Tuesday, March 21, 2023

🍷🍷🍷🍷 #Review of The Bridge Kingdom by Danielle L. Jensen

Title: The Bridge Kingdom
Series: The Bridge Kingdom #1
Author: by Danielle L. Jensen
Format: 356 pages, Kindle Edition
Published: June 9, 2020 by CLA
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Reviewer: Crystal
Rating: 4 out of 5 
A warrior princess trained in isolation, Lara is driven by two certainties. The first is that King Aren of the Bridge Kingdom is her enemy. And the second is that she’ll be the one to bring him to his knees.

The only route through a storm-ravaged world, the Bridge Kingdom enriches itself and deprives its rivals, including Lara's homeland. So when she’s sent as a bride under the guise of peace, Lara is prepared to do whatever it takes to fracture its impenetrable defenses. And the defenses of its king.

Yet as she infiltrates her new home and gains a deeper understanding of the war to possess the bridge, Lara begins to question whether she’s the hero or the villain. And as her feelings for Aren transform from frosty hostility to fierce passion, Lara must choose which kingdom she’ll save… and which kingdom she’ll destroy.

Crystal's Thoughts:

“I will be the next Queen of Ithicana. And I will bring the Bridge Kingdom to its knees.”

Secretly trained in an isolated stronghold at the command of her father, the king of Maridrina, Lara Veliant knows what her future holds. Lies, deceit, quite possibly death, and maybe (just maybe) a chance at freedom for her and her sisters. In order to give her people a better life though, she is willing to sacrifice it all. Raised since childhood to despise The Bridge Kingdom and it's rulers for their power and greed, as their new queen Lara must learn the kingdom's secrets of the bridge and take down it's king through any means necessary. But all is not as it seems as she arrives in this alluring but deadly kingdom, least of it's broody and seductive ruler. 
King Aren Kertell of The Bridge Kingdom knows that he must be ruthless in order to protect his people and their kingdoms secrets, for if the bridge falls so do they all. Aren can't help being fascinated by his new wife though, she's an alluring enigma that he knows better then to trust. Their union  will do more then promote peace between their kingdoms however, it is key to a future less secluded for his people. One where his people can learn and grow with the world around them. But will his people ever accept an outsider as queen?  
As secrets are revealed and truths are unraveled, can Lara be the assassin queen that is expected of her or will she end up being the one to fall?

The Bridge Kingdom was such a fun read! With a well-paced, solid plot I was hooked from start to finish. I adored Lara. She was a kick-butt FMC and I loved her "venom-tongued" attitude. This is one of those rare stories where I liked the FMC more so than the MMC. The banter between her and Aren was witty and entertaining. I appreciated Aren's dedication and sacrifice for his people though, and especially his hope for a better future for his kingdom. There was consistent tension between these two as they untangle the truths about each other and their respective kingdoms. The attraction was palpable from the get-go and while Lara was supposed to be the one seducing Aren, Aren ended up seducing her with his honor and honesty. Lara's character development was precise and gratifying to witness. 

While there was some spice to the story, The Bridge Kingdom is more focused on the fantasy aspects with its rich world-building of the brutal and beautiful creation of Ithicana, political intrigue, and familial manipulation. I didn't quite care for the people of Ithicana themselves; they are a stubborn, small-minded, and suspicious lot, but admired their dedication to their king and country. All in all, I really enjoyed this tale and one-clicked the second book right after finishing!

"Even if I'm a goddamned fool for it, there will never be anyone but you."

✔️ Spice: 🌶️
✔️ Enemies to Lovers
✔️ Arranged Marriage
✔️ Slow-Burn
✔️ Warring Kingdoms (Action)
✔️ Court Politics (Deception)
✔️ Kick-Butt Females
✔️ Fantasy World-Building
✔️ Dual POV's

Suggested Reading Order: 
Book #4 The Endless War - coming soon

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