All Bel wants is to fly. She’d love to spend her days in freedom in her Wasp, preferably with her childhood friend and crush, Shae, but instead she spends her days being trained as a daughter of the aristocracy. Until a surprise attack by the Gravians, longtime enemies of her people, destroys the entire royal family, and Bel finds herself the daughter of the king—and a valuable royal commodity about to be married to the ruler of Anthaeus, a distant planet.
Soon Bel is on a ship headed to meet her future husband, with Shae at her side, as always. But now he’s no longer her friend, he’s the commander of her guards. An attempt to kill her is followed by a thwarted attempt to blow up the ship, and Bel meets her future husband, Conleith, in the furor.
She realizes everything is not okay on Anthaeus when she meets the Gravian representative there, and Con refuses to believe her about the danger the Gravians represent. Soon her worst fears are realized when the Gravians attack and destroy much of Anthaeus and its people, but Bel and Con aren’t ready to surrender yet—and they have a secret weapon on their side.
If I had realized this was a “space opera,” I probably would have skipped it. I enjoyed Bel’s character arc, but the entire plot line felt far too rushed, with very little transition or, sometimes, reason. Frankly, at times this felt like a B-rate scifi movie, although Bel and Con were both interesting characters.
Jessica Thorne lives and works in Ireland. The Queen’s Wing is her newest novel.
(Galley provided by Bookouture in exchange for an honest review.)