The Key by Jennifer Anne Davis
Published October 4, 2017
Seventeen-year-old Rema lives in a brutal kingdom where travel between regions is forbidden, people are starving, and looking at someone the wrong way can mean death. Nineteen-year-old Darmik is the king’s son and Commander of the King’s Army. He spends his days roaming the island, doing his father’s bidding and trying to maintain control over the people.
When a chance encounter throws Rema and Darmik together, they share an instantaneous connection, but any sort of relationship between them is strictly forbidden. Darmik’s brother, the Crown Prince, notices Darmik’s interest in Rema and, in a calculated, political move, blackmails her. Faced with an impossible choice, Rema is forced to sacrifice her heart in order to save her family.
As Rema is taken to the palace with the Crown Prince, Darmik confronts the growing rumor that a legitimate blood heir to the throne exists and is trying to overthrow Darmik’s family. In Darmik’s quest to hunt down and kill the threat, he discovers that nothing is as it seems. Locked in the king’s castle, Rema finds herself a key player in a massive power struggle. When Darmik shows up, she’s not sure if she can trust him. The line between friends, enemies, and loyalty becomes blurred. As truths are unlocked, Rema understands that she just might be the key to finding the rightful heir and restoring peace to the kingdom . . . if she can manage to stay alive long enough.
Rema doesn’t want to marry, but her guardians feel it’s time and start entering into an agreement with the neighbor boy who grew up with Rema. They seem to get along together, and it’s a small town. The catch is her guardians know who Rema truly is, and there is reason to not look outside the town they currently call home.
Fate however throws in a nasty twist. Rema runs into the younger prince Darmik. She loves running free, and the prince is immediately taken by her. His brother finds out, and because Darmik is interested in her, so is his brother. His brother is the evil brother, and always gets his way. Him finding about Darmik’s interest in Rema does not mean good things for her family.
Darmik is responsible for keeping his family safe, which is not easy with his older brother and father’s cruelty to the people they rule over. Now there is a rumor sprouting an heir of the previous crown survived the takeover. Darmik begins to investigate, and learns of a few secrets around the takeover and truths behind the rumor.
This story was captivating, and I remember loving it while I was reading it. I did have to go back through the book to remember what happened as I was getting it confused with a few others. I think I do still want to read the next book of the series, now that I’ve been reminded of this story and what happened, the memories and love for the story are also coming back.