Title / The Queen of Blood, The Reluctant Queen and The Queen of Sorrow
Author / Sarah Beth Durst
Publication Date / 2016, 2017 and 2018
Genre / Fantasy
Series or standalone / Trilogy
Page no. / 353, 360 and 419
Star Rating / ★★★★
Don’t trust the fire, for it will burn you.
Don’t trust the ice, for it will freeze you.
Don’t trust the water, for it will drown you.
Don’t trust the air, for it will choke you.
Don’t trust the earth, for it will bury you.
Don’t trust the trees, for they will rip you,
rend you, tear you, kill you dead.
This is a YA fantasy trilogy set in the fictional world of Aratay. This land is full of spirits that represent elements and these spirits want to rid the world of humans. However without the spirits, the world would die, so the humans must live together with them. The one defence against these inherently aggressive spirits is the Queen, who is the only one that can control them. Young women that show talent in controlling spirits are trained as heirs so one can replace the queen when she dies. When a queen dies another must be ready to assume control of all the spirits, otherwise the spirits will destroy everything. This is a brief description of the setting of this trilogy. The world is one of my favourite things about these books. It is so vividly written. Nature is very much entwined into this world and I loved that about the setting. It’s unlike anything I’ve read before. So if you’re looking for fantasy with a unique setting, then you need to check out these books. I cannot say enough good things about this world.
There is also a fantastic cast of characters. All of the characters are wonderfully written. They are all flawed and complex with interesting back stories. I also loved the way the relationships were developed throughout the three books. The characters are definitely one of the main strengths of this trilogy. In the first book we mainly follow Daleina, but in the second and third book we have the added perspective of Naelin. I have to admit that I was a little disappointed with this initially because I loved Daleina as a character, but it does work well for the story and the change did grow on me. One of my favourite things in the first book is that Daleina isn’t the most powerful heir. She has to work hard for what she wants and I think a lot of people will be able to relate to that. Another thing I love about this trilogy is the strong, interesting women that play such a big role in each book. Basically, there is a fantastic cast of characters in this trilogy and I would love to see more from them.
The plot is developed so well throughout these three books, although the third book felt a little rushed to me. The plot remains compelling in each book and there are some fantastic twists. Intrigue plays a big part in each book and Durst writes these elements so well. As I said I do think the third book felt a little rushed at times and I did get quite frustrated with Naelin, but I still really enjoyed this instalment and it was a great conclusion to the trilogy.
Overall this is a fantastic trilogy that features one of my all time favourite worlds. If you enjoy fantasy, especially YA fantasy, then I highly recommend checking these books out. A companion book to this trilogy, The Deepest Blue, is set to be released Spring 2019. I definitely plan on checking it out. Have you read these books? I’d love to know what you thought. I hope you are having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.