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The Queen of Sorrow
Cover of The Queen of Sorrow
The Queen of Sorrow
Borrow Borrow

The battle between vicious spirits and strong-willed queens that started in the award-winning The Queen of Blood and continued in the powerful The Reluctant Queen comes to a stunning conclusion in The Queen of Sorrow, the final volume of Sarah Beth Durst's Queens of Renthia trilogy.

Queen Daleina has yearned to bring peace and prosperity to her beloved forest home—a hope that seemed doomed when neighboring forces invaded Aratay. Now, with the powerful Queen Naelin ruling by her side, Daleina believes that her dream of ushering in a new era can be realized, even in a land plagued by malevolent nature spirits who thirst for the end of human life.

And then Naelin's children are kidnapped by spirits.

Nothing is more important to her than her family, and Naelin would rather watch the world burn than see her children harmed. Blaming the defeated Queen Merecot of Semo for the kidnapping, Naelin is ready to start a war—and has the power to do it.

But Merecot has grander plans than a bloody battle with her southern neighbors. Taking the children is merely one step in a plot to change the future of all Renthia, either by ending the threat of spirits once and for all . . . or plunging the world into chaos.

The battle between vicious spirits and strong-willed queens that started in the award-winning The Queen of Blood and continued in the powerful The Reluctant Queen comes to a stunning conclusion in The Queen of Sorrow, the final volume of Sarah Beth Durst's Queens of Renthia trilogy.

Queen Daleina has yearned to bring peace and prosperity to her beloved forest home—a hope that seemed doomed when neighboring forces invaded Aratay. Now, with the powerful Queen Naelin ruling by her side, Daleina believes that her dream of ushering in a new era can be realized, even in a land plagued by malevolent nature spirits who thirst for the end of human life.

And then Naelin's children are kidnapped by spirits.

Nothing is more important to her than her family, and Naelin would rather watch the world burn than see her children harmed. Blaming the defeated Queen Merecot of Semo for the kidnapping, Naelin is ready to start a war—and has the power to do it.

But Merecot has grander plans than a bloody battle with her southern neighbors. Taking the children is merely one step in a plot to change the future of all Renthia, either by ending the threat of spirits once and for all . . . or plunging the world into chaos.

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About the Author-
  • Sarah Beth Durst is the award-winning author of sixteen fantasy books for adults, teens, and kids, including The Queens of Renthia series, Drink Slay Love, and The Stone Girl's Story. She won an ALA Alex Award and a Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, and has been a finalist for SFWA's Andre Norton Award three times. She is a graduate of Princeton University, where she spent four years studying English, writing about dragons, and wondering what the campus gargoyles would say if they could talk. Sarah lives in Stony Brook, New York, with her husband, her children, and her ill-mannered cat. For more information, visit her at sarahbethdurst.com.

Reviews-
  • Library Journal

    December 1, 2017

    In this wrap-up to the trilogy begun with the Alex Award-winning The Reluctant Queenand continued with The Queen of Sorrow, Queen Daleina hopes for some peace in Renthia with Queen Naelin ruling by her side. But then Naelin's children are kidnapped by spirits. With a 50,000-copy first printing.

    Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from March 19, 2018
    The thrilling and sometimes melancholy finale of Durst’s Queens of Renthia trilogy continues to expand the world of Renthia, finally bringing the story into Semo, the neighboring country that had attacked the land of Aratay in the previous book. Naelin—one of Aratay’s two queens, capable of commanding the wild nature spirits of the land—learns that her children have been kidnapped by Queen Merecot of Semo and is forced to bargain to retrieve them. Naturally, everyone’s plans go awry (including those of Naelin’s fellow queen, Daleina), and both countries find themselves fighting for survival. As Durst’s scope expands, she still has time for character growth (including a nice focus on Daleina’s younger sister, Arin, whose exploration of her bisexuality ends up tying directly into her own quest to help save the nations), and for some sharp twists. Younger fans of Durst’s YA works might be surprised by just how adult the story gets at times—Naelin and Daleina both enjoy a lot of sex, and death is plentiful and sometimes horrific. The well-crafted denouement wraps up the entire adventure perfectly. Agent: Andrea Somberg, Andrea Somberg Literary.

  • Kirkus

    April 15, 2018
    The final volume in a high fantasy trilogy (The Reluctant Queen, 2017, etc.) set on a continent where all the powers of nature are tied to vicious elemental spirits controlled by queens.In the previous installment, ruthless, ambitious Queen Merecot of Semo sought to find a place for her excess spirits by conquering Aratay, the country co-ruled by her former schoolmate Queen Daleina. After Merecot's defeat, Semo is still swarming with too many spirits, whose urge to harm and destroy might tear the country apart. Now, Merecot has kidnapped the children of Aratay's second queen, the more powerful Queen Naelin, whose grief and fury devastate Aratay before she can get her emotion-fueled magic under control. But Merecot's plan extends beyond simply taking over Aratay to save Semo. It is a scheme that stretches back to the world's flawed creation and may forever end the threat the spirits pose to all of Renthia...if Naelin and Daleina agree to participate. It is also a scheme that doesn't make a lot of sense, because if it succeeds, it seems likely to rob Merecot of the magical power that she loves so much and requires in order to maintain her rule. That issue aside, the book offers a reasonably satisfying resolution to the trilogy while still leaving the door open for new books in Renthia (which, according to the acknowledgments, is exactly what the author plans to write). Perhaps that will also provide opportunities for the more interesting minor characters in the story, such as the sociopathic poisoner Garnah, to take center stage. Other characters, particularly Cajara, a shy young candidate for queen, are never fully developed despite the key roles they play in the plot. But at least Merecot gets exactly what she deserves for her presumption.On balance, a decent wrap-up.

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • RT Book Reviews "Durst brings her lavish saga to an emotional and breathtaking end, as this eic tale continues to thrill and enchant until the very last page."
  • Publishers Weekly (starred review) "The thrilling and sometimes melancholy finale of Durst's Queens of Renthia trilogy...The well-crafted denouement wraps up the entire adventure perfectly."
  • Booklist (starred review) "The Queens of Renthia series [...] concludes with an earth-shattering conflict between three determined queens, two countries, and a multitude of bloodthirsty spirits."
  • Wall Street Journal "Ms. Durst has given us a refeshing, provocative and ultimately convincing remake of modern fantasy conventions. The wonder is that we ever saw things the other way around."
  • Washington Book Review "The Queen of Sorrow is [...] filled with intricate battles, a lot of action, intriguing strategies, and an entertaining story. The amazing fantasy characters remain true to themselves."
  • Fantasy Literature, 4-1/2 stars "I will gladly read any and all books she chooses to write about this wonderful, imaginative world. Highly recommended."
  • B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog "With a story focused on powerful women and worldbuilding worthy of Guy Gavriel Kay, this series has been a dark delight."
  • Kid’s BookBuzz "If you're looking for a high-fantasy series that has a very character-driven plot and will keep you interested and engaged, pick up these books! They're full of magic, mayhem, and emotion."
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