The Queen of Sorrow by Sarah Beth Durst

The book world is filled with stories about Chosen Ones — and if, like me, you read a lot of YA, you’re used to those Chosen Ones being teenagers. In Sarah Beth Durst’s Queens of Renthia series, the Chosen One is actually the Chosen Few, and they’re all adult women — including a middle age mom.

And I freaking love it.

The Queen of Sorrow, in stores next week, is the third and final book in the Queens of Renthia trilogy (though I’ve heard rumors a standalone companion novel will be forthcoming) — and woo boy, does it offer up a compelling and action-packed finale to the saga.

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.

I love the complex, dangerous, and beautiful world of Renthia that Durst has created. In The Queen of Sorrow, we finally get a glimpse at the rest of the regions that make up this world, and adds a really cool layer to the story. In this final book, the story becomes about more than just Daleina and Naelin trying to protect their country — but the possibility of utterly changing their world.

We get to spend more time with Merecot, and learn more about her motives and desires. We get to see some surprising developments from existing characters. And while there is a bit of romance woven throughout the story, it’s not the focus of the plot. Instead, it’s about what these queens can do together to make their world a safer, better, happier place.

The Queen of Sorrow is an exhilarating finale to the Queens of Renthia trilogy — offering up plenty of surprising twists and turns to keep you on your toes, and concluding on a deeply satisfying note.

I thoroughly enjoyed spending time in this world, and if you haven’t checked out the Queens of Renthia series yet, now is the perfect time to binge-read all three books. Be sure to check out my top 5 reasons you should be reading these books here — and look for The Queen of Sorrow in stores next week!

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