*thanks to Netgalley and Chardonian Press for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review*
Title: Death’s Queen
Author: Janeal Falor
Genre: YA Fantasy
Published: 6th March 2017 by Chardonian Press
(via Goodreads): “Nameless. Unknown. Alone.
An assassin without a name, born to kill. Owned by a vicious man who refuses to call her anything but girl, she is forced to commit atrocious acts of violence. Vowing to take her future into her own hands, the seventeen-year-old decides to risk everything on one act of defiance—drinking from The Death Drink. The beverage kills most whose lips touch it—only allowing those who are destined to be royalty survive the first sip.
Powerful. Revered. Hunted.
To the astonishment of the nation of Valcora, she imbibes it and lives, which crowns her queen. Thrown into a life of royal intrigue, she now has a purpose—to rule with the fairness she was never shown. Despite her altruistic plans, it becomes apparent that someone wants her dead. The new queen must use her training from the former life she only wants to forget in order to stay alive long enough to turn her kingdom into something she can be proud of. She’ll hold onto the crown… or die trying.”
Death’s Queen is about a nameless female assassin who has been following her master’s orders and committing murder all her life. One day she realises how much she despises to kill and leaves the only home she’s ever known. For days she lives on the streets, her mood and will to live slowly slipping away until she decides to end her life by drinking from The Death Drink – it either kills you or crowns you as the new queen. To her surprise she survives and gets thrown into a new life at the court, having people bow down before her and follow her orders and wishes.
With only 118 pages this was a quick read but that is by no means a negative thing, I actually enjoyed it!
I really liked our anonymous main character. We don’t get to know much about her, look-/personality-wise until a few chapters in, which makes her very mysterious and difficult to figure out at first. The people of the court and country don’t know that their new queen is a former deadly assassin but there are still people who want her dead due to her new position as queen. As the story progresses we don’t only get to see her deadly, fierce side where she takes down any man who tries to kill her, but also another more sensitive side. She has difficulty opening up to people or showing emotion and she trusts no one around her. With the exception of the young guard Nash who now is her newly appointed Head Advisor. He keeps her company, takes his time to explain politics to her and also how to act as a queen.
She also does a lot differently than all the queens before her. She changes rules and doesn’t let anyone talk down on her or try to talk her into something she doesn’t want to do. If she doesn’t like a dress, she lets them make her a new one. If she isn’t okay with the court’s courtesy rules she lets people know it. I like that she has a mind of her own and only pursues what she thinks is right. She opposes the council and only ever really listens to Nash.
I liked how her and Nash worked together but I do have to say their relationship developed a little too quickly for me. I think the whole story took place within a couple of weeks so they could have developed feelings for each other, sure, it just seemed a little too fast for my liking. But maybe I just felt that way because the book only has 100+ pages, I’m not sure!
The story was very fast-paced and there are some unexpected truths that are revealed throughout the story. If you’re looking for a quick read with a bit of action, betrayal, life at court, a little side-romance and a badass female character you should pick up Death’s Queen!