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Queen Takes Checkmate

by Joely Sue Burkhart

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1611,091,282 (3.56)None
The god of light has met his match.But whose life will the red serpent claim? Killing the queen of New York City has added a million new responsibilities to Shara Isador's list. The former queen's Blood must be dealt with before they turn thrall. The queens Keisha Skye coerced into sibling relationships must either be formally sworn to House Isador or freed. Though Shara can't in good conscience allow anyone into her house who took part in the rampant torture in which House Skye indulged. While every single day, Shara feels the weight of the red serpent coiled around her throat. The goddess's gift grows heavier with every passing moment. If she doesn't act, the serpent will consume everything she loves. But if she goes after Ra as promised... Someone she loves very much will die. Any of her Blood will gladly pay that cost, but Shara loves them too much to even consider losing one of them. Who will survive the epic showdown with Ra, the god of light, and will this be the end of Shara Isador's story?… (more)
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Shara's Mary-Sue-ish aspects are finally starting to affect my enjoyment of the story. They diminish the satisfaction of her achievements when she never truly struggles to reach them or face any consequences (like the cop-out at the end of this book from an agreement she made in a prior one). I enjoy the story more when it focuses on the fun character interactions rather than the plot, given that there's no interest there since she always succeeds at everything.

I'm confused and annoyed by the hypocrisy of Shara saying she's a "jealous" queen and doesn't want her men to so much as brush against her women (to the point that the author details characters' movements to make sure the reader knows there's NO TOUCHY), but Shara is fine with the men being all over each other. She's not jealous, she's just drawing a nonsensical line between genders.

I liked the reversal of the "light vs dark" trope with the darkness needing to overcome the light. I adore Shara's connections with and respect for animals like the birds in previous books and the rats in this one. Carys and Winnie are delightful and I hope they show up a lot in the next books. ( )
  hissingpotatoes | Dec 28, 2021 |
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The god of light has met his match.But whose life will the red serpent claim? Killing the queen of New York City has added a million new responsibilities to Shara Isador's list. The former queen's Blood must be dealt with before they turn thrall. The queens Keisha Skye coerced into sibling relationships must either be formally sworn to House Isador or freed. Though Shara can't in good conscience allow anyone into her house who took part in the rampant torture in which House Skye indulged. While every single day, Shara feels the weight of the red serpent coiled around her throat. The goddess's gift grows heavier with every passing moment. If she doesn't act, the serpent will consume everything she loves. But if she goes after Ra as promised... Someone she loves very much will die. Any of her Blood will gladly pay that cost, but Shara loves them too much to even consider losing one of them. Who will survive the epic showdown with Ra, the god of light, and will this be the end of Shara Isador's story?

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