The Queen’s Blade

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The Queen's Blade

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...A master assassin helping to save a queendom....

On her ascension to the throne of the Jashimari, Queen Minna-Satu vows to end the war between her country and that of the neighbouring desert savages, the Cotti. She summons Shamsara, the seer who can see the future, to advise on what path she should take. Once she understands the hard choices she has to make, she starts by sending small groups of soldiers to kill the Cotti King Shandor and capture his son and heir, Prince Kerrion. These missions continue to fail, undermining her position as her ministers jockey for position and the politics becomes deadly. Then she is approached by the assassin Blade, who has his own reasons to hate the Cotti, to carry out the mission. By stealth and guile, he succeeds where others have failed and returns to the Queen with Kerrion in tow. With Prince Kerrion in her captivity, Minna-Satu puts the next part of her plan into action, starting with trying to convince him to agree to a truce. While Prince Kerrion is next in line to be King, he has several brothers who are in a more favourable position to usurp the throne and continue the war against Jashimari. How will she be able to save her kingdom, when Prince Kerrion refuses any sort of treaty, the war continues and her ministers are at war with each other. Can she rely on the assassin to help do what is needed to end the war?

A fantasy novel that follows the high level intrigue occurring around the war between the two kingdoms. The plot covers the actions of the top few people behind the lines, the strategies and plans they have, and we see very little of the war that is going on. We hear plenty of the impact it has had, but see little of the fighting itself. Instead, we mainly follow Blade carrying out his role on behalf of the queen, both on the initial job and then on his further adventures. I do like that Blade is not unbeatable, just a very skilled assassin and it adds to his mystique that he is clever enough to carry out his job with such cunning. Along side him, Minna-Satu is an interesting character as the Queen, looking to try and change the world around her, knowing what she has to do and what the cost will be and yet going ahead with it anyway. The writing does a good job of describing both what is happening and the world around the characters. The pace of the story rises and falls allowing the moments to matter and the tension to rack up when it is needed.

One thing that does pop up that doesn’t make much sense. Everyone has an animal they are associated with with some of them even having familiars of that animal. But despite it being mentioned several times, it doesn’t appear to mean anything. Are they just pets, is there something more mystical, it seems like there should be more. Perhaps this peculiarity is resolved in future stories as to how this works.

The book is well formatted, although a table of contents for the chapters is missed. There are some details of future books and some notes on the Author. Overall, I has a certain amount of fun reading this book. It is a fairly standard fantasy story and fans of the genre should enjoy this, and if you do, then there are several more stories in the series to pick up.

Rating: 4
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