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The Orchid Throne

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"The Orchid Throne is a captivating and sensual fantasy romance you won’t want to miss! High stakes. Remarkable worldbuilding. Unique and compelling characters. A slow-burn romance that’ll make you combust.” — Amanda Bouchet, USA Today bestselling author of The Kingmaker Chronicles "The Orchid Throne captures from the first page and doesn't let go as Jeffe Kennedy weaves a "The Orchid Throne is a captivating and sensual fantasy romance you won’t want to miss! High stakes. Remarkable worldbuilding. Unique and compelling characters. A slow-burn romance that’ll make you combust.” — Amanda Bouchet, USA Today bestselling author of The Kingmaker Chronicles "The Orchid Throne captures from the first page and doesn't let go as Jeffe Kennedy weaves a timeless tale of love and survival amidst a lush backdrop teeming greed and deceit. You will fall for Lia and Con and root for them with every breath you take. This is a book that will linger in your thoughts for a very long time."- Darynda Jones, New York Times bestselling author Welcome to the world of Forgotten Empires from award winning author Jeffe Kennedy that begins with The Orchid Throne. A PRISONER OF FATE 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… A PRINCE AMONG MEN 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?


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"The Orchid Throne is a captivating and sensual fantasy romance you won’t want to miss! High stakes. Remarkable worldbuilding. Unique and compelling characters. A slow-burn romance that’ll make you combust.” — Amanda Bouchet, USA Today bestselling author of The Kingmaker Chronicles "The Orchid Throne captures from the first page and doesn't let go as Jeffe Kennedy weaves a "The Orchid Throne is a captivating and sensual fantasy romance you won’t want to miss! High stakes. Remarkable worldbuilding. Unique and compelling characters. A slow-burn romance that’ll make you combust.” — Amanda Bouchet, USA Today bestselling author of The Kingmaker Chronicles "The Orchid Throne captures from the first page and doesn't let go as Jeffe Kennedy weaves a timeless tale of love and survival amidst a lush backdrop teeming greed and deceit. You will fall for Lia and Con and root for them with every breath you take. This is a book that will linger in your thoughts for a very long time."- Darynda Jones, New York Times bestselling author Welcome to the world of Forgotten Empires from award winning author Jeffe Kennedy that begins with The Orchid Throne. A PRISONER OF FATE 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… A PRINCE AMONG MEN 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?

30 review for The Orchid Throne

  1. 4 out of 5

    Darynda Jones

    Loved this so much!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Grace

    Full disclosure: I've worked with this author in the past and am a fan of her books. She's an auto-buy for me. I was offered an ARC of The Orchid Throne in exchange for an honest review and a blurb if possible. In short, I loved the story. As with Kennedy's Twelve Kingdoms series, the Forgotten Empires showcases the excellent world building and motivations of flawed, human characters doing their very best to survive (and thrive) in brutal circumstances. Jeffe Kennedy's The Orchid Throne is an Full disclosure: I've worked with this author in the past and am a fan of her books. She's an auto-buy for me. I was offered an ARC of The Orchid Throne in exchange for an honest review and a blurb if possible. In short, I loved the story. As with Kennedy's Twelve Kingdoms series, the Forgotten Empires showcases the excellent world building and motivations of flawed, human characters doing their very best to survive (and thrive) in brutal circumstances. Jeffe Kennedy's The Orchid Throne is an epic tale of grand scope with its battles and political machinations, and above all, its relentless pursuit of hope in the face of suffering. Con and Euthalia, united in their goal of destroying a usurper emperor, are a perfect match for each other. A beautifully told story of loss, endurance, and abiding devotion from a master of fantasy romance.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    As the queen of the island Calanthe you might think Euthalia is in charge of her own life but she is just as under the tyrant emperor's control as everyone else. Her father agreed to an arranged marriage between them in order to keep Calanthe's independence but it was just another type of chain. Since her father's death Euthalia has done everything in her power to keep the emperor at arm's length and to protect her people but she knows time is running out and soon she will be forced into As the queen of the island Calanthe you might think Euthalia is in charge of her own life but she is just as under the tyrant emperor's control as everyone else. Her father agreed to an arranged marriage between them in order to keep Calanthe's independence but it was just another type of chain. Since her father's death Euthalia has done everything in her power to keep the emperor at arm's length and to protect her people but she knows time is running out and soon she will be forced into marriage with a man she despises. Conri was raised as the crown prince of Oriel but when the emperor invaded his country was destroyed and his people were sent to work in the mines as prisoners of war. Con has been plotting revenge for years, slowly building an army of freed slaves and taking back land from the emperor. According to prophecy if he can gain control of the Abiding Ring he will succeed in his goal to destroy the empire but the magical ring is connected to Euthalia and can't be removed until her death. Both Conri and Euthalia have similar goals but can they trust each other enough to form an alliance? And even if they do will their rebellion have any chance of success? The Orchid Throne is the first book in Jeffe Kennedy's new fantasy romance series and it does a great job of introducing us to a new world. This is a world where magic is forbidden and those with power have to keep it hidden, a world where to defy the emperor means certain death. It is extremely dangerous for Euthalia and Conri to even discuss rebellion but fate sometimes has a way of forcing your hand and sometimes you have to take the opportunities that come your way. As the first book in the series this book takes the time to introduce the main characters separately before they are introduced to each other. We get to know them both and see just how their lives have been affected by the tyrant emperor. Their lives are very different but they've both had their own struggles to deal with and are united by the need to protect their people against a common enemy. I love it when you get a slow build romance and that's exactly what happened here, when you're reading a series you don't want everything to happen too quickly or there is nothing to look forward to later on. This had just enough romance to keep me happy and I'm looking forward to seeing more of Euthlia and Con's relationship in future books. I also can't wait to see how they continue their rebellion against the emperor. This was a great start to the series and it's definitely left me ready for more.

  4. 5 out of 5

    ♥ WishfulMiss ♥

    No one believes in omens or curses anymore. Or hope, for that matter. I had such a blast reading this book. The world the author has built was awesome, the characters were engaging, the romance was immediately something I was rooting for and the political intrigue and danger kept me glued to my kindle. Child prince turned slave, Conri has survived his enslavement and torture at the hands of the self appointed Emperor, Anure. His vow to defeat the man responsible for his family and his kingdom’ No one believes in omens or curses anymore. Or hope, for that matter. I had such a blast reading this book. The world the author has built was awesome, the characters were engaging, the romance was immediately something I was rooting for and the political intrigue and danger kept me glued to my kindle. Child prince turned slave, Conri has survived his enslavement and torture at the hands of the self appointed Emperor, Anure. His vow to defeat the man responsible for his family and his kingdom’s destruction, has fueled his need for revenge. I loved this character. I loved his loyalty and his courage and his strength. I even loved his ride or die mentality. He was a total bad ass. Here was the strength they nurtured by forcing me to labor for them in the mines. Here was the hammer they handed me to crush the rocks they coveted. They created me, all that I am, and I relish using it to beat their evil brains from their useless bodies. ~ Conri, Lia, the Queen of Calanthe – she was a bit harder to warm up too. She was a cold woman, but the more you get into the story, the more it’s revealed to you why she’s had to adopt this icey façade. She carries a lot of responsibility on her slim shoulders but she definitely has the heart and mind of a warrior. Never underestimate the blossoms of the Flower Court. We all have our thorns. ~ Lia Needless to say, I really liked this book and can’t wait to get my hands on the next part. Not only was the story packed full of adventure, danger, unexpected revelations and magic but the characters really fleshed out the story and had me emotionally invested in the outcome. I loved the underdog vibes, the fight against an ultimate evil plotline and of course, the budding romance between two vastly different but similar MCs. Memorable Moments: Two scenes stuck out for me. One was when Lia shows Conri the art she’s amassed from people all over, who seek asylum in Calanthe. When she shows him the painting of the royal family of Oriel, his family portrait. I loved that it shows her softer side and that Con understood her gesture for what it was. A kindness. The second one has to be when Lia finally lets down her guard and reveals herself to Conri. I loved the concept of this and being the romance junkie I am, I loved that Conri accepted her unconditionally when it came down to it. I loved it! Would I recommend? If you liked fantasy reads with a strongly driven romantic plot, yes. I highly recommend it. * * * ARC provided for an honest review * * * I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. SAFETY INFO: (view spoiler)[ Ages : Lia is 26, Conri is in his 30s. (Both MCs are virgins. Lia is sexually experienced but physically a virgin for political reasons.) Romance : Yes. This is a marriage of convenience, in a time of impending war. Both MCs are instantly drawn to each other but it’s a slow burn romance. Cheating: Technically yes. Lia is betrothed to the Emperor but she’s basically been blackmailed into it. She marries Conri in a last ditch effort to fight back against their mutual enemy. Sexual Content : There is mention of the sexual going-ons in the Flower Court but no detailed descriptions of the orgies and wild parties. Between the MCs, although it’s a slow burn romance (emotionally) their physical relationship starts almost immediately. It is descriptive and detailed. There is only one scene and it’s well past the 90% mark. Possible Triggers : child abuse (off page), slavery (on and off page), rape (off page), descriptive violence, rough language and explicit sexual content. Standalone/Series : This ends on a Cliffhanger. Book two will continue their story. (hide spoiler)]

  5. 5 out of 5

    Stacey is Sassy

    Revenge…by rock or by flower I really enjoyed reading The Orchid Throne but I’m struggling to get my thoughts down to explain the highs and lows. I was angry that a lot of innocent people died at the hands of a tyrant. I was sad that children were left orphans and slaves because of that tyrant. I was confused that a Queen could appear so cold but feel so much. I was desperate to see good win over evil. Here are a few Of my thoughts while reading this very interesting story... One thing that always Revenge…by rock or by flower I really enjoyed reading The Orchid Throne but I’m struggling to get my thoughts down to explain the highs and lows. I was angry that a lot of innocent people died at the hands of a tyrant. I was sad that children were left orphans and slaves because of that tyrant. I was confused that a Queen could appear so cold but feel so much. I was desperate to see good win over evil. Here are a few Of my thoughts while reading this very interesting story... One thing that always surprises me in my reads is when the heroine is comfortable getting naked around other women. I don’t know about you, but the only person I get naked willingly around is hubby. Sure, it’s a lot worse since I’ve had kids, but even in my heyday…back in the olden days, I wasn’t one to strut my stuff. So, when I come across characters who have maids that bathe and dress them, I’m shocked at their comfort and acceptance. I’m not sure how I would feel having someone touch me all over. Again, that privilege is for my hubby alone. OMG!!! Conri, King of the Slaves, looks like Jason Momoa!! Well, in my head he looks like Mr Momoa. Oh boy, thank you, Jeffe Kennedy! Not sure if that’s who you wanted me to picture, but that is who I was fantasising…I mean picturing in my head. Again, THANK YOU!! Conri and his fellow slaves were so interesting. I feel a little guilty BUT I would have loved to know more of what hell they suffered through in the mines. These guys and gals are tortured and scarred but I wanted a little more of their grittiness. Con’s rock hammer and rock bag thingamajiggy are pretty cool weapons. I loved that his sword was just worn for show and he felt more comfortable and was more effective using his rocks. I’m starting to realise that I don’t HAVE to have sexy times throughout the whole story. I know, I’m shocked myself that I even thought that let alone feel that way. It’s just that a few of my books lately have had the such a great slow-burn and I’ve been thoroughly entertained and hardly missed the wham bam thank you, ma'am. I’m not saying I don’t want some action, it’s just that I don’t need it throughout the whole story. I can’t imagine having to wear makeup EVERYDAY!! I don’t want to ever have to wear a corset either. Euthalia, Queen of Calanthe and holder of the orchid ring is bride-to-be of the evil tyrant Anure. Lia is playing a political game to keep her people safe. She will don her mask and play the innocent to hide her intelligence, wit and craftiness. I loved that what you see is definitely not what you get. Wow, this is the first story I’ve EVER (could be a slight exaggeration) enjoyed where the hero has little or no experience in the bedroom. I can’t call that a cliffhanger because I don’t want to kill anyone. It was definitely more a *happy for now* kind of ending. I’m desperate for more but I have not been left frustrated. I’m actually pretty happy where things are at. ********** The Orchid Throne captured my attention from the start. Yes, it did get a little bogged down with details but I kind of expect that in the first instalment of a fantasy series. By the end was completely enthralled. Euthalia and Conri were very interesting and I loved that I got to see below the surface with both characters by having dual POV’s. The additional characters enhanced the story and I hope to get to know them better as the series progresses. I think Ambrose was my favourite additional character and I really hope he’s there until the end. If you’re looking for an interesting fantasy romance that admittedly takes a wee while to warm up to, then I highly recommend giving The Orchid Throne a try. I’m very interested in seeing what will happen next in the Forgotten Empires series. Stacey is Sassy, received an advanced copy of this story. The copy provided is not the final copy and may be subject to edits and changes.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Alaina

    I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The Orchid Throne was a little slow to start off with but eventually I finally got invested into it. The beginning, even though it was slow, was pretty interesting. I wanted to know more about this empire and everything that was within it. First, the beginning was a lot of information dumping. Whether it was the land, clothes, or anything else - it was a lot to take in and process. Then we get to meet Euthalia, also known I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The Orchid Throne was a little slow to start off with but eventually I finally got invested into it. The beginning, even though it was slow, was pretty interesting. I wanted to know more about this empire and everything that was within it. First, the beginning was a lot of information dumping. Whether it was the land, clothes, or anything else - it was a lot to take in and process. Then we get to meet Euthalia, also known as Lia, and I felt bad for her. I totally get that historically - the lives of women were/are different than it is today. Yet, she is a strong, clever, and compassionate person. She definitely works hard for her people and land - even with all her limitedness. Then there's Conri, who I absolutely loved. His life hasn't been great from start to finish either. He was thrown into slavery at 10 years old. Yet, that formed him into the man he is today. He's also strong, hard, and caring. With a little dash of anger because he deserves to be mad about shit. Besides them, there's the evil emperor (of course) and his name is Anure. Boy did he make things mighty difficult in this book - especially for Lia and Conri. He's kind of like that bad ass villain with magical powers - it was highly interesting/entertaining for me. Throughout the book, we don't get much. Just like most books that I've read this year, the action really happens at the end of the book (such a disappointment too!). The battles and everyone meeting each other happens rather quickly. I kind of wish the ending didn't have everything thrown into it because it lacked the cliffhanger I was hoping for. Doesn't mean I wont dive into the next book but I will have less expectations from it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    A fantastic book! It took a while to get the main characters in the same place, but that gave me time to get to know them separately, understand them, and grow SO impatient for them to finally have page time together. When it eventually happens, it's incendiary! I can't wait for the next installment! Here's my official quote: "The Orchid Throne is a captivating and sensual fantasy romance you won’t want to miss! High stakes. Remarkable worldbuilding. Unique and compelling characters. A slow-burn A fantastic book! It took a while to get the main characters in the same place, but that gave me time to get to know them separately, understand them, and grow SO impatient for them to finally have page time together. When it eventually happens, it's incendiary! I can't wait for the next installment! Here's my official quote: "The Orchid Throne is a captivating and sensual fantasy romance you won’t want to miss! High stakes. Remarkable worldbuilding. Unique and compelling characters. A slow-burn romance that’ll make you combust.”

  8. 4 out of 5

    julia ☆ [owls reads]

    1.5 stars. * Submit or die. The Orchid Throne is a painfully slow novel with a creative and unique world-building. The narrative is heavily focused on romance despite the impending threat of the emperor and there is never a true sense of danger to the story. The characters are interesting, but the different POVs are rather similar to each other and make it difficult to distinguish one character from the other. Jeffe Kennedy’s writing is nice, but the slow pace drags the story along. There is 1.5 stars. * Submit or die. The Orchid Throne is a painfully slow novel with a creative and unique world-building. The narrative is heavily focused on romance despite the impending threat of the emperor and there is never a true sense of danger to the story. The characters are interesting, but the different POVs are rather similar to each other and make it difficult to distinguish one character from the other. Jeffe Kennedy’s writing is nice, but the slow pace drags the story along. There is almost no plot development aside from the romance. There are bits and pieces of intriguing information spread out throughout the novel, from what looms beyond Calanthe and how magic works in this world, yet that’s sadly not really explored all that much in this installment. Personally, this is a disappointing read. I feel like about 15% of this book is descriptions of clothes, makeup, and women getting dressed. The pace is so incredibly slow that when things to progress a little bit, they get buried between pages and pages of nothing. And what does happen is pretty much all romance focused. The only thing fantasy about this novel is the magic and some of the world-building, but everything else gets sidelined in favor of the relationship between Lia and Con. The characters don’t really help matters. The novel is told from the POVs of Lia and Con and the similarities between their inner monologues, which there is a lot of, makes it difficult to distinguish who’s who. Especially when there are no indications in the eARC copy of who’s the POV character for each chapter. There are some intriguing side characters, although I wish had been more fleshed out like Ambrose and Sondra. The one big plot point of the novel is the marriage between Lia and Con and that takes such a long time to happen. When it does, the sex comes along with it in the form of some pretty… unsexy steamy scenes. And that’s supposed to be the climax of the story, no pun intended. So it’s really not impressive. Nothing happens, so there really isn’t a satisfying end to the story. Overall, The Orchid Throne just doesn’t work for me at all. The world-building is really cool, but it’s not enough to hold the novel up. The slow pace and heavy focus on romance make this a chore to get through and the main POV characters sound too alike. I personally found this really boring and it’s not the book for me at all. Readers who enjoy fantasy romance novels with a super heavy focus on romance and a plot where nothing dangerous happens to the couple will probably love this, though. * Series: #1 in the Forgotten Empires series. POV: Told from Lia and Con’s POVs. Content Warnings: (view spoiler)[Mentions of slavery and rape. (hide spoiler)] Instalove: (view spoiler)[Yeah. (hide spoiler)] Steam: Slight steamy! Love Triangle: (view spoiler)[No. (hide spoiler)] Cliffhanger: No. HEA: (view spoiler)[For now. (hide spoiler)] Up Next: Untitled. * ARC provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Anne - Books of My Heart

    This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. I was delighted to be offered this book as I enjoy what little I've managed to read by this author. I want to read more. The Orchid Throne is the first in a new series, Forgotten Empires . I had a bit of the first book in a series, in a new world issues at the beginning. There are many, exquisite details about the the land, the This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart   Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.   I was delighted to be offered this book as I enjoy what little I've managed to read by this author. I want to read more.  The Orchid Throne is the first in a new series,  Forgotten Empires . I had a bit of the first book in a series, in a new world issues at the beginning. There are many, exquisite details about the the land, the clothes, and the people. It takes a bit to assimilate the information and have it come together into the story. Poor Euthalia. A women's life is not her own in most historical times and choices are so limited. She is certainly clever and compassionate. She works hard to protect her people and it is not easy.  Conri, had no choices forced into slavery at only 10 years old. It has made him strong, hard and angry. Still, he is remarkably reasonable and cares about his people. Each of them has advisors, but they are in charge. Lia has many advisors but not all of them are good. In fact, I suspect some are spies or worse. I'm looking at you Tertulyn. Conri has fewer and they seem to be better and a restraint on his worst impulses for revenge. Although Sondra has her own anger to control. There is no magic in this world according to the evil emperor, Anure, who has made life difficult for Lia and Conri, and well, everyone.  He executes all suspected of being wizards. Anure is the suspense in the background, waiting to bring everyone down but himself. Of course, he uses magic for himself.  Lia knows there is magic and tries to cultivate scholars in her kingdom who are knowledgeable, to learn more. Conri doesn't really believe but has his own wizard, so he starts to know it. I love magic and look forward to earning more about it in this world as the series continues. The tale is nearly at the end by the time the couple meets and "battles" each other. The stakes are high and once they have decided how they will proceed, we are at the end. So while not a cliffhanger, there is much of the story for us to learn. The series continues with The Fiery Crown in 2020 and I'll definitely be reading.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Carien

    So good!!!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Christie«SHBBblogger»

    Title: The Orchid Throne Series: Forgotten Empires #1 Author: Jeffe Kennedy Release date: September 24, 2019 Cliffhanger: Yes Genre: adult fantasy What a surprise this one was! I wasn't sure what to expect since this was my first read by the author, but I really appreciated the originality Ms. Kennedy put into the plot. A lot of fantasy storylines tend to run together with overused tropes and predictability. The Orchid Throne does rely on the forbidden magic trope you find in so many but beyond that Title: The Orchid Throne Series: Forgotten Empires #1 Author: Jeffe Kennedy Release date: September 24, 2019 Cliffhanger: Yes Genre: adult fantasy What a surprise this one was! I wasn't sure what to expect since this was my first read by the author, but I really appreciated the originality Ms. Kennedy put into the plot. A lot of fantasy storylines tend to run together with overused tropes and predictability. The Orchid Throne does rely on the forbidden magic trope you find in so many but beyond that it was a refreshingly unique story. Admittedly, you have to be patient in the first half because the pace is excruciatingly slow for a good, solid chunk. It took me much longer than it should have to push through the beginning. Euthalia and Conrí meet around the halfway point which is when the action and dialogue intensify and pull you firmly in. The island kingdom of Calanthe is ruled by the cunning Queen Euthalia. Deliberately cultivating a naive and frivolous persona, she secretly outsmarts those who underestimate her. Her home is famed for their licentious Flower court, but even more so for being the sole kingdom under Emperor Anure's vicious rule to remain standing. It's the last sliver of pleasure and excess when the rest of the world has suffered destruction and horror. This privilege was won with a deal with the devil of sorts when her father promised her hand in marriage to Anure in exchange for Calanthe's preservation. You would expect royals to marry for duty or advantage, but this bargain that was struck had a sour smell to it when you think about the fate of so many other previously flourishing kingdoms and their inhabitants. No one was exempt from Anure's wrath, no matter their station in life. Royals like Conrí, former Prince of Oriel were sent to the mines at Vurgmun where they were enslaved until their bodies gave out on them. Con's fear of death eventually whittled away, and in its place was a bloodthirsty need for revenge. He doesn't see himself as a "King of Slaves" or a leader to look up to despite the many victories with his band of rebels. He simply fights because the alternative would be surrendering to the shackles once again, and his freedom is not something he's willing to lose ever again. Even if he never gets the chance to bring Anure to justice, at least he could say he fought until his dying breath for it. The wolf prince had grown up and broken his chains, thirsty for vengeance. One day it would be Anure himself, and then it would be enough. As much as anything ever could be. I really liked Con right from the start. He's been through literal hell and back and though he's undoubtedly brutish and unpolished, he's honest and affectionate with those in his inner circle. Sondra and the wizard Ambrose constantly busted his balls which was thoroughly entertaining. Ambrose especially was my favorite! I could just picture the twinkle in his eye as he joyously flustered or confused everyone around him. Ambrose joined forces with Con to bring a fated prophesy into being. The addition of his magic is a welcome advantage, as well as his guidance in locating the Orchid ring that they seek. Euthalia and her magic family heirloom may be their only chance to defeat the emperor for good. I enjoyed the romance between Lia and Con. Though it felt a little rushed from enemies to affectionate couple, it didn't necessarily feel unrealistic. Lia was backed into a corner and was forced to make a difficult decision with him, but once she did, she was in 100%. She was determined to give him support, honesty, and loyalty. Even when they were enemies, she gave him respect and acknowledged his humanity which bumped my opinion of her up quite a bit. The first book in a fantasy series tends to be a little slower, so I think the next installment in the Forgotten Empire could prove to be a much more consistent pace. If you like fantasy with revenge, court intrigue, bloody battle scenes, and a dash of romance, this one will be for you. I'm looking forward to seeing where the series takes us next! FOLLOW SMOKIN HOT BOOK BLOG ON:

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tammie

    This is a fantasy romance that sounded interesting, but unfortunately I just couldn't get into it. It moves at a snails pace, and there is just so much description of her clothing and such. It is also hard to tell whose point of view I'm reading, at least in the ARC, because the chapter headings do not denote whose point of view it is. I've decided to abandon this because I want to read something more engaging. I did give it an extra star for the world building, which I thought was good. Thanks This is a fantasy romance that sounded interesting, but unfortunately I just couldn't get into it. It moves at a snails pace, and there is just so much description of her clothing and such. It is also hard to tell whose point of view I'm reading, at least in the ARC, because the chapter headings do not denote whose point of view it is. I've decided to abandon this because I want to read something more engaging. I did give it an extra star for the world building, which I thought was good. Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for providing me with an ARC of this book. Review also posted at Writings of a Reader

  13. 4 out of 5

    Marta Cox

    This was perhaps a little slower initially than some other books I’ve read by this author but nevertheless it does set itself up to be a satisfying tale when she’s finally finished with it. I’m guessing it’s going to be a trilogy as we need to find out not only much more about this seemingly sentient land but also get to see our lead couple take a stand against the mysterious Emperor. Lia is Queen but in order to protect her people she was betrothed to the Emperor whose ambitions and cruelty know This was perhaps a little slower initially than some other books I’ve read by this author but nevertheless it does set itself up to be a satisfying tale when she’s finally finished with it. I’m guessing it’s going to be a trilogy as we need to find out not only much more about this seemingly sentient land but also get to see our lead couple take a stand against the mysterious Emperor. Lia is Queen but in order to protect her people she was betrothed to the Emperor whose ambitions and cruelty know no bounds. I won’t ruin it but it’s very obvious that Lia is both smart and wily as she avoids matrimony. Lia might appear sweet and naive but this Queen is anything but ! Conri has been told in order to defeat the tyrant who has caused so much destruction that he must have the fabled ring that sits proudly upon Lia’s hand. Well good luck with that one because brute force will only get him so far. The couple do not trust each other but they both realise that as events become precarious they do in fact need each other. The world building lacked a little something for this reader but it certainly made up for it with the court etiquette that was as much baffling as it was amusing. The way Lia is forced to behave and act is only second to her wardrobe and style ! Poor Conri is so confident in himself and he has to suck up several revelations as the couple cement their ahem alignment ( relationship dear reader ) and although it wasn’t my perfect read I’m very excited to discover how they start to handle the situation they are left in . This voluntary take is of a copy that I requested from Netgalley and my thoughts and comments are honest and I believe fair

  14. 4 out of 5

    Stewart Tame

    Full disclosure: I won a free ARC of this book in a Goodreads giveaway. This is billed as a fantasy romance, which is a hybrid I don't think I've ever encountered before. It lives up to that billing as far as I can determine, though I’ll admit that my experience with the romance genre has been relatively limited. Lia is the Queen of Calanthe, an island nation that’s been spared the ravages of the tyrannical emperor due to her being his betrothed. Through skillful diplomacy and politics, she has Full disclosure: I won a free ARC of this book in a Goodreads giveaway. This is billed as a fantasy romance, which is a hybrid I don't think I've ever encountered before. It lives up to that billing as far as I can determine, though I’ll admit that my experience with the romance genre has been relatively limited. Lia is the Queen of Calanthe, an island nation that’s been spared the ravages of the tyrannical emperor due to her being his betrothed. Through skillful diplomacy and politics, she has spun out the courtship for years. Conri is the Slave King, reluctantly leading a rebellion against the emperor. They've been remarkably successful in turning his own weapons against him, but can their meager forces prevail against the full might of the empire? This being a romance, it's pretty clear that impending couplehood is in their future. I enjoyed this book more than I expected to. The first chapter or two are devoted to introducing Con and Lia, and they're quite exposition-y. But it's necessary information, and once the story was up and running, I couldn't put this down. The two main leads are fun, intelligent, and engaging. I also really liked Ambrose, the wizard, in a lovely supporting role. At one point, I began to fear for the ending. I’d reached a point where everyone was relatively happy, but I could see that quite a few pages were left. That doesn't usually bode well … It turns out that .... well … you’ll see. I don't want to spoil anything. In the end, this is a promising first book in what looks to be a fun series. Recommended!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    Everything from the synopsis screams this book would be a perfect fit for me. I did enjoy the story but here comes the but...But the best way I can describe it is extremely wordy. I know books are suppose to have words but I mean dialog. Lots and lots of dialog between characters making the plot proceed at a snails pace. I remember checking to see how far in we were when we finally got to the point the characters discover they need to marry each other and the rebel discovers this about 29% in. Everything from the synopsis screams this book would be a perfect fit for me. I did enjoy the story but here comes the but...But the best way I can describe it is extremely wordy. I know books are suppose to have words but I mean dialog. Lots and lots of dialog between characters making the plot proceed at a snails pace. I remember checking to see how far in we were when we finally got to the point the characters discover they need to marry each other and the rebel discovers this about 29% in. You'd think the dialog would help build a character connection but for me it did the complete opposite, I had a disconnect to the characters plight. The world building was great, the premise is something that has huge potential and Jeffe Kennedy has written many books that I've loved so I will be reading on in the Forgotten Empires series. I received this ARC copy of The Orchid Throne from St. Martin's Press - Macmillan. This is my honest and voluntary review. The Orchid Throne is set for publication Sept. 24, 2019. Jeffe Kennedy FRONTLIST | On Sale Date: September 24, 2019 9781250194312, 1250194318 Mass Market $7.99 USD, $10.99 CAD Fiction / Romance / Fantasy Fiction / Fantasy / Romantic 384 pages Series: Forgotten Empires (#1)

  16. 4 out of 5

    Yoongi Felix Min

    My father has taught me this. The emperor didn't suffer when war ravaged his empire. He stayed lazy and overfed on his throne while we tore one another's throats out fighting to get to him. Why trouble himself if we killed one another? Another of the many reasons that rebelling against him harmed only ourselves. My father's untimely death only proved that point. I had high expectations for this book. Most of them weren't met. There isn't really a plot or a major conflict in this book. I was My father has taught me this. The emperor didn't suffer when war ravaged his empire. He stayed lazy and overfed on his throne while we tore one another's throats out fighting to get to him. Why trouble himself if we killed one another? Another of the many reasons that rebelling against him harmed only ourselves. My father's untimely death only proved that point. I had high expectations for this book. Most of them weren't met. There isn't really a plot or a major conflict in this book. I was bored throughout the entire thing. I would be counting down the pages, so I could start another book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Shelley

    *Source* Publisher *Genre* Fantasy, Romance *Rating* 3.5 *Thoughts* The Orchid Throne, by author Jeffe Kennedy, is the start of the Forgotten Empires series following Lia, the Queen of Calanthe, and Con, the fallen prince of Oriel and King of Slaves, as they join together to take down an evil emperor. The story alternates narrative between the two characters. Queen Euthalia (Lia) is determined to defend her island of Calanthe, the only kingdom not violently conquered by the Emperor, by other means. *Source* Publisher *Genre* Fantasy, Romance *Rating* 3.5 *Thoughts* The Orchid Throne, by author Jeffe Kennedy, is the start of the Forgotten Empires series following Lia, the Queen of Calanthe, and Con, the fallen prince of Oriel and King of Slaves, as they join together to take down an evil emperor. The story alternates narrative between the two characters. Queen Euthalia (Lia) is determined to defend her island of Calanthe, the only kingdom not violently conquered by the Emperor, by other means. Euthalia's power lies in both magic and political cunning. *Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews* https://gizmosreviews.blogspot.com/20...

  18. 5 out of 5

    Carol (StarAngel's Reviews) Allen

    Book – The Orchid Throne Author – Jeffe Kennedy Series – Forgotten Empires #1 Cliffhanger? - Yes Publication Date – September 24, 2019 Genre – Fantasy/Romance Type – Dual POV Rating – 4.25 out of 5 Stars Complimentary copy generously provided by the author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My Thoughts - Story I couldn’t believe how slow and wordy this book started out – there were so many times that I had to put it down to take a break. I even tossed around the idea of a DNF (and I sooo Book – The Orchid Throne Author – Jeffe Kennedy Series – Forgotten Empires #1 Cliffhanger? - Yes Publication Date – September 24, 2019 Genre – Fantasy/Romance Type – Dual POV Rating – 4.25 out of 5 Stars Complimentary copy generously provided by the author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My Thoughts - Story I couldn’t believe how slow and wordy this book started out – there were so many times that I had to put it down to take a break. I even tossed around the idea of a DNF (and I sooo hate those). But in all fairness, I’m very happy that I trudged along, not giving up. Because about 35-40% in the action picked up and the story did a 360 where I was hooked and was completely devoted to the story. Another problem (but this is a little one) was the switching between characters without labeling whose POV it was. Like I said, it wasn’t that big of a deal since within a few sentences, I could guess who it was but it would make it an easier read. The world building is spot on and once we got into the whole story of Euthalia and Conri – it seemed as a vivid story unfurled before my eyes. This would definitely be a solid 5 Star read if a bunch of the beginning is cut out – the less important things that happen which have no important business with the plot. I understand the beginning is usually used for developing the world and the characters…but there just seemed to be too much fluff. Reason for Reading – NetGalley choice – plus I love this author Story – 5 out of 5 Stars Steam – 4 out of 5 Stars Angst – 4 out of 5 Stars Writing – 4 out of 5 Stars Content Flow – 3.5 out of 5 Stars Would Read More from Author? Definitely Recommend To – Fantasy Romance lovers

  19. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Dragina

    *vomits* Those last chapters absolutely ruined the book for me. RUINED IT!! I loved the author's style. Her characters. Her suspense. And her wit. But the sexual content is awful. That is all I'm going to say, or else I will end up ranting. **FTC disclosure ~ I was asked to read and review this book by Natalie Tsay, Jeffe Kennedy's agent. She provided the eARC copy.**

  20. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    You can also read my review here: https://devouringbooks2017.wordpress.... 4.5 Stars I was very excited for The Orchid Throne when I first got a copy, it even made my Most Anticipated Releases of the Second Half of 2019 list. But after so many of the books I was very excited for wound up being mediocre reads I found myself thinking that this book would be as well. I was so relieved when I wound up absolutely loving this book. The beginning was a little rocky, but once I got into the book I found You can also read my review here: https://devouringbooks2017.wordpress.... 4.5 Stars I was very excited for The Orchid Throne when I first got a copy, it even made my Most Anticipated Releases of the Second Half of 2019 list. But after so many of the books I was very excited for wound up being mediocre reads I found myself thinking that this book would be as well. I was so relieved when I wound up absolutely loving this book. The beginning was a little rocky, but once I got into the book I found myself completely absorbed. Every aspect of this book was extraordinarily well done and I found myself wishing it wouldn’t end. It had been a while since I had read a fantasy novel that I actually loved, so this one was quite a treat for me. I also was weary of this book because it’s a romance novel, but I wound up loving that aspect too. Jeffe Kennedy’s writing really makes this book shine. The descriptions of the land and the dresses that Queen Euthalia wears are both so vivid and beautiful, bturly bringing this world to life. I can envision Calanthe in my mind so clearly. A paradise island covered in flowers with a court that is filled with beautiful women and men that focus on pleasure. The characters are also described very vividly, which is something that I feel like many books are missing lately. I loved being able to visualize the world and the characters so clearly because it brought the world to life without feeling overdone. These descriptions were truly art in writing. I loved all of the characters. Conri and Euthalia were very different, and made for quite an interesting match. He was a bit of a brute and she was treated like a delicate flower. But they were both fierce, cared for their people and had a common enemy. Once I got to the scene where they met I had a hard time setting the book down at all. Lady Sondra was a minor character who I found myself absolutely loving. A lot of her lines had me laughing and I loved her friendship with Conri. The dialogue in this novel really added personality to all of the characters and had me continuously smirking, smiling and laughing. The plot was really fun. I loved the political scheming of court and the strategy behind it all. I also loved all the descriptions of the fancy dresses and the court life. I’m not typically a big romance reader, but I loved the way that this romance was built up. It felt really romantic and not just a relationship built on lust. It was a relationships of wit and two interesting people who came together, who were also physically attracted to one another. The banter of Conri and the cunning wit of Euthalia made for extremely interesting conversation and I found myself hoping that they could find a way to be together against all the odds. Overall I am really impressed. After so many disappointing reads in a row I was not expecting to love this one. I rarely find romances that I love, and this one was incredible. I found the writing so rich and entertaining that I didn’t want to set the book down. I am so pleased that this is a series and that I will get to return to these characters and this story. I am also incredibly grateful to be able to be a part of The Orchid Throne‘s release because this book deserves attention.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Maria Rose

    The Orchid Throne by Jeffe Kennedy is the start of an exciting fantasy romance trilogy that introduces a royal couple destined to fight for the survival of their peoples against a tyrant bent on their destruction. The discovery of vurgstun, a rock with explosive properties mined deep in the volcanoes of Vurgmun, started the chain of events leading to the ascension of Anure Robho, a man whose greed expanded to encompass all the lands who encountered his ruthless ambitions. Naming himself Emperor, The Orchid Throne by Jeffe Kennedy is the start of an exciting fantasy romance trilogy that introduces a royal couple destined to fight for the survival of their peoples against a tyrant bent on their destruction. The discovery of vurgstun, a rock with explosive properties mined deep in the volcanoes of Vurgmun, started the chain of events leading to the ascension of Anure Robho, a man whose greed expanded to encompass all the lands who encountered his ruthless ambitions. Naming himself Emperor, he cut a swath of destruction across many lands, except for one – Calanthe. Under the stewardship of Queen Euthelia the island has escaped so far unscathed, but only because she is betrothed to the Emperor. She’s been able to put off any actual wedding for years, but it’s only a matter of time before she will be forced into marriage. When rumors of a rebellion and a man they call The Slave King arrive on the shores of Calanthe, Lia is prepared for his eventual arrival though not what he expects her to do for him.He’s been appearing in her dreams, an omen of things to come. Her concerns are for her people, not the rest of the empire. But Conri, heir of Oriel, captured and enslaved by the Emperor and made to work years in the vurgstun mines, hasn’t made it this far in his quest for revenge to be thwarted by a petite woman in the paradise kingdom. A prophesy passed on to him by a wizard portends that he will ‘Claim the hand that wears the Abiding Ring’ – and that ring, the orchid ring, rests on Lia’s fingers. Will the prophesy hold true, and will Lia and Conri take the first steps to thwarting the Emperor’s reign? Fans of the author’s Twelve Kingdoms series will be delighted with this new series start! It’s not connected to the earlier series, but brand new in characters and worldbuilding including some interesting magic systems. Calanthe is full of magic and as Queen, Lia has a sense of the well being of all the living things on the island, including the health of the island itself. The Emperor has decreed that magic is not real and persecuted wizards so when Conri shows up on her island with his own personal wizard Ambrose she wants to keep Ambrose with her at any cost. Conri isn’t particularly keen on tying himself to Lia, but so far the prophesy has been right on other counts. The Emperor has demanded that Lia come for their wedding and so she must carefully weigh her choices – certainly Conri, a man she can admit she is quite attracted to despite his sometimes thuggish manner appears to be the better choice. There are several secondary characters who play important roles as the story progresses, and Ambrose provides some delightful comic relief. The banter between Conri and Lia is also quite engaging, and they do share some intimate scenes later in the story. As the first in a trilogy, Conri and Lia’s story is not complete but they are together at the end of this part and there is no cliffhanger ending. I can’t wait to continue the series! I highly recommend this for lovers of fantasy romance who like intricate but not overly complicated worldbuilding, strong characters, and exciting action packed scenes to go along with a sexy love story. This review is posted at Harlequin Junkie: https://harlequinjunkie.com/review-th... A copy of this story was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    I requested this book on netgalley because I liked the cover and the description, but I liked the story even more. Some of the basics are familiar - an evil Emperor has most of the world in thrall. He is being resisted by the Slave King and by the Queen of Calenthe, which is a mysterious island that has somehow managed to remain free. I especially liked getting glimpses of Calenthe, as some of its mysteries were uncovered, and I'd expect to learn more in book 2. I'm looking forward to it!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Minx

    When diving into The Orchid Throne expect a story that will slowly unfurl bringing you into a world that is caught in a power struggle. His Imperial Majesty Anure, Emperor of All the Lands has for years held a stranglehold on every land except for the island of Calanthe. Years ago, the King of Calanthe brokered a deal with the Emperor, when he had cast his eye towards conquering the small island kingdom, a deal that came with agreeing to marry his virginal daughter to the Emperor as well as When diving into The Orchid Throne expect a story that will slowly unfurl bringing you into a world that is caught in a power struggle. His Imperial Majesty Anure, Emperor of All the Lands has for years held a stranglehold on every land except for the island of Calanthe. Years ago, the King of Calanthe brokered a deal with the Emperor, when he had cast his eye towards conquering the small island kingdom, a deal that came with agreeing to marry his virginal daughter to the Emperor as well as other compensations. A decision that had left many allies feeling betrayed as well as many hard feelings with subjects of other kingdoms. Since that time, the daughter turned queen, Euthalia, has played a long game con trying to give her kingdom and herself time to figure a way out of the mess her father had gotten them into. A dangerous game indeed that only she and her closest are even aware is taking place. When an uprising occurs, led by Conrí, former Crown Prince of Oriel, that has its heart set on overthrowing the Emperor, Euthalia must decide if she is going to continue to play things safe or if now is the time to take her stand and show the world where her allegiances truly lie. The Orchid Throne is the very definition of a slow build but it was a fascinating journey that was well worth the time. This story alternates between Queen Euthalia and Conrí’s points of view and much time is spent getting to know and understand not only the characters themselves but their motivations and present circumstances as well. Although the story felt that it was slowly moving, I did appreciate the time invested in building this world and the explanations behind the political maneuverings that were taking place. The explanations and information that might have seemed inconsequential at the start of this story added much understanding by the end of this story. When Euthalia and Conrí finally came face to face, things moved rather quickly and that could be viewed as off-putting to some readers but I was excited that they were finally able to make choices that were more in-line with their actual desires. From there, the ending of The Orchid Throne was intriguing and I am excited to know more about this world as well as where things are going to go for the characters! This review is based on a complimentary book I received from NetGalley. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Douglas Meeks

    The beginning to this story waxes and wanes a bit plus it takes awhile to realize that Lia is far stronger and more intelligent than anyone has given her credit for and Con does realize that when he finally meets her (which takes a few chapters before they even meet) and immediately does everything wrong . It is an amazing tale with a bit of tragedy in the background history which is what I hope this story is going to remedy at the end of what I hope is a trilogy and not a repeat of the The beginning to this story waxes and wanes a bit plus it takes awhile to realize that Lia is far stronger and more intelligent than anyone has given her credit for and Con does realize that when he finally meets her (which takes a few chapters before they even meet) and immediately does everything wrong . It is an amazing tale with a bit of tragedy in the background history which is what I hope this story is going to remedy at the end of what I hope is a trilogy and not a repeat of the Sorcerous Moons Series that dragged us through 6 books before we got a great ending. Con and Lia are the ultimate love/hate couple and they will have a lot of things to work through and more than a few surprises along the way and while the ending is not some kind of cliffhanger it does leave you wanting more (as most good books do). 4 Stars for a great story that had some slow parts but I didn't have to scan through pages and pages so obviously it held my attention. Bottom Line: I can't wait to get my hands on the next one although I got a bad feeling since the second book in most trilogies tends to be depressing :) Add to the questions that we still don't really know who the old wizard is or how powerful he really is, that part I can't wait to find out either.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Melliane

    Mon avis en Français My English review I always have a good time with Jeffe Kennedy’s novels, so I was curious to discover this new series! Euthalia is Queen of her people, she tries to remain as free as possible. However, she is also under the yoke of the emperor to whom she is engaged. If she doesn’t see him, she knows that the day will come when she will simply no longer be able to refuse him. She hopes to find a way out, but she knows it will be in vain. Yet when the Slave King comes to her Mon avis en Français My English review I always have a good time with Jeffe Kennedy’s novels, so I was curious to discover this new series! Euthalia is Queen of her people, she tries to remain as free as possible. However, she is also under the yoke of the emperor to whom she is engaged. If she doesn’t see him, she knows that the day will come when she will simply no longer be able to refuse him. She hopes to find a way out, but she knows it will be in vain. Yet when the Slave King comes to her home, bringing danger to her doorstep, she knows she has no choice but to hand him over to the one she hates the most. But this Crown Prince also has great plans and they all concern the Queen. Will she accept his proposal? I really had a good time with the story and the characters as I was saying. It is an intriguing universe that the author proposes to us and I must admit that I am curious to learn more, to know exactly how these people live. We discover secrets, plots, and we see some leads about which I am curious to discover the truth now. I really liked Lia. She is a strong woman, much more capable than she lets on and it was nice to see that she would do anything to save her people. She has her head on her shoulders and this story may well set her free in a way. Very curious to read on!

  26. 5 out of 5

    The Nerd Daily

    Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Teralyn Mitchell The Orchid Throne was a moving tale of choices, fate, and loss. I have to say upfront that this is not a YA fantasy as I went into reading this thinking that it would be until I found out Lia’s age. This is a dual point of view story. The story starts with Lia as she’s waking up from a startling nightmare and having to prepare for court, dealing with the emperor’s emissary. We learn some of the dynamic between Calanthe and the Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Teralyn Mitchell The Orchid Throne was a moving tale of choices, fate, and loss. I have to say upfront that this is not a YA fantasy as I went into reading this thinking that it would be until I found out Lia’s age. This is a dual point of view story. The story starts with Lia as she’s waking up from a startling nightmare and having to prepare for court, dealing with the emperor’s emissary. We learn some of the dynamic between Calanthe and the emperor but more questions are raised then answered in the beginning. Conrí’s first chapter jumps right into the action of him and his people taking over a town. The story progresses from there to show Lia and Conrí on a collision course to meet. The Orchid Throne started very slow for me and I had a hard time getting into the story for the first 100+ pages and following what was going on. However, after this point, I could not put down the book. I thought the world building was well done although seeing common words we use took me out of the story in the beginning, but you get used to it. The story was beautifully written and such a moving love story. I liked Conrí a lot. He was who he was and unapologetic about it. I loved how decisive he was and the fact that he did what needed to be done; he wasn’t scared to make the hard decisions. The things he went through would have broke a lesser man but it made him stronger and more determined to make things right for him and so many others who were wronged. Lia was sometimes frustrating to understand and get behind. I wanted her to fight more and not bend to the whim of the emperor. I understood why she behaved the way she did. Lia was taught all her life that she must protect her country and people at all cost so it was hard for her to not think of them first and make decisions that she thought would preserve Calanthe. Lia came off as cold, callous, and uncaring but she really did have a good heart. She cared for everyone but had perpetuated a certain image for so long that it was hard for her to shed even when she didn’t have to keep being that way. I absolutely loved Lia and Conrí together. There was tension and chemistry between the two of them from their first meeting and I liked how they could get under each other’s skins. Ambrose was my absolute favourite character. He cracked me up a lot with his personality and how he would explain things. He was always so calm no matter what was going on. I liked Sondra as well as she was strong, intelligent, and did what had to be done. I did like the background that was giving in the beginning and the fact that it hadn’t happened that long ago. The characters were still dealing with the fallout of a tyrant destroying all the other kingdoms and crowning himself emperor. He enslaved the royal and noble families. Both Lia and Conrí had plans to deal with the emperor but they will need each other if they want to defeat him. Once they finally realised that, I was happy and so ready to see what happens when they against the emperor. I am very excited to read the next instalment of the Fallen Empire series. The Orchid Throne was such a moving and beautifully written adult fantasy romance. I loved the imagery and worldbuilding with strong characters that all brought a different element to the story. Although the story starts slow, it really picks up about a third of the way in and is hard to put down. I am excited to read the rest of this series and try more of Jeffe Kennedy’s books!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    The good: -LOVED the heroine, Lia. She is badass and prioritizes her job as queen above all else. -Really loved the hero, Conri. He’s pretty clearly suffering from some major issues as a former slave, but he’s not a manwhore (rare in romance circles) and admires Lia’s intelligence, not just her looks. -The worldbuilding in this book is phenomenal. There’s clearly a lot going on, more than the reader fully knows, and I loved getting glimpses into how magic works in this universe. The not-so-good: The good: -LOVED the heroine, Lia. She is badass and prioritizes her job as queen above all else. -Really loved the hero, Conri. He’s pretty clearly suffering from some major issues as a former slave, but he’s not a manwhore (rare in romance circles) and admires Lia’s intelligence, not just her looks. -The worldbuilding in this book is phenomenal. There’s clearly a lot going on, more than the reader fully knows, and I loved getting glimpses into how magic works in this universe. The not-so-good: -This wasn’t a huge deal for me because other reviews alerted me to it, but this book is a major slow burn. As in, the hero and heroine don’t even meet until about 50-60% of the way into the book, and don’t hook up until about 90%. -Its the start of a series, so the ending is more of a HFN than HEA. Safety Stats:(view spoiler)[ Ages: Lia is 26, I think Conri is early 30s but I didn’t highlight the exact age. Cheating: None. OM/OW: None exactly, but there are some references to Lia’s prior sexual encounters with her ladies in waiting, and one of them in particular seems to be jealous of Conri once he shows up. Lia pretty clearly does not hold romantic feelings for her, though. Separation: None, but it takes quite awhile for the two protagonists to meet. Triggers: Some indirect mentions of sexual violence Conri witnessed as a slave. HEA? More of a HFN. This is the start of a series. (hide spoiler)]

  28. 4 out of 5

    Blodeuedd Finland

    An evil emperor has taken power and by doing that he took control of the world, one slaughter at a time. He might actually be my favorite character, cos he was so evil. And then this thing he says he will do at the end, dang, that is a well written baddie. I loved to hate him. And the thing is, we never even meet him! All we get are letters. Ok so I spent the first paragraph talking about the man who will get killed in whatever book finishes this. Ha, funny. Anyway, Lia, queen of Calanthe is An evil emperor has taken power and by doing that he took control of the world, one slaughter at a time. He might actually be my favorite character, cos he was so evil. And then this thing he says he will do at the end, dang, that is a well written baddie. I loved to hate him. And the thing is, we never even meet him! All we get are letters. Ok so I spent the first paragraph talking about the man who will get killed in whatever book finishes this. Ha, funny. Anyway, Lia, queen of Calanthe is trying her best to keep the evil emperor away from their shores. they rolled over and played nice and was spared the massacre. I did like that she played a part all day. There was so much more to her. But the thing that came out at the end was the part that interested me the most, intriguing. Con, oh I do not know, I think he was an ass. I get that you have been a slave, but still, I kind of want to kick you in the nuts for the things you thought. Maybe he will grow on me. I enjoyed it, even if I had some Con issues, and the fact that I remember the baddie that we did not evn meet the most. I hope he has a gruesome death The end, well all is well for now. But tomorrow everyone might die.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Grey

    I received a copy of this ebook from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I was intrigued when I spotted this one...the cover is gorgeous, the blurb written so that it would pull you in. And in truth, there are definitely certain times that I am pulled down the fantasy bend and never want to leave it. That being said, this was a good book. However, it was very SLOW to start and there is a bit of a what happens next, going on. The author does have a good handle on the fantasy handle in I received a copy of this ebook from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I was intrigued when I spotted this one...the cover is gorgeous, the blurb written so that it would pull you in. And in truth, there are definitely certain times that I am pulled down the fantasy bend and never want to leave it. That being said, this was a good book. However, it was very SLOW to start and there is a bit of a what happens next, going on. The author does have a good handle on the fantasy handle in general, however...the pacing at the beginning just seemed exceedingly slow to start. 4 stars.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jodie- Readthewriteact

    This book is a great transition read for people who love YA fantasy and want to move into reading adult fantasy. The book doesn't have the fastest pace but the story certainly kept me intrigued. The twist at the end was definitely worth reading for. I really am looking forward to the next book in the series. Four stars This book is a great transition read for people who love YA fantasy and want to move into reading adult fantasy. The book doesn't have the fastest pace but the story certainly kept me intrigued. The twist at the end was definitely worth reading for. I really am looking forward to the next book in the series. Four stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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