Lara has only one thought for her husband on their wedding day: I will bring your kingdom to its knees. A princess trained from childhood to be a lethal spy, Lara knows that the Bridge Kingdom represents both legendary evil - and legendary promise. The only route through a storm-ravaged world, the Bridge Kingdom controls all trade and travel between lands, allowing its ruler to enrich himself and deprive his enemies, including Lara's homeland. So when she is sent as a bride under the guise of fulfilling a treaty of peace, Lara is prepared to do whatever it takes to fracture the defenses of the impenetrable Bridge Kingdom.
But as she infiltrates her new home - a lush paradise surrounded by tempest seas - and comes to know her new husband, Aren, Lara begins to question where the true evil resides. Around her, she sees a kingdom fighting for survival, and in Aren, a man fiercely protective of his people. As her mission drives her to deeper understanding of the fight to possess the bridge, Lara finds the simmering attraction between her and Aren impossible to ignore. Her goal nearly within reach, Lara will have to decide her own fate: Will she be the destroyer of a king or the savior of her people?
The Bridge Kingdom is a BookTok favourite and one that I went into with high expectations. After finishing this book I can officially say I really enjoyed this! It is a solid fantasy with a great plot and the writing style makes this story an easy one to slip into. The world and the politics in this story are really interesting, the (very) slow-burn romance had me at hello, and the last 20% of the book is such a rollercoaster of emotions you'll be forced to pick up the sequel straight away.
This book started off so awesome. Our main character Lara is described as a badass and ruthless assassin and from there I'm hooked. The opening scene? Immense. My interest levels peaked to 5000. However, slowly as the chapters unfold where Lara has been described as this cutthroat, trained since birth, deadly assassin, nothing that she actually does reflects this entirely. This was frustrating to read because it felt that the character was being described in one way but didn't really live up to that through her actions. Over the course of the book, I suppose she proves herself in little ways and I hope this is shown more in the sequel because I was coming to really enjoy her character by the end.
This book is a solid 4 for me as I felt hooked all the way through and I loved the world and learning more about Ithicana. The romance was really enjoyable. It is a slow burner! This is an important heads up as I went into this book thinking it was going to be spicy from 20% in and it was not. The book is told from both POVs with a heavier emphasis on Lara. I would have liked more moments between them told from Aren's POV just so we could see the finer moments of them falling for each other. Aren and Lara have great chemistry and I'm hoping for more intimate moments between them in The Traitor Queen (book 2).
Their relationship has been described as an enemies to lovers, which I suppose on the surface it is. However, it's not really knife-to-throat or "I will kill you" ETL, it's more like "Oh hey there, guess we're getting married as part of this treaty and our two nations don't really get along, but here we are. Wanna be friends?" I did however enjoy the dynamic of having our main character as a spy in the enemy's territory and her slowly finding out why they may not be the enemy she once thought they were. But enemies? To lovers? More like suspicious woman becomes the king's wife and is actually a spy and deep down he knows she's only there to get information from him about his kingdom but he wants to give her the benefit of the doubt and they both end up falling for each other anyway. Not sure what trope this is... but essentially if you like the idea of the betrayal trope then go for this. It will hurt you!
I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys fantasy with a betrayal trope. Perhaps for fans of The Kiss of Deception by Mary E Pearson who want a little more spice. I've seen this book compared to From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L Armentrout, but personally, I don't think this spice is on the same level if that is what you're looking for this might not be the one for you. I do think it will heat up over the course of the series and I can't wait to read book 2!
4 Falling Books