Title: The Queen Will Betray You
Author: Sarah Henning
Pub. Date: July 6, 2021
Pub: Tor Teen
Genre: YA Fantasy Romance Retellings
The breathtaking sequel to The Princess Will Save You in the Kingdoms of Sand and Sky duology — a brilliantly-executed YA fantasy homage to The Princess Bride
To stay together forever, Princess Amarande and her stableboy love, Luca, must part: Amarande to reclaim her kingdom from usurpers, and Luca to raise a rebellion and find his destiny. Arrayed against them are all the players in the game of thrones for control over the continent of The Sand and Sky. Facing unspeakable betrayals, enemies hidden in the shadows, and insurmountable odds, their only hope is the power of true love…
This will be a spoiler free review. Thank you so much to Book Terminal Tours and the publisher for the free copy in exchange for an honest review. I’m thrilled to be a part of this tour. I really enjoyed this book – it’s definitely a good conclusion to this duology! Make sure you check out the other tour stops – you can click – here – to check them out! And stay tuned for the rest of the tour, and the other amazing posts coming up!
Also, if you’re interested – you can check out my spoiler free review for The Princess Will Save You.
I’ll be honest, I was a little wary going into this. I didn’t wholly love The Princess Will Save You, but I was curious as to how it would all end for Amarande. I do think this book is significantly stronger than the first one. It’s definitely more interesting and a lot of the issues I had with the characters and the world in the first one, were pretty much non-existent in this second one. Some of the things that happened seemed pretty convenient, but overall, it was a good story.
Having Luca actually stand on his own two feet and get this newfound confidence actually made me like his character. Having Amarande actually have to fight and suffer for her crown made me believe that she was actually a warrior princess. Having some insight and backstory into other characters and their motives made them stand out more. The world became clearer and the machinations of various players cleverer and more insidious.
Honestly, I’m a bit shocked at how much more I enjoyed this book. I inhaled it in a matter of hours and didn’t really want to put it down. Unlike the first book which seemed to take me forever to read, I actually cared about what was happening. Having to stop to make dinner was a chore – like, I couldn’t stop thinking about getting back to the book, and I was cursing the fact that I didn’t have the audiobook. Then I could have at least kept reading while cooking.
I love it when second books enrapture you and completely change your mind set about a series.
And mostly, I really liked that this second book wasn’t so much a direct retelling of The Princess Bride in the way the first book was. I don’t think that comparison did the first book any favors, and kind of forgoing that comp made this book stand out so much more. This felt like a purely original high fantasy, and I kind of want more. I would 100% read a third book if it read and felt like this one.
Again, I really didn’t have super high hopes. I wanted to know what happened next, how it all ended, but I wasn’t expecting to fall for the characters. I was freaking invested in Amarande and Luca this time around. Hell, I was invested in Taillefer and his – dare I say – budding friendship with Amarande.
I feel like enough was left open that there could be a third book. But as for this arc, I think it’s wrapped up fairly nicely. I don’t really have any complaints. If you read the first book and enjoyed it, then you’re going to like being back in this world. If you were like me, and the first book was good, but possibly overhyped, give this second one a chance – it might surprise you.
Sarah Henning is a recovering journalist who has worked for the Palm Beach Post, Kansas City Star and Associated Press, among others. While in South Florida, Sarah lived and worked through five hurricanes, which gave her an extreme respect for the ocean. When not writing, she runs ultramarathons, hits the playground with her two kids and hangs out with her husband Justin, who doubles as her long-suffering IT department. Sarah lives in Lawrence, Kansas, which, despite being extremely far from the beach, happens to be pretty cool.