The Fiery Crown

St. Martin’s Paperbacks. (Forgotten Empires, Bk. 2). May 2020. 400p. ISBN 9781250194336. pap. $7.99. fantasy ROMANCE
Queen Euthalia and Conrí have married, thwarting the emperor and taking the next step toward fulfilling the prophecy. Unfortunately for Lia, this ensures her country will now be under attack. She and Con are plenty compatible in the bedroom, but they struggle to agree about much of anything else. Con knows Lia is hiding secrets about her country, her ties to it, and her own true nature. The fate of Lia’s people rests on Lia’s keeping this knowledge from being exploited, and she’s convinced Con only cares for his revenge for past harms. But the emperor is arriving, and the only chance to overthrow him is an ambitious ploy that uses Lia as bait. Con knows the risk is high, and despite his growing dread believes it’s worth it.
VERDICT Kennedy’s second in the “Forgotten Empires” trilogy (after The Orchid Throne) does an excellent job of setting the stage for the conclusion. Lia and Con’s move from enemies to lovers to partners is rocky but dynamic, and readers will be fascinated by the secrets revealed.

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