The Rightful Queen returns readers to the territories of Lantistyne. Imperator Elgar has brought war to the continent once again, and the rogues of the Dragon’s Head, once forced into his service, are scattered to the winds, wracked by tragedy and struggling to reunite.
While a cornered King Kelken grows increasingly desperate, Arianrod Margraine, the brilliant but outmanned marquise of Esthrades, devises a plan to stretch Elgar’s forces thin and turn the tide of battle in their favor. But when the sheltered queen of Issamira is driven from her throne by a long-simmering plot and the use of forbidden magic, Arianrod faces an even more pressing crisis.
Adora Avestri is more than the rightful queen of Issamira, more even than the key to defeating Elgar on the field—she has drawn the attention of beings older than Lantistyne itself, who possess hidden knowledge Arianrod has long desired. But if the queen and the marquise hope to survive long enough to learn it, Adora must find the strength to claim her birthright once and for all, and Arianrod must match wits and magic with a foe she has never before encountered: an equal.
I haven’t read the first book in this series. Sometimes, that’s not a problem at all. Sometimes, it’s impossible. This time…I should have read the first book—it would have made getting the politics straight and keeping the characters sorted out much easier—but I was still able to enjoy this book.
I enjoyed the diverse cultures and characters—no cookie-cutter types here. I was intrigued by all the storylines, which is unusual for me with an ensemble cast, but I enjoyed reading them all. The cultures where quite varied and detailed, and I was fully immersed in the world and the story.
Isabelle Steiger lives in New York. The Rightful Queen is her newest novel.
(Galley courtesy of St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review.)