The reluctant queen

Sarah Beth Durst

Book - 2017

"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.

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Location Call Number   Status
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Series
Durst, Sarah Beth. Queens of Renthia ; book 2.
Subjects
Genres
Fantasy fiction
Published
New York, NY : Harper Voyager, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers [2017]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
360 pages : map ; 24 cm
ISBN
9780062413352
006241335X
Main Author
Sarah Beth Durst (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

What if you are dying and your power is the only safeguard keeping vicious nature spirits from the indiscriminate slaughter of your entire nation? This terrifying dilemma confronts Queen Daleina in the gripping sequel to The Queen of Blood (2016). Less than a year after surviving the Coronation Massacre and ascending the throne of Aratay, Daleina learns she has a fatal disease. Having no successor, she has been keeping the dreadful malady a secret in order to prevent mass panic among her people. With time running out, she orders the Queen's Champions to find and train an heir immediately. Daleina's former teacher, Champion Ven, goes in search and finds a strong contender in Naelin, the loving mother of two young children. Knowing it draws the bloodthirsty spirits' attention, Naelin has always denied the power within her in order to protect her family. Now to save them she will have to follow Ven and take on a terrible duty she never wanted. Series fans will be captivated and eager for more of the Queens of Renthia. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

In The Queen of Blood, the Alex Award-winning first book in Durst's fantasy trilogy, only the queen can prevent the malevolent spirits possessing everything in Renthia from destroying all humans. Now Queen Daleina knows she's dying and has found a worthy but resistant successor deep in the countryside. With a 50,000-copy first printing. Copyright 2017 Library Journal.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Everything in the world has a spirit, and those spirits want to kill you. Queen Daleina learned this from a young age, and her battle with these beings, and the old queen, gained her the crown. Now Daleina knows another truth—she is dying. If there is no one to succeed her, the spirits will set forth uncontrolled across the land and destroy everyone. Naelin has the power to tame the spirits, but her world revolves around her family and her tiny, remote village. When the queen's champion Ven arrives, looking for a new candidate to train, Naelin's avaricious husband reveals her abilities, which Naelin desperately denies to protect her children. But the monarch's power is waning, and dark rumors from the north reveal challenges from more than wild spirits. Soon Naelin realizes that defending the realm may be the only way to save her family. VERDICT This sequel to The Queen of Blood introduces new protagonists while bringing back familiar characters. Durst's strongly woven story supported by solid worldbuilding will please epic fantasy readers.—KC Copyright 2017 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

In Durst's excellent second Queens of Renthia fantasy (after Queen of Blood), the world of Renthia remains a dangerous place where the spirits of the elements want to kill humans, and only powerful queens, such as Queen Daleina of the Forests of Aratay, can control them. But shortly after becoming queen, Daleina falls ill and appears to be dying, forcing her champions, including her previous trainer, Ven, to find women who might be strong enough to take the throne. Along with the queen's guard, Alet, Ven finds and trains Naelin, a mother who has been trying to hide her raw power from everyone, even herself. Meanwhile, Daleina's lover, Hamon, calls upon his estranged mother, a poisoner, to help determine how Daleina became sick, a task that also draws in the queen's teenage sister. Always lurking in the background is the threat of war from the neighboring country of Semo. Durst throws a lot of balls in the air but manages to juggle them deftly now that her world's well established and she can focus on the large cast. She even manages some humor (mostly around Naelin's young children) amid the danger. New readers will benefit from starting with the first book, but they'll want to get to this one as soon as they can. Agent: Andrea Somberg, Harvey Klinger Agency. (July) Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

When a dying queen dispatches a champion to find a successor capable of protecting their realm from murderous spirits, a wife and mother of two is forced to choose a life of terrible risk in order to protect her loved ones. By the award-winning author of The Girl Who Could Not Dream. 50,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

When a dying queen dispatches a champion to find a successor capable of protecting their realm from murderous spirits, a wife and mother of two is forced to choose a life of terrible risk in order to protect her loved ones.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Filled with political intrigue, violent magic, and malevolent spirits, the mesmerizing second book in Sarah Beth Durst’s Queens of Renthia epic fantasy trilogy that started with the award-winning The Queen of Blood.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. She knows that if the truth of her abilities is known, it will bring only death and separation from those she loves. But Ven has a single task: to find the best possible candidate to protect the people of Aratay. He did it once when he discovered Daleina, and he’s certain he’s done it again. Yet for all his appeals to duty, Naelin is a mother, and she knows her duty is to her children first and foremost. Only as the Queen’s power begins to wane and the spirits become emboldened—even as ominous rumors trickle down from the north—does she realize that the best way to keep her son and daughter safe is to risk everything. Sarah Beth Durst established a place of dark wonder in The Queen of Blood, and now the stakes are even higher as the threat to the Queen and her people grows both from within and beyond the borders of Aratay in this riveting second novel of the Queens of Renthia series.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

Filled with political intrigue, violent magic, and malevolent spirits, the mesmerizing second book in Sarah Beth Durst's Queens of Renthia epic fantasy trilogy that started with the award-winning The Queen of Blood.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. She knows that if the truth of her abilities is known, it will bring only death and separation from those she loves. But Ven has a single task: to find the best possible candidate to protect the people of Aratay. He did it once when he discovered Daleina, and he's certain he's done it again. Yet for all his appeals to duty, Naelin is a mother, and she knows her duty is to her children first and foremost. Only as the Queen's power begins to wane and the spirits become emboldened'even as ominous rumors trickle down from the north'does she realize that the best way to keep her son and daughter safe is to risk everything. Sarah Beth Durst established a place of dark wonder in The Queen of Blood, and now the stakes are even higher as the threat to the Queen and her people grows both from within and beyond the borders of Aratay in this riveting second novel of the Queens of Renthia series.