Book Review: The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst

The Queen of Blood  (The Queens of Renthia, #1)

Hardcover, 353 pages
Published September 20th 2016 by Harper Voyager
 I was consumed by this book!  I loved every second of it, and it was exactly what I needed in my life right now.  Unfortunately, it took me forever to write this review because I couldn’t sort out my feelings into coherent words.  Here’s my attempt at sharing what I felt while reading this amazing book!  Word of caution: there are probably small spoilers throughout.

There was a definite feel of fae to the elementals that live side by side with humans.  Their nature is destructive and creative but not in equal parts.  The human queen is granted the power to full control of all spirits in her country.  She makes sure they stay creative (or at least not destructive), but what happens when the queen goes off-script.
This story follows Daleina, who isn’t the strongest, the smartest, or the best.  Which is awesome because we get to follow her journey of persistence and understanding that you don’t have to be number one to make a difference.  This was refreshing and also reminded me of the characters one of my longest favorite authors, Tamora Pierce, created.  It brought back all the childhood memories, and it felt like a story that was written for the generation who grew up reading Tamora Pierce.
I’m looking forward to reading the sequel and, hopefully, meeting the author at ALA next month.
The Reluctant Queen (The Queens of Renthia, #2)

Summary:

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.

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