Recommend: Maybe, but probably not
Well, this was a rather disappointing read. I actually had kind of high hopes for this book. The description sounded like something that would be 100% my jam: a strong, but reluctant queen, epic wars, magic, and all in a medieval setting? That’s exactly my kind of book. But the characters and lack of sufficient explanations, not to mention an uneven pace, kind of killed it for me.
So let’s start off with characters. To be fair, I didn’t mind most of the characters. I feel like they could have been fleshed out a bit more, but overall I think they were decent. Nothing too exciting, and a bit generic, but not terrible by any means. Haven got on my nerves a bit because she was so darn naive, but even that didn’t bother me a whole lot. I think if I hadn’t had some of my other issues, the characters would have shone through much more.
My biggest problem was the plot and world building. There were so many times when I just couldn’t believe what was being said or done. I know in fiction, especially fantasy, readers have to suspend disbelief. But this was just too much. So many things didn’t make sense, or were so unrealistic (even given what I knew of that particular world). I had a hard time believing in this story. Of course, part of that might have been because I still feel like there are quite a few explanations missing.
That being said, I do think the writing is well done. Bogle writes in a clear, understandable way that is easy to read and flows pretty smoothly. I know there are other books in this series, so it’s possible that many of my questions and issues could be resolved in subsequent books. Although I wish she would have addressed more of them in this first book. I’m not sure if I’m invested enough at this point to read the rest of the series.
Thank you to NetGalley and Friesen Press for providing this book in exchange for an honest review!