Early Review: Edge of the Blade by Jeffe Kennedy

Genre: Fantasy Romance
Publication Date: December 27, 2016
Publisher: Kensington
Source: E-arc via Netgalley from Kensington

Synopsis from Goodreads: A HAWK’S PLEDGE
“The Twelve Kingdoms rest uneasy under their new High Queen, reeling from civil war and unchecked magics. Few remember that other powers once tested their borders until a troop of foreign warriors emerges with a challenge . . .”Jepp has been the heart of the queen’s elite guard, her Hawks, since long before war split her homeland. But the ease and grace that come to her naturally in fighting leathers disappears when battles turn to politics. When a scouting party arrives from far-away Dasnaria, bearing veiled threats and subtle bluffs, Jepp is happy to let her queen puzzle them out while she samples the pleasures of their prince’s bed.

But the cultural norms allow that a Dasnarian woman may be wife or bed-slave, never her own leader and Jepp’s light use of Prince Kral has sparked a diplomatic crisis. Banished from court, she soon becomes the only envoy to Kral’s strange and dangerous country, with little to rely on but her wits, her knives and the smolder of anger and attraction that burns between her and him….

Ronnie’s Review

If you enjoy fantasy romance and you haven’t read Jeffe Kennedy, you’re missing out. She writes engrossing fantasy and manages to balance the world building with the romance without sacrificing one for the other. My only caveat with The Edge of the Blade is if you haven’t read any of her books set within an earlier series, The Twelve Kingdoms, you won’t have as good of a grasp on her characters in The Uncharted Realms. That being said, I think she does a credible job of making the book appealing to new readers without being too repetitive within the story.

Hands down, this is one of the best books I’ve read this year, and 2016 hasn’t been a kind year for reading, at least for me. I’m a pretty heroine centric reader, and Jepp made this book. Full stop. I enjoyed her hero, but the story wouldn’t have been nearly as good had it not been for the heroine. She’s wholly comfortable with her sexuality and doesn’t hesitate for a moment to call out the hero for his ass backwards views of women and how they should behave.

Because of a snafu that happened in the previous book, Jepp has to step up and act as an ambassador for her country, and it’s quite clear that it’s a position that she has no aptitude for, and this is where our hero has to step in to help guide her. Her resentment and attraction to Kral lead to verbal squirmishes between the two of them and are a joy to read. The motivations on the hero’s part are a bit murky and it takes awhile for those to become clear, but after that, I felt like I had a handle on his character, and thought him a fine match for one of my favorite heroines ever written.

Given the scope and depth of the story, and how it encompasses a large cast of characters and arcs, I thought the pacing was pretty even. They became intimate immediately without knowing who and what the other person is. That’s what a large chunk of the book is devoted to, to them learning and discovering that maybe they’re not so different and what differences they do have can become assets within the precarious positions that they both are in. I loved Jepp’s fervor and ability to jump right in no matter what the cost, and Kral is very much a counterbalance to Jepp’s impetuousness.

If enemies to lovers is your jam, then Edge of the Blade would be a great book for you.

Rating: 4.5 Stars = A-

© 2016, Badass Book Reviews. All rights reserved.

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