Book Review: THE BRIDGE KINGDOM by Danielle L. Jensen

Title in yellow on blue image of a jungle land with two figures looking at each other
Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: Adult/NA
Star Rating: 4.5 stars
Series: Yes - first book of duology

Synopsis:

the bridge kingdom

What if you fell in love with the one person you’d sworn to destroy?

Lara has only one thought for her husband on their wedding day: I will bring your kingdom to its knees. A princess trained from childhood to be a lethal spy, Lara knows that the Bridge Kingdom represents both legendary evil – and legendary promise. The only route through a storm-ravaged world, the Bridge Kingdom controls all trade and travel between lands, allowing its ruler to enrich himself and deprive his enemies, including Lara’s homeland. So when she is sent as a bride under the guise of fulfilling a treaty of peace, Lara is prepared to do whatever it takes to fracture the defenses of the impenetrable Bridge Kingdom.

But as she infiltrates her new home – a lush paradise surrounded by tempest seas – and comes to know her new husband, Aren, Lara begins to question where the true evil resides. Around her, she sees a kingdom fighting for survival, and in Aren, a man fiercely protective of his people. As her mission drives her to deeper understanding of the fight to possess the bridge, Lara finds the simmering attraction between her and Aren impossible to ignore.

Her goal nearly within reach, Lara will have to decide her own fate: Will she be the destroyer of a king or the savior of her people?

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


Review:

THE BRIDGE KINGDOM is an addictive read. I picked this up and struggled to put it down until I reminded myself that I had a full day of labs to attend the next day. I simply didn’t want to leave Lara, Aren, and the world.

The world is incredible. A lush (snake-filled) chain of islands running between two landmasses separated by storm-riddled seas, an ancient bridge crossing the archipelago. It’s crucial to trade, a dark, long corridor of stone crucial to trade. And everyone wants a piece of it, which drives the plot. It’s so imaginative and fun. How does anyone think up an idea like that?

It’s the heart of the story, and what really sets it apart. The plot is far from original. There are plenty of married enemies falling in love stories, where the one sent to kill the other discovers everything they’ve been told is a lie so they feel less guilty about their conflicted, angsty feelings. There is plenty of chemistry between the leads, though, and it doesn’t feel forced or like she’s losing her will to love. (And one pretty explicit, steamy sex scene. This is not a YA book!)

The information about the bridge, how it works and how the people survive in the shadow of it – a magnet for trouble – is carefully doled out throughout the book. I wanted to see more, and Danielle kept the leaking of information perfectly balanced with action and the building feelings.

The writing is gorgeous too, very crisp but full of details. The world is vividly painted with efficient but sensuous phrases.

I liked seeing Aren’s perspective, watching him falling in love to see it wasn’t one sided or him falling for her because she was pretty. It also gave another depth to the people, as he fought to save them because he loves the country and what its people could become.

The second book, THE TRAITOR QUEEN, is tentatively slated for a July 2020 physical book publishing, and I can’t wait.


Read my reviews of other books by Danielle L. Jensen:

Adult:

The Bridge Kingdom (this series):

Young Adult:

Dark Shores:

The Malediction Trilogy:

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