Thursday, 8 May 2014

Review: The Mark of the Tala (The Twelve Kingdoms #1) by Jeffe Kennedy

The Mark of the Tala (The Twelve Kingdoms #1)
by Jeffe Kennedy

Paperback, 352 pages
Expected publication: May 27th 2014 by Kensington

Queen Of The Unknown

The tales tell of three sisters, daughters of the high king. The eldest, a valiant warrior-woman, heir to the kingdom. The youngest, the sweet beauty with her Prince Charming. No one says much about the middle princess, Andromeda. Andi, the other one.

Andi doesn't mind being invisible. She enjoys the company of her horse more than court, and she has a way of blending into the shadows. Until the day she meets a strange man riding, who keeps company with wolves and ravens, who rules a land of shapeshifters and demons. A country she'd thought was no more than legend--until he claims her as its queen.

In a moment everything changes: Her father, the wise king, becomes a warlord, suspicious and strategic. Whispers call her dead mother a traitor and a witch. Andi doesn't know if her own instincts can be trusted, as visions appear to her and her body begins to rebel.

For Andi, the time to learn her true nature has come. . .
Available on Amazon

4 out of 5 stars
I've read some other stories by Jeffe Kennedy, and while I liked them as well, this is by far my favorite. She has a knack for storytelling, and I enjoyed everything about this book. I don't read a lot of what I would consider epic/high fantasy books, and I'm not sure why because I thoroughly enjoy them. (I've been trying to figure out the difference between the epic/high labels but have only been getting conflicting answers to this question, so I've given up; however, IMO I would consider this book to be epic fantasy).

The Mark of the Tala is the story of Andi, the middle child. I loved how Ms. Kennedy portrayed the three sisters, because they reminded me of my own family. My oldest sister is much like Ursula – controlling, always has to be in charge. My middle sister is much like Andi (without the magic, of course!) – the quiet one, peacekeeper, unnoticed. And I find myself comparing myself with Amelia – babied, perhaps a bit spoiled (at least according to my sisters). I enjoyed the characterization in this story and am looking forward to seeing more of Amelia and Ursula in upcoming books.

I also thought the world building was fantastic. The history of The Twelve Kingdoms and Annfwn was interesting and thorough, and the Tala were an intriguing people. As the story unfolded, we found out that everything wasn't as it seemed. The pictures portrayed within the story were constantly changing to reveal something else entirely, and by the end of the book I was captivated by the story and the people. I am planning on reading the other two books in this trilogy as soon as possible to see where Ms. Kennedy takes the story!


Jeffe Kennedy is an award-winning author with a writing career that spans decades. Her fantasy BDSM romance, Petals and Thorns, originally published under the pen name Jennifer Paris, has won several reader awards. Sapphire, the first book in the Facets of Passion series, has placed first in multiple romance contests and the follow-up, Platinum, is climbing the charts. Her most recent works include three fiction series: the fantasy romance novels of A Covenant of Thorns, the contemporary BDSM novellas of the Facets of Passion, and the post-apocalyptic vampire erotica of the Blood Currency.

She is currently working on Master of the Opera and The Twelve Kingdoms, a fantasy trilogy.

Jeffe lives in Santa Fe, with two Maine coon cats, a border collie, plentiful free-range lizards and a Doctor of Oriental Medicine. Jeffe can be found online at her website: or every Sunday at the popular Word Whores blog.

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