This was a gift from my boyfriend this Valentine’s day and I have spent every spare moment I have had since devouring it’s pages.
From the blurb description I was immediately reminded of The Hunger Games, one of my favourite fiction series of all time. I was expecting strong, female protagonists, a hint of romance and a whole lot of threat.
Well, in the beginning, I didn’t get much of that. There were an awful lot of characters to keep track of and that meant it was hard to keep really develop any deep connection to the characters early on in the book.
The three queens, I felt, didn’t quite live up to the Katniss-esque power I was expecting, at least not in the beginning. Whereas Katniss rebels against her lack of control and finds a way to get her power, the three queens seem to shy away from any chance they have to seize control. But, then, all of a sudden, it’s as though something snaps, perhaps it is the desperation the three of them feel over the rapidly approaching Quickening Ceremony, but all of a sudden, the queens rebel. Each in their own way, and for one of them at least, it made me really begin to like her – safe to say I had my favourite Queen. Katherine’s story was the only one that didn’t paint her in a bad light really. Despite the fact that she is made out to be the weakest of character and is disliked by almost every other character in the book bar Natalia and Pytier.
The other two queens, though they did eventually develop personality, I didn’t grow to like them the same as I did Katherine. Arsinoe is arrogant, and stubborn to the point where she endangers everyone. Mirabella is, in my opinion, a total hypocrite and incredibly fickle. She is the one who resolutely refuses her destiny, and for that I admired her somewhat, but she in the end, causes a lot of heartache for my actual favourite character, and for that, I instantly disliked her.
Arsinoe’s mentor, Jules, was by far and away the most rounded, interesting character. She has personality, a vast range of emotion and she has conflicting motives that really give her character a depth. Whilst I may have found Jules the most intriguing character, it really is the conflicting personalities of the three queens that really drives this plot.
The plot is pushed on by the growing personalities of the queens, and by the various deceptions and lies that are spread by them, and other characters trying to protect them. It leads to a great number of twist and surprises and that was what made the book such a page turner.
I was determined to know whose lies would pan out, who would take the crown, whose romance would survive? So many questions, drive you towards the ending and then, we reach the event we’ve all been waiting for – The Quickening. And it truly is as dramatic as I would have expected, and in true Hunger Games once the novel ended, the story had only truly just gotten started.
Needless to say I’ll be asking for the sequel for my anniversary present! Because despite the novel taking a while to get going, and taking a while to engage with characters, I was driven to know what was going to happen, and after the events at the novel’s close, I’m even more curious to know what’s going on!