The Orchid Throne

St. Martin’s. (Forgotten Empires, Bk. 1). Sept. 2019. 384p. ISBN 9781250194312. pap. $7.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250194329. PARANORMAL ROMANCE
Conrí is a former prince who spent his life toiling in the mines for the cruel emperor, Anure. Now he’s been named the Slave King after leading his fellow captives into rebellion and overtaking Anure’s vassal cities. He needs only the fabled Abiding Ring to defeat Anure for good. Euthalia is queen of the lush island kingdom of Calanthe, a land of immense beauty and treacherous court intrigue. Since taking the throne, Lia has used her wits and the magical Abiding Ring to protect her kingdom while keeping Anure, her betrothed, at bay. When Con and Lia finally meet, a third of the way through the novel, they find their reputations precede them. Con is hotheaded and bent on bloodthirsty revenge, while Euthalia is cool and calculating. Despite their mutual animosity, they can’t shake the flare of attraction and mutual respect as they come to understand they are both working toward the same purpose.
VERDICT Game of Thrones fans who appreciate romance along with their plotting and skullduggery will enjoy the rich worldbuilding in this new fantasy series from the award-winning Kennedy (“The Twelve Kingdoms” and “The Uncharted Realms” series).

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