I received this book for free from NetGalley, the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Pages of the Mind (The Uncharted Realms #1; The Twelve Kingdoms #4) by Jeffe Kennedy
Series: The Twelve Kingdoms #4, The Uncharted Realms #1
Published: May 31st 2016 by Kensington
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Source: NetGalley, the author
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The Pages of the Mind is a fantasy romance novel by Jeffe Kennedy. It’s a continuation of her series The Twelve Kingdoms, but is also the start of its own series within that world. The Pages of the Mind also works pretty well as a standalone, because although The Twelve Kingdoms series consists of fantasy romance stories that are set in a shared world, each of them features a different protagonist.
The Pages of the Mind is about Daphne Mailoux. She’s spent most of her life living in the castle at Ordnung and working as a librarian there. Because Queen Ursula trusts Daphne and thinks of her like a sister, she sends her on a diplomatic mission to establish diplomatic relations with King Nakoa and then to proceed as an ambassador to neighboring Dasnaria.
Daphne is captured and accidentally married to a sexy barbarian king as a part of a ritual that involves waking a dragon beneath a volcano. This puts her in a tricky situation–she’s supposed to establish diplomatic relations with King Nakoa and never intended to marry him, and she’s trying to avoid creating an international incident out of the situation.
There’s a little bit of Stockholm Syndrome going on, but Nakoa genuinely respects Daphne, and she finds herself falling for him as well. It reminds me of Khal Drogo and Danerys, which is totally okay with me. I picture Nakoa as being played by a scantily clad Jason Momoa, who doesn’t speak terribly often because of the language barrier. But even though Nakoa and Daphne don’t share a common language, he understands her mind well and gives her a library worthy of Belle from Beauty and the Beast, which definitely makes him a much more sympathetic and likeable character. Let’s face it, libraries are the surest way to winning a girl’s heart.
I’m a big fan of Jeffe Kennedy’s writing, because she writes romance heroines who don’t annoy me. They’re strong characters who have a great deal of agency, and have lives/problems/depth outside of their love lives. Daphne is no exception, and I love seeing her piece together knowledge as she learns Nakoa’s language and starts to really dive into some of the texts in the library. The Pages of the Mind reveals more of the history of the Twelve (Thirteen? Fourteen?) Kingdoms, and also the different kinds of magic that exist within that world. I’m curious to learn more, and am so glad that this series will be continued!