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The Bridge Kingdom #2

The Traitor Queen

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A queen now in exile as a traitor, Lara has watched Ithicana be conquered by her own father, helpless to do anything to stop the destruction. But when she learns her husband, Aren, has been captured in battle, Lara knows there is only one reason her father is keeping him alive: as bait for his traitorous daughter.

And it is bait she fully intends to take.

Risking her life to the Tempest Seas, Lara returns to Ithicana with a plan not only to free its king, but for liberating the Bridge Kingdom from her father’s clutches using his own weapons: the sisters whose lives she spared. But not only is the palace inescapable, there are more players in the game than Lara ever realized, enemies and allies switching sides in the fight for crowns, kingdoms, and bridges. But her greatest adversary of all might be the very man she’s trying to free – the husband she betrayed.

With everything she loves in jeopardy, Lara must decide who – and what – she is fighting for: her kingdom, her husband, or herself.

352 pages, Kindle Edition

First published September 1, 2020

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About the author

Danielle L. Jensen

23 books8,229 followers
Danielle L. Jensen is the USA Today bestselling author of The Malediction Trilogy (Angry Robot), the Dark Shores series (Tor Teen), and The Bridge Kingdom series (Audible Originals). She lives in Calgary, Alberta with her family.

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5 stars
28,469 (45%)
4 stars
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3 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 5,923 reviews
Profile Image for jessica.
2,508 reviews31k followers
May 20, 2022
book #3 seriously cant come soon enough.


loving this book/series is as easy as breathing, and i inhaled it in one breath.

while i rated the first book 5 stars because i really had no reason not to, im giving this sequel 5 stars because i have EVERY reason to.

the characters, the plot, the world-building, the writing. everything is so developed, so thought-out, so engaging, so satisfying, and just so dang addicting. i really have no other way to describe it.

i also love the direction this series is going. im so happy the story is expanding beyond two books, but im also looking forward for the next two books to focus on a new couple. its like mini-duologies within one series. cant wait to see what happens next!

4.5 stars
Profile Image for ✨ Helena ✨.
365 reviews959 followers
May 31, 2022


Right. So, I'll be brief as to not spoil anyone.

I know Lara made some pretty major mistakes in the previous instalment, but I thought that she was treated a bit unfairly here, despite her vigorous efforts to make up for all of her wrongdoings. I absolutely LOVED meeting all of her sisters though and seeing how protective they were of each other. 💙 I also really want to see them bond with their brother, Keris, in the future books!

Aren, especially, frustrated me because he was so flip-floppy. He was a man who was so used to having his country AND his queen, that when faced with having to choose between the two...he turned into an indecisive idiot. I just wish that there'd have been a more satisfactory reunion for the two of them at the end of the book. It was a tad anticlimactic. That's literally the only criticism that I have.

But not to worry! There were some definite swoon-worthy parts that had me audibly squealing in happiness, despite the wee hours in the morning. I read this whole thing in two sittings, refusing to put it down until it was finished at 5am because YES...it was THAT GOOD.

I genuinely can't wait for the next two books in the series, even though it follows two new characters, who were introduced in this instalment. Watch me re-read The Bridge Kingdom and The Traitor Queen *again* before the end of the year, haha.

I HIGHLY recommend picking this series up, if you haven't yet. It's Danielle L. Jensen's best series to date...and that's saying something! ;)
Profile Image for Arini.
696 reviews1,548 followers
January 3, 2021

#1 The Bridge Kingdom — 4.25 Stars
#2 The Traitor Queen — 3.75 Stars

Reading this book was taxing.

It was like jumping hurdles after hurdles. Intense, plot driven, and action packed. I felt like I could barely catch my breath. I’m not exactly complaining because I like this kind of books, but pheww . . . give your girl a break. And I’m not just talking about me, but the heroine Queen Lara also.

She was trying hard and doing her best to make up for her mistakes while being treated rather unfairly by Aren and his people. I mean, I get it you’re hurt and angry and you feel betrayed, but let’s get over it and work things out together. It was frustrating at times, especially because Aren was behaving rather unkingly. Being fickle and indecisive.

Despite that, I’m honestly impressed with Lara. I feel like she was such a strong and unrelenting heroine. She endured A LOT in this book. And I absolutely loved the reunion she had with all her sisters and them doing a mission together to free Aren from their father’s clutches.

There were a lot of epicness in this book. However, at the same time, I feel like plotwise it was pretty anticlimactic and the romance was just downright disappointing. We were slightly backward in development from the previous book. Aren and Lara were mostly miserable and during the times when they were not, I wanted MORE.

That said, I’m on the fence about book 3.
Profile Image for Gillian.
109 reviews127 followers
January 11, 2023
“Awake or asleep, all I see is your face. All I hear is your voice. All I feel is you in my arms. All I want is you.”

I loved this book so much! This was a fantastic and action-packed fantasy romance about love, betrayal, revenge and the cost of power. The Traitor Queen follows Lara as she goes on a journey of hardship and love to save Aren. Along the way she meets new enemies and allies and learns more about herself.

This book is told from Lara and Aren's point of view. I was swept up in this brilliant world that the author created from the very beginning. The world building is amazing! This book has everything I wanted in fantasy romance including political intrigue, amazing characters, enemies to lovers romance, slow-burn and awesome chemistry between the two main characters. The pacing was perfect and the plot was exciting from the beginning till the end. The characters in the book were complex and interesting. My favorite character is Lara, she is fierce, badass, resilient, tenacious, brave, and caring towards the people she loves. I loved Lara's character development in this book, she grew so much and showed that she will do whatever it takes to protect Aren and Ithicana. I love Aren so much, he is handsome, brave, sweet, kind, charming, and strong. I really liked the new characters we were introduced to especially Lara's sisters and Zarrah. The chemistry between Lara and Aren was amazing and I loved their relationship. The spice was SO good!! The author is an excellent writer, the descriptive writing allowed me to vividly picture everything in my head. The ending was so great! I recommend this book to anyone who loves fantasy, romance, enemies-to-lovers romance and excellent characters.
Profile Image for Lucie V..
998 reviews1,633 followers
May 29, 2022
✅✅ Angst!!!
✅ Pace and plot
✅ Hate-to-love (again)
✅ Lara and Aren ❤️
✅ Action and fighting
✅ Badass and ruthless main character
✅ World-building
✅ Scheming and life-threatening situations
✅ Plot twists
✅ New characters
✅ Gorgeous cover

“Trusting you was my mistake. Loving you was my mistake.”

What an amazing book! What a wild ride! I couldn't put it down! ❤️

The Traitor Queen picks up a few months after the end of The Bridge Kingdom. Lara made some big mistakes in the first book and now she is trying to make up for them, and find a way to redeem herself.

She was the traitor queen. The reason Ithicana lost the bridge. The reason hundreds, if not thousands, of Ithicanians had perished.

I loved all the love/hate and the angst in this book. That, coupled with all the action kept me at the edge of my seat. I felt like crying for Lara at times, and I was so frustrated by the way she was treated (but at the same time I understand why they all hate her), but I enjoyed reading this book so much because of all these emotions and the angst.

“Forgive her. She loves you.” He dropped the old woman’s arm, feeling Lara’s gaze on him. Knowing she was listening.
“She doesn’t know what love is.”
“That’s why you should forgive her.”

The plot and the pace are great, and it was very easy to get absorbed into this adventure. There is still a political aspect weaved into the book, but it’s more about war and fighting rather than spying. The relationship aspect also takes a lot of room with Aren trying, but failing, to hate Lara, and Lara hating herself and trying to right her wrongs. The descriptions were slightly less atmospherical than in the first one, because Lara and Aren had to travel a lot, and could not spend long in one place, but at the same time, the world-building expanded, and we got to discover new places, which is always nice.

"There's no one in the world like you, you know."
"No, there isn't."
"Because there is only one Queen of Ithicana. Just as there is only one King. And if any of our enemies dare come for our kingdom, we will bring them to their knees."

There is a lot of action in this book! Nerve-wracking and heart-pounding moments. Lara is still a badass, and Aren shows us again how determined and fierce he is when comes the time to defend his country and his people. I missed the banter that we had in the first book, but the action and the pace of this book are so intense, that it definitely makes up for it! I couldn't put it down both times I read it. One thing that I disliked a tiny little bit is the constant time jumps in the first half of the book. What feels like a few days are actually weeks, and what feels like weeks are actually months.

She was right, and he knew it. But in his heart, he knew that even if he never saw her again for the rest of his life, it would never be over.
She would always be his queen.

Aren, while being amazing (and gorgeous), annoyed me a little in this book. I understand why he feels the way he does, I really do, but the fact that when he is asked to choose between his country and his queen, he is SO indecisive made me so frustrated at times! There are also a few times when he was asked to make a tough choice, and he just refused, which made it looks like he just wanted to please everyone and hold on to his moral standards, while also being in life-threatening situations and having to fight a war. A part of me also wanted to slap him for the way he treated Lara (even though she kind of deserved a part of it), but the angst-lover part of me was SO HAPPY! But even though he was a little annoying at times, I still love him with all my heart, and he is still great in this book.

“You are my goddamned damnation, but there will never be anyone but you.”

Lara is still feisty and driven, but she is also full of self-loathe in this book. She wants to redeem herself, but she has a lot of work to do. She knows she cannot hope or ask for forgiveness, but she wants to atone and free Ithicana before leaving and spending the rest of her life hidden somewhere. Being a sucker for hate-to-love romance, I was so happy to be able to have that dynamic a second time for Lara and Aren. While they are still officially married, the trust between them is clearly broken, and they need to rebuild everything between them from scratch. There are some cute and intense moments in this book too, and they are, without a doubt, one of my favorite fantasy couples.

I adore the new characters we meet in this book! Lara's sisters were great and I hope to see more of them in the next books. It is nice to see how they helped and protected each other despite everything that happened between them. I also like Keris very much, and I hope that he will not break my heart... I really want to like him and trust him, but I am afraid to be disappointed with him in the next book.

The ending is good and sweet, but I was hoping for something a little more meaningful and intense maybe...? There is no cliffhanger like in the first book since this is the end of Lara and Arren's adventure, and the next book will be about Keris and Zarrah. Lara and Aren were awesome, and I am definitely going to re-read this series in the years to come because I am utterly in love with them, but I am also very excited to read the next book because I know that Keris has the potential to steal the show and my heart too.

The Bridge Kingdom ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Artwork by Dominique Wesson

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Profile Image for SK.
210 reviews953 followers
June 19, 2022
"Lara, no matter where you are in the world, if you need me, I’ll come for you. Please know that.”

*screams into a pillow* Wow that was intense. I had high expectations and the book delivered.

The Traitor Queen is an action packed book. The world building stays elite, and it's so brilliantly written. The characters are well developed and I couldn't keep this book down (well once I found my rhythm). There were some parts in the book that dragged on a bit longer than required, in my opinion but the story never loses its touch.

Aren and Lara had me screaming and crying. I was for real sweating throughout the ending. The tension is real. Those two are such an iconic couple, it's hard not to root for them.

I liked Keris and Zarrah a lot, so am excited to see what the two have to offer in the next book. I'M SO EXCITED FOR IT!!

If only I could go back in time to a couple of days ago so I could read this series for the first time again 😭❤️
Profile Image for • Lindsey Dahling •.
283 reviews597 followers
September 8, 2020
It physically pains me to have to write this review. PHYSICALS. PAINS. ME.

The first book is complete and utter perfection. Zero flaws. Couldn’t put it down. Am prepared to be buried with it in my villainess tomb.

This one was......medium, at best.

The biggest problem, for me, was that the first one had the perfect combination of action, character development, slow burn romance, lovable characters, hilarious witty banter, and total badassery. Yet, this one only had action. That was it. You barely see the characters you loved from the first one. The healing of the slow burn romance isn’t really there. There IS a lot of regret and self-loathing, but that’s to be expected. It’s just sort of steady throughout. There’s no ebb and flow of it, if that makes sense. It’s a straight line. It doesn’t move deeper or into more shallow waters. It’s just....flat. There were maybe a couple of instances of very, VERY short banter. And a lot of instances of Aren simply looking off into space and magically knowing and understanding exactly what his enemy was thinking/plotting. Sigh.

I get it—the countries are at war. We knew that going in. But, it became exhausting to read because that was legit all the characters did. Everything else we loved about the first one took a backseat.

So, I suppose if you’re someone who reads strictly for plot, then you’ll love this book and will think I’m bananas (which is fair 😂). If you’re someone who reads for plot AND characters, romance, banter, and development.....then I need you to lower your expectations significantly before you begin this one. Like, lower than dirt level expectations. Maybe crater. Ocean floor.

I also probably should’ve given this 2 stars, but I can’t bring myself to do it. I blame 2020.
Profile Image for ALet.
277 reviews241 followers
May 16, 2021
Sadly didn’t enjoy this book as much as the first installment in the series. It still was an easy and fun read, but the plot was not that intriguing and really slow. The main characters felt a little bit too stiff, I understood their motivations, but that didn’t really help me enjoy the story more.

Still thrilled to read the next book in the series!
Profile Image for Ida.
128 reviews191 followers
September 14, 2020
All Hail the Traitor Queen
3.5 stars, but I rounded it up because Lara deserves it!

Not nearly as good as the first one, but still a fast-paced, action-packed and nerve-wracking rollercoaster I couldn't put down until the final page was turned. I know this book was released as an audio book long before the printed version, and I wonder if that has affected the editing..

Mini-rant for those of you who've already read the book.

Short RTC when I find the time.
Profile Image for ❀ Rose ❀.
294 reviews227 followers
October 29, 2021
4-4.5 stars.

🔹 Overall feelings:

〰 I really really liked it. The first book was, hands down, one of my favorite reads of 2019 so it’s safe to say that this was one of my most anticipated books of 2020. That said, although I had already bought the Baecrate exclusive editions of this duology, I also bought the e-book when I realized that I would only get my physical copies at the end of the month (and I wanted to read this right away which means that I just had to buy the e-book too... oops).

🔹 Plot:

〰 I have come to absolutely adore Danielle Jensen’s writing style and although this is the first series that I’ve ever read by her, it definitely won’t be the last. She just knows how to include everything I love into one small book. The traitor Queen was action packed, angsty, thrilling and just overall really enjoyable. The pacing of this book is great and the plot is amazing but what made me fall in love with this series are the characters. I read a lot of fantasy and read a lot of books with badass heroines but I think that Lara is definitely in my top 5 for most enjoyable/strong heroines of all time. Although her character development is great, Jensen still does an amazing job of showing just how strong Lara truly is even when she’s at her most vulnerable, which I really appreciated.

🔹 characters:

〰 I really liked the fact that Lara was not fully forgiven for her actions. Going into this book, my biggest concern was that Lara would be forgiven way too quickly, both by Aren and the Ithicanians. That however, was thankfully not the case. Throughout this book, Lara does EVERYTHING in her power to atone for the mess that she caused at the end of the first book but even by the end of this installment, she was still not a beloved queen and I thought that this aspect made the whole story more believable. Jensen also makes sure that you understand that this is the only possible ending that she could give us by reminding us a couple of times that the damage that Lara caused was definitely not small. That said, even if she sacrificed her life for Ithicana there will always be a chance that she will never be accepted or forgiven.

〰 As I said, I really really adored Lara in this installment. I’ve honestly never read a character who never tries to play the victim and who understands just how much her actions affected others. She then does the most selfless things ever knowing that even if she gave up her life trying to protect Ithicana, she would still not have fully repaid the debt that she owes its people. I found that my favorite scenes in this book were the ones where she was acting so damn selfless and strong. For example: the scene with the sandstorm (where she covers his face and not her own and then proceeds to try to get them to safety... my heart...*cries forever*), the scene on the snake island and so many others... ugh, all of it was just so good. And the reason these scenes were so dang good is because for once, we have the heroine who’s actually saving the hero and not the other way around. More often than not, Aren was the one in need of help and in need of saving and I found that aspect extremely refreshing.

〰 Although i’ve been gushing about Lara for a while now, I also can’t forget Aren. Even though Lara’s definitely my favorite, Aren was also an amazing character. The fact that he didn’t forgive Lara instantly made him more believable but the fact that he also couldn’t stay away from her made him more loveable. Even he finds himself sacrificing his own life numerous times in order to save his wife and let me just tell you, I freaking love them as a couple. The author does an amazing job of making you feel just how much they love each other and it’s honestly been a while since i’ve read a book where I felt like the characters would genuinely be miserable without each other. Overall, both main characters were absolutely amazing.

Secondary characters
〰 All absolutely amazing and just so enjoyable. Each character had a purpose in this story and each character deserves a book of their own. We’ll be getting Zarrah and Keris’ story next and I can’t wait.

🔹 Final thoughts:

〰 Overall, this series is definitely one of my top favorite series of all time and I will probably be re-reading it often. Danielle Jensen has cemented herself as a favorite of mine and I will probably be reading her entire backlist at some point. Although I wished some things were slightly different (for example, I wanted a more dramatic death for Lara’s father—this and some other minor issues that I had prevented me from giving this 5 stars), this series still remains an excellent series in my opinion and I highly recommend it!

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Profile Image for Maddy Max.
1,304 reviews60 followers
February 28, 2020
I feel like I've waited for The Traitor Queen for years instead of months. Also, I currently feel half-dead and can't quite believe that Lara and Aren's story is over. I adore Danielle L. Jensen as a person (she's awesome) and after months wondering if she was going to break my heart, I finally have the answer to that question: yes. She broke it a few times over the course of 66 chapters and every time it was totally worth it.

The Traitor Queen was action-packed, and Danielle L. Jensen played with my sanity, she scared me to death countless times, and simply made me feel way too much. It's pretty simple actually: it was perfect. And I'm going to miss the hell out of Aren and Lara. These two stole my (shattered) heart and I couldn't have loved them more - even if I tried.

But my love for The Traitor Queen isn't reduced to Lara and Aren (and how, may I repeat, Danielle scared the crap out of me). She imagined a world that I completely fell in love with and secondary characters that I want to see again asap. There's a lot of potential for future stories in said world, with said characters and I can only hope that I won't die of impatience.
But until then, let me tell you how I adored Lara's sisters. They were even more badass than I expected them to be. And Sahrina? I won't say much because I don't want to spoil anyone (who might read this) but she's my queen.
And Keris... damn that man is hot and smart and I need more of him. So much more. Same for Zarrah because she was such an interesting character!

I could go on and on for a long time but just know that this was absolutely amazing and I'm already feeling nostalgic. I'm a thankful mess.

Before reading/
You know what? F*ck it, I'm going to build that time machine myself.
May 9, 2021
I've neever thought I'd ever say this but probably there was a bit too much angst and self-loathing in this one. LOL! Considering that I'm usually the first sucker for such stuff and yet it still was a bit overmuch. While I get why this bit was written like that, it's still way too heavy on self-loathing.

Sharks to the plot rescue! Nice twist with the sharks. I loved it even though it felt like a bit of a cop-out.

Overall, a very dynamic fantasy. Great take on the fem angle.
Profile Image for Katherine.
262 reviews155 followers
November 10, 2020
I dont usually put spoilers, but I have thoughts on this book. 🧐

First, so much damn heartbreak 💔 Like, an insane amount. I felt like Lara needed a Therapist a few chapters into the book. The onslaught of emotions she went trough by her father, sisters, Ithicana--was a lot. Sure, she deserved it, but it was so damn much. 😵
I enjoyed the reunion with her sisters, I hope they return throughout the series.

Which leads me to another thing. At the end of the book, the author mentions that for book 3 were getting a new story from Zarrahs/Keris POV. What? 😌 excuse me! This is exciting!!!🧡

I'm kinda sad that the story wont continue with Lara and Aren. Yes, I know they will definitely appear in the other stories, but they wont be the highlight...but I'm excited for the other pov's.

I loved how Lara and Aren went from enemies to lovers, to enemies and back to lovers. The ending was great, but I dont know how much that shark myth will last for Lara. It's hard to believe that the loved ones of those that died could easily accept her as their Queen again. 🤔

Overall, I loved this! I read this book insanely fast. The action scenes, the forbidden love, the cutthroat way of Kings and Queens was captivating. I just wish we were getting 5 books from Lara and Arens perspective. But, I can see how if we truly want to immerse ourselves in this world we need multiple pov from other kingdoms. I will recover from my distress.. hopefully. 😅

Also, for my romance lovers there is one love scene. The slow burn is real 😂 Danielle Jensen you are too cruel.
(4) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Jessica .
2,048 reviews13k followers
June 1, 2021
SO MUCH ACTION AND ANGST! I really loved this book and how the plot was non-stop action. There was never a slow moment and I had no idea how Lara and Aren were going to fall back in love or how they were going to save Aren's people. So good! I loved how we saw more of Lara's sisters and how Aren had to fight his love for Lara with his hate for how she betrayed him in book one. I loved it and can't wait to read another book in this world about a different couple in book three!!
Profile Image for Aoife - Bookish_Babbling.
285 reviews303 followers
February 14, 2021
I preferred this to book1, the things I liked about the first instalment namely world & side characters were added to in this one, sadly just not nearly enough for this rating to be much higher 🤷‍♀️
I liked how the world expanded and the new characters that were introduced - but we did not get to spend nearly enough time with them (or Ahnna for that matter)! However the fact that the later books are rumoured to focus on some of these characters gives me hope and may entice me to pick them up. I cannot pretend I am not curious about the next pairing especially considering where this book left off altho I do hope we get some flashbacks to see how the strongly hinted at relationship began 😈 🤐
I'm also crossing my fingers and lowkey hoping for more page time for the amazing siblings that only got a small yet impactful cameo in this book. I'd really love to find out so much more about each of them - such interesting lives they could lead as mercenaries or just in general trying to pick up the pieces and/or putting their lives together despite what they've been put through. The stories and mental health representation that could be told through these PoV as each adjusts to a new normal while reckoning with their pasts could be fascinating novellas.
If this route is chosen please don't pair them all off and have "love" (ab)solve everything that came before - soz if the cranky cynical spinster is showing 🙈

On to what I disliked - AREN
I found him naive & irksome in book1. I couldn't see the amazing leader we were told he was and this just got worse for me in this book as he continued to make stupidly selfish decisions while being an absolute ass for a good 60% of the story & then doubled down with some more dumb decisions as the end neared...I just don't see how I'm supposed to like or root for him when almost every decision he made about his relationship seemed to be the wrong one and/or for dumb reasons! Or rather he'd make a seemingly right decision, but then fail to follow through & toss the cat amongst the pigeons with his actions *exasperated-sigh*

The ending was rather ridiculous & pretty far fetched even for a fantasy read - if anyone else has read this please share thoughts in spoiler tags below because erm...whut?! 🙄🤦‍♀️

Last thing that really got to me, was that this series is pitched as a sexy romance read?
Hard NOPE to this I'm afraid.
The sex scenes (one per book) were so misplaced imho!
Just NO!
I didn't particularly find them sexy as the timing of both were seriously WTF?! moments for me.
Am I alone here on this ledge of wth kind of timing was that for these scenes?

To finish on a more positive note Lara was much improved for me in this. Altho tbf, prob not hard considering so many of her choices were maddening in the first book. Sure the ending was kind of Mary Sue levels of ridic but I enjoyed her character arc and growth through the earlier parts of the story + seeing how she went about atoning for the consequences of her decisions & (in)actions in the previous instalment. The bad ass we were told about in the first book came to play, she had many action filled scenes to show off the training we were told about and her scheming + plotting was more interesting to read about than the vaguely boring poisoning and sneaking about activities of the earlier book. Plus she was willing to make the sacrifices that Aren kept foiling with his wishy washy back and forth inability to stick to his decisions *sigh*

Oops this was supposed to be ending on a positive note so prob best I not linger on the character that deffo irked me the most over both books but especially this one. Cannot say I'm not lowkey glad the rest of the series will follow other characters while I wait to see if I'll continue with it...guess it depends on price of kindle versions and/or whether my library gets copies 😅
I am curious to see how the next MCs handle the fall out from the ending of this book as it'll deffo move up their timeline & I'm wondering how this pairing will even work considering the Romeo + Juliet "our families are mortal enemies" type set up 🤔
I really hope wherever this series goes that the scheming long game MC we met in this book and the rule bending general don't become wishy washy love lost puppies that make silly decisions risking their kingdoms *ahem* & that the cameo scene stealing siblings make welcome returns somehow 😇
Although I'm not holding my breath on that front as sadly I think they may be fridged 😕
In saying that I would dearly love to be proven wrong on that front 🤗

I'm tempted to go 3.25* as I did like Lara more this time and the world expansion plus new characters were all fun but then I remember the OTT ending & Aren's (🤬) shenanigans and I cannot go higher than 3* ... this does, however give the series massive scope for improvement & based off the foreshadowed incoming MCs I hope it will 🤞
Profile Image for Abigail.
178 reviews32 followers
December 7, 2022
***Contains Spoilers***

Oh man, I really enjoyed the first book and I was dying to find out what happened. I was so disappointed in this book. It goes from crisis to crisis, the character development majorly lags/is non existent. Lara is wallowing in shame the whole time. Plot holes abound; Lara was right behind her father during that dance scene and she doesn't take the opportunity to slit his throat?! So I'm thinking Jensen has a better revenge death in mind for him, but then his death is just as quick in the end. They keep rehashing the same argument THE ENTIRE book. Aren is being a jerk the ENTIRE book. The whole dessert scene with Lara being caught as a thief would never have happened, and was so unnecessary. And then we dived way deep down the 'fantasy/physical impossibility' rabbit hole when there was a sex scene following Lara almost dying of blood loss from a near mortal leg wound that Aren stitches up for her. Whaaat?! Just so many problems with that scene. Questionable consent since someone who lost that much blood is not thinking straight. Not to mention no one's feeling frisky after losing that much blood. Also, what kind of sadist is Aren that he's turned on after sewing up layers of muscle and flesh while covered in her blood?! Gross, Bro. Not to mention the major infection risk. Ugh. And then, then afterwards he gets mad at her!!! I was definitely not loving the book already and then that scene put me over the edge.

In addition to all of that the ending was poorly thought out and then rushed. You made me suffer through all that misery for 2 minutes(audiobook only right now) of a happy ending?! Bogus. I feel cheated.

Likes: Lara and her Sister's relationships. Zara and Keris, definitely ship them.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Deborah Obida.
673 reviews596 followers
September 26, 2020
Just because a choice is hard doesn’t mean you don’t make it.

The Traitor Queen is the second book in this series and the last for this protagonist, The next book will feature different protagonist. This is not only a good book but an awesome conclusion to the story.

This book picked up a few months from where book 1 ended with Aren a prisoner of the Maridrinian king and Lara a prisoner of Ithanica. She was later released to help rescue Aren.

This book is action packed, the fight scenes were well depicted, I adore the characters. The presence of her sisters in this made it all the more better. I love the world building, it's barely above average but it was easy to understand. The book is written in dual narratives of Aren and Lara.

Lara was as great as ever, I loved her in this, she was remorseful for what she did but didn't let that dictate her life, she did all she could to make amends.

Aren was still cool, I loved him here also. The first half of the book was hard for him which is normal because he all but lost everything because he trusted the wrong person. But as the book progressed he moved on for the better.

I love this book, I highly recommend it.

Profile Image for marwah.
428 reviews599 followers
February 24, 2023
I’m the clown thinking i would give this five stars when I finished book 1 🤡🤡🤡🤡

- too long and boring picked up at the 75% mark there were some interesting scenes before but still

- aren acting like lara killed his whole family when all she did was lie. AS IF HE DIDNT MARRY HER TO MAKE PEACE OF COURSE SHES GOING TO LIE ABOUT SOMETHING. LIKE COME ON???


-Lara my love my queen I love you stay badass <3

- plot was all over the place



going to act like this book didn’t exist because it almost ruined book 1 for me 🌝 but still excited for book 3 :)

even though I have a feeling it will disappoint
Profile Image for AJ.
236 reviews92 followers
September 10, 2020
“Because there is only one Queen of Ithicana. Just as there is only one King. And if any of our enemies dare come for our kingdom, we will bring them to their knees.”

What a emotional, jaw dropping, action packed, intense and beautiful conclusion to Aren and Lara’s story!!

There were so many instances in this book when I wasn’t sure things were going to go right. Plans kept getting screwed up, emotions and anger at an all time high, action, battle and survival scenes that kept me on the edge of my seat! I couldn’t put this down and I truly considering grabbing popcorn at one point!

I’m a sucker for romance. If you read my reviews then you know there’s nothing that I love more than a beautiful romance. Aren and Lara’s love for each other was so undeniable, even though he tried hard to convince himself and every one else otherwise. The way they protected each other during their journey, saved each other’s lives on more than one occasion and wouldn’t stop fighting for their home and each other was just perfect! *chefs kiss*

I also enjoyed being reunited with characters I’d grown to love from book one, especially Jor. One of the best parts about this book? MEETING LARA’S SISTERS! You know how sisters normally fight, bicker and argue to no end? Usually they can’t stand each other but will protect each other against anyone? That sums up Lara and her sisters perfectly! And I can’t forget to mention their assassin level fighting skills! Very bad ass!

The ending was intense but perfect in my opinion. I think we got a wonderful ending for Aren and Lara.

Now about book 3! I don’t know whether I truly trust Keris but I was very intrigued by him, and I’m seriously interested in finding out what happened between him and Zarrah. Considering these two are completely opposites, (that obviously attract) I’m excited to read their story in the next book!!

5/5 ✰’s
Profile Image for marta the book slayer.
382 reviews807 followers
December 31, 2020
“To rule is a burden, but perhaps especially so for a king who enters his reign desirous of change, for he will spend his life wading against the current.”

Before we begin, an easy way to see whether I liked a book or not is whether I spent the time curating a playlist inspired by the characters and plot. Without further ado, I present to you my Spotify playlist. Enjoy

I didn’t think I would find myself here so soon, yet here I am writing a review for a sequel that took me only a day to read. I’ll be trying to keep out spoilers from this review but seeing as this is a sequel I won’t be avoiding discussing what happened prior to this novel. For a spoiler free review of the first novel head to my review linked below!

Lara and Aren find themselves in unfortunate circumstances following the cliffhanger in the first novel. After letting her run away with threats of killing her if she stayed, Aren is fighting for Ithicana and gets captured by Lara’s father. Lara learns of his capture and vows to make her amends by rescuing Aren to give Ithicana the chance of freedom.

This novel was an absolute rollercoaster. At every single moment my heart was pounding and I was nervous for both these characters. Their hatred toward one another (completely justified) intensified as the novel progressed and I thought I wouldn’t be able to make it to the end of the novel.

I was worried Lara’s actions would be forgiven too easily in the beginning of this novel to make room for the smut romance I was looking forward to. DLJ does not let it off the hook that easy and chapter after chapter reminds us of the consequences Lara’s actions had. This isn’t your typical lighthearted read because there is actually a war going on during the whole novel. This, the novel also doesn’t have too much of a romance. I think the series went from enemies to lovers back to enemies again with the start of this novel. You could tell that the love for one another was still buried deep and it hurt to read the drastic contrast of their words to each other with their inner feelings.

I read some reviews that hated how much Lara was disrespected and how annoying it became. I agree to a certain extent, however, every reaction she got was from new characters she didn’t interact with before. It wouldn’t make sense for her to only have one bad interaction and then miraculously everyone forgives her.

The ending was a bit too good to be true and the pacing was slightly too fast for me, but overall I think this was a dramatic conclusion to Lara and Aren’s love story; it was impossible to put down. I’m a little nervous about the next two books in the series which follow two characters introduced in this novel and have Lara/Aren serve as secondary characters. I still have my full faith in DLJ to deliver a fantastic read; can’t wait!

Unseen footage of me at my job after staying up finishing a novel for the first time in ~8 years:

1. The Bridge Kingdom Review: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
2. You're reading it ;)
Profile Image for Richard is [REDACTED].
208 reviews149 followers
February 23, 2023
Okay, I’ll admit that this one was better than the first book. But unfortunately not by much. The shorter chapters helped this feel quicker paced, but at the same time it was kind of annoying to switch POVs every two minutes. Especially because I’m not a fan of multiple POVs in books to begin with. And I like short chapters as much as anyone, but I expect them to be longer than a paragraph or two.

I enjoyed it more now that Aren was knocked down a peg or two and was less arrogant. Lara seemed more badass this time, but I was still not in love with these characters. I just don’t feel the tension between them. I actually like Lara’s sisters the most; especially Bronwyn. When they entered the picture; I found myself much more interested. When they exited; I was back to being bored.

The story was still pretty heavy on the political intrigue, that I don’t particularly care for. And the ending had me rolling my eyes. I really tried to love this series, but I’ve come to the conclusion that the author’s writing just doesn’t work for me. So this is the end of the line for me.

I also learned that this is an audio first publication and I’m surprised that the audiobooks were so poorly done. I would have expected better in that regard.
June 20, 2021
There's something. Something about this couple (mainly the hero) that's lacking. It's like, it's almost there but not quite.

Anyhow, something that I really love about this book is the world building. The descriptions of these places we went to. The desert, Valcotta and the islands. This is what always saved the book for me.

Because as per the romantic relationship, I didn't get it enough. Hell, Aren and Jor has a better relationship than him and Lara. I don't know why or where it went wrong, but I feel like there is something lacking between these two. It's like they're almost perfect. Almost.

But the world building.... It was one of the best.
Profile Image for Shauni .
275 reviews233 followers
December 8, 2020
I absolutely loved this book, even more than the first. With characters I had grown to love, non-stop action and sizzling romantic tension....I was fully invested in this book from page one. The ending wrapped up everything beautifully and left me 100% satisfied.
Profile Image for ✩ Yaz ✩.
486 reviews1,195 followers
September 4, 2020
5 - ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Traitor Queen played with my nerves to no end.

Did I love it? Hell yes! I could not put this book down.. at all.

When I read The Bridge Kingdom, before I even got to know to the story and the characters, Danielle’s has the ability to immerse her readers into her books from the very first page. I finished TBK in less than a day, same goes to TTQ.

Lara, the fiesty and fearless Queen of Ithicana, and Aren, the loyal and courageous King of Ithicana, are both characters that will always be dear to me. From the very start until the end, no once did I find them boring or bland and that says something about how Danielle handled their characterizations. Through dual POVS, I managed to understand and sort through both Lara’s and Aren’s thoughts and feelings which helped shaped them into characters with different layers and a dash of complexity. In TTQ, I felt their anguish, desperation, and hopelessness after all that went down. The tension between them and the struggle between succumbing their feelings or focusing their duty, which may mean putting the Kingdom first instead of one another, was deeply felt.

The plot had a great pacing and I was easily absorbed into the chaos from where we left off in the first book. It still maintained a fantastic blend of political intrigue, with more nerve-wrecking action scenes and tension-building. The world maintains its atmospheric feel to it but maybe a little less so than the first book, but due to the severity of the situation the characters could not dwell long in the same spot.

The most pleasant treat I was given in this book were Lara’s sisters. I mean, who wouldn’t want to see more women kick ass? They were an amazing addition and enjoyed their interactions with Lara and the other characters.

The romance was truly slow-burn despite Lara and Aren being Husband and Wife but due to an “misunderstanding” they had to rebuild their trust from scratch. However, their moments together still managed to make my heart butterflies flutter in a frenzy. They’re truly one of my favorite enemies-to-lovers couple.

But, me being me, have one point I just want to say: the ending was a little rushed. I needed an epilogue. I don’t want to part with them in a rush because I want to see the aftermath of all the blood-drenched battles and deaths.

Well... I may not had been robbed of that just yet since there are two more books that follow The Bridge Kingdom duology but they’re from the POVS of Prince Keris and General Zarrah and their warring Kingdoms.

Looking forward to reading more from Danielle L. Jensen, especially the upcoming Bridge Kingdom 3rd and 4th books.
Profile Image for Deema ♡.
136 reviews282 followers
November 10, 2022
“She was everything. Mind, body, and soul, she was everything he wanted. Everything he needed. The queen Ithicana needed.”

This book was an emotional adventure, and I’m obsessed with Lara and Aren. ❤️

The Traitor Queen is fast paced and plot driven. The many twists, obstacles, and fights make this book hard to put down. Sure some parts are more detailed than necessary, but the story is irresistible overall.

Lara and Aren are very well written in this book, and I liked getting to know Aren a bit better. Their romance is heartbreaking at times but still swoon worthy. A big theme explored is the parts that forgiveness and trust play in love. I screamed at intense moments, sighed with relief during tender moments, and I continue to adore their story.

While the plot is exciting, the characters are what have my heart and most of my attention. Many new supporting characters are introduced that are easy to like, admire, and sympathize with—especially Zarrah and Keris.

I loved The Bridge Kingdom, so I had high expectations for this book and it did not let me down. Danielle L. Jensen writes characters that are full of depth, creates worlds that are immersive, and gives readers stories that hurt as much as they heal. I highly recommend this series and am looking forward to the next book.
Profile Image for Laurens.Little.Library.
242 reviews2,317 followers
October 15, 2022
I read books 1 and 2 back-to-back, and my review for The Bridge Kingdom absolutely applies here as well. So instead of repeating myself, here are two things I loved about the series:

One of the strengths of Danielle’s writing is her ability to make side characters feel wonderfully defined. This large, fully-formed cast of characters significantly elevates the reading experience.

This was the first fantasy novel I’ve read which had a huge focus on trade between nations and the impacts it has on the country's economies. I’ll admit I never expected to find this in the fantasy romance genre. Not that there was any silliness in the novel that needed making up for, however, if there was, the exploration of trade is the perfect antithesis.
Profile Image for Sentranced Jem.
1,059 reviews568 followers
September 11, 2020

There were two fantasy book series that took me by absolute surprise this year, The Bridge Kingdom was one of the series.
I’ve never read Danielle L. Jensen’s books before and going into this, I went into it with an optimistic mind.

The first book from the series, The Bridge Kingdom (The Bridge Kingdom #1), surprised me so much and I was genuinely really looking forward to reading The Traitor Queen. I mean come on, I put an alarm on my calendar.

Let’s state the elephant in the room ok? Let’s put it out of the way…I LOVED The Traitor Queen by Danielle L. Jensen.
Did I like it more than The Bridge Kingdom? Surprisingly, a big resounding YES!

While The Bridge Kingdom had more elements of romance in it, The Traitor Queen didn’t (have no fear, there were just the right amount of romance). What The Bridge Kingdom lacked in, The Traitor Queen delivered tenfolds.

The Traitor Queen by Danielle L. Jensen is definitely my new found obsession. It was angsty and full of action and adventure. I’ve read my fair share of fantasy books with ‘action & adventure’ but this book literally took my breath away.
The scenes in this book were AMAZING! The way Danielle L. Jensen describes the scene unfolding infront of you is absolutely mind-blowing.

I’d like to declare once again that I LOVE authors who write AMAZING secondary characters. Lara and her sisters are outstanding! Words would never be good enough to explain how ruthlessly breathtaking these women truly are. A huge standing ovation!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I’d like to introduce you to my new book girl-crush, Lara.
This character blows my mind away. She is dazzlingly breathtaking. She is brave, smart, ruthless and she is beyond capable and willing to push herself through the worst sort of circumstances for the greater good. Her capacity to endure hardship is nothing sort of astonishing.

I admire Lara so much. She is an enigma: fearless and brave, tough and kind, selfish yet selfless…did I mention she’s brave? She is one of THE bravest character I’ve read in a while.

Even with me enjoying this book so much,I was not ready for the AMAZING-NESS of this book. This book was emotional AND action packed people! It’s the “your heart will legit stop beating” kind of emotional and action packed book. You guys need to read this book..I can’t emphasis enough how much you need this book.

I am in a MAJOR book hangover after reading The Traitor Queen.

The Traitor Queen by Danielle L. Jensen is MUST MUST read.
Profile Image for Stacey.
1,447 reviews1,158 followers
March 22, 2020
It all comes good in the end...

I've been planning to write a review for The Traitor Queen for days but I struggled to find the right words to express my feelings. I really enjoyed listening to the audiobook and found it extremely hard to pause and step away from this action-packed story.

I loved getting back to The Bridge Kingdom but admit to having a hard time with how long it takes for Lara and Aren to be reunited. It was even harder knowing that Aren is feeling betrayed by Lara and hates her for what her betrayal has done to his people. Aren's guilt is even worse because while he is captured, he is taunted with proof that his people are being punished for his bad judgement.

I really like Lara and Aren individually and completely understood where they were both coming from. Lara has made mistakes but she's willing to risk her life to fix some of them. Aren is sick of his people suffering because of greed and selfishness. They must both learn to trust each other again and stand up for what they believe in.

Now, after that introduction, I'm sure that a lot of people who haven't read the first book are scratching their heads not knowing what the heck I'm talking about. Sorry!!!

As you might have guessed, this is not the kind of story you can come in and "catch up". You need to see Lara and Aren's relationship from the very beginning. You also need to know what Lara has lived through up until she is with Aren. It's not pretty and will even turn your stomach knowing what Lara's father is capable of.

The narrators do a fantastic job bringing the characters to life and I really enjoyed listening to James Patrick Cronin's narration.

I love the characters, the storyline kept my attention from start to finish and I had my fingers crossed that a certain person would come to his very deserved end. There are a few things that have been left unanswered and unfinished, so I hope Danielle L. Jensen doesn't keep me waiting too long to get my answers.

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