The Tears of the Rose

Jeffe Kennedy
The Tears of the Rose
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Publisher
Kensington
Release Date
November 2014
ISBN
9780758294456
Series
Book 2 of The Twelve Kingdoms
Genre
Fantasy Romance, Paranormal Romance

SUMMARY
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?

Book Review by Ashia (reviewer)
Nov 26, 2014   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
245 people found the following review helpful
THE TEARS OF THE ROSE continued where the first book, The Mark of the Tala, left off.

Here, we have Amelia, the youngest sister, vain and pretty, for whom life is a bed of roses, which ended when her dearly beloved husband Hugh was accidentally killed. Life changed for her, as she was pregnant and became a pawn between her father, who is the king of the Twelve Kingdoms, and her father-in-law, ruler of one of the conquered kingdoms and who is now chafing against the controls. Amelia has to find deep within herself as to who she really is before she lost herself and her child...and take her rightful place in the world.

Amelia is not that likable at first, however, she did grow on me, especially when she started taking charge and collecting allies. I'm not sure how believable her change was, but maybe, being Salena and Uorsin's daughter, she did have the potential in her, now brought out by need and a strong desire to protect her child. Certainly, Jeffe Kennedy's characters are not perfect. No, they are flawed, even Andi in the first book, but their flaws are believable and makes them relatable. So, even if you don't like them (like I didn't like Amelia at first), you can definitely understand where they're coming from.

The romance is understated in this book, more so than in the first one. THE TEARS OF THE ROSE is more a story of Amelia's growth and coming into herself, into her potential and rightful place in a plan that was conceived by their mother Salena ages ago. Still, I do wish we could've seen more of Ash and know more about him. He is as much a mystery at the beginning as he was at the end, except of course for the deep regard he has for Amelia.

One thing I also like about this book is the author's portrayal of Hugh. Yes, he is as good and kind and handsome and heroic after death as he is portrayed in life. No hidden abuse of Amelia, nothing bad turned up after he was laid to the ground. Certainly a change from most of romances where the ex (whether divorced or widowed) usually is a bad character (cheating, etc).

That said, while the story is a standalone, in that Amelia's story is resolved in this book, I think readers would benefit more if they start with Andi's story in The Mark of the Tala. The reason is because there's a series arc that is progressing with each book, and I think readers would get the whole series story a lot better if they know the background. Sure, Amelia did give some background at the start of the book, but remember, she was biased, so readers would get her biased view of things. Also, there is a little cliffhanger at the end, which I hope will be resolved in the next book!

It would be interesting to see how Ursula's (the heir) story would go, as it would be the conclusion to this series, and who her match would be. And did you get a look at the cover of The Talon of the Hawk? I thought it's the best of the series! Can't wait for May 2015!
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Book Review by Victoria Lane (reviewer)
Jun 12, 2015   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
218 people found the following review helpful
THE TEARS OF THE ROSE, the second book in the Twelve Kingdoms series, is a fantastic read filled with drama, romance, fantastic symbolism and self-realization. I give it five stars.

In the novel, which picks up where The Mark of the Tala left off, Princess Amelia is grieving the loss of her husband and love of her life, Hugh. She is also devastated by the loss of her dreams for the future and her relationship with her sister, Andi, now Queen Andromeda of Annfwn, who reportedly killed Hugh during Urosin's attempt to "rescue" Andi from the Tala.

Through some interesting turns, Amelia realizes that she's pregnant, and since Hugh was heir to the throne of Avonlidgh, she and their unborn child become pawns in the political maneuverings of Amelia's father, Urosin, King of Ordnung and High King of the Twelve Kingdoms, and her father-in-law, Erich, King of Avonlidgh. In order to protect herself and her child, Amelia must figure out what the truth is and how to avert war. Given that Amelia was always the beautiful and kind princes who related to others via her beauty and sweetness, she has to dig deep within herself to find the wisdom and courage to free herself from the political web.

I really loved the character development in this novel. Yes, there was some action and adventure, but this novel tells the story of the Twelve Kingdoms during a lull in overt warfare. So what readers get to see is how Princess Amelia finds herself and routes two kings in the process. There are some really deep themes touched upon as Amelia figures out how to be alone without Hugh, e.g., her realization that her relationship with Hugh will be forever pristine because they had not had time to face the challenges that all couples face. A lot of time in the beginning of the novel shows Amelia acting in ways that can really only be described as whiny and bratty. So it was a relief to see her come to her senses and realize that though her life was perfect with Hugh, she had no assurances that their relationship was going to continue to be all unicorns and rainbows. Such is life, and I'm grateful for romance novels that keep that kind of reality front and center.

Another thing I liked about the novel was the symbolism of the rose. As Glorianna's avatar, Amelia is inextricably linked to pink roses, and the idea of the rose is woven throughout the novel. One of my favorites is the idea of smell and Amelia's growing ability to smell the intentions and emotions of other people, e.g., lies smell like something's burning. Another favorite rose symbol - Amelia learns that she has thorns! I loved seeing her embrace and wield them to her advantage.

As far as audience, there are a couple scenes with graphic sex, both in narration and dialogue, making this novel appropriate for adults.

Overall, I loved this novel and can't wait to read the next.
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