- Series: Queens of Renthia (Book 1)
- Hardcover: 368 pages
- Publisher: Harper Voyager; First Edition edition (September 20, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062413341
- ISBN-13: 978-0062413345
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 101 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #628,506 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Queen of Blood: Book One of The Queens of Renthia Hardcover – September 20, 2016
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“Wow, girl! What a great story! A truly wonderful fantasy novel which doubles as an allegory for our own earthly struggle between Man and Nature. Filled with fresh ideas and excitement, told with verve and heart. This book deserves a wide readership, and I think it will find one.” (Terry Brooks, NYT Bestselling author of the Shannara series)
“Thrilling--heartrending--enchanting--absolutely un-put-down-able!” (Tamora Pierce, author of New York Times bestseller Bloodhound)
“Durst, an award-winning YA author (Vessel) and three-time Andre Norton Award finalist, presents a thrilling beginning to a sweeping series about searching for sovereignty and truth in order to save one’s land.” (Library Journal (starred review))
“Mythopoeic Award-winner Durst (Chasing Power) launches her Queens of Renthia series with a stellar and imaginative tale...In addition to a solid cast of characters and great political intrigue, Durst delivers some fascinating worldbuilding, and the spirits are malevolent, cunning, wild, and mysterious antagonists.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“The Queen of Blood is full of rich tension from the opening scene to the nail-biting finale.” (Jeff Wheeler, Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Kingfountain and Muirwood series)
“Durst dives into adult fantasy with thrilling results.” (Shelf Awareness -- Starred Review)
From the Back Cover
An idealistic young student and a banished warrior become allies in a battle to save their realm in this first volume of a mesmerizing new 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 only human, and no matter how strong or good they are, the threat of danger always looms.
Because the queen’s position is so precarious, young women are specially chosen to train as her 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. Meanwhile, the disgraced champion Ven has spent his exile secretly fighting against the growing number of spirit attacks. When Daleina and Ven join 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.
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Happily, The Queen of Blood lives up to the hype. We enter a completely new and novel world where humans live in an uneasy truce with the spirits around them. The spirits are only kept in check by their pact with the Queen of this land. But the Queen’s grip seems to be slipping. Daleina lives in one of the outer forest villages and when the Queen’s control over the spirit seems to slip the entire village is slaughtered. Only Daleina’s family survives when her talent commanding the spirits manifests long enough for Champion Ven to repel the attacking spirits. Daleina chooses the path of heir training while Champion Ven confronts the queen and is discredited and vanquished by her.
The plot moves along briskly and carried me into this rich, multi-layered world. It was a book I didn’t want to put down and it read smoothly. I enjoyed Daleina’s strength and determination and Ven’s vulnerabilities. My only quibble is that the secondary characters, especially Daleina’s friends, are skimmed over and two-dimensional. I understand that with so much plot to fly through, it would have made a very long book to dwell on those characters. But it made the ending a little less impactful for me.
The hype on this one was accurate – The Queen of Blood is Unabashedly Fantastic fiction. This is one of those worlds I will reach for to revisit and reread. This book stands alone, though I’ve heard there is at least another book in this series. Looking forward immersing myself in this world again.
nature. But the harmony must reckon with the inherent destructiveness of nature. The workings of nature are realized in the lives of “spirits” and these living beings embody both the creative and destructive power of nature. Humans have established their own niches and balance in this vast complexity through the power of their queens whose intertwined lives with the spirits lead to temporary peace. In the story, we go through the tale of coming to power of a new queen. It is the subtle story of the rise to prominence of a person of only average skills and abilities, who succeeds by a combination of factors that make for interesting reading. I can recommend the story as developing themes centered around success in confronting and balancing destructive forces of nature from a combination of ambition, sacrifice, persistence, skill and the strange twists of fortune.