The Reluctant Queen (The Queens of Renthia #2) by Sarah Beth Durst ~ Review

The Reluctant Queen (The Queens of Renthia #2)
Hardcover360 pages
Published July 4th 2017 
by Harper Voyager
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher
Rating: 4.5 Out of 5 Stars


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.


Thank you American Library Association and Harper Voyager for providing me this arc at ALAMW. This in no way affected my opinion.

I read The Queen of Blood and The Reluctant Queen back to back. I think book 1 was fantastic in the world building aspect and gave you everything you needed to feel like you were a part of this entire world that Sarah Beth Durst created. I really enjoyed the story and the only issue I had was the pacing in the first part of the story but I think that was mainly the time span trying to build an overall arc of what had happened in Daleina's life over the years to lead to the point she needed to be. The end was fantastic and leaves you wanting to dive into book 2.

The Reluctant Queen blew me away. The pacing was perfect and there were so many twists and turns I kept wanting more. The ending leaves you need book 3 now! I love the whole concept of this world with these small elemental creatures and how everything is interwoven. I also enjoyed the relationships in book 2 more then in book 1. I am now a huge fan of this series and would highly recommend it to fantasy fans. 

This is an adult series but definitely has cross over appeal for older teens. I am giving book 1 and 2 an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars,

Buy Links:

A post shared by Fallon (@seeing_double_in_neverland) on

About the Author:
Sarah Beth Durst is the award-winning author of fourteen fantasy books for adults, teens, and kids, including Drink, Slay, Love, the basis for the upcoming TV movie of the same name, airing on Lifetime in 2017. Her latest book for adults, The Reluctant Queen, came out in July 2017 from Harper Voyager; her latest book for kids, Journey Across the Hidden Islands came out in April 2017 from HMH/Clarion Books; and her first picture book, Roar and Sparkles Go to School, came out in June 2017 from Hachette/Running Press Kids. She won an ALA Alex Award and a Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, and has been a finalist for SFWA's Andre Norton Award three times. She is a graduate of Princeton University, where she spent four years studying English, writing about dragons, and wondering what the campus gargoyles would say if they could talk. Sarah lives in Stony Brook, New York, with her husband, her children, and her ill-mannered cat. For more information, visit her at 


Popular posts from this blog

The Marvels by Brian Selznick ~ Review by Fallon

Waiting on Wednesday: Burning Glass (Burning Glass #1) by Kathryn Purdie