Series: The Uncharted Realms #2, The Twelve Kingdoms #5
Also in this series:The Pages of the Mind
Also by this author: The Pages of the Mind
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Release Date: December 27, 2016
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
Purchase at: Amazon ◊ Barnes & Noble ◊ Book Depository ◊ Google Play ◊ Kobo ◊ IndieBound
A HAWK'S PLEDGE "The Twelve Kingdoms rest uneasy under their new High Queen, reeling from civil war and unchecked magics. Few remember that other powers once tested their borders until a troop of foreign warriors emerges with a challenge . . ."
Jepp has been the heart of the queen's elite guard, her Hawks, since long before war split her homeland. But the ease and grace that come to her naturally in fighting leathers disappears when battles turn to politics. When a scouting party arrives from far-away Dasnaria, bearing veiled threats and subtle bluffs, Jepp is happy to let her queen puzzle them out while she samples the pleasures of their prince's bed.
But the cultural norms allow that a Dasnarian woman may be wife or bed-slave, never her own leader and Jepp's light use of Prince Kral has sparked a diplomatic crisis. Banished from court, she soon becomes the only envoy to Kral's strange and dangerous country, with little to rely on but her wits, her knives and the smolder of anger and attraction that burns between her and him . . .
The Edge of the Blade is the second book in The Uncharted Realms series as well as the fifth book in The Twelve Kingdoms series. The Uncharted Realms series is a spin off from The Twelve Kingdoms series and it takes place after magic has broken free over the Twelve Kingdoms. I would recommend reading the first three books in the Kingdoms series before starting the first book in the Realms series. Now, I can say that I did not do this and that is where I am getting my suggestion from, my experience. I think everything would have clicked better for me if I had. When I read the first book in the Uncharted Realms series, The Pages of the Mind, I felt a little lost but I thought that I would be okay to read this book, The Edge of the Blade, because it was the next book in the series. Turns out that Jepp’s story started in the Twelve Kingdoms books and I was again a little lost. Which leads me to my belief that reading The Twelve Kingdoms series would be best done in order.
This story, The Edge of the Blade, actually takes place during the same time period as the previous book, The Pages of the Mind. Jesperanda im Kaja AKA Jepp was originally tasked to act as a bodyguard by High Queen Ursula for librarian turned diplomat, Dafne Mailloux. After Dafne was waylaid at the kingdom of Nahanau, it was up to Jepp to fulfill Dafne’s diplomatic mission to kingdom of Dasnaria. Jepp was tragically unprepared for such a task as she didn’t even speak the language and had already created a difficult situation with the one person who was to act as her liaison, General Kral of Dasnaria and Imperial Prince of the Royal House of Konyngrr. Jepp has quite the sexual appetite and there was a miscommunication between Jepp and Kral regarding some expectations post coitus, such as monogamy and commitment. Now, Jepp was to be the ambassador to Kral’s kingdom and would have to work closely with the one man who made it his mission to make her life difficult.
The journey to the kingdom of Dasnaria was challenging for Jepp on a multitude of levels. Mostly because Kral made nothing easy on Jepp but after some time they did come to an understanding and an uneasy truce was agreed to between them. Although Kral did not trust Jepp he was fascinated by her because in his kingdom women had little to no role and Jepp broke the mold with how he felt women could be. Equal treatment of women was something that really mattered to Jepp because in her kingdom women were just as important as men and it was hard for her to be surrounded by men who felt that women should be seen and not heard. Although, Jepp did quickly prove that she was a skilled warrior and Kral’s men slowly and grudgingly came to respect her skills over the course of the voyage.
Once Jepp reached the kingdom of Dasnaria everything changed for her. Kral’s relationship with his brother, who was the ruler, was precarious and Kral had to act quite disinterested in Jepp despite the relationship they had forged. That was how he explained things to Jepp but she had to wonder if that was his plan all along. Jepp’s role as ambassador was not received well in the kingdom of Dasnaria because she was a woman in a patriarchal society and soon after arriving she was removed from court. Things quickly picked up for Jepp though as she took it upon herself to continue her mission on her own. See, she did have a diplomatic mission but that was truly a ruse for the fact that she was sent to act as a spy and she had to ferret out the specific information that her queen was hoping for her to obtain. Jepp would soon find herself in a world that she was woefully unprepared for and would have to take her chances with figuring out who she could and could not trust. All the while wondering if what she had with Kral was ever real because it had appeared that he had abandoned her when she needed him most.
I was introduced to Jepp’s character in the previous book in this series and that helped me to follow this story but I also felt that I had hard time understanding the significance of events that occurred. In the previous story I was not too sure how I felt about Jepp’s character because I viewed her more as a trouble maker. I liked Jepp’s character in this story as she was a strong female who knew exactly what she wanted and made no apologies for who she was. I got to know her character better and there was more to her than I originally thought. Kral as a character was okay, I was wary of him because of his actions in the previous book. I may not have been too fond of him in the beginning of this story but he slowly changed my mind. I did enjoy the story but I didn’t feel that the characters developed that much between the start and end of the book. I also thought that the ending was a little rushed, it just fell together too easily. Overall though, The Edge of the Blade was an unconventional romance between two characters who truly deserved to have someone in their corner and I will continue with this series!