No man had ever taken the throne of the Second Country, and for good reason
There are always those who are willing to pay for someone else’s death. Having grown up amongst the Family of Assassins, Elen-ai knows well the prices people are willing to pay to see their enemies fall quickly, quietly, and discreetly.
* * *
3 / 5
Queendom of the Seven Lakes had a bit of a rough start for me. It starts with an assassin meeting a Queen to talk about her gorgeous, handsome son who she wants to name heir. I felt like I knew exactly where this book was going and I wasn’t interested. Fortunately, I was wrong. Whilst it took a little while for me to warm up to Queendom, once it got going I was invested.
The Queendom of the Seven Lakes has always been ruled by a Queen. Until the current Queen plans to make her only child, Prince Gidyon, her heir. To ensure his safety in this tumultuous country she hires an assassin to be his personal bodyguard. Elen-ai accepts the contract, a little bit because she is in awe of her queen and a little bit because of the money. A woman in her mid-twenties, Elen-ai has been murdering people for years but this is the first time she has been asked to protect; it’s a shame that Prince Gidyon is pretty annoying.
Elen-ai felt sorry for him to be so crushed by the truth of the world
I felt sure I knew where this was going. Cold-hearted young killer, attractive in a “plain” kind of way, and her young, muscular, princely charge take a trip into the countryside, get attacked a bit. We’ve all read that one before, right? Before long, he gets shot, she pitches a tent, they snuggle for warmth in the cold, yada yada. That’s not what happens here. I have never been so glad not to read a romance, to instead be taken on a journey across an imaginative Queendom, to be caught up a mystery, to have some great fight scenes and some intriguing political intrigue.
This is a self-published book and so has a couple of problems that typically go along with reading self-published works. There are a number of typos (is it Elen-ai or Elenai, Gidyon or Gideon? I wasn’t sure for a while because they were interchanged), grammar mistakes, and the beginning was a bit bumpy and a bit cliched. But there is definitely talent here and I hope with more books some of the roughness of this novel can be smoothed out. I definitely applaud Endacott for taking the leap and publishing; I wish more burgeoning writers would put their stuff out there!
Queendom of the Seven Lakes tackles feminist themes, inverts tropes, and does it all with a great lead character: Elen-ai the assassin.
My thanks to Netgalley for an ARC of this book.