Queendom of the Seven Lakes
by A B Endacott
This ARC was provided by NetGalley and publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.
Synopsis by NetGalley
“Your Majesty, I take life. I am not certain that my skills actually extend to preserving it.”
There are always those who are willing to pay for someone else’s death. Having grown up amongst the Family of Assassins, Elen-ai knows well the prices people are willing to pay to see their enemies fall quickly, quietly, and discreetly. When she is asked to preserve life rather than take it, she is surprised. Upon hearing that her charge is the Queen’s only child GIdyon, who is secretly being groomed to succeed his mother, she is horrified. To ensure political stability, no man has ever sat on the throne of the Queendom of the Seven Lakes. Yet one does not easily refuse a Queen, and so reluctantly, Elen-ai accepts the contract.
Her fears only deepen upon meeting the sixteen-year-old Prince Gidyon, who treats her as no better than a petty murderer. However, following an attack on his life, Elen-ai is forced to admit that the danger of leaving this boy-prince alone may be even worse than leaving him to his own devices. Elen-ai reluctantly accompanies Gidyon across the country to identify those within the seven most powerful families who are responsible for the attempt on the Prince’s life.
Somewhere in their travels from the calm waters of Lake Tak to the looming cliffs above Lake Bertak, the two form an unlikely yet profound friendship, and Elen-ai begins to see that Gidyon has the makings of a great ruler within him. As they meet with the families of power, it becomes increasingly clear that secrets and power games run far deeper throughout the Queendom of the Seven Lakes than either of them ever suspected.
The book itself: I very much enjoyed this book! It’s a mix of Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas with the female assassin, and The Power by Naomi Alderman with the switch of gender roles throughout the entire world. I’m a sucker for assassin tales and this one hit the spot. Also, the switching of the gender roles was very well done. there is at one stage a hint that a neighbouring country has applied strict rules for all men to cover up. Small things like that I truly enjoy. It gives the story more width.
It was fun and compelling and I did tend to forget the time when I read it, which to me is very important. So I have not worked out for five days because of this book (you know “oh I’ll just finish this page then do the workout…” which never happened).
The Story: The story is very political and focuses more on the intrigues and interrelationship events, rather than the action all the time. I enjoyed the journey and meeting all the member of the seven families. And I was entertained by the development of the two main characters.
The Characters: I really liked reading about Elen-ai. She is a great character and a great person. She is a little bit detached, as an assassin should be, but it prevented me from connecting fully with her. However, that might appear in the next book.
The Prince, or Gidyon, is a sixteen-year-old heir-to-be. He starts off as a brat towards Elen-ai but always well mannered to others. He has no interest in Elen-ai’s presence and wants her gone. After some travelling and serious event, he comes around. All in all, he is a highly intelligent young bloke who knows what he needs to do to be an heir.
These are the two most important characters in the book. There are also the Queen, her three advisors, two counsellors from the Third Country, and the occasional family member of one of the seven families. It would be nice to have more of the Third Country councillors in the story as they play an important part in the beginning, but I’m sure we’ll see more of them in the next book to tie it all in.
I would have liked a few more characters, but again I’m sure there will be some in the next book.
Writing: The writing was short and precise with a lot of potentials which wasn’t always used to the fullest. There are two issues I have with the writing and I’ll keep it short: the action scenes were slowly written, and the banter felt forced. Don’t get me wrong, the banter is great; it’s funny and makes me smile and giggle. However, the reaction from the character who provided the banter is, to me, on the over-done side (I prefer mine medium or medium-rare 😉). The potential is there for both issues, and I’m looking forward to seeing this author evolve through her writing book by book.
Have you read this? What did you think?