Reading Level: Adult
Length: 368 pages
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release Date: September 20, 2016
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Queens of Renthia series
Source: eGalley from NetGalley for Review
Rating: 5/5 stars
“An idealistic young student and a banished warrior become allies in a battle to save their realm in this first book of a mesmerizing epic fantasy series, filled with political intrigue, violent magic, malevolent spirits, and thrilling adventure
Everything has a spirit: the willow tree with leaves that kiss the pond, the stream that feeds the river, the wind that exhales fresh snow . . .
But the spirits that reside within this land want to rid it of all humans. One woman stands between these malevolent spirits and the end of humankind: the queen. She alone has the magical power to prevent the spirits from destroying every man, woman, and child. But queens are still just human, and no matter how strong or good, the threat of danger always looms.
With the position so precarious, young women are chosen to train as heirs. Daleina, a seemingly quiet academy student, is under no illusions as to her claim to the throne, but simply wants to right the wrongs that have befallen the land. Ven, a disgraced champion, has spent his exile secretly fighting against the growing number of spirit attacks. Joining forces, these daring partners embark on a treacherous quest to find the source of the spirits’ restlessness—a journey that will test their courage and trust, and force them to stand against both enemies and friends to save their land . . . before it’s bathed in blood.”
I got a copy of this book to review through NetGalley. I was a little leery to start yet another YA fantasy series but this ended up being a really really well done book. Durst creates an amazing fantasy world, the story is incredibly engaging and hard to put down, and I loved the characters.
Right from the first page the story pulls you right in. You see what a capricious child Daleina is and quickly her life goes from one of simplicity to tragedy.
I really enjoyed the idea of spirits inhabiting the land and being held in check by a Queen. It was an interesting balance between the spirits and the humans and I am curious to see how it plays out in future books.
Daleina is an amazing character and she grows and changes a lot throughout the story. I also really enjoyed many of the supporting characters; you really got to know them as well and care about them.
Things are tied up nicely but there is definitely room for the story to be expanded in future books.
Overall this was an incredibly well written and engaging read. I loved the creative world, the fast-moving plot, and the amazing characters. I would definitely recommend to fantasy fans. I will definitely be reading any follow-up books set in this world.