I generally review romance, paranormal and urban fantasy. I tend to pick review books that I want to read, so generally my reviews will be positive. I always give my honest opinion: good, bad, and indifferent.
Note: on my blog I use a letter grading system. I've listed the ratings below. For sites with stars, I have listed the equivalent rating. If I didn't finish the book, I will not rate it with stars.
A+ Personal Favorite (5 stars)
A Loved It (4.5 or 5 stars)
A- Enjoyed A Lot (4 or 4.5 stars)
B+ Liked It A Lot (4 stars)
B Liked It -- Recommend (4 stars)
B- Liked It -- But I had a few small issues (3 or 3.5 stars)
C+ Liked It -- But I had issues (3 or 3.5 stars)
C Finished It -- Liked some, didn't like some (3 stars)
C- Finished It -- Liked a little, didn't like a lot (2 or 2.5 stars)
D Not A Big Fan (2 stars)
E Don’t Waste Your Time (1 star)
TW: Reading this book was like watching a Train Wreck
DNF: Did Not Finish
updated July 9, 2015
Picking up right after Ursula's coronation as High Queen (see The Crown of the Queen), Ursula must navigate political waters and deal with a potential invasion from the Dasnarians. She has wisely selected Dafne, the clever and intelligent librarian, as her personal advisor. However, when trouble stirs on the little-known-about island lands of the Nahanau, Dafne agrees to travel across the sea to help spy, translate, and negotiate. Little does she know that King Nakoa KauPo has been awaiting her arrival and the magic she will unwittingly unleash.
The Pages of the Mind is the fourth title in Ms. Kennedy’s sublime fantasy romance series that follows the political and religious activities of the magical Thirteen Kingdoms and Enchanted Realms (in fact, it is the first book in the new Enchanted Realms spin-off series). While one could probably get away with starting the new series by reading Dafne’s book, I strongly encourage readers to start at the beginning and read the original Twelve Kingdoms series. Having the background makes many of the scenes all the more mentally and emotionally satisfying. For example, early on in the book, Dafne and Queen Ursula have a heart-to-heart discussion establishing that a true friendship exists, and above all else, the queen wants Dafne to be happy after all she's endured. This conversation where Ursula tries to explain her ability to love after so many emotional scars is so moving and completely satisfying because I have read the previous titles. It was a great way to start the book.
The unfolding storyline, coupled with the additional world building necessary for the growing mythology is both fascinating and gripping. Bits and pieces left unfinished from the original trilogy gain momentum and apparently will carry on though the Enchanted Realms series. This makes my very happy. The author has provided an excellent transition from the original goal of defeating Uorsin and bringing peace back to the Twelve Kingdoms, to a much larger stage, with political intrigue and issues of uncontrolled magic across the lands.
While the book may function as a transition piece, it is not incomplete in any way. The greater storylines will continue on to other books, but Dafne’s personal growth and romantic journey provide for a wonderful tale which is concluded by the end of The Pages of the Mind. I must admit that at first, I felt uneasy and a bit disappointed in Dafne’s romantic match because she really had no choice in the matter, and there were significant communication issues. However, Ms. Kennedy has done it again - creating such amazing, three-dimensional, first person characters - causing me to feel as the heroine does. So as Dafne gets to know Nakoa and begins to trust him, I too learn to fall for him. And boy did I fall hard! Nakoa is swoon-worthy, sweeping me off my feet by patiently allowing Dafne to be herself and learn to open and love unconditionally. The ups and downs of both the romance and action gave me all the feels.
Ms. Kennedy excels at creating imaginative, multi-faceted fantasy worlds coupled with sensual, emotional romances. The Pages of the Mind is like a complex tapestry of extraordinary beauty, intricate details woven together to create a wonderful whole. While at first I struggled with the budding relationship between Dafne and Nakoa, I found their love story utterly romantic. Destined. He always believed in her. He forced her to look inside herself and accept and love herself. Meanwhile, the larger storyline is fascinating, and I cannot wait to uncover more.
My Rating: A, loved it!
Review copy provided by NetGalley