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The Reluctant Queen: Book Two of The Queens…

The Reluctant Queen: Book Two of The Queens of Renthia

by Sarah Beth Durst

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1228155,089 (4)7
Filled with political intrigue, violent magic, and malevolent spirits, the mesmerizing second book in Sarah Beth Durst's Queens of Renthia epic fantasy trilogy. 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 ... And those spirits want to kill you. It's the first lesson that every Renthian learns. Not long ago, Daleina used her strength and skill to survive those spirits and assume the royal throne. Since then, the new queen has kept the peace and protected the humans of her land. But now for all her power, she is hiding a terrible secret: she is dying. And if she leaves the world before a new heir is ready, the spirits that inhabit her beloved realm will run wild, destroying her cities and slaughtering her people. Naelin is one such person, and she couldn't be further removed from the Queen--and she wouldn't have it any other way. Her world is her two children, her husband, and the remote village tucked deep in the forest that is her home, and that's all she needs. But when Ven, the Queens champion, passes through the village, Naelin's ambitious husband proudly tells him of his wife's ability to control spirits--magic that Naelin fervently denies -- Provided by publisher.… (more)


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» See also 7 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
So good and sooooo dark! ( )
  kayceel | Feb 5, 2019 |
This book just didn't have what I like in a fantasy - a way to connect to the wonders of the imagined world through characters that maintain positive connections to the unusual aspects of the world. Also the pacing just didn't hit the marks. The reluctant queen is the only character actually given development, much of the rest of them being holdovers from The Queen of Blood, a much better read. It is as if, backing up to start The Queens of Renthia with The Queen of Blood, Sarah Beth Durst stripped all the fun parts - riding the wires, school days and friendships, out of this book and left the awkward gaps, grim determination and family dysfunction. ( )
1 vote quondame | Apr 19, 2018 |
I really loved this sequel, perhaps even more than the first book. This novel had everything I have ever wanted from a fantasy story: adventure, magic, strong characters, and lack of cliches. I loved how the story was more mature this time; the characters aren't children anymore. They're adults making difficult decisions about life, death, safety, and duty. Everything was perfectly balanced: the adventure, the romance, the tension, the mystery. I loved all of the new characters that were introduced and I loved how well they interacted and played their part in this story. As a reader, I love when you get characters that have depth to them, and this was the case here. I also found the story itself compelling, and I literally could not put this book down for a minute! I think that this is a real gem of a fantasy series that more people need to be aware of; it is fast-paced, well thought out, and it will leave you wanting more! 5/5 stars from me!

For more reviews, visit: www.veereading.wordpress.com ( )
  veeshee | Jan 29, 2018 |
Diving back into this world was great! I really enjoyed the world and the plot of this book, and getting back to Deleina and Ven and continuing their story on.

I did however find that the characterization in this book was a little off. It was lacking in the first book, but I still enjoyed getting to know Deleina and seeing her journey. In this book, we are introduced to Naelin, who is a woodswoman, hiding her gift for controlling spirits, she has a family and just wants to protect her children. And honestly, this aspect of her personality, really just annoyed me. It may be because I am not a mother and don't have that instinct, but I just wanted to punch her sometimes. Her being a mother, was all she way..she was flat as a pancake personality wise. I'm super okay with having a strong woman as a lead and having her as a mother. She was fiercely protective of her children, but so much so, that in got in the way of some pretty common sense shit. (rant over)

Other than the bland characters, I still enjoyed getting to know more about this world and seeing how things have developed. I quite enjoyed the plot and I will be reading the next book!

3.75/5 stars ( )
  jdifelice | Jan 20, 2018 |
This second book in the Queens of Renthia series can stand well on its own, but also works as a strong sequel to The Queen of Blood. At the end of the first book, Daleina has survived a bloody massacre of warring nature spirits and become queen of Renthia. However, it soon becomes clear that she is deathly ill. As the nature spirits rally against her and political woes increase, Daleina must accept that she may be dead within months--and Renthia needs a new candidate for queen. A major problem, since all of the other candidates died in the massacre.

Enter Naelin, a fantastic protagonist, the sort I'd like to see more of in genre fiction. She's a mother of two young children, married to a disrespectful lout... and all her life, she has done her utmost to hide her powers over nature. When her skills are outed, she makes it quite clear she does not want to be queen.

I found this to be a fast, delightful read. The feel of it is different than the first book, which had more of a YA coming-to-age vibe. This one spoke more directly to me; Naelin is my demographic, minus the whole magical skills thing (alas). The world-building here continues to amaze me. I'd love to visit Renthia with its cities-in-trees. ( )
1 vote ladycato | Nov 28, 2017 |
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For my husband, Adam, with love always and forever
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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... And those spirits want to kill you.
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