(The Queens of Renthia, #1)
Release Date: September 20, 2016
Publisher: Harper Voyager; 353 pages
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 honestly didn’t know if this book was YA or Adult but by the publisher, I was guessing adult. I was a bit thrown off when we started the story and our main character is six years old. Then by the end of that chapter, she’s ten. Then in the next chapter, she’s fifteen. It was weird pacing of how she aged but I understand why this was necessary. You wanted to get her history without telling us; the author wanted to show us and for that, I’m grateful.
The pacing was a bit slow for the majority of the book but in this case, I don’t think it’s a bad thing at all. Not all books have to be so fast paced that you’re at the last chapter before you even realize it. It was satisfying and I was able to savor the details of this story a bit more. However, the last third of the book was impossible to put down. My vision was becoming blurry at that point and I didn’t care; I had to finish.
Daleina has been through a lot in her young life but her attitude and her presence is astonishing. She’s pleasant, fierce, strong, determined (especially so), loving, intelligent and realistic. She knows what she can do it and she accepts what she can’t. But sometimes, your weaknesses can become your strengths and I really wish she realized this more in the story.
Ven was interesting. I liked him a lot but there were times, when it involved Queen Fara, that I really thought he was stupid. Obviously, he was thinking with the wrong brain in those situations and he’s lucky it didn’t get him killed. He’s a fantastic teacher and really, a fantastic friend.
Healer Hamon was adorable. I was wondering, when he was introduced, what his role would be in this journey and I’m so glad he became a big part of it. He’s passionate, in both his job as a healer and those he cares about. He’s confident in his abilities. He’s loyal and he’s outspoken.
I was trying to think of why it’s an adult book, because the romance isn’t a major factor and when there are scenes, they kind of fade to black and the reader uses their imaginations on what went down. But then, scene after scene after scene, there’s blood and violence and destruction. This book is very violent. And the violence, in a lot of cases, is pretty detailed that you can clearly see it in your mind.
I can’t wait to see what the next book brings!
Thank you so much to Harper Collins for allowing me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
***I had this review written back in September when I read the book but I never posted it due to my lack of interest in blogging. I only blogged when I had scheduled obligations (ie: blog tours). I'm currently playing catch up from my really bad year in 2016...***