Title: The Queen of Blood
Author: Sarah Beth Durst
Series: The Queens of Renthia
Synopsis: 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.
Daleina is so great. I really love her. She is the heroine of this story but she’s not instantly a badass who is great at everything that she does. She has to work her ass off to achieve the things that she does, to reach her accomplishments, to get to where she is, etc. And to me that just makes her such a badass. I love characters like her. She felt so real and relatable.
Ven is a very interesting character. I really like that he is not a love interest for Daleina, when I read the synopsis I assumed that he would be because that’s usually the case then when I was reading I started making faces at the possibility because of the age difference between them. So I’m glad Durst didn’t go there and that he is just a mentor to her.
The girls. I’m just going to call them that because there are SO. MANY. OF. THEM. I’m talking about the ones that Daleina is at the academy with, I really liked them. I wasn’t a fan of Merecot’s at first but she did grow on me a bit, she’s not entirely a likable character but that’s something I liked about her. Of Daleina’s friends Mari is my favorite but I really did like them all, they were a great group of girls/women and I really liked that despite the fact that they were in competition with each other there was never any girl hate.
This book is amazing, the plot is so well developed, and deeply structured. I haven’t been so deeply in engrossed in a book in quite awhile, not only is the plot amazing, enriching, and engaging but the world is beautiful, and deadly. It’s everything that I wanted. I did like that there wasn’t a romance subplot to the story, while some people like them and I generally can over look them in my fantasy, I am perfectly happy and okay with them not being them. A well written fantasy, imo, doesn’t need them to make the story whole or perfect. I don’t like romance being a huge focus in fantasy anyway.
Okay elves aren’t relevant to this story but omfg I’ve been obsessed with houses built out of trees for ages because of books I’ve read about ages. So this one omg. PEOPLE LIVING IN TREE HOUSES. COME ON. HOW IS THAT NOT JUST AMAZING. Not just tree houses, but entire towns and cities built in and out of trees. It’s just EVERY. THING. THAT. MY. ELF. HEART. HAS. EVER. WANTED. I love the whole nature spirit aspect, still elvish imo, and them being controlled by a queen. The book IS about humans and only humans that we’ve seen so far. Durst has done such an amazing job building this world and I really can’t wait to read the other books in this series.
I loved, loved, loved this book. I had the hardest time putting it down, I literally only did to eat, and do personal hygiene things. I stayed up until 6am to finish it but it was definitely worth it. This book is amazing.
Recommendation: Omg Yes~