I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Mark of the Tala by Jeffe Kennedy
Series: The Twelve Kingdoms #1
Published: 2014 by eKensington
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
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The Mark of the Tala by Jeffe Kennedy is a fantasy romance novel about a young princess who is more than she seems. Princess Andromeda (but everyone calls her Andi) is the middle sister. She’s a bit of a tomboy and doesn’t fit in. One day, she goes riding in the wild lands outside the castle and meets Rayfe, a handsome stranger who tells her that the Tala need her and that she will be his queen.
Andi is understandably freaked out. The Tala are basically the fae. They possess great magic and can even shapeshift, but people think they are demons and are distrustful of what they don’t understand. Andi’s mother was one of the Tala, but she died when she was very young, and so Andi doesn’t know anything about that part of her heritage.
Despite the fact that going with Rayfe would be a betrayal of everything she’s ever known, Andi finds herself attracted to him on a primal level. He sees her for who she is and not as a misfit or an outsider. Rather than trying to hide away the magic that runs through her blood, he encourages her to use it and to accept and explore that side of herself. Of course, he’s also trying to kidnap her and bring her back to the Tala as his bride.
I enjoyed The Mark of the Tala a lot. I’ve been a fan of Jeffe Kennedy’s erotica writing for a while now. This book is a bit tamer than her usual stories, but she doesn’t shy away from sex, so be prepared for that. There were some parts of the story that I felt could have been told differently (for example, the very beginning of the story fell into a bit of a “once upon a time there were three princesses, each more beautiful than the last…” stereotype), but I was nevertheless drawn into the world of the Tala and want to discover more of their secrets.
I love the fact that the book revolves around three sisters, and the relationship between them is very supportive, even when they argue or disagree with one another. I have two younger sisters and a brother, and Kennedy’s portrayal of the dynamic between siblings was spot on. You can disagree/argue/fight amongst yourselves, but you still stand up for each other no matter what.
The Mark of the Tala is the first book in a trilogy, but it has its own story arc and can be read as a standalone. From what I’ve gathered from the author’s website, each book is going to be told from the perspective of a different sister. Knowing Kennedy’s work, I’m anticipating that each will have a satisfying feel-good happy ending.