The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst


The Queen of Blood
(The Queens of Renthia #1)
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Kindle ASIN: B01ARKV3T4
Pages: 368
Genre: YA Fantasy


An idealistic young student and a banished warrior become allies in a battle to save their realm in this first book of a mesmerizing 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 just human, and no matter how strong or good, the threat of danger always looms.

With the position so precarious, young women are chosen to train as 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. Ven, a disgraced champion, has spent his exile secretly fighting against the growing number of spirit attacks. Joining 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.


The Queen of Blood was a welcomed surprise in the midst of trying to combat a terrible episode of mood reading. You know that kind where your mood changes every 15 minutes so you simply cannot stay focused on one book. Well the Queen of Blood turned out to be the needed antidote.

Inhabited by humans and hostile spirits, Renthia’s 5 countries that are each governed by a queen. She is charged with maintaining the peace and keeping hostile spirits at bay. These spirits consist of wood, earth, wind, water and fire. While responsible for creating the very homes the humans dwell in, they are also the biggest threat to humankind. They are untamed and lethal. Life is reliant on each queen’s ability to fully contain their wild nature and protect her people. During a time of increased restlessness among the spirits, young Daleina soon discovers that she has the ability to command them. When she is whisked away to the academy to hone her skills she is unexpectedly selected to be trained as an heir under Ven, a fallen champion of the queen. Together Daleina and Ven will find that they are at the center of a huge battle to tame the land and settle the unrest.

I found myself instantly committed to Daleina. She is young, energetic and equal parts smart and realistic but never all-knowing or over powered. It was easy to appreciate her weaknesses and strengths. She struggles to grip her newfound skills and life while maintaining a necessary amount of confidence. The end result is a character who beautifully evolves into one of great fondness and admiration.

Ven is a fallen champion who finds himself once again for responsible for selecting and training a candidate to possibly become the heir of the throne. He is devout and fierce while exposing a very humane side through glimpses of his moral struggles in regards to his relationship with the Queen. Fervent about protecting the land, he provides a complementary and welcomed perspective to the Queen of Blood.

The plot and world are the bread and butter of this element laden fantasy. The author has ingeniously constructed a story that relies on the land to flourish. Together they work in unison to create an immensely absorbing adventure that is expansive and lustrous. While the magic system is simplistic in theory, what it lacks in complexity is easily forgiven with its rare distinctiveness.

The crisp writing is invigorating and inviting. Pages turn effortlessly as alternating, interdependent point of views between Ven and Daleina offer a fully encompassing read. The Queen of Blood is saturated with beauty and darkness, producing a gratifying story that caters perfectly to fans of high magic fantasy.

Purchase Links:

Amazon US  Amazon UK  Book Depository

Connect With Books, Vertigo and Tea: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram

Buy Me A Tea

37 thoughts on “The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst

  1. This sounds pretty good for YA. And the cover isn’t the typical YA look. I wonder if Ven and Daleina will have a romance…it’s YA. No need to answer since it’d probably be a spoiler. (I’m not a reader of YA)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Intriguing… Was it your experience that the themes of the book touch on environmental care and harmony? I am a Science Ed. major so I like to gather books I think might grab students’ attention and teach sneaky lessons 😉

    I think the character development is one of the best things I love about YA. I realize it is there in the other genres, but it seems more palpable in YA books.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wowza! That cover is sooo prettah! 🙂
    From the blurb and your review I can totally see how this book is great- characters go through a development, the world building is well done and it’s based on nature! Loving the sound of this! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. YASSSS! I am soOOOO happy you enjoyed this one *winner* LOL! even more motivation for me to get to my copy. I love that the land plays just as much an integral role in this story, these make for my fave type of reads. Also, yay for realistic protogs who aren’t all knowing *whoop whoop* It also says a ton that this is the read that managed to keep your attention & i’m just happy you enjoyed it lol 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! I really think you will enjoy this one 🙂 It was so well done. The interdependent setting and plot were very refreshing and the characters very well developed in such a small amount of time 🙂 Thank you for introducing me to this one !

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I do hope that whole mood changing phase will come to pass quickly so that you can enjoy the books you want to read! I’m glad to hear this one served as a great antidote for it though. It really sounds like it hit all the right spots too! Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve had my eye on this one because it is available through my library’s digital database for audiobook download BUT I was waiting to see one of my fellow bloggers review it. I’m assuming you are continuing on with the second book?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Totally know what you mean about mood reading. That was my problem earlier this year. I kept starting and stopping then switching to something else. I also have this one and am looking forward to it because of the writing and world building.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.