Reading Level: Young Adult
Length: 368 pages
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release Date: July 4, 2017
Stand Alone or Series: 2nd book in the Queens of Renthia series
Source: eGalley from Edelweiss
Rating: 5/5 stars
“Not long ago, Daleina used her strength and skill to survive those spirits and assume the royal throne. Since then, the new queen has kept the peace and protected the humans of her land. But now for all her power, she is hiding a terrible secret: she is dying. And if she leaves the world before a new heir is ready, the spirits that inhabit her beloved realm will run wild, destroying her cities and slaughtering her people.
Naelin is one such person, and she couldn’t be further removed from the Queen—and she wouldn’t have it any other way. Her world is her two children, her husband, and the remote village tucked deep in the forest that is her home, and that’s all she needs. But when Ven, the Queens champion, passes through the village, Naelin’s ambitious husband proudly tells him of his wife’s ability to control spirits—magic that Naelin fervently denies. She knows that if the truth of her abilities is known, it will bring only death and separation from those she loves.
But Ven has a single task: to find the best possible candidate to protect the people of Aratay. He did it once when he discovered Daleina, and he’s certain he’s done it again. Yet for all his appeals to duty, Naelin is a mother, and she knows her duty is to her children first and foremost. Only as the Queen’s power begins to wane and the spirits become emboldened—even as ominous rumors trickle down from the north—does she realize that the best way to keep her son and daughter safe is to risk everything.”
This is the second book in the Queens of Renthia series. I absolutely loved this book and have loved all the books in this series so far. This is a fantasy series; while it is appropriate for YA it features a lot of adult characters.
I love the world and the characters in here. The writing is easy to read and flows well. I have a really hard time putting this book down and ended up reading it very quickly.
I enjoyed seeing Daleina on the throne and struggling through her reign. However, even better was the new character of Naelin. Naelin is an older woman with two kids and a rather childish husband. I don’t read a lot of fantasy featuring women in their 30’s so it was a fun change. I loved watching Naelin try to balance her responsibilities with her children. I also love how she stood up for herself and realized that she didn’t have to stay in her loveless marriage.
There is some nifty magic in here and I adore this world where the nature spirits are out to rid the world of humanity. The fact that humanity is constantly in a struggle with basic spirits of earth, fire, etc adds a lot of urgency to the story. I also enjoy how each Queen and heir deals with controlling these spirits in a slightly different way.
Overall I absolutely loved this book; I love the characters and the world and how beautifully it’s all written. I am finding that Sarah Beth Durst is becoming one of my “go to” authors when I want a solid and well done story. I would definitely recommend this series to fantasy fans.