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Queen's Hunt (River of Souls) Hardcover – July 17, 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Readers will be impatient for a sequel.” ―Publishers Weekly on Passion Play

“Bernobich's debut is a rich, compulsively readable fantasy.” ―Booklist on Passion Play

Passion Play immediately plunges you into a deep world of past lives and magic...the layers are crafted so masterfully that you can't put the book down to climb out of the story.” ―L. A. Banks, author of The Vampire Huntress Legends series on Passion Play

Passion Play, indeed. Passionate, articulate, clever, this book sings right along. Desperate measures and hope bundled together in a daring adventure. Byzantine politics seldom combine so well with great characters. A marvelous debut novel.” ―Patricia Briggs, New York Times bestselling author on Passion Play

About the Author

BETH BERNOBICH's short fiction has been published in Asimov's, Interzone, Postscripts, Strange Horizons, and Sex in the System. Two pieces appeared on the Locus Recommended Reading Lists for 2006 and 2008. Queen's Hunt is Bernobich's second novel in her River of Souls series. She lives with her husband and son in Connecticut.


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Product Details

  • Series: River of Souls (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition; First Printing edition (July 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765322188
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765322180
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,814,135 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By B. Capossere TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Beth Bernobich's first book, Passion Play, a combination of having received it unasked for and it's more-romance-like cover. While it had its flaws, I found the main characters--Ilse and Kosenmark--intriguing and captivating both individually and with regard to their burgeoning relationship. In the end I gave it a four and said in my review I looked forward to its follow-up. That sequel, Queen's Hunt, recently arrived in my mailbox--expected this time, but unfortunately, still a bit of a surprise upon reading as I found it a disappointing continuation of the story.

Ilse and Kosenmark continue to work for what they see as the benefit of their country Veraene, though it puts them at odds with their king and especially his mage advisor. It also makes them adversaries of Veraene's enemy, the centuries-old and quite powerful King Dzavek. The source of his power, and of their contention, are the three Jewels of Lir, powerful magical tools which were lost long ago. Dzavek is in possession of one and Ilse's search for the others brings her into contact with Valara, a stranger from another land who has somehow come into possession of Lir's emerald. Ilse continues to seek the third jewel while trying to determine of this new player is friend or foe. Meanwhile, Kosenmark continues his shadow politics back home and has his own stranger to deal with--a new hire who is not at all what/who he purports to be.

To be honest, I found it a struggle to finish Queen's Hunt.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is the second book in the River of Souls series and is very much a “middle book”. Not in any negative sort of sense. In the same sense that the "set" in volleyball is the middle step in a pass-set-spike sequence. Queen's Hunt takes the plot-ball that has been put in motion in the previous book and positions it ideally for the conclusion.

In a secondary world that evokes but does not mirror certain cultures of Europe’s past, magic and politics drive the plot in a setting where memories and souls—and the relationships they’ve developed in life—can carry over across many lifetimes. The first volume, Passion Play, introduced our two central characters, Ilse and Raul, and plunged the reader into the intricate politics both within and between kingdoms that are spinning the setting toward inevitable war. Magic is the key, and especially a powerful magic that was distilled into a gemstone that gave its wielder a nearly ageless existence. But in ages past the gem was split into three parts which were lost in Anderswar, the liminal space between worlds. Now one of the gems has been reclaimed by the ageless wizard-king and the hunt for the other two will determine the balance of power. Except that the gems themselves have their own goals and desires.

This story is broader in scope than the first volume, adding several new viewpoint characters and a great deal more geography, but in pacing is more…I don’t know, leisurely? That’s not quite right. The events are much more focused on the hunt of the title. The world is already built for us. The characters and their concerns have already been laid out. And the historic stakes of the events are already clear.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I don't know what happened, but where the first book was interesting despite its issues, this book felt like a completely different genre. There was no romance, no love story, and the main character kept making the dumbest decisions for no real reason. I'm not sure if the author intended the sequel to be so very different from the moderately successful first book in the series, but I didn't like the change and I will not be reading any further into the series.
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Beth Bernobich is one of those authors for whom I’ve developed a serious case of instaluv – so I’m compulsively working my way through her books as and when my reading schedule allows. What I adore about her writing is that she’s unhurried, focusing on the relationships between people and also developing whole characters who not only love, but also maintain interests and aspirations. These elements, of course, get derailed by events not always under their control, which keeps me turning those pages.

In book #1, Passion Play, we are introduced to Ilse, who has run away from an arranged marriage and by happy fortune ended up in the employ of Raul Kosenmark, who is unofficially a noble spymaster who rules a shadow court behind the respectable façade of his pleasure house.

In the first book, we are only privy to Ilse’s perspective as she falls in love with Raul, explores her latent magical talent, and becomes deeply involved in political intrigue. By book #2 we follow the tale from multiple points of view which, although took a little getting used to at first, definitely broadens the perspective and in hindsight was quite necessary.

The story as it stands, tells us that war loom between nations, and a despotic ruler, Leos Dzavek, who has had an unnaturally long lifespan, seeks to find the missing Lir’s jewels in order to re-establish his power. This plot element recalls a little Tolkienesque buzz with the Silmarils, if anything, for those of you familiar with that particular McGuffin. Standing against Leos, we have three young people: Ilse, Valara and Miro, who discover a shared history in their past lives related to the jewels and their historical theft and their relationship with Leos.
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