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Monday, June 28, 2010

ARC Review: Kathryne Kennedy - The Fire Lord's Lover

Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca (July 6, 2010)
ISBN-10: 1402236522
ISBN-13: 978-1402236525
Genre: Fantasy Romance

Book #1 in Elven Lord series
Main Characters: Dominic Raikes & Cassandra
On sale at: link to book at Book Depository Store

If his powers are discovered, his father will destroy him...
In a magical land ruled by ruthless Elven Lords, the Fire Lord's son Dominic Raikes plays a deadly game to conceal his growing might from his malevolent father, until his arranged bride awakens in him passions he thought he had buried forever.

Unless his bride kills him first...
Lady Cassandra has been raised in outward purity and innocence, while secretly being trained as an assassin. Her mission is to bring down the Elven Lord and his champion son. But when she gets to court she discovers that nothing is what it seems, least of all the man she married...

Then Dominic and Cassandra together discover an unspeakable evil, one that threatens the destruction of the magical realm they would give their souls to save...

Leontine's Review: Kathryne Kennedy has again managed to bring a world to the reader that is brimming with wonderful fantasy ingredients like elemental magic. It’s incorporated in many facets of this world I ventured in from buildings to social structure creating a fully realized setting. And not only the magic enticed me again, there’s a game with rules that transforms England and its inhabitants in to pawns for the all powerful Elven Lords to play with. With an easy flowing writing style I absorbed the back story of how the Elven Lords came to play a cruel game, to concur land and possess the King for their own court...

The first thing that grabbed my attention was how quickly and effortlessly Kathryne Kennedy seemed to create a world, give me a concept of how cruel the Elven Lords were and how they keep immortal boredom away with their games. But with the suppression of the English people the Rebellion against theElven Lords rises. From the first page I could feel the darker tone of this fantasy romance and I couldn’t wait to meet the main protagonists. In such a darker setting I always experience the joys in life and romance all the more intense. What I got was a hero that had me at hello.

Dominic Raikes is the Elven Lord Mor’dred’s bastard son, with strong magic flowing in his veins he is the kind of leading male that carries a story by the sheer force of his presence and personality. He is a leader; stern, aloof, distant, in control, and sometimes he gave his all not to be liked. Still, as the story progressed I got a revealing look at another side of him. The side that surfaced when he let go of his rigid control. A gentle, compassionate side that emanated a hunger to give and receive affection. He mesmerized me, enveloped me in his personality of reasoning, emotional highs he tried to keep in check so others might be safe. Everything about him seduced me and I could understand Cassandra’s reactions so well to his person.

Cassandra is trained to be a spy and would infiltrate enemy territory by marrying Dominic. She is a combination of righteous fire for the Rebellion yet also innocent. Wise but also inexperienced and challenging Dominic in all the right ways for him. Courage, intelligence but also kindness and a certain vulnerability is part of her personality. From the beginning the arranged marriage is very convincingly portrayed in their distance of emotions. Though Cassandra has been trained for years to be a spy for the Rebellion, once married, that swiftly seems to dwindle in the storm of emotions her new husband evokes. Both Dominic and Cass cannot afford to fall in love with each other, but love is an unstoppable force, which alters the scheming games profoundly. The romance did have a few bumpy moments in going from the distant, arranged marriage to Cass and Dominic realizing their feelings for one another. Once the romance took over, written in the moving prose of this author, I had no trouble anymore to completely surrender myself to the love that was blooming.

While I was pulled in to the romance, got comfortable with the world Kennedy created the plot took a bit of time to fully come to effect. Suddenly there were interesting twists and turns that gradually increased the tension of whether or not the good would vanquish the evil. I was sandwiched between a developing romance and a plot where the stakes were so very high, so much stood to lose and my hunger to devour the pages grew to a pinnacle till the very end. Leading up to that end this story contained it all but the actual fight did not entirely deliver on the promise throughout the story. I didn’t get that moment where tension piques, would they or would they not make it, and then that sweet, intense rush of relief. After the personal battles were fought I thought that the ending was nonetheless surprising and unconventional. Kathryne Kennedy made the solution work both in romance as in plot and at the same time spiral the epic battle between the Rebellion and the Elven Lords in to very exciting new grounds. One I can’t wait to explore further! 

The prose of Kathryne Kennedy speaks to me as I envision her world in my mind’s eye. The romance was something I reveled in, it was both charming, sweeping-of-your-feet romantic and toe-curling sensuous. Romance Fantasy is very addictive when it’s coming from Kathryne Kennedy’s incredible imagination!!

Quote Dominic:
“You must live,” he whispered to her. “For without you, I am done. Done and done with this torment that I have been living. You cannot bring such light to my life and then take it from me, you hear? Damn it Cass, do you hear me?”

Quote Dominic:
Dominic leaned over a crenel, not far from Ador, the stone cool and rough beneath his hands, the solid feel of it helping to anchor him to the earth again. Helping him to lock the horror of the cavern back into the small box in his mind that protected his sanity. But he could not do the same with his feelings for his wife. He’d admitted it to himself and her, and now he could never go back to feeling nothing again. She had breached his defenses, and he would be vulnerable. And he would do anything to keep her safe…and happy. Fie, he hadn’t considered the concept of happiness for so long, he wasn’t sure if he could even offer it. “I would change the world for her if I could,” he whispered to the deepening night, to the stars, to that God of hers that she would no longer believe in. Not after today. Ador’s sigh sounded like a great bellows, tingeing the air with the scent of sulfur and smoke. “I have waited long and long to hear you say those words.”


Erotic Horizon said...

I love this book...

Kennedy done good..


Leontine said...

@EH - You can say that again...I hope she writes many more books in this series. BTW, I just saw the new cover of Beneath Thirteen Moons, I so pre-ordered it!

Erotic Horizon said...

I saw it was well - and I am more than ready for it...

The wait for these books do so add to my stress level...


Anna said...

Great Review! I just finished reviewing this one too. I really enjoyed it.

I'm loving the cover of Beneath Thirteen Moons, that's definitely one I'm gonna check out.

Blodeuedd said...

Sounds great to me, I can't wait to read this book

VampFanGirl said...

Ooooo this looks good. Thanks for the great review, Leontine! Dominic sounds like my kind of hero.

Hugs, VFG

ErotRomReader (Janna) said...

When I read the blurb at your blog, I didn't think this book was calling my name, but somehow you managed to make me curious with your fabulous review. :) Especially what you're saying about Ms. Kennedy's prose speaks to me. Great job, hon!

Lea said...

Wonderful review Leontine, really excellent. Ms. Kennedy's voice and world building sounds truly amazing. I will have to add this one to my list.

Thanks for sharing!

Marissa said...

So looking forward to read this one, I love Kennedy's writing, great review!

JennJ said...

Sounds like a great read! And a wonderful review that certainy wets the appetite for the book! :)

Leontine said...

@Anna - I read the blurb of BT13M and got all tingly with want LOL

@Blodeuedd - Kathryne kennedy just has a way with words *sighs in bliss*

@VFG - He is, somehow I think you're going to love him. he really stole the show for me!

@Janna - explore hon and be the adventurous reader i know you are *grin*

@lea - You're welcome, this is one of those authors that really take you on a trip!

@Marissa - Isn't your copy of TFLL in your MB yet? I received it yesterday :)

@jenn - I don't mind whetting your appetite LOL

Aurian said...

I just finished this book a few days ago, and loved it. Am very curious about the next books in this series. Wondering if the Dragons part will grow though.

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1 star: Too many flaws and not worthy of your time.

2 stars: An average story with no surprises.

3 stars: An interesting and entertaining story.

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