Book: “A Cerulean Queen” by Sarah Kozloff
Publishing Info: Tor Books, April 2020
Where Did I Get this Book: from the publisher!
Book Description: The true queen of Weirandale has returned.
Cerulia has done the impossible and regained the throne. However, she’s inherited a council of traitors, a realm in chaos, and a war with Oromondo.
Now a master of her Gift, to return order to her kingdom she will use all she has learned—humility, leadership, compassion, selflessness, and the necessity of ruthlessness.
Previously Reviewed: “A Queen in Hiding” and “The Queen of Raiders” and “A Broken Queen”
Review: Well, we’re finally here. “Finally” being the debatable word. Yes, it’s been a full four months of reading to get to this point, but also no, because we’re getting the last book in an epic fantasy series within, again, only four months since the first book came out! I get that not many authors write in a way that would make this type of publication style an option, but I do love me some binging in pretty much any media format! This final book successfully ties up a lot of loose strings while also going into details that I hadn’t expected. Overall, it’s a satisfying conclusion to this series.
After years and years, Cerulia has finally returned home and reclaimed the throne that was hers. But what should be a celebration soon turns into one conflict after another. Fighting her own doubts about the role of monarchy in her country, Cerulia must also contend with a council whose loyalties remain unclear, a war, and the general upheaval of a country that has quickly experienced big changes. With the future before her, now is the time for Cerulia to step up and establish what type of ruler she wants to be.
Overall, I was satisfied with this conclusion to the story. At this point, after three fairly long books, I’m pretty invested in Cerulia’s story. I’ve also highlighted that the villains have often been complex and well-realized and that carries over here in the end. Between Cerulia herself and these interesting antagonists, I remained interested in the story even when it took a few turns I wasn’t expect. For example, Cerulia gets her throne back very fast. Like, super fast. The majority of this story is then spent with her figuring out how to rule, weeding out the traitors from around her, and dealing with the tremulous state of a realm that isn’t quite sure how it feels about aristocrats anymore. To be fair, the book description itself hints at these points being a big part of the story, but for some reason my brain was still expecting more on the front end of things with her actual struggle to regain the throne. I’m not saying it went a bad route with how this was dealt with, just an unexpected one.
For the most part, I did very much enjoy the turn towards the ins and outs of what ruling would really be like for a newly established queen who’s living in a court full of people who may or may not have supported the previous ruler. I enjoy political fantasy often, so I found this aspect of the story to be interesting, especially when paralleled with the general state of uncertainty that the entire kingdom now faces with regards to its monarchy. Cerulia’s challenges operate on the micro and macro levels. The author also wisely paces the story between action scenes and emotional moments to ensure that the story never lags.
There were times, perhaps, when it became a bit predictable with Cerulia’s decisions always turning into the correct ones. But I’m not sure what else could really be done at this point; it is a last book in a series, and a series that has devoted quite a lot of time to the development of Cerulia’s decision-making. She should be doing well by this point and, while a long wrap up, a wrap up this book is. We don’t want added mysteries and conflicts at this point.
I did have a few quibbles with the end of the book, as, strangely, it was here that I felt the pacing did seem to stutter a bit. For a series that had such a strong opening chapter, I wanted a bit more from the final pages of this book. But, in the end, I was very satisfied with this conclusion to the series! And don’t forget to check out our giveaway for this book!
Rating 7: A satisfying end to a wild ride over the last four months!
“The Cerulean Queen” is a newer title so isn’t on any Goodreads lists other than “Upcoming 2020 SFF with female leads or co-leads.”
Find “The Cerulean Queen”at your library using WorldCat!