The Reluctant Queen (The Queens of Renthia #2)

by Sarah Beth Durst

In book two of the Queens of Renthia series, Daleina is now queen. But all is not well in Aratay. She is having black outs–during which the spirits go into a killing frenzy. But there hasn’t been enough time since the coronation massacre in book one to train heirs.

Can Champion Ven and Daleina’s friend Captain Alet find a mature woman with affinity for the spirits before the false death claims her forever?

This is a worthy sequel to the first book. I love it when a sequel lets the main character develop further, and here Daleina does get a chance to make mature decisions about being queen, including impossible strategies to defend her beloved country from disaster, but we also get to see the development of Naleina from a naive woodswoman into a strong, woman of action who will do anything to protect her children.

It’s so cool when children play such a vital role in the story. They’re part of Naleina’s burgeoning relationship with Ven, they’re integral to her decisions to be trained or to become heir, and they’re integral to the way things fall out at the end.

And they literally steal every scene they’re in because they’re so funny and earnest. I wish I was half the mother Naleina is…meeting exasperating behavior with redirection and whimsy. (in that she’s strangely like the way Daleina handles spirits….hmmm)

And there’s a betrayal I didn’t see coming. Yikes. So lots of great emotional development, plot twists, and more spirit-on-spirit elemental fighting action. Very cool.