Published by Harper Voyager on September 20th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Adult Fantasy
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.
So, Queen of Blood was a book that I decided to pick up on a whim and because it is one of the books I bought last year and I am trying to read as much of those as I can. After the disappointment that was Dark Breaks the Dawn, I went into this with low expectations. But at the same time I was intimidated because it is an adult fantasy and I just find that to be a little… intimidating for me?
But oh my god, I was not disappointed at all. I can tell you that this book is now going on my favorites shelf till the end of time.
I’m going to be honest and say there was nothing I disliked about this book. This book was the perfect mixture of action, slight horror and some comical moments. Gosh, this entire book was just so different than what I had read before. It takes a lot of familiar concepts that you find in fantasy and does completely different things with them. The way the Queen is selected and how she is to rule the land… I just have so many feelings I don’t even know what to do with myself.
The setting and worldbuilding was so interesting. Villages are built in trees, and if I can remember correctly, I am pretty sure that the palace is also built around a tree which is pretty darn cool. The way the Queens are selected was so interesting and I myself have never seen that in a fantasy novel, so that was quite unique. In this world, there are spirits in everything which is quite terrifying because everything is so unsafe and you never know when a spirit will come out and try to kill you.
Don’t trust the fire, for it will burn you.
Don’t trust the ice, for it will freeze you.
Don’t trust the water, for it will drown you.
Don’t trust the air, for it will choke you.
Don’t trust the earth, for it will bury you.
Don’t trust the trees, for they will rip you.
Rend you, tear you, kill you dead.
What made this novel for me was the characters. Usually, in fantasy, you always have a main character who is so special and so powerful. Here we have Dailena who is the complete opposite. Yes she has power, but this girl has to work hard for her power and to prove she is capable to become an heir even though so many people keep telling her she won’t make it and that she isn’t good enough. Despite all of the challenges she goes through, she remains true to herself, helpful, resourceful… I just loved this character.
Another character I really loved was Champion Ven. He was a different type of character than what I usually see in YA fantasy, even though this is adult fantasy. It was just a breath of fresh air for me. The thing I loved the most about this book is the relationship between Ven and Dailena. I don’t think that I have personally seen a relationship like that in fantasy (I’m talking a father/mentor/daughter relationship) and it was just so adorable and my gosh I just loved it.
To sum up my fangirling, I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to read a good fantasy with elements of adventure, a little horror, and competition with some light-hearted comedic moments.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- FLIGHTS OF FANTASY 2017