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The Orchid Throne

(Forgotten Empires #1)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  1,498 ratings  ·  403 reviews
Welcome to the world of Forgotten Empires from award winning author Jeffe Kennedy that begins with The Orchid Throne.


As Queen of the island kingdom of Calanthe, Euthalia will do anything to keep her people free—and her secrets safe—from the mad tyrant who rules the mainland. Guided by a magic ring of her father’s, Lia plays the political game with the cro
Mass Market Paperback, 362 pages
Published September 24th 2019 by St. Martin's Press
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Average rating 3.68  · 
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 ·  1,498 ratings  ·  403 reviews

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Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Full disclosure: I've worked with this author in the past and am a fan of her books. She's an auto-buy for me. I was offered an ARC of The Orchid Throne in exchange for an honest review and a blurb if possible.

In short, I loved the story. As with Kennedy's Twelve Kingdoms series, the Forgotten Empires showcases the excellent world building and motivations of flawed, human characters doing their very best to survive (and thrive) in brutal circumstances.

Jeffe Kennedy's The Orchid Throne is an epi
Darynda Jones
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this so much!
I'm not totally convinced that this wasn't written just to describe Queen Euthalia's outfits and make-up.

A baddie, a wizard, an enslaved prince, and a virgin queen.
Never see the baddie but know he conquered all the lands twenty years ago.
Enslaved prince building his rebellion and grudgingly following his wizard's prophecy.
Some worldbuilding but mostly definitely first in a trilogy skimping to stretch out.
Virgin queen and enslaved prince have their thing.

Basically, meets and greets story that fe
julia ☆ [owls reads]
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc, fantasy
1.5 stars.


Submit or die.

The Orchid Throne is a painfully slow novel with a creative and unique world-building. The narrative is heavily focused on romance despite the impending threat of the emperor and there is never a true sense of danger to the story. The characters are interesting, but the different POVs are rather similar to each other and make it difficult to distinguish one character from the other.

Jeffe Kennedy’s writing is nice, but the slow pace drags the story along. T
Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic book! It took a while to get the main characters in the same place, but that gave me time to get to know them separately, understand them, and grow SO impatient for them to finally have page time together. When it eventually happens, it's incendiary! I can't wait for the next installment!

Here's my official quote: "The Orchid Throne is a captivating and sensual fantasy romance you won’t want to miss! High stakes. Remarkable worldbuilding. Unique and compelling characters. A slow-burn
1st read - September 2019
2nd read - June 2020

As the queen of the island Calanthe you might think Euthalia is in charge of her own life but she is just as under the tyrant emperor's control as everyone else. Her father agreed to an arranged marriage between them in order to keep Calanthe's independence but it was just another type of chain. Since her father's death Euthalia has done everything in her power to keep the emperor at arm's length and to protect her people but she knows time is running
Revenge…by rock or by flower

I really enjoyed reading The Orchid Throne but I’m struggling to get my thoughts down to explain the highs and lows. I was angry that a lot of innocent people died at the hands of a tyrant. I was sad that children were left orphans and slaves because of that tyrant. I was confused that a Queen could appear so cold but feel so much. I was desperate to see good win over evil.

Here are a few Of my thoughts while reading this very interesting story...

One thing that always
♥ WishfulMiss ♥
No one believes in omens or curses anymore. Or hope, for that matter.

I had such a blast reading this book. The world the author has built was awesome, the characters were engaging, the romance was immediately something I was rooting for and the political intrigue and danger kept me glued to my kindle.

Child prince turned slave, Conri has survived his enslavement and torture at the hands of the self appointed Emperor, Anure. His vow to defeat the man responsible for his family and his kingdo
Oct 28, 2019 rated it liked it
I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Orchid Throne was a little slow to start off with but eventually I finally got invested into it. The beginning, even though it was slow, was pretty interesting. I wanted to know more about this empire and everything that was within it.

First, the beginning was a lot of information dumping. Whether it was the land, clothes, or anything else - it was a lot to take in and process. Then we get to meet Euthalia, also known a
Anne - Books of My Heart
This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart
Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I was delighted to be offered this book as I enjoy what little I've managed to read by this author. I want to read more.  The Orchid Throne is the first in a new series,  Forgotten Empires . I had a bit of the first book in a series, in a new world issues at the beginning. There are many, exquisite details about the t

Title: The Orchid Throne
Series: Forgotten Empires #1
Author: Jeffe Kennedy
Release date: September 24, 2019
Cliffhanger: Yes
Genre: adult fantasy

What a surprise this one was! I wasn't sure what to expect since this was my first read by the author, but I really appreciated the originality Ms. Kennedy put into the plot. A lot of fantasy storylines tend to run together with overused tropes and predictability. The Orchid Throne does rely on the forbidden magic trope you find in so many but beyond that
Jen Davis
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is not a complete story. Unlike Jeffe Kennedy’s 12 Kingdoms books which feature a different romance up to an HEA in each installment, this is part one of a trilogy which ends right as the romance is getting started. I think if I would have known that, I might have waited until at least the second book was ready before reading this, because now I am frustrated and want to see what happens next.

Another word of warning: this is a very slow build. I struggled a little bit at the beginning
Marta Cox
Jun 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-reviews, netgalley
This was perhaps a little slower initially than some other books I’ve read by this author but nevertheless it does set itself up to be a satisfying tale when she’s finally finished with it. I’m guessing it’s going to be a trilogy as we need to find out not only much more about this seemingly sentient land but also get to see our lead couple take a stand against the mysterious Emperor.
Lia is Queen but in order to protect her people she was betrothed to the Emperor whose ambitions and cruelty know
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So good!!!
This is a fantasy romance that sounded interesting, but unfortunately I just couldn't get into it. It moves at a snails pace, and there is just so much description of her clothing and such. It is also hard to tell whose point of view I'm reading, at least in the ARC, because the chapter headings do not denote whose point of view it is. I've decided to abandon this because I want to read something more engaging. I did give it an extra star for the world building, which I thought was good.

Thanks t
Stewart Tame
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Full disclosure: I won a free ARC of this book in a Goodreads giveaway.

This is billed as a fantasy romance, which is a hybrid I don't think I've ever encountered before. It lives up to that billing as far as I can determine, though I’ll admit that my experience with the romance genre has been relatively limited.

Lia is the Queen of Calanthe, an island nation that’s been spared the ravages of the tyrannical emperor due to her being his betrothed. Through skillful diplomacy and politics, she has s
May 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Everything from the synopsis screams this book would be a perfect fit for me. I did enjoy the story but here comes the but...But the best way I can describe it is extremely wordy. I know books are suppose to have words but I mean dialog. Lots and lots of dialog between characters making the plot proceed at a snails pace. I remember checking to see how far in we were when we finally got to the point the characters discover they need to marry each other and the rebel discovers this about 29% in. Y ...more
Elizabeth Dragina

Those last chapters absolutely ruined the book for me. RUINED IT!!

I loved the author's style. Her characters. Her suspense. And her wit. But the sexual content is awful.

That is all I'm going to say, or else I will end up ranting.

**FTC disclosure ~ I was asked to read and review this book by Natalie Tsay, Jeffe Kennedy's agent. She provided the eARC copy.**
Steff Fox
| Reader Fox Blog |

There were several things about The Orchid Throne by Jeffe Kennedy that really struck me, some in good ways and some in bad. This was a book that I was actually incredibly excited about, having fallen in love with the plot the moment I first read its synopsis. A deposed prince following a prophecy that would allow him to exact revenge on the man who destroyed his kingdom and a young Queen doing everything she can to protect her people from the tyrant who destroyed the res
*Source* Publisher
*Genre* Fantasy, Romance
*Rating* 3.5


The Orchid Throne, by author Jeffe Kennedy, is the start of the Forgotten Empires series following Lia, the Queen of Calanthe, and Con, the fallen prince of Oriel and King of Slaves, as they join together to take down an evil emperor. The story alternates narrative between the two characters. Queen Euthalia (Lia) is determined to defend her island of Calanthe, the only kingdom not violently conquered by the Emperor, by other means.
Maria Rose
Reread thoughts - just as enjoyable as the first time!

Original Review:

The Orchid Throne by Jeffe Kennedy is the start of an exciting fantasy romance trilogy that introduces a royal couple destined to fight for the survival of their peoples against a tyrant bent on their destruction.

The discovery of vurgstun, a rock with explosive properties mined deep in the volcanoes of Vurgmun, started the chain of events leading to the ascension of Anure Robho, a man whose greed expanded to encompass all th
Carol (StarAngel's Reviews) Allen
Book – The Orchid Throne
Author – Jeffe Kennedy
Series – Forgotten Empires #1
Cliffhanger? - Yes
Publication Date – September 24, 2019
Genre – Fantasy/Romance
Type – Dual POV
Rating – 4.25 out of 5 Stars

Complimentary copy generously provided by the author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My Thoughts - Story

I couldn’t believe how slow and wordy this book started out – there were so many times that I had to put it down to take a break. I even tossed around the idea of a DNF (and I sooo ha
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Mon avis en Français

My English review

I always have a good time with Jeffe Kennedy’s novels, so I was curious to discover this new series!

Euthalia is Queen of her people, she tries to remain as free as possible. However, she is also under the yoke of the emperor to whom she is engaged. If she doesn’t see him, she knows that the day will come when she will simply no longer be able to refuse him. She hopes to find a way out, but she knows it will be in vain. Yet when the Slave King comes to her h
The good:

-LOVED the heroine, Lia. She is badass and prioritizes her job as queen above all else.
-Really loved the hero, Conri. He’s pretty clearly suffering from some major issues as a former slave, but he’s not a manwhore (rare in romance circles) and admires Lia’s intelligence, not just her looks.
-The worldbuilding in this book is phenomenal. There’s clearly a lot going on, more than the reader fully knows, and I loved getting glimpses into how magic works in this universe.

The not-so-good:

Douglas Meeks
Sep 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
The beginning to this story waxes and wanes a bit plus it takes awhile to realize that Lia is far stronger and more intelligent than anyone has given her credit for and Con does realize that when he finally meets her (which takes a few chapters before they even meet) and immediately does everything wrong . It is an amazing tale with a bit of tragedy in the background history which is what I hope this story is going to remedy at the end of what I hope is a trilogy and not a repeat of the Sorcerou ...more
Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
You can also read my review here: https://devouringbooks2017.wordpress....

4.5 Stars

I was very excited for The Orchid Throne when I first got a copy, it even made my Most Anticipated Releases of the Second Half of 2019 list. But after so many of the books I was very excited for wound up being mediocre reads I found myself thinking that this book would be as well. I was so relieved when I wound up absolutely loving this book. The beginning was a little rocky, but once I got into the book I found m
4.5 stars

My review and an extended sample of the audiobook are posted at Hotlistens.com.

The Orchid Throne is the first book in a new fantasy series by Jeffe Kennedy. I’ve read several fantasy stories by Kennedy in the past. I’ve always enjoyed her work, so it was an easy decision to try this new series. I originally grabbed the NetGalley eBook and read it on vacation. Then I saw that it was going to be available on audio, so I had to grab the audiobook version and did a revisit via the audio.

Oct 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I requested this book on netgalley because I liked the cover and the description, but I liked the story even more. Some of the basics are familiar - an evil Emperor has most of the world in thrall. He is being resisted by the Slave King and by the Queen of Calenthe, which is a mysterious island that has somehow managed to remain free. I especially liked getting glimpses of Calenthe, as some of its mysteries were uncovered, and I'd expect to learn more in book 2. I'm looking forward to it!
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell
Only $2.99 today (1/1)
When diving into The Orchid Throne expect a story that will slowly unfurl bringing you into a world that is caught in a power struggle. His Imperial Majesty Anure, Emperor of All the Lands has for years held a stranglehold on every land except for the island of Calanthe. Years ago, the King of Calanthe brokered a deal with the Emperor, when he had cast his eye towards conquering the small island kingdom, a deal that came with agreeing to marry his virginal daughter to the Emperor as well as othe ...more
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I also write books under the name Jennifer Paris.

Represented by Sarah Younger at Nancy Yost Literary Agency.

Other books in the series

Forgotten Empires (3 books)
  • The Fiery Crown (Forgotten Empires, #2)
  • The Promised Queen (Forgotten Empires, #3)

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“As Ejarat claimed Sawehl, unlike Herself and yet like, do you promise to take into your being the entirety of one who is not yourself, with all their flaws and virtues, ugliness and beauty, weaknesses and strengths?” “I do,” I confirmed first, tilting my head at Con, giving him the challenge. He pressed his lips together as if tempted to retort. “I do,” he replied immediately, emphasizing it as if his would be the more difficult task. My turn to narrow my eyes. He actually grinned at me. “As Sawehl claimed Ejarat, unlike Himself and yet like, do you promise to nurture and shelter the other, to protect and support, to shed your light so that they might find their best path in life?” Our gazes still locked, I smiled back at Con. Challenge accepted then.” 0 likes
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