Author: Greta Kelly
After the gasp-inducing cliffhanger ending of The Frozen Crown, the exciting conclusion to the epic story of Askia—a warrior, witch, and queen-to-be—as she confronts the monster that stole her throne…and is holding her prisoner to steal her magic.
The Empire of Vishir has lost its ruler, and the fight to save Seravesh from the Roven Empire is looking bleak. Moreover, Askia has been captured by power-hungry Emperor Radovan, who plans on making her his wife simply so he can take her magic as his own, killing her in the process. Aware of his ex-wives’ fates, Askia must find a means of avoiding this doom, not only for the sake of Seravesh, but now for Vishir as well. She must put both nations first and remember Ozura’s advice: you must play the game in order to survive. Askia was born a soldier, but now it’s time to become a spy.
But it’s hard to play a game where the only person who knows the rules wants to kill her.
And time is a factor. The jewel Radovan has put around her neck will pull her power from her in thirty days. Worse, Vishir might not even have that long, as the two heirs to the throne are on the verge of civil war. Without any hope for help from the south, without any access to her magic, alone in a hostile land, Askia is no closer to freeing her people than she was when she fled to Vishir. In the clutches of a madman, the only thing she’s close to is death.
Yet she’d trade her life for a chance to save Seravesh. The problem: she may not have that choice.
[The Frozen Crown (#1) Review]
The Seventh Queen is the final installment in the Warrior Witch duology. Since the series is continuous, it is highly recommended to read the first novel, The Frozen Crown, before reading this novel. This novel picks up where the last one left off and further explores the different empires, the war between them, and a lot of political intrigue. While the setting is different between the two novels, the politics, the twists and turns, and the stakes remain the same. Askia is a strong and determined character and it was nice to see her transition from a warrior to a spy to adapt to her circumstances. I eagerly anticipated finding out how everything would end.
The story begins with Askia separated from those close to her as she is held captive by Emperor Radovan as his potential seventh wife. Not only is there a possible marriage on the horizon, but there is the impending danger of him stealing her magic and killing her. As a rare death witch, she begins to interact with the ghosts of the six previous queens of Rovan. She must use her magic to not only find a way to escape, but also continue to protect her people. Radovan proves to be a worthy opponent, so her quest is not easy. While she navigates from the inside of the palace, her guard, who also loves her, is set to try to rescue her. There are a few chapters from his POV, which I loved and there were more as he is an important character from both stories and it was great to see events from his perspective. The POV still mainly stays with Askia, but it was nice to add a little from Illya considering they are separated in this story compared to the first.
While there are some readers that may not find this as strong as the first novel (and some that feel the opposite), I find both on fairly equal ground. The two novels worked together well as a duology and while there were some moments in this installment that I would like to be explored further in depth, I could wish the same for the first novel. The pacing of this story was a little slower than I would expect in a final installment as there is a lot of time invested into her navigating the Raven court. For me, I would have preferred the last 100 or so pages expanded on more and shorten the other parts. It was still an entertaining end to the duology with many twists along the way.
Overall, this unique duology was very entertaining. While there is some action, there is a lot of focus on politics and the game that exists between rulers. With a lot of focus on the court of Vishir in the first novel and the court of Roven in this novel, it was nice to see the different politics in the world within the duology. As Askia is in Radovan’s presence, it was great to explore the villain and see more about his motivations. With Illya vying to reunite with Askia, I wish there was more from his perspective to further explore his character, but I appreciated the chapters that were included. This was a great duology with politics and ghosts and I cannot wait to read more from the author!
**I give a special thank you to Netgalley and the publisher, Harper Voyager, for the chance to read this ARC. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**