As an orphan ward of the Sisterhood, eighteen-year-old Kalinda is destined for nothing more than a life of seclusion and prayer. Plagued by fevers, she’s an unlikely candidate for even a servant’s position, let alone a courtesan or wife. Her sole dream is to continue living in peace in the Sisterhood’s mountain temple. But a visit from the tyrant Rajah Tarek disrupts Kalinda’s life. Within hours, she is ripped from the comfort of her home, set on a desert trek, and ordered to fight for her place among the rajah’s ninety-nine wives and numerous courtesans. Her only solace comes in the company of her guard, the stoic but kind Captain Deven Naik. Faced with the danger of a tournament to the death—and her growing affection for Deven—Kalinda has only one hope for escape, and it lies in an arcane, forbidden power buried within her. In Emily R. King’s thrilling fantasy debut, an orphan girl blossoms into a warrior, summoning courage and confidence in her fearless quest to upend tradition, overthrow an empire, and reclaim her life as her own.
The Hundredth QueenFeatured
Kalinda is an orphaned young woman chosen by the indomitable Raja Tarek for his one-hundredth and final wife. She suddenly finds herself fighting for her life and her newly acquired throne with her guard, Deven as her only ally. Hunger Games fans will find the familiar kill or be killed theme of the arena style fights a familiar, yet well executed trope.
The historical setting is purely fictional, although based on Sumerian history and mythology. The result is an exotic and believable world with exciting twists and turns at every interval as Kalinda attempts to navigate the dangerous circumstances she finds herself in. The fast pace and mysterious events keeps the pages turning long into the night.
I particularly enjoyed seeing Kalinda’s growth from a character reluctant to accept her role, to a fearless warrior embracing the power she never knew she had, to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves.
There are moments where Kali’s lack of training and lack of knowledge of her Bhuta powers seem to set her up for utter failure, yet she always manages to come out on top, but not always in a believable way. The final moments of the book make it all worthwhile as the story arc comes to a satisfactory close, leaving Kalinda ready to face what comes next in The Fire Queen.
The Hundredth Queen launches readers into an unforgettable world of forbidden romance, unimaginable powers and a perfectly evil villain. And that is only the beginning.
The Hundredth Queen was full of magic, suspense, fantasy, action, betrayal, and swoon-worthy romance. Emily's writing is beautiful, captivating, and full of emotion. Each character is unique and fascinating in their own way but the main character, Kalinda, is the heart of the story. Kalinda is a strong female heroine who beats the odds to become one of the Rajah's queens.....most importantly his Hundredth Queen.
Kali is torn from her peaceful and serene life at the Sisterhood's temple and brought to the Rajah's palace where she will fight for her life in a tournament against his other ninety-nine queens and also his courtesans.
When Kali is pulled from the temple she is escorted to the Rajah's palace by Deven, a high-ranking palace guard. I loved the immediate connection between Kali and Deven and how easily they became intertwined with each other. Deven's fierce protectiveness toward Kali was beautiful and breath-taking and their romance felt like it was destined to be.
“His warm smile squeezes me breathless."
Another aspect of the story that I loved was how Emily portrayed the importance of strong female relationships between the characters all throughout the story.
The Hundredth Queen is a sweeping YA fantasy that is full of incredible world-building, breath-taking romance, and a magical journey that will keep you intrigued until the last page. There were so many fascinating twists and turns throughout the story and each turn of the page seemed to be more suspenseful than the last. Each chapter was so exciting and intriguing and I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next. I literally cannot wait to read The Fire Queen to see what lies ahead for Kalinda and her journey to become the One Hundredth Queen.