Top 5 Reasons to Read The Queens of Renthia series by Sarah Beth Durst

Have you discovered the Queens of Renthia series by Sarah Beth Durst yet? The first two books are out now, and having recently binge-read both of them, I’m here to tell you … get on this bandwagon. Here are the top 5 reasons you should read these books now:

1. Bad Ass Lady Queens

The fantasy world where these books take place rely on a powerful queen to protect everyone from the natural spirits of the world (earth, fire, wind, water, etc.) that are hell-bent on destroying humans. Literally the only thing keeping these beasts in check is the Queen. Society depends on its queen to keep them safe and alive, and every year, as new girls show signs of the power to control spirits, they train intensely to become potential heirs for when the queen dies.

This is a world dependent on a powerful, bad-ass lady queen & women are totes given the respect and power they deserve!

2. What a world!

As I mentioned above … spirits. Spirits, man.

Everything has a spirit: the willow tree with leaves that kiss the pond, the stream that feeds the river, the wind that exhales fresh snow . . .
And those spirits want to kill you.
It’s the first lesson that every Renthian learns.

But beyond that, Durst has created an incredible world for her series to take place in, and I loved learning more about the spirits, and the crazy-cool way the people in this one kingdom live in the trees, travel by glorified zipline and tree-top bridges. It’s wicked cool, guys.

3. Ven, the Disgraced Champion

Introduced in the first book and becoming an even bigger player in book two, I adored Ven. I mean, all the characters are pretty great – and you should read these books for all of them. But there was something about Ven that just really worked for me. His dedication to his queen, to his candidate, to his land. He is inherently good, but also human and flawed and he’s just so wonderfully relatable.

4. A Middle Aged Female Hero

In the first book, we do follow Daleina from childhood into her young adulthood – but in book 2, we meet Naelin – who is a grown, middle-aged woman with two kids … and she becomes the hero of the story. These books are not YA, and having this very mature “chosen one,” so to speak, really sends that message home clearly – and as a primarily YA reader, I was pleased to discover … I loved it. I LOVED having a grown woman step up into the role of hero. She’s an adult, she’s been married, she’s a mom. And she can kick some serious ass. (Which, let’s be honest, ALL moms kick serious ass – it’s just nice to see that actually shown in a fantasy novel!)

5. Getting lost in a grand adventure!

Isn’t that the best part of reading? I am so glad I finally dove into this series, and it definitely keeps getting better and better! (I thoroughly enjoyed The Queen of Blood, but I LOVED The Reluctant Queen, and now I can’t wait to see where the series goes next.) Both books are in stores now. More about them both below.


An idealistic young student and a banished warrior become allies in a battle to save their realm in this first book of a mesmerizing epic fantasy series, filled with political intrigue, violent magic, malevolent spirits, and thrilling adventure

Everything has a spirit: the willow tree with leaves that kiss the pond, the stream that feeds the river, the wind that exhales fresh snow . . .

But the spirits that reside within this land want to rid it of all humans. One woman stands between these malevolent spirits and the end of humankind: the queen. She alone has the magical power to prevent the spirits from destroying every man, woman, and child. But queens are still just human, and no matter how strong or good, the threat of danger always looms.

With the position so precarious, young women are chosen to train as heirs. Daleina, a seemingly quiet academy student, is under no illusions as to her claim to the throne, but simply wants to right the wrongs that have befallen the land. Ven, a disgraced champion, has spent his exile secretly fighting against the growing number of spirit attacks. Joining forces, these daring partners embark on a treacherous quest to find the source of the spirits’ restlessness—a journey that will test their courage and trust, and force them to stand against both enemies and friends to save their land . . . before it’s bathed in blood.


Not long ago, Daleina used her strength and skill to survive those spirits and assume the royal throne. Since then, the new queen has kept the peace and protected the humans of her land. But now for all her power, she is hiding a terrible secret: she is dying. And if she leaves the world before a new heir is ready, the spirits that inhabit her beloved realm will run wild, destroying her cities and slaughtering her people.

Naelin is one such person, and she couldn’t be further removed from the Queen—and she wouldn’t have it any other way. Her world is her two children, her husband, and the remote village tucked deep in the forest that is her home, and that’s all she needs. But when Ven, the Queens champion, passes through the village, Naelin’s ambitious husband proudly tells him of his wife’s ability to control spirits—magic that Naelin fervently denies. She knows that if the truth of her abilities is known, it will bring only death and separation from those she loves.

But Ven has a single task: to find the best possible candidate to protect the people of Aratay. He did it once when he discovered Daleina, and he’s certain he’s done it again. Yet for all his appeals to duty, Naelin is a mother, and she knows her duty is to her children first and foremost. Only as the Queen’s power begins to wane and the spirits become emboldened—even as ominous rumors trickle down from the north—does she realize that the best way to keep her son and daughter safe is to risk everything.

Sarah Beth Durst established a place of dark wonder in The Queen of Blood, and now the stakes are even higher as the threat to the Queen and her people grows both from within and beyond the borders of Aratay in this riveting second novel of the Queens of Renthia series.





4 thoughts on “Top 5 Reasons to Read The Queens of Renthia series by Sarah Beth Durst

Add yours

    1. Yes! It was pretty awesome. She doesn’t come in until book 2, so just be prepared. I actually liked book 2 a LOT more than the 1st book, and you could technically read book 2 as a standalone if you wanted – but it DOES have spoilers for book 1.

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