So this is super exciting for me because it’s the first time an author has reached out to me for a review instead of me going looking for review copies! So I’d like to start with a big THANK YOU to Alice (the ‘A’) for hitting me up and letting me in to the world of the Seven Families and the ‘Second Country’ you created!
Queendom of the Seven Lakes follows a member of the Family, Elen-ai, as she is tasked with protecting the heir to the throne, Gidyon, a 16-year-old boy who alternates between being a bit of a prat (sorry not sorry) and a well-spoken diplomat, depending on his company. Travelling across the Third Country as they visit members of the Seven Families to ask for their support in naming the first ever male heir to the throne, the two travellers hit some snags and rough patches along the way, while also learning to live with each other.
While this isn’t the type of book I’d normally pick up (fantasy isn’t my normal genre of choice), the idea of a world where females are the heir to the throne to secure political stability was really interesting to me so I was excited to see where the story led.
Luckily for me, Endacott has done a spectacular job of writing an intricate novel where every look and action is heavy with meaning, while avoiding the kind of overly confusing world-building that often puts me off fantasy/high-fantasy novels. The world-building in this novel is well-done, and while parts could use a bit more explaining, as a reader I felt like I was given enough information to let me follow the story and understand the weight of some of the plot points, without bogging me down in needless history of the Second Country.
Elen-ai stood out to me from the start as a fantastic character, a strong woman who never lost sight of the contract she had. In every scene and every action she takes, you can see her measuring up risks and taking in every small detail of the space to avoid anything happening to the Prince. Her character and demeanour is perfectly consistent through the whole novel and she was an absolute joy to read! I especially loved her scenes with Gidyon as their friendship grew and changed through the book, while avoiding typical romantic tropes we see in so many other YA novels.
I’m really excited to get my hands on the next book in the series, King of the Seven Lakes, and look forward to the third book being released in the next few weeks!
Rating: If you are looking for a quick read in a wonderful new world, I would happily recommend trying out Queendom of the Seven Lakes! As a non-fantasy reader, I still found the book really accessible and it was a fantastic little escapist read.
Have you read any books lately that pleasantly surprised you? This was certainly one of those reads for me!
Thank you to Alice Endacott (author) for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.