The Bridge Kingdom by Danielle L. Jensen

A warrior princess trained in isolation, Lara is driven by two certainties. The first is that King Aren of the Bridge Kingdom is her enemy. And the second is that she’ll be the one to bring him to his knees.

The only route through a storm-ravaged world, the Bridge Kingdom enriches itself and deprives its rivals, including Lara’s homeland. So when she’s sent as a bride under the guise of peace, Lara is prepared to do whatever it takes to fracture its impenetrable defenses. And the defenses of its king.

Yet as she infiltrates her new home and gains a deeper understanding of the war to possess the bridge, Lara begins to question whether she’s the hero or the villain. And as her feelings for Aren transform from frosty hostility to fierce passion, Lara must choose which kingdom she’ll save… and which kingdom she’ll destroy.

★★★☆☆

It genuinely makes me sad to give a book three stars, but I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I thought that I would. After seeing it compared to the ACOTAR series and From Blood and Ash, I was sooo looking forward to it and bought it to fill the void left by A Court of Silver Flames.

Our story begins with our assassin princess pulling the only shocking move in the whole book, which helps her win her father’s twisted competition and therefore, the right to marry the enemy king and be the one of to murder him. There are quite a few awkward moments and tense conversations and revelations about Lara’s father and his kingdom. Right from the jump, its pretty easy to see where this whole thing is going: Girl comes to assassinate boy and destroy his kingdom, girl starts to fall in love with boy, girl becomes very conflicted, relationship tension ensues just as the action between kingdoms starts to pick up.

While there is plenty of adult language and sexual tension, its very clear that the author is used to writing YA. There’s some banter that made me laugh and the relationship had some cute moments, but there was a lot to be desired. The plot is predictable, the writing and dialogue are on par with someone’s first Wattpad novel, and the world-building is questionable at times. I really do believe that this book had the potential to be great, but just fell a little short. Was it easy to figure out pretty quickly? Yes. Were there a few plot holes and things that didn’t totally make sense? Also yes. But would it be a good break from deeper, heavier series that can weigh us down sometimes? I think so.

If you’re looking for a fast read that makes you laugh and gives just a little bit of spice, this book is a good selection. It was a fun, quick book, but it just wasn’t fulfilling in the way a well-formed story is.

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