Synopsis

In the second installment of New York Times bestselling author Hannah Whitten’s lush, romantic epic fantasy series, a young woman who can raise the dead must navigate the dangerous and glamorous world of the Sainted King’s royal court. 
 
The corrupt king August is dead. Prince Bastian has seized the throne and raised Lore—a necromancer and former smuggler—to his right hand side. Together they plan to cut out the rot from the heart of the sainted court and help the people of Dellaire. But not everyone is happy with the changes. The nobles are sowing dissent, the Kyrithean Empire is beating down their door, and Lore’s old allies are pulling away. Even Prince Bastian’s changed. No longer the hopeful, rakish, charismatic man Lore knows and loves, instead he’s reckless, domineering and cold. 

And something’s been whispering in her ear. A voice, dark and haunting, that’s telling her there’s more to the story than she knows and more to her power than she can even imagine. A truth buried deep that could change everything. 

With Bastian’s coronation fast approaching and enemies whispering on all sides, Lore must figure out how to protect herself, her prince, and her country before they all come crumbling down and whatever dark power has been creeping through the catacombs is unleashed.

Review

4,5 stars

As I don’t want to spoil anything I will keep this review vague and relatively short.

First I want to thank ORBIT Books for sending me a superb finished copy!

“Everything will be fine, I promise I will keep you safe.”

What can be said without spoiler about that sequel:

It’s still dark and gripping.

Anton and August might be gone, all dangers didn’t disappear from Lore and Bastian’s life!

There is still a love triangle between Lore, Bastian and Gabe.

Maybe even more present than before. And usually, I despise love triangles but Hannah Whitten has succeeded in making it hot and even organic. Go figure!

It doesn’t suffer from the “middle book” syndrome!

It is as enthralling as the first instalment, it’s not repetitive and it certainly doesn’t feel like a filler! If it stays true to the characters, it also makes them grow and go on a very interesting albeit dangerous path!

The pace is just right for the story.

Not slow but not hurried either. You have a mix of action, twists but also introspection and reveals about the gods worshipped in that universe.

Mixed with the fantasy universe, you have hot contemporary topics!

Mainly climate change. Reading the Hemlock Queen , I couldn’t help but draw parallels with our current world and its climate change. The gods wreak havoc on the climate, the crops, the night and day, just like we humans are really playing gods with Earth and changing the climate.

Lore is growing a lot in that sequel and she will have to be very strong with all the ordeals ahead. At the end of the book, lets just say that her journey is not at an end and that I wonder what Hannah Whitten has in store of her and for the other characters!

Lats thing: there is still a villain in the story and he is playing a long game!

If you loved The Foxglove King you will love the Hemlock Queen. And if you love gothic fantasy with a dash of spice (but as a side dish), go read this series!

Thanks for reading.

Sophie

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