Monday, 25 November 2019

The Bridge Kingdom - Book Review (repost)

The Bridge Kingdom is now also available in print, so I got my trotters on the paperback and did a reread. Here's a repost of my audio book review, as the book is still just as awesome!

The Bridge Kingdom (The Bridge Kingdom #1)
by Danielle L. Jensen

What is it about:
What if you fell in love with the one person you'd sworn to destroy?

Lara has only one thought for her husband on their wedding day: I will bring your kingdom to its knees. A princess trained from childhood to be a lethal spy, Lara knows that the Bridge Kingdom represents both legendary evil - and legendary promise. The only route through a storm-ravaged world, the Bridge Kingdom controls all trade and travel between lands, allowing its ruler to enrich himself and deprive his enemies, including Lara's homeland. So when she is sent as a bride under the guise of fulfilling a treaty of peace, Lara is prepared to do whatever it takes to fracture the defenses of the impenetrable Bridge Kingdom.

But as she infiltrates her new home - a lush paradise surrounded by tempest seas - and comes to know her new husband, Aren, Lara begins to question where the true evil resides. Around her, she sees a kingdom fighting for survival, and in Aren, a man fiercely protective of his people. As her mission drives her to deeper understanding of the fight to possess the bridge, Lara finds the simmering attraction between her and Aren impossible to ignore.

Her goal nearly within reach, Lara will have to decide her own fate: Will she be the destroyer of a king or the savior of her people?

What did I think of it:
Apart from the occasional short story, I'm not really an audio book listener/reader. I will confess I get easily bored, and on top of that the narrators take so much longer reading it to me, than I can read it myself. Also: i'm totally not a multi-tasker: there's only so much I can do while listening to a story. Therefor I was all set to wait for this book to be released in print, but I couldn't resist joining a giveaway for the Audible version. And I won! So I decided to give the audio book a chance, because it sounded like my kind of story.

And this story is so good I actually finished the audio book! I will confess that during the first few chapters I wondered if I would stick it out. The narrators at times really annoyed me with how they did the voices. I mean: why would an excellent spy master sound like a velvety snake ready to poison you. Really: he sounded like you should count all your digits after just talking with him.

But narration aside I was soon caught up in the story. I wanted to know what would happen to Lara and Aren. I did crank up the speed of the narration (almost 12 hours normal speed) slowly to first x1.5, to finally x2 because I just couldn't wait the whole 12 hours to find out how this story would end, it was that good.

There were some things that were predictable, but much more that took me totally by surprise. Lara is a cool heroine, she is capable, smart, and can think on her feet, but it's also clear her education left out some important things, and what she has in learned wisdom, she lacks in actual street smarts. As she slowly gets to know her new husband and his country she starts to question everything she learned, and she starts to fall for his charm and apparent kindness. The attraction between them is clear, but Lara's secrets, and Aren's protectiveness toward his country make the romance between them slow burning, but good.

As Lara uncovers both truths and lies, and her feelings for Aren grow, she will have to decide if she will do what her father asked her, or if she will switch alliances. Here I could see certain things coming, and I wanted to kick Lara at times. Still I rooted for her, and hoped things would turn out right.

And the ending!

Man, I need the second book in this duology! So you bet I'll get the print version of this book once it releases, to read at my own speed and to hug. I'll probably also totally cave and get the audio version of the sequel once it releases, because I need to know what will happen next.

If you're a fan of audio books I can totally recommend this to you!

Why should you read it:
It's a suspenseful and awesome Fantasy read/listen.

Buy from Amazon
Buy it from bookdepository

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