Series: The Chronicles of Dasnaria #1
Author: Jeffe Kennedy
Published: June 12th, 2018 by Rebel Base Books
Source: copy courtesy of NetGalley
Rating: 4 out of 5 Wine Glasses
She was raised to be beautiful, nothing more. And then the rules changed . . . In icy Dasnaria, rival realm to the Twelve Kingdoms, a woman’s role is to give pleasure, produce heirs, and question nothing. But a plot to overthrow the emperor depends on the fate of his eldest daughter. And the treachery at its heart will change more than one carefully limited life . . . THE GILDED CAGEPrincess Jenna has been raised in supreme luxury—and ignorance. Within the sweet-scented, golden confines of the palace seraglio, she’s never seen the sun, or a man, or even learned her numbers. But she’s been schooled enough in the paths to a woman’s power. When her betrothal is announced, she’s ready to begin the machinations that her mother promises will take Jenna from ornament to queen. But the man named as Jenna’s husband is no innocent to be cozened or prince to charm. He’s a monster in human form, and the horrors of life under his thumb are clear within moments of her wedding vows. If Jenna is to live, she must somehow break free—and for one born to a soft prison, the way to cold, hard freedom will be a dangerous path indeed…
Prisoner of the Crown isn’t a romance but Kennedy does promise a happy ever after at the end of the series. Even though you know it will end happy, it’s the journey that makes reading worth it and Jenna’s story starts off with an agonizing scream.
If you are familiar with Kennedy’s Twelve Kingdoms books you will recognize Jenna’s brothers, Harlan and Kral. It is interesting to see them as young boys and how their early lives, and the life of their sister, formed the men they will become. If you haven’t picked up any of Kennedy’s fantasy romance books, you should because you’ll love them, but don’t worry about being lost in Prisoner of the Crown because the author introduces the world of Dasnaria from a completely new angle.
Jenna is a privileged princess but likable as you quickly see her steely spine under her mother’s tutorage. But the torturous lessons pale in comparison to what Jenna goes through once she is married. The abuse is dark, though not graphic. But be warned if you have emotional and/or physical abuse triggers.
Prisoner of the Crown is a slow build. Kennedy cements the world and gives us a clear picture of Jenna. The real action comes in the last quarter of the book and leaves you with a satisfied ending though eager to see what becomes of Jenna. A summary of my feelings for this book would be: the tip of an iceberg, dangerously sharp and yet fearsomely alluring because you know there is so much you can’t yet see.