I love stories that sweep me up into a different world and make me want to stay there. That’s exactly what Donna Hatch’s book, Queen in Exile, did for me.
Here’s the back liner of the book:
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 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 own 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 from tyranny.
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.
See what I mean. This is a wonderful fantasy tale of romance, forbidden love, and love conquers all that is balanced nicely in the fight for a kingdom and a woman who would be queen.
The hero, Kai Darkwood, is a true knight in shining armor to Jeniah. He’s a tough warrior and protector when he needs to be, but kind and gentle when the moment calls for it. He, too, is struggling with a scarred past, but his desire to do his duty and help the woman he knows he shouldn’t love, but does, makes for a great character.
Jeniah is a pampered princess whose world suddenly changes in one horrible night. She’s a smart heroine who doesn’t shy away from doing what needs to be done to survive. The reader watches her grow as the mantel of queen is suddenly thrown upon her shoulders. She meets the challenge with her head held high all the while falling for her knight whom she knows she can never marry.
Was there anything that bothered me about this book? A couple of times I had a hard time visualizing some of the wonderful critters that populated this story, but it was probably just me and it certainly didn’t keep me from reading on and learning more about this fantasy world Hatch created.
This book is one you can curl up on the couch with and forget all your troubles as you read this entrancing story.
(Walnut Springs published this novel. I received a free copy to review, but that in no way influenced my opinion of the book.)
Kathi Oram Peterson is the mother of three, grandmother of two, and wife of one.She's a stay-at-home writer. Her new novel, The Stone Traveler was recently released.