So this is a 4 star review, but unlike some of my other 4 star reviews, I plan to go on and read more in this world Kennedy as created.
So why the 4 stars? This is a later book in well-created, long-terms series of romance-oriented fantasy based on a kingdom of united smaller kingdoms where (and this stuff I figured out about…oh…2/3’s of the way through the book) a despot King was overthrown by his daughters. Each of whom, I assume, have their own book since they’re paired off by the time this book happens.
The beginning of this book, told in the point of view of Ursula (the high queen)’s librarian/scribe is very confusing. There’s lots of kingdom, character, event names referenced every few lines and I was a bit frustrated trying to figure it out. I wouldn’t recommend starting this series, as I did, with this book unless you’ve got a huge ambiguity tolerance level.
Dafne, the librarian, travels by ship to a realm at the behest of Ursula but gets sidetracked in an island (pseudo polynesian with dragons) nation when fate decides to challenge her view of herself as a spectator to the kingdom’s events and politics.
And there’s romance. And there’s daggers inscribed with “and this is what happens when you ignore librarians’ and there’s a handsome, caring (literally all he does is carry her around, put salve on her feet, and wait for her to realize they are fated) hero with secrets he doesn’t wield to force Dafne into things, and there’s lovely, lovely development of a relationship in a believable way when they don’t speak each other’s languages. I loved those parts.
So when Dafne got to the island, things began to really become interesting for me, and I loved it. I think its because the story no longer relied on prior knowledge of events in prior books, but Dafne and the reader were learning about the situation together.
Lovely, engrossing story in the latter half.