The Queen of Sorrow (The Queens of Renthia #3)
By Sarah Beth Durst
Publisher: Harper Voyager
The battle between vicious spirits and strong-willed queens that started in the award-winning The Queen of Blood and continued in the powerful The Reluctant Queen comes to a stunning conclusion in The Queen of Sorrow, the final volume of Sarah Beth Durst’s Queens of Renthia trilogy.
Queen Daleina has yearned to bring peace and prosperity to her beloved forest home—a hope that seemed doomed when neighboring forces invaded Aratay. Now, with the powerful Queen Naelin ruling by her side, Daleina believes that her dream of ushering in a new era can be realized, even in a land plagued by malevolent nature spirits who thirst for the end of human life.
And then Naelin’s children are kidnapped by spirits.
Nothing is more important to her than her family, and Naelin would rather watch the world burn than see her children harmed. Blaming the defeated Queen Merecot of Semo for the kidnapping, Naelin is ready to start a war—and has the power to do it.
But Merecot has grander plans than a bloody battle with her southern neighbors. Taking the children is merely one step in a plot to change the future of all Renthia, either by ending the threat of spirits once and for all . . . or plunging the world into chaos.
The Queens of Renthia is one of the top fantasy series that I am quick to recommend when fans of the genre are looking for something new. How I encounter so many that have yet to explore Durst’s world of elemental spirits and venturesome queens is beyond me. This is a recipe that has continued to work beautifully. The Queen of Sorrow proves just that.
Picking up after The Reluctant Queen, we find Naelin now learning to adapt to her new role on the throne aside Queen Daleina in Aratay. Having stopped Queen’s Merecot’s invasion, the two work to restore peace and prosperity to the land. But when Queen Naelin’s children are abducted by vicious spirits, it soon becomes apparent that Merecot still has a plan up her sleeve. Willing to risk everything for the sake of her own, Naelin’s retaliation could mean war. Will Aratay find themselves pitted against Semo’s ruler in a deadly battle or will Merecot’s plans to forever alter Renthia succeed for good or bad?
“I am not just a woodswoman. I am a woman of the woods. I am the queen.”
What I appreciated..
- This series continues to evolve in the most phenomenal ways. With each new resolution, we uncover new complications and plots among the thrones.
- Sarah Beth Durst’s writing remains consistent, meeting expectations and broadening them with each encounter.
- Dynamic character relationships and growth that offer complexity and internal struggles that drive the story equally alongside the plot.
- Conflicts that incorporate moral values and a solid sense of the responsibility and challenges that come with leadership and control.
- World building that is immersive and lush. Each story expands Renthia and invites the reader to explore.
- A magic system that implements nature and spirits intelligently and feels complete.
- A fulfilling conclusion that shows the author understands her readers.
“My feet won’t touch the forest floor until it has stories to tell me. I am not done with the trees yet.”
Challenges some may encounter..
- There were a few characters that could have been developed further such as Bayn and his backstory.
- Queen Daleina seemed to fall to the wayside at times which in part made sense, but was slightly disappointing since this was the completion of a trilogy.
- It’s over. Can I count that? I am counting that.
The Queen of Sorrow was a beautiful conclusion to a solid fantasy series that is hard to say goodbye to. The author has created a world and magic system that coexist and are interdependent in the best of ways. Character growth is rewarding and each new addition welcomed. I will be anticipating Sarah Beth Durst’s future works and continue to recommend this series with ease.
*I would like to thank Harper Voyager and Edelweiss for this advanced copy. The above review is my own, unbiased and honest opinion.
Pairs well with a nice earthy Pu-erh blend.
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