The Talon of the Hawk (The Twelve Kingdoms #3)
by Jeffe Kennedy
What is it about:
A HEAVY CROWN
Three daughters were born to High King Uorsin, in place of the son he wanted. The youngest, lovely and sweet. The middle, pretty and subtle, with an air of magic. And the eldest, the Heir. A girl grudgingly honed to leadership, not beauty, to bear the sword and honor of the king.
Ursula’s loyalty is as ingrained as her straight warrior’s spine. She protects the peace of the Twelve Kingdoms with sweat and blood, her sisters from threats far and near. And she protects her father to prove her worth. But she never imagined her loyalty would become an open question on palace grounds. That her father would receive her with a foreign witch at one side and a hireling captain at the other—that soldiers would look on her as a woman, not as a warrior. She also never expected to decide the destiny of her sisters, of her people, of the Twelve Kingdoms and the Thirteenth. Not with her father still on the throne and war in the air. But the choice is before her. And the Heir must lead...
What did I think of it:
I absolutely love the first two books in this series, so I was very excited to get an ARC of The Talon of the Hawk.
Now I will have to confess that I had a difficult relationship with Ursula in the previous books, especially in book one. Half the time I liked her, and half the time I wanted to kick her for being a big bossypants to her sisters. So even though I longed for this book ever since finishing The Tears of the Rose, I was wondering if I could love Ursula as much as her sisters.
I shouldn't have worried: this is such a wonderful read and Ursula is an awesome character.
Ursula is a strong heroine, but with hurts and doubts that might break her if she lets them. She's learned to keep her feelings hidden, while trying hard to do what's right and to do what's honorable, but those might not be the same. I felt for her and cheered her on. Hoping she'd find a way to balance her love for her sisters with her feelings of duty.
Then she meets Harlan, a mercenary who sets his eyes on her. He sees more than just the mask that Ursula shows the world, and tries hard to get to the woman behind it.
The way Harlan and Ursula interact with each other is wonderful to read. Their courtship is half battle, half romance. Ursula is stubborn, but in Harlan she met her match. I was rooting for him to get Ursula to open up and let him inside her defenses.
As for the overall story: The events started in the first book find a thrilling climax in this one. This series was meant to be a trilogy at first, so the major storylines are solved. still there are lots of things that would lend themselves perfectly for more stories, and I'm happy that there will at least be two more books in this series. You can bet I'll be impatiently waiting for those.
I'm not sure if this book is readable as a standalone. You would probably miss out on things. But apart from that: this series is too good to just skip the first two books. so if you haven't started on this series yet: Get reading!
Why should you read it:
It's an awesome Fantasy Romance