A while ago I was on a Net Galley splurge and I stumbled upon The Hundredth Queen by Emily R. King that had been making some buzz on my twitter feed. Lucky me, I got approved! This book sounded pretty awesome, so I was expecting some pretty awesome things from it.
But I found it okay?
The Hundredth Queen by Emily R. King
As an orphan ward of the Sisterhood, eighteen-year-old Kalinda is destined for nothing more than a life of seclusion and prayer. Plagued by fevers, she’s an unlikely candidate for even a servant’s position, let alone a courtesan or wife. Her sole dream is to continue living in peace in the Sisterhood’s mountain temple.
But a visit from the tyrant Rajah Tarek disrupts Kalinda’s life. Within hours, she is ripped from the comfort of her home, set on a desert trek, and ordered to fight for her place among the rajah’s ninety-nine wives and numerous courtesans. Her only solace comes in the company of her guard, the stoic but kind Captain Deven Naik.
Faced with the danger of a tournament to the death—and her growing affection for Deven—Kalinda has only one hope for escape, and it lies in an arcane, forbidden power buried within her.
In Emily R. King’s thrilling fantasy debut, an orphan girl blossoms into a warrior, summoning courage and confidence in her fearless quest to upend tradition, overthrow an empire, and reclaim her life as her own.
*I was provided a free copy from the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review, thank you so much!*
This book was okay. Neither entirely amazing, nor completely boring. It was just meh.
Sometimes it was great, other times it was just like “Okay people, let’s move on with our lives!”. It held so much promise for me, but I just couldn’t find that feeling of enthrallment or intense interest. So yeah…meh.
What I Liked
Mathura: She was literally in the book for not even ten pages and had very little amount of dialogue, but I found her interesting! She was the wise woman that Khalinda could turn to and ultimately helped her in many ways.
Khalinda: She was the MC, yet I got annoyed with her frequently. I loved her dedication to Jaya and the ways of the sisterhood. I also liked her obliviousness to the world outside the Temple and reading her grow to understand the ways in which the world of men worked. Yet, she was a tad bit too hot-headed for me. She never really took the proper time to think things through. Hot-heads frustrate me so much!
There are other good characters, but none of them really stuck out to me.
Emphasis on Sisterhood: I really enjoyed the strong relationships between women in the book. Khalinda and Jaya in particular who were very much connected. There are more female relationships that Khalinda obtains throughout the course of the story, each one unique and different. I really liked how the author used this as a way to resolve the conflicts instead of making them the conflict. You know what I mean?
Action: There are a lot of fight scenes. Some that could have been avoided, but when you have a hot-head MC they are inevitable. I might sound like a blood thirsty maniac, but the action was really brutal, gruesome and I liked it! It reminded me an awful lot of Gladiator, because the women would fight to the death in an arena with hundreds of people watching them!
What I Disliked
Vague Characters: One of the reasons I didn’t love this novel is because I found the characters so vague. There was nothing about them that really stood out to me. Yes Khalinda was hot-headed, passionate, fiery and bone thin with gorgeous locks. But that’s it, that is all I got from her. Deven, the swoony captain didn’t even capture my attention enough to claim him as a book boyfriend, he was just there serving his role as the swoony captain. The Rajah was probably the most interesting, his motives for being the bad guy were very twisted, but not too much time was spent around him either! No one else stood out to me!
Romance: #InstaLove. Deven and Khalinda were travelling for what two/three weeks? And they is sparking already. Okay, fine, acceptable. A week in the palace and they are devoted to each other, willing to die for one another. And I’m here like: -_- ok then. They didn’t really get to know-know each other. They just started feeling things about each other….sigh. It was far too quick for me.
The Lack of Development in the Culture/Religion: This book had a very interesting culture that could have elevated the book a little bit more, had it been further developed. The traditions and religious practices were mentioned and explored just not as deeply as I hoped they would be. I wanted to know more about their gods, the stories, this magical book that was so important! It had some info, but still very vague to me.
The Meh-ness: Nothing blew me away. It was an action filled book but I was never invested enough with the characters to truly feel something. This story was not bad. I liked the plot, the events but…it just…nothing. I don’t get worked up when I think about it. Just meh. Even the magical elements were meh for me and I love all kinds of magic!
Overall, it was okay. Nothing spectacular in my opinion other than the great sisterhood aspects. I would be interested in reading the next book just to see how things unravel. BUT after reading the synopsis, things seem love-triangle-y so………that might get put off!
Rating: 3 / 5 stars
Recommend: Are you looking for sisterhood but without travelling pants and more knives? Then pick this one up!
Have you read this? Let me know what you thought and perhaps you can change my mind about some of the meh-ness I found!