TITLE: The Fire Lord's Lover
AUTHOR: Kathryne Kennedy
INFO: Paperback, Fiction, 378 pages
PUBLISHED: Sourcebooks, 2010
SOURCE: Won copy in a drawing
FROM GOODREADS: Fighting for control of a kingdom that is split into seven domains, Elven warlords use their human slaves to breed an endless supply of soldiers for their armies. Dominic Raikes, the half-blood son of the Elven Lord himself is one such warrior. Betrothed to Lady Cassandra, who has been raised in a convent to keep her pure, he little suspects that she's been secretly trained as an assassin to murder his father and him. Dominic and Cassandra soon discover that each one is not what they seem, but the price of trust may be their very lives, and the destruction of the magical realm each is desperately trying to save.
PURCHASE: Amazon, The Book Depository, and Barnes & Noble
MY TAKE: I can't believe I waited so long to read this book! I won it in a drawing last fall and it has been in my TBR stack since then. But, I'm actually glad that I did hold off as I devoured it and then was able to immediately pick up the second installment ~ just released ~ in the series: The Lady of the Storm.
The Fire Lord's Lover was an enjoyable treat that takes the reader back to the early 1700s in England. Only it's not quite the England that we thought we knew. King George is in power, but he is just a token monarch ~ though he does dictate fashion in the realm. He is essentially a pawn in a game between seven Elven lords who rule over the country, each having their own slice of the pie to govern. They start wars to see which Elven lord wins the king and houses him and his court in their region of the altered England. The biggest issue with this is that they force the humans to be their soldiers in the deadly games.
The citizens are tired of being repressed and treated like breeding animals or less, so a Rebellion is born. Lady Cassandra has been brought up in a convent. On the outside she is a true pious lady of the realm. But in secret she has trained for years to be a weapon of death for the Rebellion. She is slated to be the assassin who takes out the Elven Lord Mor'ded and his champion son, Dominic. The biggest hitch in this plan comes when Lady Cassandra is married to Dominic and begins to fall in love with him, despite his indifference and cold treatment.
I loved the interaction between Dominic and Cass. The sparks flew immediately from the moment they first kissed, even if they wouldn't or couldn't, acknowledge it. I really wanted to kick Dom many times for how standoffish he was to poor Cass. But by the end of the book, I admit I was in love with him. They are both such strong, sensuous characters intelligently written, that you can't help but root for their success. The magic and the surroundings just add to their chemistry as they learn to trust each other and fight a shared battle.
I highly recommend this book to those who enjoy a good adventure that is full of romance and intrigue. The large dose of Elven magic and a bit of humor just add to the mix making this a must read for old fans of Kathryne Kennedy and readers like me who are thrilled to have discovered her finally.