I know, I know – it’s not contemporary romance. My lovely family here at the cafe is nicely tolerant of my genre polyamory. I’ve posted before about how writing my fantasies and contemporary romances doesn’t feel all that different. This is because I’m a character-driven writer and people are the same to me, whether battling shapeshifters or financial disaster.
And, really – why CAN’T we all have leather bustiers and carry big golden swords??
Seriously, I’m very much about reality in my fantasy, if that makes sense. These three books, in particular, are very much about sisterhood, with the story moving to the point-of-view (POV) of each of three princesses, daughters of the High King. The first book, The Mark of the Tala, told the story of the middle princess, and the second book, The Tears of the Rose, moved to the youngest and most beautiful princess. The Talon of the Hawk finishes out this arc with Ursula, the eldest, heir and warrior.
Birth order is important in these stories, partly drawing from the fairy-tale meme of three princesses, each more beautiful than the last, and from modern psychology on how our family roles shape our personalities.
With Ursula’s story, there are even deeper issues that emerge. As the firstborn, she is the gatekeeper, the one who hold the family secrets close, in order to preserve loyalty and protect everyone else. Of course, her ideas of loyalty and what it means to be strong are severely tested.
Fortunately the rewards more than make up for the pain. In a First Look, Heroes and Heartbreakers said:
The third installment of Jeffe Kennedy‘s Twelve Kingdoms fantasy series tears sharply and deeply into the books’ mythology as well as into the heart of its core family. The Talon of the Hawk, Ursula’s story, doesn’t hesitate to draw blood and, in the process, proves also to be incredibly healing.
I love that.
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…
Available May 26, 2015