The Queen Will Betray You (Kingdoms of Sand and Sky, #2)
KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE CROWN…
After a thousand years of political stability, the realm of The Sand and Sky is up for grabs. Four kingdoms, four rulers vying for the ultimate prize, sovereignty over the entire continent: A ruthless old king spinning webs, whose schemes encompass generations. A widowed queen whose only credo is all kings must die. A runaway queen whose unexpected return upends everyone’s plans. And a prince-in-waiting determined to wait no more.
Standing against them are a dispossessed princess and her stable boy love with a surprising claim of his own. Their only hope in the face of unspeakable betrayals, enemies hidden in the shadows, and insurmountable odds is the power of true love...
In this second book, Henning takes the reader on an unexpected ride through imprisonments, imposters, unexpected family, and Game-of-Thrones-style fighting and political sequences that are sure to keep readers on their toes.
What I loved: Much like the first, this book continues the world-building of the Kingdoms and their ruthless rulers with new sequences and characters. The book does a fantastic job of presenting information to the reader as they need it, without any unnecessary knowledge dumps. As such, the book keeps the reader in the action and maintains a very quick pace. This book is full of action, unexpected fights, and loads of intrigue. The politics are being played across kingdoms at a Game of Thrones level, with plenty of unexpected twists and many clever and dangerous moves.
Amarande remains a shining beacon of bravery and truth, fighting not only against those who would steal her power but also against the ingrained patriarchy, and I loved her all the more for it. She is a highly compelling character, and her motivations remain noble and strong. She is once again run through the gamut to achieve what she wants as a sovereign for her people, for herself, and for the stableboy she loves. We also get to know some of the characters from the first book better here, and I found them really intriguing. Motivations are becoming clearer as insight is gained from multiple perspectives. The characters are really extended and built in ways that make the books all the more fascinating.
While I love the roots of the first book in THE PRINCESS BRIDE, this one felt like a complete departure, having taken on a life of its own, and I really enjoyed the new twists and themes. This is definitely a series that is easy to lose yourself in, and the ending makes way for the third book - one readers are sure to be eagerly anticipating.
Final verdict: With fantastic world-building, compelling characters, and unexpected plot twists, THE QUEEN WILL BETRAY YOU is an exciting and action-packed sequel in a delightfully feminist YA fantasy series.