THE TALON OF THE HAWK Jeffe Kennedy
The Twelve Kingdoms
Kensington Fantasy
ISBN-13: 978-0-7582-9447-0
ISBN-10: 0-7582-9447-6
June 2015
Fantasy Romance

The Twelve Kingdoms

Princess Ursula of the Twelve Kingdoms returns to Ordnung to face her father, High King Uorsin. She knows she will have some explaining to do as she has not returned with her sister Amelia's offspring under Ordnung's orders. Her father expects perfect obedience from his heiress, and having his grandchildren, and potential heir, within his walls is a priority. But Ursula's sister is missing, and she knows Ami is searching for her daughter, twin to the son she still has. During her travels, however, Uorsin has seen fit to hire a mercenary army to guard his stronghold. So Ursula and her Hawks are stunned to see strange faces greeting them from the battlements.

Ursula is completely devoted to her king, even if his brutal tactics and unreasonable behavior have others questioning that devotion. She is introduced to the leader of the Vervaldr, the mercenary army, Captain Harlan, who proceeds to irritate her with his questions and interest in her. When the High King confines Ursula to the castle and instructs Harlan and his Vervaldr to go look for Ami, Ursula knows that something, or someone, has taken control of her father. Yet even Harlan is stunned when Uorsin strikes Ursula, breaking her nose, and then announces to his people that he will take another wife a woman from Harlan's land who quite obviously has magic over the king. With Harlan's help, Ursula and some of her Hawks escape Ordnung.

Striking out as a team to search for Amelia and her babies, Ursula fights Harlan's growing attachment and his questioning of her unflinching loyalty to the High King. She has spent her life trying to please her father, and despite his latest hostility towards her, Ursula can't undo that devotion easily. But she must learn to trust Harlan and to try to understand the legacy her mother left to her and her sisters.

THE TALON OF THE HAWK concludes the story of the three sisters of the Twelve Kingdoms. Andromeda, now Queen of the Tala, was introduced in the first book, THE MARK OF THE TALA; Amelia, the youngest, we met in THE TEARS OF THE ROSE. And now the heir, Ursula, whose blind faith in her father blinds her to the answers that she must find in her future. Secondary characters build this story, but Ursula, who tells us in her own words, is truly a blossoming leader who must learn, sometimes the hard way, how to trust others.

I highly recommend reading these books in order so that readers can understand the entire story. For great characters and a terrific tale, don't miss THE TALON OF THE HAWK or the series.

Jani Brooks