Free from the hand of a tyrant, the Twelve Kingdoms have thrown all that touch them into chaos. New allies appear–and enemies encroach–from all sides. To survive, they must adapt to this new reality without a moment of doubt…
Growing up in a country where magic was common as dust, Zynda never had to worry about her enchantments upsetting the balance of nature. But the land beyond the borders of the thirteenth kingdom calls to her. It may be foreign and ugly, but the strangeness is laced with an excitement she has never known. Outside her homeland, Zynda’s shapeshifting and sorcery are a potent advantage to nations grasping for dominance–and the thrill of power lures her even as she recognizes the threat she poses to these magic-buffeted realms.
A ruthless enemy stalks them, promising destruction if she does not fight with all her strength–but if she upsets the equilibrium of the land, all will pay, the common people most of all. And a man of this outside world fascinates her, a mossback with no scrap of magic in him. He knows nothing of the fears and temptations pulling at her. But in his steady embrace she learns she must choose well–for the consequences may reach farther than she ever imagined…
Worldbuilding: Aaand we’re back to the ever-exciting and restless world of the Thirteen Kingdoms, Tala shifters with magic, and the exotic (and hot xD) island of Nahanau.
Characters: I kind of had a big crush on Zynda the wild, powerful, ambitious force of nature from previous novels in the series. I loved her mystical charm and playful Tala nature, plus her independent way of life. In The Shift of the Tide, Zynda the great became Zynda the powerless for a bit there, so a lot of her opinions and attitudes got let’s say readjusted – making her more vulnerable, more caring, more thoughtful. She reassessed her values and strengthened them. This was a transformative experience and she came out even more charismatic than she began, so yey!
I really liked Marskal the tough, alpha, chivalrous, principled, loyal yummm man. He came off as uptight and guarded in the beginning, and paired with the personification of flexibility he came across as really cute, actually. I loved how determined he was once he made his mind up about things, particularly his feelings. One thing Jeffe Kennedy excels at is coming up with these unreal guys that make us all sigh, hehe.
They had explosive chemistry and smoldering hotness in their one on one, and I truly loved them together.
I also really enjoyed getting the chance to meet again couples I loved from the series – which is basically all of them, haha.
Plot: The slow burn sweet romance was tense, charming, and felt to me more romantic than I might have expected for some reason – more romantic than just fiction, if that even makes sense?! -. I just kept going “Awwwwwwww!!” in my mind pretty much while reading each page. Sigh. The intrigue outside of the romance is very active, full of action and excitement. I’m dying to find out what happens next xD
Writing: First person, past tense narrative, Zynda’s POV. Her voice was fascinating as a multi-shapes shifter who combined instincts and senses of her shapes even when in human form. Plus she’s smart and funny 😀
Curb Appeal: Are you kidding me with that amazeballs cover?! Hooking blurb too, plus auto-buy name for my romantic reading moods of all genres pretty much.
I recommend The Shift of the Tide to fans of cool fantasy romance, stalwart heroes and the strong heroines driving them pretty much nuts, truly romantic stories full of feels and genuinely entertaining tales. It gets my Bomy Award of Excellence for fav reads of the year, this one for the most romantic story that made me sigh a ridiculous number of times!