Review: The Inadequate Heir by Danielle L. Jensen

Category:

Fantasy

Rating:

Introduction:

A soldier raised as heir to an empire, Zarrah is motivated by two truths. The first is that the Veliant family murdered her mother. And the second is that her pursuit of vengeance will put every last one of them in their graves.

The Endless War between Maridrina and Valcotta has raged for generations, leaving thousands of Zarrah’s people dead and countless more orphaned. So when she’s given command of the contested city of Nerastis, Zarrah is prepared to do whatever it takes to destroy the Maridrinian forces who oppose her. And to kill the Veliant prince who leads them.

Yet a chance encounter with an anonymous, and handsome, Maridrinian causes Zarrah to question whether the violence she’s perpetrated is justice or a crime. And as she continues to meet the nameless man each night, she finds common ground – and fiery passion – in his arms.

But when identities are revealed, Zarrah must decide whether to embrace a chance at peace… or march to the drums of war.

Review:

Reviewed by Dakota Watson

The Bridge Kingdom series has me utterly floored! I mean, there are plenty of good fantasy romance series out there, but it’s rare that each book manages to surpass the last. Danielle L. Jensen just keeps raising the bar as she keeps on hitting it outta park with each new book in The Bridge Kingdom series.

The first book was fantastic, blowing me away completely. Then The Traitor Queen came along, proving that the series could get even better. And now, Inadequate Heir? It completely stole my breath away. I finished the last page speechless, desperate to know what Jensen has planned for the next installment. Holy fug! I think this is the first time in a very long time I am reading a series back to back because I can’t seem to get enough of this series.

Now let’s get to reviewing Inadequate Heir. Just in case you didn’t catch how excited I am about this book from the previous paragraphs let me enlighten you. Just like the first two predecessors of this series, this book proved to be a gem. With expansive world building and brilliant story telling filled with so many intricate political maneuvers filled with suspense and heart pounding action and steamy romance Inadequate Heir introduces us to two new (more or less) characters who we met in passing in The Traitor Queen, Keris and Zarrah. Before going into the book I was kind of dubious how Jensen was going to pull it off without boring the readers as Keris’ and Zarrah’s story is overlapping the story progression in The Traitor Queen and we all knew how the story was going to end to a certain extent. Jensen took a significant risk by revisiting a familiar timeline, but her incredible skill as a writer paid off in spades. Not only did she flawlessly execute this daring move, but she also delivered an ending that left me utterly speechless. It’s a testament to her undeniable talent!

I absolutely adored Zarrah! From the very beginning, I was completely invested in her as a strong, badass heroine. Though she might come across as impulsive and stubborn initially, I loved watching her character evolve throughout the story. Jensen captures Zarrah’s inner conflict so beautifully – the struggle with falling for the son of her mother’s murderer adds tremendous depth and authenticity to her character. The fact that she doesn’t blindly fall for Keris, even when he’s willing to sacrifice so much to save her, really resonated with me. Zarrah’s strength of character and unwavering independence made her truly shine.

And my god Keris!!!!!! I think I am in love. He was a strategic mastermind with a touch of darkness in him. He was deceptive, manipulative and knew how and when to play his cards. The constant undercurrent of concern about him potentially turning into his villainous father kept me on the edge of my seat. Throughout the book, I couldn’t shake the feeling that he walked a tightrope, just a hair’s breadth away from succumbing to darkness. I loved how Jensen planted the seed of doubt in Zarrah’s mind later on, mirroring my own growing apprehension. His story arc expertly depicted the harsh reality that even the best intentions crumble under the immense pressure of the crown. Keris’ struggle to navigate the unexpected challenges and unforeseen obstacles that arose once he was crowed was incredibly engaging. It served as a stark reminder that the path to “ruling right” is rarely smooth sailing. My god, I loved this albino (not really, he was just really pale, lol) bastard!!!!

Keris and Zarrah’s romance completely swept me off my feet! I’m also a total sucker for a well done hidden identity trope, and this book delivered all the heart pounding goodness. I adored how their nicknames, “Valcotta” and “Maradrina,” became terms of endearment even after they learned each other’s true identities. It was such a sweet and meaningful touch! While there might not have been loads of witty banter, their interactions were so genuine and intense, pulling me deeper into their story. And, well, those bedroom scenes? Let’s just say I wanted to be Zarrah soooooo bad! I wish I am kidding but I am not!!!!

Honestly, in conclusion this book absolutely blew me away! While I loved Lara and Aren dearly, there’s something about Keris and Zarrah that just hits different. Their complex, beautifully messy relationship pulled at my heartstrings, leaving me craving more. I can’t wait to dive into The Endless War – something tells me the best is yet to come!

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