the reluctant queen

4 stars

I really enjoyed the first book in the series and was nervous that the second book wouldn’t be as good. I shouldn’t have been concerned because this book was just as good as the first. The story picks up shortly after Daleina is made queen. She has grown into her new role and is keeping the humans in her country safe from the spirits. When it finally seems that Daleina can relax for a moment, she suddenly falls ill and discovers she is dying. If she dies without an heir, the spirits will rip her country apart and kill all of its citizens.

Desperate to find a new heir before she dies, Daleina sends her champions across the land to find new girls to train. Daleina’s champion, Ven, discovers Naelin in a small outer village. She is a fiercely protective mother of 2 children and has no desire to leave her quiet life and train as a candidate, let alone become Queen. Ven eventually convinces her that Aratay needs her and convinces her to return to the capital to train.

As with all quests, the road is never smooth and new obstacles appear to challenge the heroes. There is plenty of action and intrigue to keep the reader turning the pages until the end. I can’t wait to read the final book when it’s published next year!