ARC Review: The Orchid Throne (Forgotten Empires #1) by Jeffe Kennedy

Flora Reviews… The Orchid Throne (Forgotten Empires #1) by Jeffe Kennedy. My thanks to the publisher – St Martin’s Press – for the advanced ebook.

Quote from The Orchid Throne

“True Calantheans sense the magic in the gorgeous bloom [the Orchid Ring that, Euthalia, The Flower Queen of Calanthe wears], even if they don’t know what it is they feel, and the encounter is nearly religious experience. Perhaps Calanthe Herself whispers to them. No one has ever said, and I won’t ask. I try not to rush the moment.”

My Overall Rating: 4/5

Plot: 4/5 – Flow: 4/5 – Character Development: 5/5 – World Building: 5/5

What’s The Orchid Throne about?

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ARC Review: The Orchid Throne (Forgotten Empires #1) by Jeffe KennedyMy Rating:
Title: The Orchid Throne by Jeffe Kennedy
Series: Forgotten Empires #1
on 24 September, 2019
Narrator: Elizabeth Brook
Length: 10 hours 39 minutes
No. of Pages: 362

Welcome to the world of Forgotten Empires from award-winning author Jeffe Kennedy that begins with The Orchid Throne.

As Queen of the island kingdom of Calanthe, Euthalia will do anything to keep her people free—and her secrets safe—from the mad tyrant who rules the mainland. Guided by a magic ring of her father’s, Lia plays the political game with the cronies the emperor sends to her island. In her heart, she knows that it’s up to her to save herself from her fate as the emperor’s bride. But in her dreams, she sees a man, one with the power to build a better world—a man whose spirit is as strong, and whose passion is as fierce as her own…

Conrí, former Crown Prince of Oriel, has built an army to overthrow the emperor. But he needs the fabled Abiding Ring to succeed. The ring that Euthalia holds so dear to her heart. When the two banished rulers meet face to face, neither can deny the flames of rebellion that flicker in their eyes—nor the fires of desire that draw them together. But in this broken world of shattered kingdoms, can they ever really trust each other? Can their fiery alliance defeat the shadows of evil that threaten to engulf their hearts and souls?

Source: ARC

I received this ARC for free in exchange for an honest review. This doesn't affect my opinion of the book or influence the content of my review.

Review Format: eBook, Audiobook
Purchase Links: Books2Read - Universal eBook Link ¦ Amazon* ¦ Audible* ¦*

Read: 3rd – 6th September 2019

Publication Date: 24th September 2019

This fantasy world of Kings and Queens, tyrants and rebels reminds me of the historic fiction I read years ago about the royal houses of Europe but with the added element of ancient magic and forgotten arts just waiting to be re-discovered.

What did I like about The Orchid Throne?

Jeffe Kennedy is a new-to-me author and I was very impressed with her writing style; I found myself captivated with her beautiful and descriptive use of language. The prose she uses is intelligent, eloquent and very reminiscent of a historical novel; the words chosen and the sentence formation, while still managing to set the scene beautifully in one’s mind.

I thought that the story itself was intelligent and felt well planned out and the way she weaved realistic human behaviours, known historic attitudes and etiquettes into her new fantasy world made it feel believable.

Ms Kennedy allows both her main characters – Euthalia and Conrí – to lead the reader with their own chapters/sections, giving us a chance to read their inner dialogue; I really like this because it helped me to gain a further depth of understanding, empathy and connection to both of them.

If you’ve read my reviews before, then you’ll know that I connect to a story more when the female protagonist is intelligent, resilient, self-reliant and has plenty of gumption; I wasn’t disappointed here. Even though Euthalia was a queen and lived under a plethora of restrictions, she has oodles of gumption, a political mind so sharp you could cut with it and had a wonderful sense of humour.

The many aspects of The Orchid Throne captivated me.

The court espionage and rebellion kept me guessing, the battles and fighting kept me on the edge of my seat and the prejudice, injustice and brutality of the times tore me apart; I’ve got to confess, tears did trickle down my cheeks – quite a bit! But fear not, dear reader there was enough gentle humour and banter to balance the tears, the relationship between Euthalia and Conrí both warmed my old romantic heart and set the fires a-blazing too. *oh my*

Was there anything that I disliked?

I really liked this book. However, I just wanted to tell you why my rating was 4 stars rather than 5.

I think that I have already mentioned that historic fiction isn’t my preferred genre. This is mainly due to the constraining etiquette the characters are forced to live by. As such, it took me a while to shake off my frustrations and read this story without my modern sensibilities screaming.

It’s important to remember that The Orchid Throne is an opener to a new series.

I’ve seen some reviews that complained of a slow start. Although I struggled with the pace at first too, I soon came to enjoy the gentle way in which Ms Kennedy gradually built the plot throughout this book. There’s no perilous life-or-death cliffhanger at the end of this one. However, I liked that Ms Kennedy has left enough teasers and story threads to continue in the subsequent books.

Basically, what I’m saying is…

Although The Orchid Throne is not my usual genre, I really enjoyed the story. This book had everything that I look for in an engaging read; some mystery and intrigue, fighting and action, a sprinkling of romance with a nice balance of gentle humour.

Has my review of THE ORCHID THRONE (FORGOTTEN EMPIRES #1) encouraged you to find out more? I really hope it has. Just click on any of the links below to check out the book yourself. Keep reading to find out more about the series and its author.

 Forgotten Empires by Jeffe Kennedy

From RITA award-winning author Jeffe Kennedy comes an engrossing romantic fantasy series, Forgotten Empires. Lia, the Queen of Calanthe, and Con, the fallen prince of Oriel and King of Slaves, must join forces to overthrow an evil emperor in this expansive new world that will delight fans of high romance fantasy.

Books in the Series

Buy THE FORGOTTEN EMPIRE in print, eBook and audio formats through the usual sources, including:

Audible* ¦ Book Depository* ¦ Waterstones*

About Jeffe Kennedy

Author - Jeffe Kennedy. Credit Pritschow Photography

Jeffe Kennedy is an award-winning author whose works include novels, non-fiction, poetry, and short fiction. She has won the prestigious RITA® Award from Romance Writers of America (RWA), has been a finalist twice, been a Ucross Foundation Fellow, received the Wyoming Arts Council Fellowship for Poetry, and was awarded a Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Award. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) as a Director at Large.

She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with two Maine coon cats, plentiful free-range lizards and a very handsome Doctor of Oriental Medicine.

signature graphic. Happy reading from flora image sitting on books

Thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to read my review. I hope that my review has encouraged you to add The Orchid Crown to your ever-growing TBR pile. 😉

Flora x

About Me

I'm in my late forties, my interests are varied but since menopause hit a few years ago, I find myself becoming a "grumpy old woman" all too frequently - where has my infinite patience gone!?! Lol!
I bought a Kindle in the summer of 2013 and haven't stopped reading since. If you want to know more about me, check out my blog -

(8) Comments

  1. Sounds like this has a really good balance of emotion, humor, romance, and intrigue!

    1. Yes, it’s not my usual reading genre but it definitely had me hooked.

  2. […] really enjoyed reading The Orchid Throne last year and so rated it 4 stars. However, Jeffe Kennedy is still a fairly new-to-me author, not […]

  3. […] read book 1 in the series – The Orchid Throne – last year and really enjoyed it. However, Jeffe Kennedy is still a relatively new-to-me […]

  4. This one certainly isn’t action packed with physical battles although it’s full of political tensions, subterfuge and battles of will and intellect.

  5. […] ~ Unearthed by Cecy Robson ~ Chade by Montana Ash ~ Seduced by a Demon King by Felicity Heaton ~ The Orchid Throne by Jeffe Kennedy ~ Queen of Vampire Hearts by Jeanette Rose (will be posted […]

  6. […] of The Orchid Throne earlier this month and thoroughly enjoyed it – you can read my review here. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to help spread the word about this great read and I hope that […]

  7. This isn’t my usual genre of choice so I very much doubt I’d try it. I’ve not heard of the author before either. A very good review though, I’m glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing.

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