Monday, July 10, 2017

The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst

Series: The Queens of Renthia
368 p.
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Published: 9/20/16
Source: From author for review
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.
My thoughts:

I really enjoy Sarah Beth Durst's work and was excited to get this one, especially since I had the next ready once I finished it. I was not disappointed with this addition to her work and I really enjoy this author's imagination.

This is mostly a story about Daleina who doesn't exactly want to be queen but be an important part of protecting her realm. Her magic is different than the others as well as weaker, but her determination makes up for the rest. She also seems consumed by her quest and being simultaneously pushed and supported by her sister she forges ahead. In the end she makes several life altering decisions including who she wants to be in this world, but plans never work out the way we intended. She is forced into another decision and that leads us to the end of the first book. A satisfying ending but still not a completely happy one either.

I should also mention some of the other secondary characters who really enhance the worldbuilding and play nicely off our heroine. None are perfect but their imperfections really make the character. Ven is an interesting character we know we will see again but I have to say my favorite was Bayn the wolf. I won't explain more about that character, you will just have to see for yourself.

While I would consider this one to be YA, I think adults would also enjoy this fantasy. The worldbuilding is unique and I really am curious about the spirits they rely on and fear. It is a interesting mix of emotions and precarious trust (and total lack of trust) between both. It also leads to many questions about this world that aren't answered here but the lack of those answers aren't frustrating as we are learning as the characters learn.

I give this book 4 stars and I highly recommend it everyone. I really think it will appeal to those that enjoy fantasy and a unique world. It will make you crave the next book.

๐ŸŒณ

35 comments:

  1. Ohhh I think I would like it too

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    1. I do... especially the second book (and review coming up shortly).

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  2. I love fantasy and have been hearing a lot about this series lately so I just have to pick it up. Glad you're enjoying this so much--I can't wait to dive in!

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    1. Oh try her books! I think you'll really like her work.

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  3. OMG I neeed to read this. I've had it on my shelf forever! Thanks for the reminder. I am really looking forward to it.

    For What It's Worth

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  4. I haven't read anything by this author, but I'm glad to hear this was another good read by her! I love when books have wonderful secondary characters.

    -lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. Oh I enjoy her work. You could try some of her standalones.

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  5. Dang I almost grabbed this! I guess I should have. ;) So glad this was a good one!

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  6. I wanted to love this one more than I did but I agree that the worldbuilding was unique. I don't know if I would say YA, but it does expand her entire childhood and adulthood right? I'm kind of curious about the next book, because it seems like the MC might not be the focus!

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    1. I think you'll love the second one more than this one. All I will say right now. ;)

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  7. This sounds like a great start to the series!

    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

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  8. I love unique world building. Glad this also appeals to adults as I have struggled with YA for awhile.

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    1. Me too. I think a unique world really amps up my interest in a book.

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  9. I started reading this in Barnes & Noble one day when I had some time to kill and was hooked. I haven't bought it yet though but I will, especially now that #2 is coming out. Can't wait to read these. I love the idea of the nature spirits and how dangerous they are.

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    1. Sweet. I think you'll really like the second one as well.

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  10. Okay. This is new to me, but I think I'd like it. Thanks for sharing about it.

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  11. I like that the world and magic are unique Melissa. I have not tried Durst. Would you recommend this series or another?

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    1. Honestly I like all her work that I've read. I'd say go for some of her standalones and see if she works for you. She also has a kids book out about dragons I haven't read but might be good for Nonna's Corner! :)

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  12. Ohh, I think I will enjoy this one. And I love the cover ;)

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  13. I really like some of the author's Ya books and had ordered this one for my library. I was so bummed that I missed seeing the author at ALA but I couldn't clone myself to go to all of the events that I wanted. I'm glad the second book is already out. It's in my tbr pile. :)

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    1. I think you'll like this one. Can't wait to read about your ALA trip!

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  14. You know, the premise of this book reminds me (very loosely) of the premise for The Others series. So obviously I went right to my library's website and put the ebook on hold! LOL

    Great review!

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    1. It's quite different actually, but I still think you'll enjoy the world there.

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  15. Such a lovely blog!

    I followed your blog, and I would sincerely appreciate it if you checked out my book reviews blog at https://elsbookreviews.blogspot.ca/ and possibly give it a follow as well! Excited to read more of your posts!

    - El

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    1. Thanks. Thanks for the follow and I'll check out your blog.

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  16. ohhh..This sounds right up my alley! I like well written high fantasies so much :) Yay for wonderful secondary characters too <3 Great review Melissa :)

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  17. I was not aware of this series. Fantasies are one of my go to genres. Great review.

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  18. Oh, this one has been on my TBR for a while, but I hadn't gotten to it yet. Glad to hear you enjoyed it though, pushing this to the top of the list now :) Thanks for the review!

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Thanks for commenting! I ❤ comments!