The Fiery Crown (Forgotten Empires #2) by Jeffe Kennedy
Read: 3rd – 16th May 2020
Publication Date: 26th May 2020
Quote from The Fiery Crown
“She [Euthalia a.k.a. Lia] spun the envelope to extend it to me [Conri], as Sondra might flick one of her blades. Lia’s expression remained opaque, eyes guileless. “While I hate to interrupt your idyll in the garden, perhaps I could trouble you with your attention to this.”
Oh yeah, Lia was pissed as hell. I could only hope it wasn’t all aimed at me.”
My Overall Rating: 4/5
Plot: 4/5 – Flow: 4/5 – Character Development: 5/5 – World Building: 5/5
The Fiery Crown is the second book (approx 400 pages) in the new fantasy trilogy by best-selling author Jeffe Kennedy. This fantasy world of Kings and Queens, tyrants and rebels, reminds me of the historic fiction I read years ago. Forgotten Empires is similar to the stories written about the royal houses of Europe. However, the added elements of ancient magic and forgotten arts shifts these tales into the fantasy genre.
If you’ve read any of my reviews before, you’ll know that I write about how the story was told rather than the plot itself. Therefore, my reviews don’t contain spoilers or reveal plot twists. Here’s what the official blurb has to say about the story:
A queen and her rebel prince turn from enemies to lovers while evil forces plot to destroy them in this lush romantic fantasy.
Following The Orchid Throne, Conrí and Lia’s marriage of convenience has turned into an uneasy alliance. If only the two leaders could agree on something. Driven by revenge, Conrí wants to attack Emperor Anure before the tyrant gets to them first. But Lia needs to keep Calanthe safe, and refuses to sacrifice her kingdom. Their ongoing battle for control has built up tension they’re both more than happy to release in bed, the only place where they find common ground. But Conrí and Lia are developing deeper feelings for each other that are complicating matters. In the second book in the Forgotten Empires trilogy, Conrí and Lia find their loyalties torn, and with Emperor Anure’s threat growing, will they be able to risk everything with each other before it’s too late?
I was invited to read an unedited digital version of this book. The publisher (St Martin’s Press) gave it to me for free in exchange for an honest review.
However, this has not influenced my review. These are my words and my unbiased opinion about the story.
I 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 author. I’m impressed with her writing style and find 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 set the scene beautifully in one’s mind.
I thought that the story itself was intelligent and felt well planned out. I liked the way Jeffe weaved realistic human behaviours, known historic attitudes and etiquettes into her fantasy world. For me, this attention to detail made it feel more believable.
Jeffe allows both her main characters – Lia and Conrí – to lead the reader with their own chapters/sections. Therefore, 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.
My existing followers will know that I connect to a story more when the female protagonist displays certain personality traits. I crave intelligence, resilience, self-reliance, and gumption: I wasn’t disappointed here. Although Lia is a queen and lives under a plethora of restrictions, she has plenty of gumption. She also hasa sharp political mind and a wonderful sense of humour that we glimpse during her inner dialogue.
There are so many aspects of The Fiery Crown that 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! However 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*
I really liked this book but I just wanted to tell you why my rating was 4 stars rather than 5.
I think that I have already mentioned that historical fiction isn’t my preferred genre, this is mainly due to the constraining etiquette the characters are forced to live by and, as such, it took me a while to shake off my frustrations and read this story without my modern sensibilities screaming. While this is a fantasy, the world feels “historical”.
It’s important to remember that The Fiery Crown is a middle book in a trilogy. Although there’s no perilous life-or-death cliffhanger at the end of this one, Jeffe has left lots of teasers and story threads to continue in the final book.
Although The Fiery Crown is not my usual genre, I really enjoyed the story. This book had everything that I look for in an engaging read. There was mystery and intrigue, fighting and action, a beautiful romance, and a nice balance of gentle humour.
So, has my review of THE FIERY CROWN (FORGOTTEN EMPIRES #2) 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 or to find out more about the author.
Buy THE FIERY CROWN (or catch up with the series) in print, eBook and audio formats through the usual sources, including:
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JEFFE KENNEDY is an award-winning, bestselling author who writes fantasy, fantasy romance, and contemporary romance. She serves on the Board of Directors for SFWA as a Director at Large.
Her most recent works include Prisoner of the Crown and the upcoming Exile of the Seas, from her high fantasy trilogy from Rebel Base books, The Chronicles of Dasnaria, in the same world as her award-winning fantasy series The Twelve Kingdoms and The Uncharted Realms. She is a hybrid author, and also self-publishes a fantasy series, Sorcerous Moons. Her books have won the RT Reviewers’ Choice Best Fantasy Romance of 2015, been named Best Book of June 2014, and won RWA’s prestigious RITA® Award.
She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with two Maine coon cats, plentiful free-range lizards and a very handsome Doctor of Oriental Medicine.
Thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to read my review of The Fiery Crown.
I hope that I’ve encouraged you to add it to your ever growing TBR piles. 😉
Stay safe & healthy and keep reading!