The Talon of the Hawk by Jeffe Kennedy
Series: The Twelve Kingdoms #3
Published by Kensington
Published on: May 26, 2015
Genres: Fantasy Romance
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A HEAVY CROWN
Three daughters were born to High King Uorsin, in place of the son he wanted. The youngest, lovely and sweet. The middle, pretty and subtle, with an air of magic. And the eldest, the Heir. A girl grudgingly honed to leadership, not beauty, to bear the sword and honor of the king.
Ursula’s loyalty is as ingrained as her straight warrior’s spine. She protects the peace of the Twelve Kingdoms with sweat and blood, her sisters from threats far and near. And she protects her father to prove her worth. But she never imagined her loyalty would become an open question on palace grounds. That her father would receive her with a foreign witch at one side and a hireling captain at the other—that soldiers would look on her as a woman, not as a warrior. She also never expected to decide the destiny of her sisters, of her people, of the Twelve Kingdoms and the Thirteenth. Not with her father still on the throne and war in the air. But the choice is before her. And the Heir must lead…
This is the third and finally book in The Twelve Kingdoms Trilogy. This one is told from the eldest sister’s POV. The story starts pretty much where the second book ends. Ursula insists on going back to Castle Ordnung without her youngest sister, or more importantly, her sister’s son. She quickly notices that much has changed since she was last in Ordnung.
Ursula quickly notices that her guards are few and far between and that there are new guards manning that castle. She quickly learns that these are hired mercenaries. Uorisn has become paranoid and feels that loyalty is better bought than earned. He is also not allowing anyone who comes into the castle to leave. This includes Ursula and her Hawks.
King Uorsin is a person who has been a jerk in my eyes since the first book when he threatened to kill Andi’s horse (pets are off limits in my mind). Well, I had no idea of how bad it would get until I entrenched into this book. Uorsin isn’t even keeping up appearances any more when he forcefully backhands Ursula in court in front of everyone. This isn’t the first time he’s hit her, but this is the first time in front of everyone. She has always made excuses for him, saying that he was trying to make a strong heir, etc. Ursula is always loyal to The Twelve Kingdoms, the High Throne and the High King. She will do anything to protect them.
Harlan is the leader of the mercenaries. He is sworn, based on his contract, to protect the royal family. He feels that he needs to protect Ursula from her father and herself. I really like Harlan. Now I don’t agree with him that bought loyalty is better than earned loyalty. But I do like him. He works really hard to protect Ursula and she needs it. She has always been the protector of her sisters, but no one has ever been there to protect her. She doesn’t even attempt to protect herself from the king.
I thought this was a great wrap up to the series. I’ve really enjoyed this world that Kennedy has built with the Twelve Kingdoms and Annwfn. I love the three goddesses and the mythology that surrounds them and how they work together, even as the people worship them separately. The characters are all wonderful. I very sad to to be leaving them now. Even though she wrapped up the story really well, I know I’m going to miss Ami, Andi and Essa and all their consorts. I’m also really going to miss Dafne who has been there for all three of the girls. I love how we got a story from each sister’s point of view and each had their happy ever after. If you’re looking for a high fantasy with a good romance, this is a wonderful story. I highly recommend it.
Either my wry tone penetrated her haze or the grip of the magic eased its hold, because she refocused on my face and gave me a crooked smile. “Well, we foreseers can’t make things too easy on our heroes.”
“Some hero I am.” I laughed and tugged at my hand, but she held it a moment longer.
“You’re my hero, Ursula. Always have been.” Then she let me go, shook back her hair, and rode up to enter the city beside her husband.
|The Twelve Kingdoms Series|