In The Shift of the Tide, Jeffe Kennedy's newest epic romance, is filled with an abundance of adventure and peril, along with a terrific love story. I love shapeshifters, and Kennedy’s marvelous Zynda transforms to creatures both epic and mundane on her journey to understanding her mission and her own heart.
I've always loved Zynda, who shapeshifts in Kennedy's earlier 12 Kingdoms and Uncharted Realms series. Here, she takes center stage, as a prickly-pear of a woman who smooths to a peach as self-awareness and love blossom. At first, Zynda is hard to love and as cold as the fish she can become. She's focused on her personal mission for her people, the Tala, to the exclusion of all else. But as events collide with her worldview, Zynda becomes more — a woman who ultimately becomes a magnificent heroine with a brave and loving heart.
Zynda’s counterpoint on her journey is Marskal, leader of the queen's Hawks. He’s a quiet man, one that’s hard to read. But it soon becomes apparent where his heart resides, in the care of Zynda's not-so-careful hands. Quiet and brave, Marskal burns as a man who never shies from the hard decisions. I fell in love with him.
The novel's compelling buildup turns electric with threats not only to Queen Ursula’s kingdom, but to the Tala themselves. Zynda's evolution comes with many surprises and terrible danger, but the outcome proves beyond satisfying. Along with Zynda and Marskal, I delighted in revisiting many of the characters from Kennedy's earlier novels—King Rayfe and Queen Andi, Jepp and Kral, Ami and Ash, and others. Of course, my favorite was the dragon, Kiraka, who’s full of surprises.
By the time I'd turned the last page, all I could think about was more. I wanted more of Kennedy's world and more of Kennedy's people. So it’s time for me to re-read The Mark of the Tala as I wait expectantly for the next book in Kennedy’s outstanding series.