Hi bookies (all those who pour their hearts and souls into books by reading them),
I have set a goal for myself. That is, to try to post one book review per week. It’s a little ambitious for the schedule I have. But hopefully, if I am not able to post a book review at least I will try to publish one post of another sort.
This week, I have met my goal (barely). I have read two books actually. I will post a review for one of those books this week. The next one will be done by next week.
These are the facts:
Title: The Pages of the Mind
Author: Jeffe Kennedy
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Release Date: May 31, 2016
*I received this ARC copy of The Pages of the Mind from Kensington Books in exchange for a honest review. It in no way affects, compromises, or guarantees a positive review.
Now here is the book’s self-description:
AN ORPHAN’S THRONE
Magic has broken free over the Twelve Kingdoms. The population is beset by shapeshifters and portents, landscapes that migrate, uncanny allies who are not quite human…and enemies eager to take advantage of the chaos.
Dafne Mailloux is no adventurer—she’s a librarian. But the High Queen trusts Dafne’s ability with languages, her way of winnowing the useful facts from a dusty scroll, and even more important, the subtlety and guile that three decades under the thumb of a tyrant taught her.
Dafne never thought to need those skills again. But she accepts her duty. Until her journey drops her into the arms of a barbarian king. He speaks no tongue she knows but that of power, yet he recognizes his captive as a valuable pawn. Dafne must submit to a wedding of alliance, becoming a prisoner-queen in a court she does not understand. If she is to save herself and her country, she will have to learn to read the heart of a wild stranger. And there are more secrets written there than even Dafne could suspect…
First of all, I’d like to say that this book is part of a series. I had no idea when I first picked it up, since I had never heard of these books nor of this author. However, it isn’t like you start off in the middle of a series if you start with this book. As far as I can tell, this author has written and is in the process of writing 3 series which are interconnected. This book is the first book of “The Uncharted Realms” series. It makes a great stand-alone book, but it definitely got me interested in the previous series. I thinking having read them before reading this one would have enriched the reading experience.
That being said… I really enjoyed this book! More than anything, I really liked the main character, Dafne (and the queen she is loyal to). She is a librarian-turned-scribe who is used to being a side character. She has low self-esteem, considering herself a plain looking old maid who has few redeeming qualities. As is revealed later in the book, she also feels some deep guilt towards others who suffered under tyrants, since she protected herself by keeping her head down, so to speak.
However, Dafne is definitely underestimating herself. She is a “demon on documents”, has an affinity for learning languages, and can read people very well. So well, in fact, that she can fade to the background or intimidate kings and queens at will. She is considered beautiful in the eyes of others and although it is true that she is no warrior, her knowledge, intellect, and willingness to learn new things get her out of the stickiest situations. Though, maybe, that’s also what got her into the main problem in this book.
Dafne is only an unofficial adviser, librarian, and scribe for the new queen of the 13 kingdoms. Dafne has a deep admiration, respect, and love for her queen, as well as an unparalleled loyalty for her. Fortunately, the queen feels similarly towards Dafne, to the point that anyone threatening Dafne will have to deal with the all of the queen’s wrath, resources, and willingness to go to war over her. Trusting in Dafne’s skills more than Dafne would ever believe in herself, the queen sends her on a diplomatic mission to meet with King Nakoa KauPo and discuss merging kingdoms after which, she will continue on to Dasnaria and spy on their enemies before returning to the queen’s side.
Seeing the logic in the queen’s plans and wanting (for once) to be part of the story rather than documenting someone else’s, Dafne accepts the mission with trepidation. Unfortunately, things don’t go as planned and Dafne is unable to continue with her mission after meeting King Nakoa KauPo. Why? Because she inadvertently ends up married to the king, who isn’t willing to let his new wife leave.
Accepting the current helplessness of her situation, Dafne makes contingency plans so that others can continue to accomplish her queen’s objectives while she waits for help and gets to know the natives’ language. Alone, Dafne must avoid consummating her marriage to a man she is strangely attracted to while establishing diplomatic relations to the king and his people. Along the way, she saves the king’s life, learns a new language, figures out the answers to questions plaguing her queen, and communicates with a mythical creature. In doing doing so she proves her personal motto true: “This is why it’s perilous to ignore a librarian.” I’ll leave you to read the book and see how it all plays out.
Frankly, the only things I didn’t like about this book is the partially insta-love attraction between Dafne and the “leading man” as well as the rather explicit romantic details of that particular relationship. However, I still greatly enjoyed the book and will definitely be checking out the previous series. I give this book a 4/5. It was a great read, it just felt a little rushed in some small parts. I would have liked a longer, more detailed, book.
I received this ARC copy of The Pages of the Mind from Kensington Books in exchange for a honest review. It in no way affects, compromises, or guarantees a positive review.What about you, bookies. How do you feel about this author’s previous books? Have you been introduced to Dafne before?