I received the second book in this series as an eARC, so I had to rent this one from Amazon. I liked the premise of the second book, but after reading this one, I have lost a bit of hope for what is to come.
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Title: The Lost Queen
Author: Signe Pike
Genre: Historical Fiction
Page Count: 527
In a land of mountains and mist, tradition and superstition, Languoreth and her brother Lailoken are raised in the Old Way of their ancestors. But in Scotland, a new religion is rising, one that brings disruption, bloodshed, and riot. And even as her family faces the burgeoning forces of Christianity, the Anglo-Saxons, bent on colonization, are encroaching from the east. When conflict brings the hero Emrys Pendragon to her father’s door, Languoreth finds love with one of his warriors. Her deep connection to Maelgwn is forged by enchantment, but she is promised in marriage to Rhydderch, son of a Christian king. As Languoreth is catapulted into a world of violence and political intrigue, she must learn to adapt. Together with her brother—a warrior and druid known to history as Myrddin—Languoreth must assume her duty to fight for the preservation of the Old Way and the survival of her kingdom, or risk the loss of them both forever.
Based on new scholarship, this tale of bravery and conflicted love brings a lost queen back to life—rescuing her from obscurity, and reaffirming her place at the center of one of the most enduring legends of all time.
A Tough Genre to Write
I’ve read some historical fiction in my time, but I wouldn’t say it’s up there in my most common genres. That realization was pretty surprising to me because I am a big fan of history. It was one of my favourite classes in school, and I like researching different historical periods whenever I watch or read something that falls in that time period.
The Lost Queen takes place during the time when Christianity was overtaking a lot of belief systems in Western Europe. It’s a great period of time, but it also brings a bunch of complications to a lot of people’s histories.
We have lost so many stories and histories because of this time period, but we got so many at the same time. There is so much we don’t know about these people and their lives, but I like that there is so much potential for storytelling.
I would argue that The Lost Queen also falls into the King Arthur re-telling genre, which I have not become a fan of lately.
A King-Arthur story is one of the most well-known stories that I know of. There are so many different version of it in books, movies, anime, and who knows what else. I don’t need more versions of how King Arthur came to his throne, or the different versions of his story before he became king.
The Lost Queen doesn’t focus as heavily on Arthur per se, but his likeness is present in the book. I guess technically it is more of a loose origin story for Merlin and how he became who he is; the most famous wizard of all time.
I wish authors could create their own legends and not focus so heavily on other stories, but I understand the need for it, and its importance in literature.
The Lost Queen is never amazing. There’s never a moment where I was blown away or willing to stay uppitiest all night reading.
At the same time, it was never bad. It was never uninteresting and boring. I never regretted reading it.
The protagonist is an interesting character. Seeing her navigate the world around her is one of the better parts of the story because she is in the middle of a great divide happening in her world, but hers is probably the least interesting story of them all. She is a background character in these world changing events, and there are so many more interesting POV’s we could be following.
In the final acts of the story, the protagonist’s events get more interesting. She puts her life on the line and puts herself in a position that could ruin everything she has built in the rest of the book.
This is the only point where I found any real interest though.
Ultimately, there is minimal build-up to a climax, and when the apparent climax does come, it’s hard to distinguish from the resolution. It’s not an overly captivating read, but it is interesting enough that I think it is worth the read.
An Unbelievable Love
Even though the book was a bit dull for the most part, my least favourite part was the romance between the protagonist and her love interests.
She doesn’t want to fall in love, because that limits her. In her world, love brings a cage that she can’t escape. She wants to be free to make her own decisions, but when love comes her way, she accepts it.
What I find most creepy is getting in to some intimate details of her love life, when she barely hits puberty.
Boys and girls that young can fall in love and have physical and mental connections with people, but I don’t want to read about it.
I don’t want to read about a young teenage girl having intimate relations with a young-adult man. I was half tempted to end the book there because of how creeped out I felt during it all.
Overall, The Lost Queen is a good book. It’s a good historical re-telling of one of the most important eras in human history. I definitely do not regret reading it, and it made me want to read more historical fiction, but I definitely didn’t need the not-of-age sex scenes.