25 Jan 2019

#Review: THE QUEEN OF BLOOD by Sarah Beth Durst


Author: Sarah Beth Durst
Series: The Queens of Renthia #1
Source: Purchased from Kobo
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Publication Date: September 20, 2016
Overall Rating:
Diversity Rating:

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.
Amazon | Chapters | TBD
I learned about this during the 2016 #FrenzyPresents event and knew I needed this one immediately. I purchased a copy when it went on sale on Kobo and then... promptly forgot about it. But I finally got to it as my first read of 2019 and I was happy and disappointed by it.

This was one of those books that didn't have any one large thing wrong with it that made me dislike it but a bunch of little things that added up to make it meh. The beginning, after the initial scene, was pretty boring. I thought that there was a bunch of jump cuts to progress time rather than giving the audience what they really needed to understand where Daleina was in her training.

I liked the worldbuilding and relationships that came out along the way, though. I thought Durst had a really good handle on setting up a vast and complex world that was able to hold all the necessities of the magic and fantasy while not having it overpower the need for characters to grow and expand.

I think this one just had bad pacing, to be honest. I find that Adult Fantasy novels fall into this trap where they think they need to explain every little detail rather than letting the readers fill in some of the blanks. I hope that because this one had so much explanation that the next one doesn't go into too much detail.

There were a lot of pieces of this that I liked and other parts that were meh. It's a solid fantasy and if the second book goes on sale I'll probably buy it and read it. However I'm not rushing to go out and start the next one.

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