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The Cursed Queen by Sarah Fine ARC {4 Stars}

The Cursed Queen by Sarah Fine ARC {4 Stars}

The Cursed Queen by Sarah Fine (The Impostor Queen #2)
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on 432
Genres: Fantasy, YA
How I got my copy: Publisher
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Ansa has always been a fighter.

As a child, she fought the invaders who murdered her parents and snatched her as a raid prize. She fought for her place next to Thyra, the daughter of the Krigere Chieftain. She fought for her status as a warrior in her tribe: blood and victory are her way of life. But the day her Krigere cross the great lake and threaten the witch queen of the Kupari, everything changes.

Cursed by the queen with fire and ice, Ansa is forced to fight against an invisible enemy—the dark magic that has embedded itself deep in her bones. The more she seeks to hide it, the more dangerous it becomes. And with the Krigere numbers decimated and the tribe under threat from the traitorous brother of the dead Chieftain, Ansa is torn between her loyalty to the Krigere, her love for Thyra, and her own survival instincts.

With her world in chaos and each side wanting to claim her for their own, only one thing is certain: unless Ansa can control the terrible magic inside her, everything she’s fought for will be destroyed.

4 Stars

Note: I received an advanced copy of The Cursed Queen from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Strengths:

  • Queer fantasy! I put The Cursed Queen on my TBR the instant I saw Fine tweet that Ansa was a cannon bisexual heroine. I’m very happy to report that I think Ansa was exceedingly well portrayed. I loved that she had a male lover previously and now has feelings for a female friend and at no point does she deny either part of her sexuality. Also all the lady kisses! Finally, same sex couples are completely normal in the Krigere culture, so yey for that!
  • This is a companion sequel to The Impostor Queen and I really enjoyed seeing basically the other side to that story. This story is completely focused on the ‘barbarians’ that were putting the Kupari at risk in the previous book. I love it when we see that the ‘bad guys’ actually have very good reasons for doing what they are doing, instead of just being evil.
  • Since Ansa actually has magic (as you can tell from the cover! Side note: I didn’t see the fire and ice magic on each of her hands when I first looked at the cover and now I can’t get over how cool that is!) and therefore we get a lot more detail about what the fire and ice magic of the Kupari can really do.
  • There is a whole lot of trust issues going on throughout this book. Basically everything comes down to who should Ansa trust, since she has to choose which leader she will support with her new found power. Without any spoilers, I’m really happy with how things turned out ;-).

Weaknesses:

  • I had trouble connecting emotionally to Ansa. She has been brought up to define herself by violence and how many kills she has achieved and this just wasn’t something I could connect to. I am all for heroines who kill because their family is at risk, etc. However, Ansa and the Krigere in general raid and kill because their culture doesn’t value any other way of life and that I couldn’t get behind, therefore I was hoping for Ansa to fail and figure her shit out for most of the book.
  • While this is a companion, I don’t think you can really read it as a standalone. I had trouble remembering details from Impostor Queen and really wish I had read them closer together. There weren’t enough reminders for me to connect all the dots of important events and I very much felt like I was missing some things.

 

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
– Anya

 

 The Cursed Queen by Sarah Fine

© 2017 – 2016, Anya. All rights reserved.

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