The True Queen by Zen Cho @zenaldehyde ‏@AceRocBooks @BerkleyPub

Posted March 6, 2019 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review / 14 Comments

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 @zenaldehyde ‏@AceRocBooks @BerkleyPub The True Queen by Zen Cho
Series: Sorcerer Royal #2
Published by Ace on March 12, 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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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:




About Zen Cho

Zen Cho was born and raised in Malaysia. She is the author of Crawford Award-winning short story collection Spirits Abroad, and editor of anthology Cyberpunk: Malaysia, both published by Buku Fixi. She has also been nominated for the Campbell Award for Best New Writer and the Pushcart Prize, and honour-listed for the Carl Brandon Society Awards, for her short fiction. Her debut novel, Sorcerer to the Crown, is the first in a historical fantasy trilogy published by Ace/Roc Books (US) and Pan Macmillan (UK). She lives in London with her partner and practises law in her copious free time.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2019 Releases

Posted March 6, 2019 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review / 14 Comments

14 responses to “The True Queen by Zen Cho

  1. 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.

    Jan @ Notes from a Readerholic recently posted: Can’t-Wait Wednesday: Died in the Wool by Melinda Mullett
  2. This sounds really interesting! Haven’t read the first one yet, though.
    The cover is stunnig! I’m glad you enjoyed this one!