Three sisters. Motherless daughters of the high king. The eldest is the warrior-woman heir; the middle child is shy and full of witchy intuition; and the youngest, Princess Amelia, she is as beautiful as the sun and just as generous.
Ami met her Prince Charming and went away to his castle on the stormy sea-cliffs—and that should have been her happily ever after. Instead, her husband lies dead and a war rages. Her middle sister has been taken into a demon land, turned into a stranger. The priests and her father are revealing secrets and telling lies. And a power is rising in Ami, too, a power she hardly recognizes, to wield her beauty as a weapon, and her charm as a tool to deceive…
Amelia has never had to be anything but good and sweet and kind and lovely. But the chess game for the Twelve Kingdoms has swept her up in it, and she must make a gambit of her own. Can the prettiest princess become a pawn—or a queen?
Worldbuilding: The world of The Twelve Kingdoms is seriously awesome, we’re talking kingdoms, so kings ans queens and intrigue and let’s not forget all the fantasy elements, magic, paranormal beings like shifters…so much goodness!
Characters: The thing about The Tears of the Rose is that the main character, Amelia, was one of my least favorite characters from The Mark of the Tala, the first novel in the series. Whiny, shallow, self-centered, highly irritating…you get the picture, right? Well, she was just like that in the beginning of this novel too, only I got to experience it from her POV, which was – not all that shockingly – even more irritating. We’re talking real emotion, I wanted to… do violent things :))) You get the picture. So reading a story about her was a very strange experience, I spent about half the novel kind of pi$$ed at her, at her reactions to the admittedly traumatic things she went through, and then from a certain point on, I was shocked because I liked her. I mean…it creeped over me and suddenly I just… liked her 😐
She went through major changes, went through a lot of really difficult stuff, did a lot of growing up during this story, and from somewhere around half of it to the end, I really liked her, which was… shocking, lol!
Okay, it was also due to Ash. I’m not gonna lie, I loved the man, I always love Jeffe Kennedy’s mancandy xD I would have liked to enjoy his presence more, but I got why Amelia needed to be focused on, the changes she goes through need good building in order to read authentic, and they do. I loved Amelia and Ash together, really hot, passionate one on one between them, and I want more 😀 I know, I know…I’m a total perv.
Also, really loved Ursula, I did from the first novel, she’s so deliciously badass! Can’t wait to read her story xD
Plot: I loved the story, and I’m really curious to find out how the whole tensions-between-kingdoms thing is solved, which is the other arc aside the romance and the MC’s story of personal growth and I guess fulfilling of their destiny, in each novel. I’m a total politics geek, okay, so shoot me 😛 Also, it must be said, evil cliffy at the end of this novel, I mean the romance gets its HFN, conflicts are resolved, but you just get the inkling of such a big thing, and then there’s the…one of two things missing (no spoilers is such a b!tch to do sometimes, lol, sounds like I’m a rambling lunatic, but I don’t wanna spoil the story for you peeps!). I want the next one, like, right now!
Writing: First person, past tense narrative, Amelia’s POV. Loved her voice, though I disliked her, lol, she came through really well. And love the writing style, fantasy/fairytale like awesomeness 😀
Curb Appeal: Cool cover, hooking blurb, instant buy author name, so impulsive buy material galore!
All in all, this was a really interesting addition to the series, and a very surprising reading exprience. I’m not going to beat around the bush (which sounds kind of BDSM-ish and kinky, right?), I loved the first one more, but there’s an easy explanation for that – I loved Andi. I disliked Amelia and ended up also loving this novel, even if not as much as the first. It made me look at Amelia differently, and by the end of the story I kind of loved her, from kind of hating her guts in the beginning.
I don’t think you’d find many authors able to pull that kind of thing off, but then again, if anyone could do it, it would be Jeffe Kennedy. There’s a really good reason I’m a hardcore fan of her work 😉 And all I love about her works in general is present here, this novel is gutsy, slightly irreverent (MCs tend to be easy to like & love in romance, don’t you agree? Amelia is anything but, in the beginning…), hot, well written, entertaining, features awesome worldbuilding, characterbuilding and romancebuilding, and leaves you wanting the next one.
I totally recommend The Tears of the Rose if you’re into fantasy kingdoms and romance, and strong MCs who might start out as annoying princesses but end up being strong and clever queens 😉