The Queen Of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst (The Queens Of Renthia #1)
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release Date: September 20, 2016
Summary: 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.
My Rating:★★★★☆ ½
My Thoughts: The Queen Of Blood is an enchanting fantasy tale that will transport you to a world entwined with nature, wicked spirits, and a daring adventure that will keep you hooked!
This book was absolutely incredible!! ❤️❤️ + Definitely got Final Fantasy vibes from this book! Which I loved!! 💖✨😍
From the chilling opening lines:
Don’t trust the fire, for it will burn you.
Don’t trust the ice, for it will freeze you.
Don’t trust the water, for it will drown you.
Don’t trust the air, for it will choke you.
Don’t trust the earth, for it will bury you.
Don’t trust the trees, for they will rip you,
rend you, tear you, kill you dead.
I was captivated by the unique and magical world that Durst created!
The writing style featured multiple POV’s, which expanded the world and showed how rich and lush it was!
The world of Aratay itself is highly guided by nature and the elements. The spirits of this world live among humans but can be quite vile towards them if they are left uncontrolled. That becomes quite apparent in this novel when spirits begin destroying villages and killing not only citizens, but potential Heirs!
And women are the only ones who can control them and protect the citizens. By becoming queen!
If they choose, women must take part in an exam to see if they are able to enter into an academy where they will spend many years training and if ready, will receive a Champion and train even further to become an Heir. From there they will go against other Heirs for the one and only spot of being Queen.
Enter Daleina. She isn’t the top of her class in terms of her ability to control the spirits. But she gets by with her intellect and her determination and I loved that about her so much! I could definitely see myself in Dalenia! There are certain things I’m not necessarily good at, but I always do my best to keep going no matter what and found that trait in Dalenia not only relatable, but inspiring.
Daleina is training to become a Queen Of Renthia, but knows very early on she isn’t cut out for it. However she keeps at it for many years training at the academy and learns more about who she wants to be and find the strength/confidence in herself.
Along the way she befriends young women just like her who are training to be queen. As the day approaches, she finds herself chosen by a disgraced Champion, Ven, who has a special bond with the queen and sees Dalenia as his only hope to bring control to the restless spirits!
There is so much girl power and female friendships which I absolutely loved! Dalenia befriends other women like her and they support each other along the way, regardless of the obvious competition between them for the spot of Queen. As time passes in the novel, they remain friends and continue to remain at each others sides when times get tough.
I did take away .5 because there is a romance (which doesn’t interfere with overall plot) and I felt was a rather rushed and did take me out of the story at times.
The characters were fantastically written and developed! Even with minor characters who were given few lines or mentioned in the background, they still felt real and vital to the story.
I seriously cannot pick between Ven and Dalenia! Both were wonderfully written characters and I could definitely understand their struggles and obstacles that they faced in this novel!
But there is so much more to this than just wayward spirits and queens. There is blood, betrayal and deep messages about connection with those you love/care about and finding yourself!
The world, characters, and plot in The Queen Of Blood come together to create a magical and unforgettable tale! ✨
I’ll definitely be reading book 2!