Synopsis: The natural magic of the classic The Island of the Blue Dolphins meets the danger and courage of The Hunger Games in this dazzling, intricate stand-alone fantasy novel set in award-winning author Sarah Beth Durst’s beloved world of Renthia. Life is precious and precarious on the islands of Belene. Besieged by a capricious ocean full of malicious spirits, the people of the islands seek joy where they can. Mayara, one of the island’s fearless oyster divers, has found happiness in love. But on the day of her wedding to the artist Kelo, a spirit-driven storm hits the island with deadly force. To save her loved ones, Mayara reveals a dangerous secret: she has the power to control the spirits. When the storm ends, she is taken into custody by the queen’s soldiers and imprisoned with other women like her. They vary in age and social status, but to many they are heroes who will aide the country or witches that will sacrifice themselves trying. No matter who they are, the women are sent to a terrifying place—an island filled with bloodthirsty nature spirits, and left without food, water, shelter, or any tools except their own instincts and magic. Whoever survives the Island of Testing will be declared heirs to the queen. But no matter if she wins or loses, Mayara knows that the life she dreamed of is gone.
Author: Sarah Beth Durst
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Published: March 19, 2019
Thank you so much to Sarah Beth Durst for contacting me about her newest book 😍. I’ve read The Queen of Blood and I loved it! It’s an amazing fantasy tale of a queen’s becoming and it also involves trials for the queen who will be worthy.
This book is part of the Queens of Renthia world but it focuses on the world under the sea. It has a different type of setting since there’s no trials and competition, but rather more on an adventurous kind of story. It’s set in an island type of fantasy rather than the typical castles. I kid you not, when Sarah makes female characters, they are a force to be reckoned with and they’re very strong willed and independent. There’s humor and a little bit of romance and again, you’re just going to love the characters.
I highly recommend this series to fans of books with heavy girl power like Grave Mercy and heavy world building. It also has a plot twist and a lot of feels! I adore Sarah’s writing style and I get hooked easily once I’m into the world and characters. You can still read this if you haven’t read the first series since they’re unrelated.
P. S. Sarah makes such amazing queens and female lead characters 💙💙💙
About the Author
Sarah Beth Durst is the award-winning author of seventeen fantasy books for adults, teens, and kids, including The Queens of Renthia series, Drink Slay Love, and The Girl Who Could Not Dream. 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.