Audience: Young adult fantasy
Length: 464 pages
Author: Kendare Blake
Publisher: Quill Tree Books
Release Date: September 4th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads
Queen Katharine has waited her entire life to wear the crown. But now that she finally has it, the murmurs of dissent grow louder by the day. There’s also the alarming issue of whether or not her sisters are actually dead—or if they’re waiting in the wings to usurp the throne.
Mirabella and Arsinoe are alive, but in hiding on the mainland and dealing with a nightmare of their own: being visited repeatedly by a specter they think might be the fabled Blue Queen. Though she says nothing, her rotting, bony finger pointing out to sea is clear enough: return to Fennbirn.
Jules, too, is in a strange place—in disguise. And her only confidants, a war-gifted girl named Emilia and her oracle friend Mathilde, are urging her to take on a role she can’t imagine filling: a legion-cursed queen who will lead a rebel army to Katharine’s doorstep.
This is an uprising that the mysterious Blue Queen may have more to do with than anyone could have guessed—or expected.
That’s how I felt the entire time I was reading this book. I was hoping after really enjoying book two that this was going to keep going on an uphill trajectory. Instead I’m left a little confused and a little like, should I even bother with the finale?
One of my main issues was the addition of more characters. I thought it was unnecessary in the way it was done (through dreams/visions) and took up a lot of page time. It did have a point at least and made sense to understand part of the island. But since these characters haven’t really been discussed and the flashback method not really used until now it was bothersome.
Somehow I still found myself listening [most of the time]. There’s something about the writing style that has been really good as an audio book. While enjoyable to listen to, the middle book syndrome of nothing really happening was clearly present until the last 50 pages of the book. There was a lot of ho-humming, running around and nonsense political meetings until FINALLY I got some sort of battle scene/skirmish ensued. I was actually hoping for more drama.
The queens did grow and I can actually see some character changes from them going through these trials and having to deal with the magic of the island. It has made them easier to cheer for and curious as to where their fate lies. Everything is dark and even kinda creepy. The mystery of the island is AT LAST unwinding.
Overall audience notes:
- Young adult fantasy
- Language: none
- Romance: some kisses and not even there love scenes
- Violence: swords, poison, physical, magic, ship wrecks, deadly mist
- Trigger warning: brief sexual assault (unwanted touching)