The Reluctant Queen (The Queens of Renthia #2)
by Sarah Beth Durst
What is it about:
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 . . .
And those spirits want to kill you.
It’s the first lesson that every Renthian learns.
Not long ago, Daleina used her strength and skill to survive those spirits and assume the royal throne. Since then, the new queen has kept the peace and protected the humans of her land. But now for all her power, she is hiding a terrible secret: she is dying. And if she leaves the world before a new heir is ready, the spirits that inhabit her beloved realm will run wild, destroying her cities and slaughtering her people.
Naelin is one such person, and she couldn’t be further removed from the Queen—and she wouldn’t have it any other way. Her world is her two children, her husband, and the remote village tucked deep in the forest that is her home, and that’s all she needs. But when Ven, the Queens champion, passes through the village, Naelin’s ambitious husband proudly tells him of his wife’s ability to control spirits—magic that Naelin fervently denies. She knows that if the truth of her abilities is known, it will bring only death and separation from those she loves.
But Ven has a single task: to find the best possible candidate to protect the people of Aratay. He did it once when he discovered Daleina, and he’s certain he’s done it again. Yet for all his appeals to duty, Naelin is a mother, and she knows her duty is to her children first and foremost. Only as the Queen’s power begins to wane and the spirits become emboldened—even as ominous rumors trickle down from the north—does she realize that the best way to keep her son and daughter safe is to risk everything.
What did I think of it:
I loved The Queen of Blood, so I made sure to get my trotters on the paperback of The Reluctant Queen.
And even though I never got to love Naelin as much as I love Daleina this is a really good Fantasy read.
The worldbuilding is wonderful, and the intrigues in this book kept me reading. Naelin might not have won my love, but I rooted for Daleina and for Ven. I had my doubts when it became clear Naelin's children had a bigger part in the story than I thought when reading the blurb, but they luckily weren't as annoying as I feared (yes: I'm not a big fan of children in SFF books).
All in all this is a very enjoyable read that ends in a way that I will most definitely buy the last book once it is available in paperback.
Why should you read it:
It's a cool Fantasy read full of intrigue.
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