seeing she just lost her husband, but still she's acting like a toddler who doesn't get her way at times.
Still... The way she is written made me see the good and kind person Amelia could be, if only the people around her had given her the chance to become that person. It's easy to dislike Amelia because of her spoiled attitude, but looking at how she grew up, how life has treated her, I could really understand why she became as she is. It made me root for her to open her eyes and see the world for what it really is. To change for the better.
And then a mysterious figure steps forwards who makes Ami question her world views.
The White Monk drew my attention from the first moment he is mentioned by the way Jeffe describes him. Her descriptions are always beautiful and vivid, but some of the descriptions of the White Monk felt like poetry.
My favorite line in the whole book is probably this:
"He laughed, raven voiced, threading his hands inside his sleeves as if he restrained himself from something." *
This is so beautiful and tells so much in just a few words. I could not just picture, but also hear and feel this scene.
I could go on for ages raving about how beautiful this book is written, but I know you want to know about the story.
It is a beautiful story!
Ami has a lot to learn, a lot to overcome on her path to find herself. Jeffe doesn't make it easy. Ami's road to happiness, to a life where she's more than the spoiled, pretty princess is long and filled with pain and heartache. I had trouble putting the book down, and kept rooting for Ami to reach her goals.
The ending gives closure on some things, but also gives a new challenge that has to be faced, making sure I will be counting the months until the release of book three. I need to find out what happens next to Ami and her sisters!
All in all this is a wonderful Fantasy Romance filled with emotion and suspense. I felt like rereading it the moment I finished it, and you can bet I will put this ARC on my keeper shelves, just as I've already preordered the book to put next to my treasured copy of The Mark of the Tala (book one).
Why should you read it:
It's a beautiful Fantasy Romance
*quote is from the ARC, so might be different in the final version of the book, although I hope it will not be changed.