Monday, September 3, 2018

5 Wine Glass #ARC #Review of Exile of the Seas by Jeffe Kennedy

Title: Exile of the Seas
Series: The Chronicles of Dasnaria #2
Author: Jeffe Kennedy
Format:ebook, 206 pages
Published: September 4th, 2018, Rebel Base Books
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Source: NetGalley
Reviewer: Lexi
Rating: 5 out of  5 Wine Glasses
Around the shifting borders of the Twelve Kingdoms, trade and conflict, danger and adventure put every traveler on guard . . . but some have everything to lose. 
ESCAPEDOnce she was known as Jenna, Imperial Princess of Dasnaria, schooled in graceful dance and comely submission. Until the man her parents married her off to almost killed her with his brutality. 
Now, all she knows is that the ship she’s boarded is bound away from her vicious homeland. The warrior woman aboard says Jenna’s skill in dancing might translate into a more lethal ability. Danu’s fighter priestesses will take her in, disguise her as one of their own—and allow her to keep her silence. 
But it’s only a matter of time until Jenna’s monster of a husband hunts her down. Her best chance to stay hidden is to hire out as bodyguard to a caravan traveling to a far-off land, home to beasts and people so unfamiliar they seem like part of a fairy tale. But her supposed prowess in combat is a fraud. And sooner or later, Jenna’s flight will end in battle—or betrayal . . .

Lexi’s Thoughts:
Exile of the Seas is far more than Jenna’s story, it’s a woman’s journey to finding herself. Book one, Prisoner of the Crown, was good, but Exile of the Seas is great. 
The book’s blurb gives you a great sense of what takes place. But it’s Kennedy’s ability to put you in the scene right next to Jenna that is captivating. The first remarkable moment is after Jenna, now Ivariel, has made her vows to Danu and stops for a meal before boarding the next ship. The sounds, smells, and taste of that cafe were so real, as was Ivariel’s fear when the Dasnarian soldiers came walking up the street. So good! 

Exile of the Seas is Ivariel’s healing tale. Every sunrise she sees and new animal she encounters molds her new self. And it’s a beautiful thing to witness. Maybe it’s the changes going on in my life but I connected with Ivariel and her appreciation for the good, simple things life has to offer. 

Another great aspect of this book is Ochieng. He is a fellow traveler on Ivariel’s last ship, where they meet. She’s taken a vow of silence but he’s well versed in communicating without words. And so their friendship develops. Ochieng has a wonderful soul and he helps Ivariel heal by getting her out of her own way. He is rich in family and shows Ivariel what it means to be treasured. Their friendship takes small steps towards love but Kennedy keeps the story Ivariel’s and gives them time. 

Which is what they need. Remember those sensory stunning scenes I mentioned? Ivariel faces her demons near the end of the book. It’s amazing. No, I can’t say more, I don’t spoil five-wine reads. Even the blood-thirsty heathen in me wanted to see the rivers of red in detail, it was an excellent scene. 

I don’t know what Kennedy has in store for the end of Jenna/Ivariel’s story, but the first two books are well worth reading. If you enjoy character-driven high-fantasy with a hint of a love story, pick these up.

Related to: The Twelve Kingdoms Series

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