I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.The Fiery Crown by Jeffe Kennedy
Series: Forgotten Empires #2
Published by St. Martin's Press on 2020-05-26
Length: 400 pages
Reviewing eARC from Netgalley
Reading Challenges: #NGEW2020, 2020 Finishing the Series Reading Challenge, 2020 New Release Challenge, COYER All Year 2020
A desperate alliance. A struggle for survival. And a marriage of convenience with an epic twist of fate come together in Jeffe Kennedy's The Fiery Crown.
WILL THEIR LOVE STAND THE TEST OF TIME
Queen Euthalia has reigned over her island kingdom of Calanthe with determination, grace, and her magical, undying orchid ring. After she defied an empire to wed Conrí, the former Crown Prince of Oriel―a man of disgraced origins with vengeance in his heart―Lia expected the wizard’s prophecy to come true: Claim the hand that wears the ring and the empire falls. But Lia’s dangerous bid to save her realm doesn’t lead to immediate victory. Instead, destiny hurls her and Conrí towards a future neither could predict…
OR TEAR THEIR WHOLE WORLD APART?
Con has never healed after the death of his family and destruction of his kingdom―he’s been carefully plotting his revenge against his greatest enemy, Emperor Anure, waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike. When Lia’s spies gather intelligence suggesting that Anure is planning an attack against Calanthe, Con faces an agonizing choice: Can he sacrifice Lia and all she holds dear to destroy the empire? Or does his true loyalty exist in the arms of his beguiling, passionate wife―’til death do they part?
Revenge isn’t always sweet. In fact, it usually leads you down some dark roads and blows up in your face. The Fiery Crown by Jeffe Kennedy picks up just a week after Con and Lia’s hasty wedding. Exploring their new relationship, the threat of the Emperor, and to what lengths either will go to protect Calanthe, Kennedy delivers a fast-paced, thrilling fantasy with a romance to last the ages.
Queen Euthalia, Lia for short, is at a crossroads. She always knew that her kingdom depends on her living, but at the same time, she’s always planned for the inevitable…her death at the emperor’s hands. Lia has never shied away from this. In fact, while being the Virgin Queen, she’s played up the role as she secretly planned a way to kill her betrothed. Then Con shows up and ruins her plans. Yet her prophetic dreams haven’t changed. The wolf will tear her limb from limb before delivering her to the emperor. So she still plans and waits out the inevitable.
Con is a mystery to Lia, and without his POV chapters, would be to the reader as well. But my goodness do I love him! His new marriage to Lia is changing things about him, things he didn’t expect. He is allowing himself to remember his time before the mines, the goodtimes, and despite the fact that their marriage was unconventional, Con wants to emulate his parents. He wants whatever they share to develop into a loving marriage. For him, this is a one-time deal, something he will remain faithful too. The only obstacle is his need for revenge and Lia’s unwillingness to put Calanthe in harm’s way.
I love the character development in this book. The first book focused more on world-building, and while we still get the lush fantasy and expanding of the empire, this one focuses more on Con and Lia. Con struggles with reconciling his past with his present. He’s done everything in his power to forget who he is and what he stands for in his need for revenge. Lia puts herself behind her people. She will do what is necessary to protect them, no matter the cost. And the cost is high.
Overall I loved The Fiery Crown. The development of the characters and the new information we receive about the empire left my mind reeling. I love Lia and Con and how their relationship evolves from one of necessity to one of want. The lust was there last book, but in this one love develops and it is oh-so-sweet. If you enjoy high fantasy, adventure, and romance, you are in for a treat!