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Sonderbooks Book Review of

The Queen of Sorrow

Book Three of The Queens of Renthia

by Sarah Beth Durst

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The Queen of Sorrow

Book Three of The Queens of Renthia

by Sarah Beth Durst

Review written May 6, 2020, from my own copy, purchased via
Harper Voyager, 2018. 419 pages.
Starred Review
2020 Sonderbooks Stand-out:
#6 Fiction

The Queen of Sorrow is the third book in the Queens of Renthia trilogy, which unfortunately came out when I was in the middle of reading for the Newbery. Since this is not a children’s book, I couldn’t justify giving it my time then. I happily finally got to it this past week and enjoyed getting pulled back into that world.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, given the title, that this book does not start out happily. Just when they think they can settle down and try to live in peace and prosperity after the events of Book Two, The Reluctant Queen, one of the queens has her children kidnapped. She’s not exactly calm and measured in her desire to get them back, and the reader does find out there’s a bigger plot involved.

Without giving anything away, I felt like the resolution of that big plot was a little anticlimactic. However, the book itself is an absorbing read, with many plotlines going on and our beloved characters facing multiple dangers and difficult decisions. (There! Is that vague enough to not give anything away from the earlier books?) And I did like the way things ended up for each set of characters.

You do want to read these books in order. And even though I wasn’t crazy about that one element of the ending – I immensely enjoyed the journey getting there.

The big strength of the Queens of Renthia series is the world-building. We’ve got a world where spirits of nature create and destroy – but must be controlled by powerful queens. And if the queen’s power slips, the spirits will attack the humans, whom they hate. In this book, we gain some more insights into the spirits and their motivation and how this whole thing works, as well as more insight into the queens we have met along the way.

This is an imaginative and creative fantasy trilogy for adults. Since I took so long to finish reading it, there is already a stand-alone novel out about a queen from one of the neighboring countries in Renthia, so I will get to enjoy more of this world.