Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The True Queen by Zen Cho
Series: Sorcerer Royal #2
Published by Ace on March 12, 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction
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When sisters Muna and Sakti wake up on the peaceful beach of the island of Janda Baik, they can’t remember anything, except that they are bound as only sisters can be. They have been cursed by an unknown enchanter, and slowly Sakti starts to fade away. The only hope of saving her is to go to distant Britain, where the Sorceress Royal has established an academy to train women in magic.
If Muna is to save her sister, she must learn to navigate high society, and trick the English magicians into believing she is a magical prodigy. As she's drawn into their intrigues, she must uncover the secrets of her past, and journey into a world with more magic than she had ever dreamed.
I loved the first book in the Sorcerer Royal series with its British society, social issues, magic, and a sprinkling of creatures and fae. The True Queen begins not so long after that story, but focuses on Malyasian witches and the fae. The two young women from the island, go to England, and this is the world already known, with some of the characters from the first book.
We mostly see things through Muna’s view and learn the most of her character. She is a kind and likeable person. She spent most of her time alone or with people she hardly knew. Sakti is not present for a long time so we don’t know her well at all. The other primary character is Hennrietta Stapleton, who is Prunella’s longtime friend and instructor at the Academy. I would have enjoyed more of Prunella and Zacharias. There was barely a hint of romance in this story.
The mystery is mostly relocating Sakti, a missing treasure and her history with Muna. There is not much overall about the political issues although the social issues are woven into the story. “Proper” women are still not “supposed” to learn magic. The ambiguities of the fae world and its unusual aspects were not as satisfying to me as the more structured, yet magical outcomes in Sorcerer to the Crown. I hope we will get more with Prunella and Zacharias and the overall world magic political situation.
Giveaway (ends today):
About THE TRUE QUEEN: Ace Trade Paperback | March 12, 2019
Ace/Berkley are giving away advance reading copies to 25 lucky winners. We will be running this giveaway February 25—March 6. Enter to win:
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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
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Sounds pretty interesting, Anne. I do like historicals where social norms of the day are woven in – especially when women are defying them. 😉 I’ll have to check out the series.
I loved the first one! I like this one but miss some of the characters from the first playing a bigger role. I expect that a little more in fantasy than other genres I guess. But I liked this and can’t wait to see what happens next
Good review, Anne. I was interested in what the next book in the series was about. I read the first book, too, but I don’t know if I’ll continue with the series. Fantasies aren’t so interesting to me at the moment. Most of the time I only read books that fit my mood and right now that seems to be mysteries and science fiction.
Sometimes the mood leads the way. I see to be hung up on K9 romantic suspense at the moment. But I’m always moving around. I appreciate how different this is from much fantasy and how female-oriented things are.
It’s not one I asked about but I was curious to see how it was. Maybe I’ll try one day!
I really love the series and how female centric it is. Magic is my favorite thing too. (More than vampires or shifters)
I can’t make up my mind whether to try this series or not. I have a feeling I’d enjoy it, but would I get to it or would it get buried in the TBR. I’ll think some more. Glad you’re enjoying it, Anne:)
It’s fantasy and historical. That’s how I think of fantasy in general as historical with swords and horses. Anyway, while not your usual genre you might enjoy the female centric aspects. It’s different and I like different.
This sounds really interesting! Haven’t read the first one yet, though.
The cover is stunnig! I’m glad you enjoyed this one!
I loved the first one even more. I highly recommend them if you like magic, fantasy and stories about women succeeding.
Sounds like you are drawn to island and beach locations, just like me. 🙂
Well I suppose that doesn’t hurt. This has two very different islands in it, with fairy providing a shortcut between them.
Something about Sorcerer to the Crown did not sit well with me. I am pickier about historical fantasies these days. I’m glad you liked it and hope you will find the next book in the series more satisfying! It is often disappointing when characters you’ve grown to love from a first book don’t play a major role in the sequel.
yes I sort of expect fantasy to have some of the same characters throughout the series. I miss those wonderful characters who were key in the first book.