In this epic fantasy sequel, Heloise stands tall against overwhelming odds–crippling injuries, religious tyrants–and continues her journey from obscurity to greateness with the help of alchemically-empowered armor and an unbreakable spirit.
No longer just a shell-shocked girl, she is now a figure of revolution whose cause grows ever stronger. But the time for hiding underground is over. Heloise must face the tyrannical Order and lay siege to the Imperial Palace itself.
Thanks to Tor.com and the author for an advanced reading copy of The Queen of Crows (Sacred Throne #2) in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this ARC did not influence my thoughts or opinions.
Yeah… I am a bit behind the times. It’s quite sad, really, because The Armored Saint was one of my favorite novellas of 2018 and I was super pumped about its sequel hitting in the same year. Well, I knew I had to do something, seeing as I have a copy of The Killing Light waiting in the wings and Heloise glares at me every time I walk into my office. Opportunity came a-knocking last night when I had to sit through a dance recital rehearsal.
The Queen of Crows is beautiful, brutal, and relentless. Cole has written an astounding sequel that, in my opinion, has topped its predecessor.
What in the world can I say that I haven’t already said in my previous review? Heloise is, hands down, one of THE most enamoring female protagonists in fantasy today. I mean, thrust into a leadership role at her age, with not a lick of training or expertise. An impossible feat that she learns to wield with bravado when it comes to the difficult, and sometimes downright impossible, decisions of war. She may not be the hero they wanted, but she is certainly the one they needed.
Cole has a way of building this world that feels oft times overwhelming to the senses, but is so claustrophobic and intimate in its execution as we see so little of it outside of our band. On top of that, he has created this entity (the Order) that we have only seen bits and pieces of, leaving us to wonder just how this will all play out in the end (sort of like GoT and the White Walkers… I know, everything gets compared to it but you know what I mean, so it works). I feel that Cole has plenty of hands left to play, but the ones he has already put on the table have been winners.
That being said, I didn’t always think The Queen of Crows was going to be a 5-star novella. The first half of the book was a good foundation that was already well established in Book 1, giving us snippets into the past and all of the pieces we needed to bring about the climax. But that second half doe… especially the last 50 pages or so were what ultimately had me giving Cole all the stars. Just when you thought you knew what was coming, R.A. Dickey throws another knuckleball that has you swinging for the fences and missing by a mile.