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The Twelve Kingdoms: The Tears of the Rose Kindle Edition
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The first half of the book especially is almost unreadable because of the extreme obnoxiousness of the heroine. She is totally self-involved, lazy, careless with other people's lives, constantly whining and vowing vengeance for imagined slights, and unbelievably stupid. By the end of the book we are supposed to believe all of this has changed, but this is so unbelievable that it only means the story is fundamentally inconsistent. And it is, on multiple levels. Literally one day after melodramatically mourning over her recently killed husband's death site and whining over never being touched by a man again, she initiates violent, wild monkey sex all night long with a man she doesn't actually know but has generally disliked to that point. (Quote from after this sex scene - and remember, one day earlier she was inconsolable and only knew about The Missionary Position: "I strode naked down to the lake, savoring the feel of my bruised body as I moved. You look as if a wild animal has been at you. That’s how it felt, too. I loved it. The new me.")
The monkey sex partner, AKA "The White Monk," turns out to become - sort of - the hero, though it is far from clear why they tolerate each other except for that lust plus the fact that they spend almost all their time far away from each other. Her speech patterns change too, though this may have been carelessness on the author's part. Suddenly this pampered royal beauty is spouting about being "pissed off" and using other American slang like "guys and gals." We're supposed to believe she has suddenly become caring, brave and wise. But as we all know, ignorance can be cured but stupid is forever.
This book was just awful, and I cannot recommend it. I did enjoy the first book in this series and don't know about the third, concluding book.
Picking up almost immediately after the dramatic conclusion of the first book in the Twelve Kingdoms series, The Tears of the Rose opens with Princess Ursula accompanying the body of her deceased brother-in-law, Prince Hugh, back to his home and pregnant wife, Amelia. As expected, Amelia is distraught and conflicted over the fact that her sister killed her one true love. The entire book is told from Amelia’s point-of-view and chronicles her journey from the youngest, most beautiful daughter of High King Uorsin, to a powerful woman and heir to the throne of Avonlidgh.
Right from the start, I knew this was going to be a tough sell… As a romance, I expect a story that shares a tale of love, ending in some sort of Happily-Ever-After/For Now. I wondered how the author could pull that off, knowing the primary heroine’s husband and father of her unborn child just died?! Yet, Ms. Kennedy pens a story that not only gives readers their HEA/FN, but does so in a manner that is perfect and just for a grieving widow. The coupling between Amelia and Ash is loving, genuine, and sexy. Kudos, Ms. Kennedy!
With all that is happening to Amelia, sometimes it’s hard to remember she is only 17. I am utterly blown away by the author's portrayal of a very young and immature Amelia. She's very self-centered and has never had to think of anyone but herself. But her transformation is rewarding and fulfilling. As Amelia comes out of her grief over losing Hugh, she clearly sees herself as the puppet on strings, and when she tries to take control, each time she lashes out and hurts others. She grows cruel because of her own desires to break away and have something meaningful of her own. She's so young and trying to figure it all out. Each time this happens, she seems to grow up a little bit. It’s her story that makes The Tears of the Rose such a special tale.
While The Tears of the Rose is all about Ami’s journey, the story also continues the overarching tale of the Twelve Kingdoms: both its civil strife, as well as the confrontation with the Tala. The story uncovers more of the High King’s unforgivable actions in the name of bringing peace to the land, as well as the cost to all of the other kingdoms and its citizens. And Uorsin isn’t the only evil man looking for power. Poor Amelia is used by her father, father-in-law, and others who wish to weld power and influence. As much as I love the romantic tale, the unfolding tales of the Twelve Kingdoms is a worthy story in its own right.
The Tears of the Rose is a wonderful addition to the Twelve Kingdom series, the perfect second tale in this fascinating story - one that needs to be read, starting with the first book, The Mark of the Tala.
My Rating: A- Enjoyed a lot
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