The Vanished Queen is a complex story that spans past and present and takes an in-depth, more personal look at a revolt against a despot king.
What I Like
Queen Mirantha’s story, found in the chapters with her name, is a beautiful, heart-rending tale of the events leading up to her disappearance. These chapters, located intermittently among the current day storyline, are my favorite part of this novel. It is told with such heart and empathy that it is easy to fall instantly in love with this character. The language is fluid and natural with a good pace that made the story compelling and fascinating. Mirantha is strong and determined even in a situation that brings out her fear and desperation as she lives in a constant state of terror for her life and the well-being of her sons.
The world-building, though, focuses on the aggressive aspect of life under a tyrannical ruler that is detailed and complex. It is not a world I want to live in, nor does it make my list of fantasy lands I wish I could visit, but you feel the weight and darkness of this world as though you were there.
What I Wish
I wish the current day storyline read like Mirantha’s story does. I found Anza and Mirantha’s sons’ story very hard to read. It felt cumbersome and dry – very different from Mirantha’s storyline. The dryness of the story impacted the pace and flow of the words. There were many opportunities to pull at the heartstrings in this story, but with the way it was told, my heartstrings stayed frozen.
To Read or Not to Read
The Vanished Queen is a well-developed fantasy story with complexities and intricacies that a reader will marvel at. Though I had a hard time with the main storyline, I still appreciated the juxtaposition of the two storylines – past and present – and how they were reflective of the state of mind of a character that dominated both periods.
About the Book
When a country is held in thrall to a vicious, despotic king, it’s up to one woman to take him down.
Long ago, Queen Mirantha vanished. King Karolje claimed it was an assassination by a neighboring king, but everyone knew it was a lie. He had Disappeared her himself.
But after finding the missing queen’s diary, Anza—impassioned by her father’s unjust execution and inspired by Mirantha’s words—joins the resistance group to overthrow the king. When an encounter with Prince Esvar thrusts her into a dangerous game of court politics, one misstep could lead to a fate worse than death.
Esvar is the second son to an evil king. Trapped under his thumb and desperate for a way out, a chance meeting with Anza gives him the opportunity to join the resistance. Together, they might have the leverage to move against the king—but if they fail, their deaths could mean a total loss of freedom for generations to follow.
Set in a world where resistance is as dangerous as it is important, The Vanished Queen is a tale of the courage and sacrifice it requires to take on a tyrant.
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