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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Release & Review - The Hundredth Queen (The Hundredth Queen #1) by Emily R. King

Image and blurb from Goodreads

Title: The Hundredth Queen
(The Hundredth Queen #1)
Author: Emily R. King
Category/Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publication Date: June 1st, 2017
Publisher: Skyscape
As an orphan ward of the Sisterhood, eighteen-year-old Kalinda is destined for nothing more than a life of seclusion and prayer. Plagued by fevers, she’s an unlikely candidate for even a servant’s position, let alone a courtesan or wife. Her sole dream is to continue living in peace in the Sisterhood’s mountain temple.

But a visit from the tyrant Rajah Tarek disrupts Kalinda’s life. Within hours, she is ripped from the comfort of her home, set on a desert trek, and ordered to fight for her place among the rajah’s ninety-nine wives and numerous courtesans. Her only solace comes in the company of her guard, the stoic but kind Captain Deven Naik.

Faced with the danger of a tournament to the death—and her growing affection for Deven—Kalinda has only one hope for escape, and it lies in an arcane, forbidden power buried within her.

In Emily R. King’s thrilling fantasy debut, an orphan girl blossoms into a warrior, summoning courage and confidence in her fearless quest to upend tradition, overthrow an empire, and reclaim her life as her own.

Buy LinkAmazon

3.5 “Queens, Deaths & Magic” Stars

ARC via NetGalley.

Thank you, Skyscape!

Let me start this review with the appropriate amount of gushing over this stunning cover, because JUST LOOK AT IT!

I’d been anxious to get my hands on this book since the beginning of the year, and I was more than happy to get approved for a review copy!!! I immediately started reading and the beginning of the book really pulled me in. The MC was likable enough, there was a little mystery since she kept getting fever and didn’t know what was wrong with her, and there was a hint of forbidden romance from the start. The whole “now you have to fight other queens and courtesans” if you want to stay alive thing was also intriguing. Sure it’s been done a lot in YA Fantasy, but I thought I liked the history behind this.

As the Rajah’s 100th wife, Kali (the main character) was the last woman he’d marry. She was also the courtesans last chance of “upgrading” to wife. If one of them killed her during an official tournament held by the Rajah, that courtesan would take Kali’s place.

The whole concept is unnerving, because it puts woman against woman as they risk their lives in order to become a man’s wife. It could’ve gone blown up in the author’s face, but she ended up finding a way to make it clear that the whole idea behind this tournament was wrong. I liked how the ending had a little of a girl power vibe to it.

The magic, though, didn’t do much for me. I thought I’d be more intrigued by it, but it just didn’t hold the impact I was expecting. I found it confusing at times, and I wasn’t really convinced at the motives behind the war between the ones with magic and the ones without. Since the second half of the book was heavier on this mythology, I ended up being less interested in the story, which was a shame.

Now, I had mixed feelings about the romance. I’m usually a sucker for guards falling in love with future queens/princesses, and I was shipping Kalinda and Deven for real in the beginning. But then things moved a little too fast with them. The romance loved the angst it needed to work. Things were going too fast and too easy for them, and I became uninterested after a while. I also expected a little more from Kali when things with Deven got “complicated”, but she didn’t show me enough emotion to make me feel for her.

Though I liked the ending, I have to say the first half of the story held my attention a lot more than the second half.
*If you liked this review (or not), if you read the book (or not), come say hello and leave your comments bellow.

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