Cover Image: The Seventh Queen

The Seventh Queen

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For just one moment, Askia had thought that she’d be able to save the people of her conquered kingdom. For a single glorious moment, Askia had thought that marrying the emperor of one of the largest territories in the world would be able to save her as she stood against another emperor, one who only wanted her for her power. But that moment was destroyed when Radovan killed her husband and left the empire in turmoil. Now, Askia is a captive of Radovan, the seventh in a long list of wives, all with powers that Radovan has been carefully collecting. Askia has only one month to live. When the month is up, her powers will be taken by Radovan and she will be killed, just another wife that he took for himself. But Askia has never been the type of person to accept what life has in store for her. Instead, she knows that this month is her only chance to escape and to bring the empire down around her as she flees. And she’ll do whatever she can to bring Radovan down with her.

I received an advanced reading copy of The Seventh Queen in exchange for an honest review.

The Seventh Queen is a fantasy novel by Greta Kelly. It’s also the sequel to The Frozen Crown, and the second and final book in the Warrior Witch Duology, a duology I started reading last year and thoroughly enjoyed! I loved reading about the many political games that Askia played in trying to gain support, and how she worked her way to the top. Of course I was excited to see this advanced reading copy show up on my Kindle!

Before I continue, I should warn you that there may be spoilers to the first book in the series in this review, so just be aware that you might want to avoid the rest of this if you want to go into the first book thoroughly unspoiled.

As in the last book, Askia is a fascinating character. All the women are, to be honest. We have our usual determined Askia here, but we also have all the dead queens who Radovan has killed, and yes, this includes Ozura, although she was Armaan’s wife and not Radovan’s. We’re introduced to these six queens fairly quickly, but I never got them confused. They all had such different personalities, had led such different lives. They stood out as strong women, not because they were all warriors, but because they were strong and did what they had to to survive. Some were mothers, whose love for their sons helped them try to defeat the odds. Others were actual warriors, able to wield weapons and kill others. Others knew the power of words, or even of a single glance. Strong women support Askia throughout this entire book, and I loved that Kelly chose to integrate this into the entire narrative. This was one of my favorite parts of the entire story, and one I was glad to see carried over (somewhat) from the previous novel, where we had Ozura as one of the big main characters working both with and against Askia.

I really enjoyed The Frozen Crown. I loved the political machinations, all the court scenes. I loved reading about how Aksia’s past and the history of the empire affected her actions and the way that court functioned around her. And we certainly get a good amount of that in The Seventh Queen too! We get some good scenes of Askia making her way around a brand new court, desperately trying to gain allies before her last month of life is up. A familiar structure, and one I enjoyed. I do have a tiny but coming up, though. My but here is that I felt like The Frozen Crown set up a large amount of backstory, and specifically used that to create a conflict between Askia and some religious and/or political figures in the empire she was trying to become a part of. It was fascinating, and it gave her a great internal conflict. This book, however, ended up taking her away from all of that, literally half a world away, where I just couldn’t see those tiny plot threads come to fruition. Sure, the plot was exciting, I always felt the ticking time clock and I knew all too well what the consequences of Askia failing were, but I just wanted to see all those elements from the past novel get resolved. The resolution of the book also felt incredibly quick, so, I’m going to be honest here, for a moment I wondered if we’d get a third book. We aren’t, and this is very much still a duology (which is nice, since I have so many other longer series I’m trying to keep up with), but I really wish some of those other loose ends had been resolved. Or maybe that some of the plot had taken place in that other empire from the first book, so we could see this all get figured out in the end.

Although, I guess that makes it a more realistic story, leaving room for the reader to fill in certain blanks without the author fixing up everything for them. And, I have to say, if Kelly ever plans on coming back to this world and adding more in the form of a companion series, I’m pretty sure she has enough room to do so. There’s a couple of loose ends left, and some countries are still stuck in the middle of some major struggles. Easy enough to find a good compelling plot in there!

The Seventh Queen was an exciting sequel to The Frozen Crown, and a thrilling conclusion to the Warrior Witch Duology. I do recommend this duology to lovers of more political fantasies, with court machinations and nobility whispering in the shadows.

The Seventh Queen will be released on November 2. You can pre-order your copy from Harper Voyager here.
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In a bid to share my spoiler free thoughts on the electronic advance reader copy I received of The Seventh Queen on NetGalley, I will start by saying: this could have been a trilogy. 

In The Seventh Queen, we are trapped but not grounded. Pinned but never with our backs to the ground. Wriggling, learning, rescuing, sacrificing, portal hoping, espionage plotting, handsome good-for-nothing layabout noblemen conscripting, fiery revelations spilling, negotiating warrior without a sword to wield, politricking, marriage dodging, power hungry and enacting the dissolution of oppression. We are chaos workers.

Having to figure out the age, attachments and chronological order of the Queens we come across felt like a nice spot of puzzle work - as if we were auditioning to join the spy team. There are moments when the blunt wisdom of Ozura is missed, though one also appreciates that Askia herself, stubborn as she may be, is learning on the job despite all odds, and as frustrated and worried as one may be for her, you do have to just follow along, Lady Night help us. 

While I appreciate the effort it took to keep this a duology, considering one of the reasons I started The Frozen Crown was the prospect of enjoying a book that had a clear end in sight -and no sneaky intention of becoming a long winded series- I was very surprised to find myself wishing there was another instalment to come. This is testament to the world Greta Kelly created, with each character having the potential to lend more stories to chapters. 

That said, I miss the time I didn’t get to spend with some characters in The Seventh Queen. I wish some provinces were given more than a hurried update on the state of their affairs and a chance for us to witness the consequences of events that occurred in book one. There were several threads in both books that I felt were left flaying and working against the clock as we were, I certainly missed a lot of people and potential things. There’s a character in The Frozen Crown for instance that I imagined none other than Oscar Isaac playing -were this to ever get a screen adaptation- though by the end of The Seventh Queen, I had to set that dream entirely aside. 

A lot of things happen very quickly towards the end. So much so, I found myself going back over sections to try to piece together fragments I had in disarray. Even with the spots of sweet endings Greta Kelly gave, with some satisfactory resolution for themes raised, I miss the trilogy The Warrior Witch could have been.
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This book was the second in the series by Greta Kelley. It puts the big bad from the first novel, who is mostly alluded to, front and center, and continues the story with the strong protagonist starting off in an unenviable position.  Her resourcefulness, and truth to herself serve her  in good stead as the novel progresses.  The pages turned quickly for me-this novel spent most of the time as a court drama, but there are plenty of action sequences spread around, especially towards the climax of the book.  People who are into Novik may want to give this series a try.  It isn't a difficult read, and while it is familiar enough to be comforting, it is different enough that it does not feel derivative.  My only criticism lay in that I kind of wanted a bit more-the backstory of the antagonist is referenced but the dynamic between him and his son, and maybe how he got that way is of interest to me.  But that probably just means the author did her job well, which is to serve this story and not get sidetracked.  People should definitely check out this book! Thanks to Netgalley and Harper Voyager for providing an e copy of this book.
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The Seventh Queen was a satisfying end to the series. It picks up right after the first book and keeps going all way to the end. Kelly writes her main character well, exposing the flaws and strengths within their personality. This would be a great addition for a collection looking for new fantasy.
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I’ve been struggling with final books in a series lately, but I was delighted to find that The Seventh Queen delivers as both a follow up to the first book and a conclusion. The story picks up right where if left off with that terrible cliffhanger in the first book. Although it takes a little while for Askia to find her feet, it has just as much political intrigue as the first book with the stakes being even higher.

Askia is separated from all of the people who were friends and allies in the first book, but they are replaced by the ghosts of the previous six queens of Roven and it is so much fun to see each of their personalities and how they interact with Askia. I love how Askia uses her magic to spy and gather information, weaving magic with strategy. Illya is given a couple of POV chapters, but mostly so we can see what’s going on outside of Roven. It is really interesting to finally see from his perspective and it helps flesh out the mysterious character we saw in the first book while not feeling out of place.

The Seventh Queen has all the political intrigue of the first book and continues to explore the nature of empires, the effects if has on cultures and people, and the way different cultures interact, while also being a fun, magical adventure. This duology is a solid fantasy series and would be great for fans of YA who are looking to explore adult titles.
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I absolutely adored The Frozen Crown and was very excited to receive an ARC of The Seventh Queen. The Seventh Queen picks up directly at the cliffhanger of the first book. The first half of the book was Askia being held captive and the politics surrounding Rovan. I think I would have preferred this series as a trilogy instead of a duology. The second half and resolution felt very rushed and didn't allow for continued character development. Overall it was a good story. 3.5 stars rounded up to 4
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Askia has been imprisoned, awaiting her coerced marriage and subsequent draining of her powers and murder. All alone, and with only her magic to rely on, Askia must use all within her control and her wits to try to survive, escape, and protect her people from the Roven empire. But Radovan is as wily as he is powerful and erratic, making every step a political game where losing means not only losing her kingdom and her people, but also losing her life. 

This sequel is decent, but it unfortunately is not as strong as book one. The parts I enjoyed about book one - Askia learning about magic and the romantic tension - were absent. However, I enjoyed the manifestation of Askia's powers and the increasingly complex political maneuvering. And the interactions between Askia and the members of the court and the former queens were interesting and entertaining. However, I got a bit confused about how the magic worked and the end. I would've liked to see this book tie more strongly to book one as they almost seemed like different stories. Overall, I did enjoy it and would still recommend the duology. 

Thank you so much to Netgalley and Harper Voyager for a gifted advanced e-book!!!
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Heather Burns-Schmidtke's reviewSep 12, 2021  ·  edit
it was amazing

The story was captivating and kept you reading for the most part. It can drag a little in the middle but the ending and it's surprises are worth the wait! Greta's characters are very well written, you want to reach through the pages and give comfort or wipe a tear! Highly recommended. This was read as an ARC through Netgalley for an honest review. The opinions are my own
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Thank you to NetGalley for giving me an ARC in exchange for an honest review. It was interesting finally seeing Radovan as a character. I loved seeing Illya again, too. I was pretty bored for most of this book because of the slow pace of everything, but everything picked up at the 70% mark. I was pretty happy with the ending, but of course not everything I wanted to happen, happened, with how Askia handled things, but that only makes this story more realistic.
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Thank you so much to Netgalley and Avon/Harper Voyager for allowing me to read and review this book!

After the explosive ending of The Frozen Crown, THE SEVENTH QUEEN starts where we left off: Emperor Radovan has captured Askia and is keeping her prisoner in the Roven Empire. The amulet placed around her neck is pulling magic from her body and she only has 30 days to remove it and escape the clutches of Radovan. With the help of seeing the six dead Queens of Roven, Askia becomes a spy to find out anything that could help her destroy her enemy and bring down Roven once and for all. In the Vishir Empire, the two princes left without their mother, the Queen, and their father, the Emperor, they both have to now fight to the death in order to see who will take the throne, though neither one is actually fit to rule.

The Frozen Crown was one of my favorite fantasies of 2020 and being able to read and review it's sequel and conclusion, is a blessing. I greatly appreciate being able to find out what the heck happens after the crazy cliffhanger we were left on. I enjoyed THE SEVENTH QUEEN and hope to read a lot more from Greta Kelly in the future. Askia grows so much as a character, leaving her warrior roots behind for espionage. I enjoyed the interactions between her and Radovan. The two chapters from Illya's POV were great additions and I wish we had at least one or two more POVs from him or from Iskander with the fighting over the throne. I think it would have added a lot more to the story and to give us an idea of what was going on. I liked the Queen ghosts but it felt like there was too much. Askia didn't do a lot on her own, I get why she didn't and it would be easier to have the ghosts find out information for her but I felt like she counted on the Queens too much and would have been nice to see Askia take over, especially with her being a Queen herself. Askia is a badass character but I personally think her badassery got cut down while being prisoner to Radovan.

Overall, I enjoyed the book and the conclusion, though I definitely wish there was "more".

4 stars
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A breathless adventure on every page that I had trouble putting down!  I wish there was more story and more of  Askia’s world to explore.
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Exciting conclusion to the The Frozen Crown Duology! The main character, Askia must use cunning, politics, and her magic to her advantage after being taken by Radovan. While this series focuses more on the politics and intrigue of court and playing the game, magic is laced through out creating a unique fantasy read. 

The plot takes a bit of time to build but following Askia, as she battles not only fighting against a ticking clock while also trying to figure out not only l what is best for her kingdom Saravesh but also all of mankind, keeps you well entertained.  

The last third of the book flys by as it comes to a fast paced and hard to put down conclusion that you don’t want to end.  I only wished there was an epilogue to learn more of what happened after it’s final chapters. 

Quick, and easy to read duology that I finished in just over 2 days and one that I would recommend especially after a more lengthy and heavy series.
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I really enjoyed the first book when I read it last year, unfortunately I'm finding it hard to feel as engaged with this one. I am hoping to try The Seventh Queen at a later point, but for now I am DNF at 15%
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As I am not familiar with the lore surrounding The Seventh Queen by Greta Kelly, I found it hard to get absorbed in it. I enjoyed reading the prose!
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After devouring The Frozen Crown this summer, I was extremely excited to read The Seventh Queen.  From the first page I was absolutely, completely entranced by Askia's story.  I love how Greta Kelly made the story a dual point of view but still kept it mostly on Askia.  Askia is a complete badass warrior witch queen.  She's smart and cunning and finally takes something for herself instead of sacrificing everything for her kingdom.

Overall, I recommend The Seventh Queen to readers who:
* Have read The Frozen Crown - do not read this book without reading the first
* Love ghosts especially of the queen variety
* Love shocking curves in a plot.  I had no idea how the story would go although I did predict part of the ending.
* Love a swoon-worthy warrior who accepts a queen for who she is
* Love a villain who thinks he has good intentions   

My only complaint is that I wanted more on an ending!  I want to know if certain plot lines occur (as in a certain marriage) and how other plot lines commenced (as in how the other kingdoms fare).  An epilogue would have been best UNLESS there is a plan for more books to come.

Thank you Harper Voyager for the advance copy
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Askia starts this book in the same position she was in at the end of the first book (spoilers for The Frozen Crown ahead): she’s been captured by Radovan and imprisoned in his castle, wearing a necklace that will steal her magical power within thirty days and transfer it to him. Not a good situation to be in. Luckily, because she’s a death witch, she can see the ghosts of his six late wives, who provide her support and counsel her on how to get out of Radovan’s clutches.

I really enjoyed The Frozen Crown when I read it last year, but when I started The Seventh Queen, I quickly realized that I had forgotten so much of the first book, even though it has only been about seven months since I read it. This book reads more like a “Part Two” to the first book rather than a sequel, picking up at the exact spot, both mid-action and mid-dialogue, that the first book ended on.

The further I read, the more I remembered about the story, naturally. I love Askia’s fierce nature and how she’s not willing to compromise her morals or beliefs to get what she wants. I think she’s a great protagonist to look up to. 

I felt like a lot of this book was preamble. At 20% of the way through, I felt like I was still waiting for the story to get going. Askia runs her mouth and is given a tour of the castle grounds and learns about the social hierarchy in Roven. The whole book is about how she is gallivanting around Roven without dying, but we forget that the plot of the first book is that she was trying to save her kingdom and people from her cousin who is currently trying to rule. I feel like that original plotline kind of got forgotten about in The Seventh Queen. 

This book almost feels like it’s part of a different series from the first book because of the change in direction of the plot. It feels like Askia’s intentions have changed and the point of the novels has shifted. I honestly didn’t care as much for Askia’s story in this book as I did in The Frozen Crown, and I missed the romance aspect with Illya, which was very minor in this book. We get one chapter from Illya’s POV in the beginning and one chapter in the middle, but I really would have liked more. It feels like his two short chapters were only included to help foreshadow the reveal of a specific detail at the end of the book, and they also felt like they were included as an afterthought. 

I sadly found my mind wandering quite a bit during The Seventh Queen and I struggled to stay focused on the story. I loved The Frozen Crown, but its sequel didn’t live up to the hype for me. I still liked it a bit and would recommend the duology as a whole, but I’m disappointed the second book wasn’t a five-star read for me like the first book was. I enjoy Greta Kelly’s writing style though and I look forward to checking out more stories from her in the future.
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Thanks for the ARC book. I loved the first book, I could hardly wait to read the second. However the second does not have the passion and great storyline of the first fantasy novel. I have to admit I struggled to finish it. There was too much 'court intrigue'. And I like fantasy with that theme.
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Picking up after the major cliffhanger in the first book, Askia has been kidnapped by her enemy Radovan and taken to his kingdom to be his wife. The majority of this book is spent with Askia being held hostage. She must learn to work in this new environment and stall her impending death. While she is navigating this new court, Illya, her guard and person who loves her, is finding a way to get to her and rescue her. The story mostly focuses on the court experience of Askia as she gets to know the ghosts of the dead queens and find a way to escape. The story ended sort of abruptly, while there is a resolution, I wish there was an epilogue of sorts to show what happened, especially to Illya and her. It just felt a bit unfinished. If I’m being honest, this one felt a bit more dragging than the first one since it goes on for a bit about Askia’s court life and new life with Radovan. There are two point of views in this book compared to the first one, one being from Askia and the other being from Illya. I still loved Illya, but overall an okay ending that could be expanded on. 

*Thanks Netgalley and Avon and Harper Voyager for sending me an arc in exchange for an honest review*
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This story was so immersive, and I frequently found myself unable to put it down. I loved the world building and story telling. They fantasy elements were unique and enjoyable. Askia was a fantastic heroine and I loved her fierce independence. The love story element was really secondary, and I was OK with that. I definitely would read more books set in this fantastical universe.
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The Seventh Queen is a sequel which follows Askia after she has been captured by Emperor Radovan, who is marrying her in order to steal her magic. She will be his seventh wife and if he is successful the whole realm could suffer greatly. 

I fell in love with the world and the characters in the Frozen Crown so it was so nice to see their full character arcs. Askia continued to be a powerful force to reckon with, even while chained. Getting to know the past wives and what they went through was really cool. I also couldn't get enough of Qaden. Probably my favorite part though was being able to learn more about Illya and get to hear from him. The writing continued to be beautiful and I enjoyed the conclusion of the duology. For me, this book was a 4.5/5. 

If you like fantasy, women with swords, impossible odds, and the guard trope, this book is for you. 

I received a digital copy of this book free from NetGalley, Avon and Harper Voyager in exchange for an honest review.
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