Review: The Hundredth Queen by Emily R King

About the book:

He wanted a warrior queen. He got a revolutionary.

As an orphan ward of the Sisterhood, eighteen-year-old Kalinda is destined for nothing more than a life of seclusion and prayer. Plagued by fevers, she’s an unlikely candidate for even a servant’s position, let alone a courtesan or wife. Her sole dream is to continue living in peace in the Sisterhood’s mountain temple.

But a visit from the tyrant Rajah Tarek disrupts Kalinda’s life. Within hours, she is ripped from the comfort of her home, set on a desert trek, and ordered to fight for her place among the rajah’s ninety-nine wives and numerous courtesans. Her only solace comes in the company of her guard, the stoic but kind Captain Deven Naik.

Faced with the danger of a tournament to the death—and her growing affection for Deven—Kalinda has only one hope for escape, and it lies in an arcane, forbidden power buried within her.

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Review by Katy Haye:

This started more strongly than it ended, but even so it was a well written and engaging story well worth a read.

I loved the characters from the first page, and stakes built up all over the place, so I was rooting for Kali and Jaya.

The world-building and mythology were absolutely gorgeous – convincing, detailed and engagingly different.

My problem came with all the creeping around at the palace and Kali and Deven casting each other longing looks every verse end. I just couldn’t credit that the Rajah’s wives wouldn’t be more closely guarded, which made their behaviour foolhardy in the extreme.

And Jaya’s story became a bit of a spare part after being set up so strongly, which was a great shame. I wanted more of her.

Katy Haye writes speculative YA fiction. Try steampunk short, The Replacement Princess, set in an alternate, war-torn 1840s England, for free.

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