Happy book birthday to The Fire Queen by Emily R. King! The Fire Queen is the sequel to The Hundredth Queen, which I read earlier this summer. I have to admit, that book wasn’t for me at all. I probably would’ve loved it two years ago, but there was something about it that just didn’t sit right with me. I requested the second book in the trilogy anyway, because I felt like the series deserved a second chance. Thank goodness I did, because this book was so much better! Read more about it in my spoiler free review.
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.
“The sun may not be shining yet, but dawn’s first ray is coming.”
Right after I got approved for the book on Netgalley, I kind of regretted requesting it. What if I didn’t like it? What if it was even worse than the first book? Eventually put aside any prejudices I had and decided to pick it up and read it in a day. To my absolute amazement, I managed to do just that. I enjoyed The Fire Queen a whole lot.
I’m not going to lie, The Fire Queen is not the best book out there. As I mentioned in my review of The Hundredth Queen, I felt like this series has a lot of potential. I find culture, tradition, religion and magic really interesting and that’s how this series grabbed my attention in the first place. Even though it really is interesting, it’s also really confusing. This religion has many different gods who all have something to do with each other, but there were so many details that I couldn’t pick up. It didn’t ruin the story for me, but it was bothering me a little and I think I would’ve enjoyed it more if I understood better.
I love Emily’s writing style, but it also feels a little inconsistent. I had to read the first sentence of of the book two or three times to fully understand, and following that, there was a little bit of an info dump with lots of names and backstories. It didn’t take long to figure it all out, but I wanted to mention it. Sometimes the writing felt a bit unnatural. The main characters would sometimes say something along the lines of “I just did this because of that.” As if they had to explain themselves. That wasn’t necessary for me, and could’ve been written differently.
Both Kalinda and Deven really grew on me in The Fire Queen. I liked reading about this world through Kalinda’s perspective in the first book, but I didn’t like her very much as a character. She’s different and a little more mature this time. She’s also way more likeable! I didn’t like Deven at all, but even he managed to grow on me. I’m pretty sure it’s because of their relationship. it’s less present in this book. One of the new characters is Prince Ashwin. I was really suspicious of him for so long! I just expected him to betray Kali… He was one of the most interesting characters. Is he good or bad? Well… Maybe both, hehe. I just had to roll me eyes at another love triangle, but it wasn’t too bad and didn’t bother me that much.
The plot was somewhat predictable, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as in The Hundredth Queen! I was actually surprised at some plots twists. They weren’t shocking or anything, but really fun to read. And sometimes things were just so intense I actually found myself holding my breath! Yes, The Fire Queen is definitely a lot better than the previous instalment in the series. For the longest time, I had no clue what direciton the story was headed in and that made it a very pleasant read.
I liked The Fire Queen. It’s a great book to just pick up a day off and read in one sitting. That’s quite rare with fantasy books, so I’m pleased! You shouldn’t expect too much, but it’s definitely a step up from The Hundredth Queen. I’m very curious for the final instalment in the series!
About The Fire Queen
In the second book in The Hundredth Queen Series, Emily R. King once again follows a young warrior queen’s rise to meet her destiny in a richly imagined world of sorcery and forbidden powers.
Though the tyrant rajah she was forced to marry is dead, Kalinda’s troubles are far from over. A warlord has invaded the imperial city, and now she’s in exile. But she isn’t alone. Kalinda has the allegiance of Captain Deven Naik, her guard and beloved, imprisoned for treason and stripped of command. With the empire at war, their best hope is to find Prince Ashwin, the rajah’s son, who has promised Deven’s freedom on one condition: that Kalinda will fight and defeat three formidable opponents.
But as Kalinda’s tournament strengths are once again challenged, so too is her relationship with Deven. While Deven fears her powers, Ashwin reveres them—as well as the courageous woman who wields them. Kalinda comes to regard Ashwin as the only man who can repair a warring world and finds herself torn between her allegiance to Deven and a newly found respect for the young prince.
With both the responsibility to protect her people and the fate of those she loves weighing heavily upon her, Kalinda is forced again to compete. She must test the limits of her fire powers and her hard-won wisdom. But will that be enough to unite the empire without sacrificing all she holds dear?
Have you read The Hundredth Queen? Are you excited to read The Fire Queen?
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