Following on from my review of ‘Blood of an Exile’, I was delighted to receive an e-arc of ‘Sorcery of a Queen’ and continue immersing myself in the world of the Dragons of Terra, and I can’t wait to see where the next book takes us.
*Disclaimer – I received an e-arc via netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
They called her the Witch Queen…
Driven from her kingdom, the would-be queen now seeks haven in the land of her mother, but Ashlyn will not stop until justice has been done. Determined to unlock the secret of powers long thought impossible. Ashlyn bends her will and intellegence to mastering the one thing people always accused her of, sorcery.
Meanwhile, having learned the truth of his mutation, Bershad is a man on borrowed time. Never knowing when his healing powers will drive him to a self-destruction, he is determined to see Ashlyn restored to her throne and the creatures they both love safe.
I was still riding on the high of ‘Blood of an Exile’ when I started this one, and ‘Sorcery of a Queen’ did not disappoint, and in fact, took all the positives from the first book to a whole new level.
This sequel came out fighting from the start and turned all expectations on its head in the best possible way. This is epic fantasy in every sense of the world, and it has the grit and brutality, and a healthy dose of humour that bleeds through the pages. Sorcery of a Queen was an emotional and narrative rollercoaster from start to finish, and as soon as I got to the end I wanted to jump on again, and this one left me with quite a hefty book hangover.
As with Blood of an Exile, the characters are still some of the strongest features of this book. I love how Naslund brings his entire cast to life so vividly, and how the use of multiple points of view, brings the world into greater focus from the differing experiences and points of view. There were more characters introduced here, building on an already sizeable cast, but at no point was it overwhelming, and each of them remained unique and memorable, and it gave me more characters to love and worry about. Because that is another thing about these characters, and this book, it makes you care about them, and laugh and weep and a hundred other things as the story goes through highs and lows so quickly that you can’t catch your breath, only you don’t want to because it is engrossing.
Terra was already such an expansive world, and I feel that Sorcery of a Queen took that to a whole new level and puts the narrative and characters on a whole new stage without losing sight of that origin. I particularly enjoyed the science and steampunk elements that were woven into the story, but there were so many elements to the world – pirates and airships, and empires and dragons – and they’re so well integrated with one another, that I find it impossible to choose a favourite. Instead, I want to lose myself in Terra over and over again, and I have a feeling that I will be rereading this one and Blood of an Exile many times before book three comes out.
The writing is fantastic across the board, from rich character development to descriptions that will take your breath away. My only, very mild complaint was that the ending felt a little drawn out but compared to the magnificence of this book that is a minor grumble and long forgotten. This is grim heroic fantasy, with hope and humour shining through, and it set all my expectations on their head, and the twists had and have me guessing as to what will happen next, and eagerly looking forward to the next instalment in this series.
Sorcery of a Queen is a fantastic sequel. Still, it is so strong on its own and Naslund has woven so much of the world and what happened in the previous book into the narrative without it feeling overwhelming or clunky, even coming straight off reading book one, that you could read it as a standalone. Not that I would advise you to, because then you would miss out on the awesomeness that was Blood of an Exile. I would wholeheartedly recommend this book, and the entire series – yes, go and buy both – and lose yourself in the world of Terra, and there are Dragons!
Sorcery of a Queen (Dragons of Terra #2) – Brian Naslund – ***** (5/5 Stars)
If you’ve read it, or read it in the future, please feel free to shout at me about this fantastic book.