The Orchid Throne Audiobook by Jeffe Kennedy (REVIEW)

Posted by on Dec 17, 2019 in Reviews | 16 comments

Review of: The Orchid Throne
Jeffe Kennedy

Reviewed by:
On December 17, 2019
Last modified:December 14, 2019


The Orchid Throne Audiobook

By: Jeffe Kennedy

Narrated by: Elizabeth Brook

Published by: Tantor Audio 9/24/19

The Orchid Throne (Forgotten Empire #1) by Jeffe Kennedy read by Elizabeth Brook

4.5 stars rating

Forgotten Empires #1

10 hrs and 39 mins

Genre: Fantasy

The Orchid Throne Audiobook Sample

The Orchid Throne Audiobook

4.5 Hearts

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.

The world is set in a fantasy world where magic exists, but the newly risen emperor claims that it doesn’t and kills any wizards he can find. He’s also taken over every kingdom around and enslaved or killed the former royal family. That is every kingdom but Calanthe. The king of Calanthe betrothed his young daughter to the emperor. But how long can she keep him as fiance before he insists on taking her as his bride in truth.

Euthalia, or Lia, plays herself as a debutant queen, now that her father has passed on. She goes through all the rituals that are expected of her. She stays completely away from the lush, extravagant parties that her island kingdom is known for, to ensure her reputation as the virgin queen. She’s also extremely sly with many spies feeding her information, not only in her kingdom, but throughout the empire. She’s much smarter than she lets on.

Conrí, or Con, is a former crown prince of a now non-existent kingdom. He was forced to work in vurgstun mines, bringing out the explosive rock which helped the empire rise to power. The work in the mines have made him strong, but also did a number on his lungs as he breathed in the dust. He and the other miners stage an uprising, and where he becomes the new Slave King, of no kingdom, set on revenge for his family.

This is a great start to a fantasy series. I’m extremely excited to see what happens in book two. I really love the characters in this series. Not only Con and Lia, but many of the side characters including Sondra, Con’s childhood friend, and Ambrose, the wizard who found him. I also have to mention, Merle, Ambrose’s raven (or I should say that Ambrose is Merle’s wizard). I have always been a fan of pets in stories, even more so when they are more than just pets

The Orchid Throne Audiobook Narration

3.5 Hearts

This is my first time listening to Elizabeth Brook. I have to admit that I really like her voice. I didn’t even mind her different character voices. The issue I had with her, was that I had a hard time telling which POV she was referencing. There was no difference in tone between Lia’s POV and Con’s. Part of me thinks that this would’ve been better with dual narration and had a man read Con’s POV. That being said, I would totally listen to the next book in this series.

Author Head Shot: Jeffe Kennedy

Author: Jeffe Kennedy

Jeffe Kennedy is an award-winning author whose works include novels, non-fiction, poetry, and short fiction. She has been a Ucross Foundation Fellow, received the Wyoming Arts Council Fellowship for Poetry, and was awarded a Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Award.

Her award-winning fantasy romance trilogy The Twelve Kingdoms hit the shelves starting in May 2014. Book 1, The Mark of the Tala, received a starred Library Journal review and was nominated for the RT Book of the Year while the sequel, The Tears of the Rose received a Top Pick Gold and was nominated for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Best Fantasy Romance of 2014. The third book, The Talon of the Hawk, won the RT Reviewers’ Choice Best Fantasy Romance of 2015. Two more books followed in this world, beginning the spin-off series The Uncharted Realms. Book one in that series, The Pages of the Mind, has also been nominated for the RT Reviewer’s Choice Best Fantasy Romance of 2016 and won RWA’s 2017 RITA® Award. The second book, The Edge of the Blade, released December 27, 2016, and is a PRISM finalist, along with The Pages of the Mind. The next in the series, The Shift of the Tide, will be out in August, 2017. A high fantasy trilogy taking place in The Twelve Kingdoms world is forthcoming from Rebel Base books in 2018.

She also introduced a new fantasy romance series, Sorcerous Moons, which includes Lonen’s War, Oria’s Gambit, The Tides of Bàra, and The Forests of Dru. She’s begun releasing a new contemporary erotic romance series, Missed Connections, which started with Last Dance and continues in With a Prince.

In 2019, St. Martins Press will release the first book, The Orchid Throne, in a new fantasy romance series, The Forgotten Empires.

Her other works include a number of fiction series: the fantasy romance novels of A Covenant of Thorns; the contemporary BDSM novellas of the Facets of Passion; an erotic contemporary serial novel, Master of the Opera; and the erotic romance trilogy, Falling Under, which includes Going Under, Under His Touch and Under Contract.

She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with two Maine coon cats, plentiful free-range lizards and a very handsome Doctor of Oriental Medicine.

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Narrator: Elizabeth Brook

A classically trained actress, avid reader, and admirer of all things historical, Elizabeth Brook brings an honesty and depth to the characters and stories she voices. When she’s not in the booth recording, she can be found hiking anywhere she can find a trail.

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I like to thank Tantor Audio for providing me with a copy of this Audiobook in exchange for an honest review.


Reviewed by:

ML Simmons Reviewer

  • 4.5
    editor rating
Melanie Simmons
I’m Melanie and I live in Ohio. I have two horses and a dog. I’m an animal lover, avid book reader and audiobook listener. I like to live vicariously through fictional characters. I enjoy reading and listening to mostly fictional books in the paranormal genre, including Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance and Horror. My favorite paranormal creatures are shifters, doesn’t matter the flavor.


  1. Oh yes I had a really nice time with this one!

    • It was a great story. I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.

  2. That sounds pretty good and I love the cover for it.

  3. I have not seen a lot of reviews on this so I am excited to see that you really enjoyed this one 😀 I also thought it sounded so good.

    • I really had a great time with this story. I can’t wait to get my hands on book two.

  4. Kicking off a good one it sounds like. I’m dreadfully all over the place with her other connected series reading them willy nilly, but I do love her writing.

    Good to know that you really have to pay attention to changing POVs with this narrator.

    • This series is completely unrelated to the Twelve Kingdom’s series. I did enjoy the narrator other than not realizing when the POV changed.

  5. Nice review. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I struggled with reading the book, so I put it on “pause,” and I hope to pick up the audiobook to try it again.

    • It did take me a bit to get into the story at first, but it is really good.

  6. I do want to try this author. Maybe I will have to grab an audiobook. This does sound like a great place to start. Great review!

    • This would be a great place to start. A brand new series and world.

  7. This is an author I’ve not tried, and the audio appeals. Adding to my list 🙂

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