The Bird and the Blade by Megan Bannen

As a slave in the Kipchak Khanate, Jinghua has lost everything: her home, her family, her freedom … until the kingdom is conquered by enemy forces and she finds herself an unlikely conspirator in the escape of Prince Khalaf and his irascible father across the vast Mongol Empire. On the run, with adversaries on all sides and an endless journey ahead, Jinghua hatches a scheme to use the Kipchaks’ exile to return home, a plan that becomes increasingly fraught as her feelings for Khalaf evolve into a hopeless love.

Jinghua’s already dicey prospects take a downward turn when Khalaf seeks to restore his kingdom by forging a marriage alliance with Turandokht, the daughter of the Great Khan. As beautiful as she is cunning, Turandokht requires all potential suitors to solve three impossible riddles to win her hand—and if they fail, they die.

Jinghua has kept her own counsel well, but with Khalaf’s kingdom—and his very life—on the line, she must reconcile the hard truth of her past with her love for a boy who has no idea what she’s capable of … even if it means losing him to the girl who’d sooner take his life than his heart.

The Bird and the Blade is a lush, powerful story of life and death, battles and riddles, lies and secrets from debut author Megan 

Jan’s Review

A story that is rich with historical intricacies, full of humbling tender romance, and clever riddles. I was wrapped up in this story from the first few pages. I did not know how much this book would tug at my heart strings not knowing that it was to have a tragic ending. That tragic ending though was the best way to end the story and yes it made me bawl. The story is a fantasy romance that hinges on our main characters undying love for a man who owns her as a slave. He has no true idea of who she is or how she came to be his slave. Only that she on this heart wrenching journey with him to help him save his kingdom. The only thing i can tell you is go into knowing it has a tragic ending and i think you will come out of it at the other end all right. It a great stand alone novel.

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