Book Review: The Bridge Kingdom by Danielle Jensen
A close friend recommended this series. She did warn me that the first book ended on a cliffhanger, and that she didn't like the second book as much, but encouraged me to read it.
From the first chapter, I was really hooked. It had everything: murder (seemingly), political gain, and a badass female main character.
Lara and a bunch of her sisters were raised in relatively solitary confinement. They were taken from the harem as small children and trained in the art of combat, politics, and seduction. They were also raised to believe that the kingdom of Ithicana was ruled by a demon.
When we first meet Lara, she knows something the rest of her sisters don't: her father doesn't intend for any of them except one (his chosen) to leave the compound alive. Because Lara uncovered this, she "poisoned" her sisters. She put them to sleep, making it look like she'd killed them so she could take on the responsibility of taking down the king of the "Bridge Kingdom."
That's a pretty intense start, but I was totally in.
Because I really don't want to spoil any more of the story, I will keep the rest of this brief. Jensen created a lush and fantastic world. While there wasn't magic like I normally like in my fantasies, there was plenty of scheming, romance, and fun games. Aren, the king of Ithicana, is a well written male character. One thing that's hard in romance is to have a well-rounded protagonist and a well-rounded love interest. Jensen did this very well.
I have already started the sequel--The Traitor Queen--and a third novel comes out this year. Based on her writing style, I fully intend on reading everything in Jensen's back list!