Title / The Dragon Queen
Author / William Andrews
Publication Date / 2018
Series or standalone / Sequel to Daughters of the Dragon
Page no. / 316
Overall Rating / ★★★★
Goodreads synopsis: As tensions rise on the Korean peninsula, US diplomat Nate Simon is sent to Seoul to gauge the political situation and advise the president. He also needs to find out why someone sent the president an ancient, intricately carved comb with an ivory inlay of a two-headed dragon. Though familiar with Korea’s language and culture, Nate knows little of its troubled history. Beautiful and mysterious embassy aide Anna Carlson believes it’s time he learns, starting with the extraordinary story of Korea’s last queen. Seoul, 1866. The beautiful orphan Ja-young is chosen to be the child bride of Gojong, Korea’s boy king. Highly intelligent but shy, Ja-young faces a choice: she can be a stone queen—silent and submissive—or she can be a dragon queen and oppose enemies and empires that try to rule Korea during the age of imperialism. Her choice leads her to forge a legend that will endure far beyond her lifetime. The more Nate discovers, the more he comes to realize that Queen Min’s story is still relevant today. Now the choice is up to him: be submissive and accepting…or change the world.
This is the sequel to Daughters of the Dragon, also by William Andrews. Although you could get away with reading this without reading the first book, it is best to read the books in order. I had high hopes for this book and I am happy to say it didn’t disappoint. This book is split into two perspectives; that of Nate, a US diplomat in the present day and of Ja-young, who becomes a young queen in Korea during the 1800’s. Although I found Ja-young’s chapters more compelling, I enjoyed the perspective of both characters and Andrews did a good job at maintaining the flow of the story. Fortunately the majority of the chapters follow Ja-young, with Nate’s chapters acting as a kind of interlude between the fictionalised historical account of Queen Min. Some may argue that Nate’s perspective doesn’t need to be there, but I think it’s an important part that will allow the story to progress in the next book. I loved the setting of Seoul during the 1800’s and found it to be a fascinating read. I know next to nothing about this time period in Korea so I cannot comment on authenticity but it feels very realistic. To me, it seems like the author has done a lot of research. From the very beginning I was immersed in this world and story. As with the previous book, the writing is great and it was so easy to settle into the flow of the story. It also meant that this was quite a quick read because I just wanted to keep on reading to find out what happened next. The characters are all well written, although I did find Nate a little frustrating at times. Generally this book is well paced, but it is a little slow at times. I had no issues with this but it may be something to be aware of. Basically I thought this was a fantastic book.
Overall I thought this was a fantastic sequel and I would definitely recommend checking it out, especially if you enjoy historical fiction and/or are interested in this time period. As far as I know, a sequel is planned but there isn’t a title or release date yet. Have you read this book? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.