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Friday, March 30, 2012

Queen in Exile by Donna Hatch

Queen in Exile by Donna Hatch
Publisher: Walnut Springs Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Historical, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full length (373 pgs)
Heat Level sweet
Book Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Aloe

Rumors of war hang over Princess Jeniah's peaceful country of Arden, a land that shuns both magic and warfare. Following a lifelong dream, Jeniah forms a telepathic bond with a revered creature called a chayim, who is prophesied to save her kingdom. But when a Darborian knight, Kai, comes upon Jeniah with her chayim, he sees only a vicious monster about to devour a maiden, and he slays the beast.

Devastated by the loss of her chayim, and fearing that her magic is evil, Jeniah doubts her destiny. When an enemy invades Arden City, they slaughter the people, storm the castle, and execute the entire royal family except the princess. Rescued by the knight who slew her chayim, Jeniah is now heir to the throne of Arden and the only hope for freeing her people.

On the run and hunted by enemy soldiers, Jeniah must place her life and the fate of her kingdom in the hands of this trained killer. Torn between embracing her destiny as queen of Arden, and her love for a mere knight, she must ultimately rely on her magic to save herself and her people from death and tyranny.

Everyone knows a member of royalty can’t marry a commoner. So why would you want to fall in love with one?

This story grabbed my attention right away when Jeniah went for a walk in the woods and met a chayim. The prophecy about her life included the chayim and she’s bonding with him when a foreign knight rides into the clearing and kills him! This author writes a story full of action, a bit of magic, staunch friendships, and a fight to the death between good and evil.

Ms. Hatch’s words flow smoothly, the plot is multifaceted, and the story is never boring. It was a real joy to sit and read about Jeniah’s adventure as she comes of age while fighting for her life. The author has researched this time period and makes her tale authentic as well as entertaining.

Jeniah is a young woman who knows she is to fulfill a prophecy, but has no idea how. Kai is the best knight in country, but he specializes in knowing how to fight, not how to make princesses happy. The attraction between them is forbidden, but neither can stop it. Kai does his best to ignore it. This torment makes their survival even harder because they are distracted. This adds to the emotional tension that runs through the storyline.

Ms. Hatch has woven a story of magic gone wrong, an immortal evil king, a sorceress and a small contingency of honest, good people who are fighting them. Jeniah might be a queen of a destroyed kingdom, but she doesn’t give up. Neither do the warriors that have agreed to defend her. This would make a great movie.

I really loved this story and am keeping this book for my personal library. I know I can pick it up and reread it and enjoy it all over again. If you like magic, romance, and action, this book is for you.