I have given The Warrior Queen by Emily R King a ☆☆☆ rating. It is Book 4 of The Hundredth Queen series. It is Young Adult Fantasy with some Romance. Skyscape publishes it. It was published August 14th, 2018.
The blurb reads:
In the final volume of The Hundredth Queen Series, Kalinda will risk everything to save the man she loves.
Kalinda has brought peace to the Tarachand Empire, at least for now. Bhutas no longer need to hide their gifts. The last of the rebels have been banished. And Prince Ashwin is set to take over as rajah.
But for Kalinda, this all came at a great loss. Her childhood home. Her best friend. The love of her life.
Deven is still trapped in the Void, although he is able to find his way to Kalinda each night. He has been lucky so far — mortals are not meant to last in the Void for long, and Deven has lasted longer than most. But when he doesn’t visit her one night, Kalinda knows that his luck has run out.
She will do whatever it takes to save the man she loves, even if it means convincing a god to guide her through the Void. Freeing a mortal from the Void is nearly impossible, but Kalinda has never let those odds stop her before…
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It has been a wild and incredible ride when it comes to The Hundredth Queen series and I can’t believe I get to read an entire series by ARC. It really makes its mark on my blogging journey. Before we jump right into the review for The Warrior Queen, you might want to catch up on reviews for the rest of the series:
Now that you’re caught up: As always, my reviews may contain spoilers. I say may because what’s a spoiler to you may not be a spoiler for me.
The Warrior Queen is boring. Yet, it is the only fitting ending to The Hundredth Queen series. While it served only to tie up all the loose ends and bring the story back full circle to The Hundredth Queen, it also is a nice change in pace for a series wrought with intensity and danger. In fact, you can see already see the ending coming and, that’s not entirely a bad thing.
The Warrior Queen picks up where The Rogue Queen left off: with Deven being dragged into the underworld and Kali helpless to save him. Of course, it’s not immediately and there is a gap of a couple of days/weeks/months (my memory fails me!) as they (Kali, Ashwin and the rest of their friends) research on how they should get him back. And, it all lies in the hands of an old fairytale that Ashwin’s mother used to tell him, the story of Inanna, who descended through the Underworld to rescue her mortal beloved. Now, the entirety of The Warrior Queen revolves around Inanna’s story as who else got their mortal boyfriend dragged into the Underworld? That’s right, Kalinda.
While a huge chunk of The Warrior Queen sees Kalinda traversing the Underworld, following the legends and tales that she has discovered and pieced together in order to save Deven, up on Earth, Ashwin tries to put together a country, nation and people that have fallen apart from the war as well as his father’s tyrannical reign.
The Warrior Queen is the most fitting ending not because we see Kalinda try to save Deven but because we so rarely see or even read of the aftermath of great fantasy novels. We get a semi-happy ending and are left to our imaginations. However, in Ashwin, we see a ruler attempt to rebuild a better world, one that he would be proud to serve and how centuries of “culture” and “traditions” are so difficult to break apart yet, they must be in order to progress.
I would definitely love to have seen more of Ashwin rebuilding the empire instead of having Deven get dragged off to the Underworld and Kali rescuing him. It would have been a breath of fresh air to the young adult fantasy genre.
Despite how boring of an ending The Warrior Queen was, it was beautifully written and served to showcase how good King is at crafting and worldbuilding. The Underworld reminded me almost of Dante’s seven levels of hell though even in the Buddhist faith (which I still feel like the entire series was based upon), there are multiple levels of hell that one will descend to based on the life they have led. The legends and myths that King describes are also in vivid detail which really led to an easy and enjoyable read.
Overall, The Warrior Queen was slow-paced and everything could have been wrapped up in the third instalment. However, it was also the ending we deserved as it showed readers the aftermath of the war and the effects a tyranny has on its people and culture. The Warrior Queen also delved further into the legend and origins of the hundredth rani and while the fantasy elements woven are classic King, it was just another fantasy read and served no true purpose to me except for retell another myth and legend.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review. This review edition may differ from the final edition.