Cover Image: The Unburied Queen

The Unburied Queen

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Member Reviews

I don't know what I was expecting with this book, but it wasn't THIS. 

I absolutely loved this book, though it took me a while to get through. I didn't love the info-dumping in the form of conversation, because it stalled the movement of the plot. I enjoyed the characters though and don't mind dialogue, but I just think there could have been a better way to give information.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Capes for sending me an eARC of this book. I was intrigued by this book as it was described as a Metaphysical Fantasy and I haven't come across this genre before. 

Unfortunately, it wasn't the book for me and I wasn't able to finish it, however; this is perfect for anyone who enjoys a whimsical, immersive writing style. The characters Capes created are intriguing and full of dimension and the world-building is beautiful. 

Unfortunately; it took me a little too long to get into it and the whimsical writing style isn't something I usually enjoy. The pacing also felt long in some parts and jumpy in others so I'm afraid for these reasons I wasn't able to finish the book.

Nevertheless, I truly understand the appeal of this book and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys books such as The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Damsel by Elana K. Arnold and Under the Whispering Door by T.J. Klune
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I think the book was intriguing. It had some interesting characters and some great plot twists, but I really struggled with the writing style. I think there was a complexity to it the writing that actually acted as a hindrance to my reading experience because I had to focus on what I was reading, rather than being able to sink into the text itself.  I do think there’s an audience for this book but it just isn’t me
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The Unburied Queen – Capes 

 

I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in order to provide an honest review. 

 

Capes is a pseudonym for the author TL Adamms. TL Adamms strives to give a music festival vibe into the adult fantasy fiction that they write. Her first foray into the world of fantasy fiction was the Decagaon Series. 

 

 

The Island is a beautiful, mystical and peaceful place with much magic. The Royals are of a sacred line where one from each generation give themselves to the Island as the Heart – so that the Island can contribute to grow, flourish and be; giving all of the inhabitants of the Island are happy and safe place to be. 

Loon grew up as a Royal, never knowing exactly who her brothers and sisters were but always visiting her mother, the heart of the Island, as she lay in the pond – one of the most sacred spaces on the Island. Life was good and peaceful – Loon had her best friend Nomor to keep her company and trust her secret, that she was a Royal. 

But for poor Loon and the rest of the Royal – life was about to take a very dramatic and life-threatening turn. Loon’s mother was removed from the pond and as heart of the Island, which set off a cataclysmic chain of events. 

Life on the Island became hard for the inhabitants of the Island with a lot of natural disasters occurring and taking life of many Islanders. Cassandra, one of the Mages of the Island, decided to take this moment as an opportunity to bring about a revolution of the Island and destroy the line of Royals once and for all. So began the bloody reign of terror for the Royals as they were slowly hunted down by Assassins and killed.  

With the help of some friends and Nomor, Loon went into hiding and tried to live a normal life, while doing all she could to help preserve the Island and become the next Heart. 

 

 

“The Unburied Queen” is an invigorating and original fantasy story, with some wonderful Mother Earth elements woven into the fabric of the story. I do feel like at times the story took a while to get to a certain spot in the storyline and at others felt it was rushed there, and things where a little stop and start. While it was a good read I feel if some of the elements flowed together a bit better and wasn’t so stop start it would have been a more enjoyable read.
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3. 5
Thank you NetGalley for the ARC in return for an honest review
The premise of this book was very intriguing and it carried me away as soon as I started it.

I was curious about the story, the kingdom and the reasons behind so much of the things already presentend in the first chapters of it, and more importantly about the characters.
I instantly fell in love witht the protagonist, Loon, and the strenght and determination she started to show since the beginning. The "mistery" of the unburied body kept me interested for a while too, also thanks to the story around it and the fact that it was meant to happen again.

Unfortunately, this interest didn't last throughout the whole book, sometimes it was too slow and focused on things I couldn't really follow, disperding a bit the general sense of the story. 
The author anyway was able to re-put everything in line and catch the reader again, I think also thanks to the multi-POVs, which I personally adore, and were very useful to keep gaining new informations not only about the different charqacters but also the different paths they were following and the political aspects of the story.
I would have like, anyway, an even more in-depth descriprions of the main characters, especially Loon.

I think this is the main thing the book kinda lacks of, deeper descriptions of a lot of things and characters, throughout the whole books and not just in few parts of it.
But in any case, it was a good read and a fantastic premise that I almost never saw before, and kept me glued to the pages till the end. I am very interested in reading new works from Capes.
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The world in this book is breathtaking as well as its characters. With beautiful writing filled with action and love along with incredible twists, turns, and an overall intriguing plot. There are a lot of high-stakes while making the world and characters feel very real. This book is a bit dark which isn't something I have ever shied away from in books and I believe the author did a fantastic job dealing with characters who make mistakes, morally grey areas, and bigger parts like life, death, and violence. This was a very interesting book to read as a highly built yet realistic fantasy novel.
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This is one of those books that once you start it, you cannot put it down. Each of the digital pages sucked me in and refused to let me go. From the incredible worldbuilding to the amazing characters to the stakes that kept the story moving, The Unburied Queen is a book I'll definitely be rereading again in the future, as well as recommending to friends who also enjoy an engrossing and fantastical reading experience. Thank you to Capes and NetGalley for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review!
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Okay well I liked the book for writing twists I did not actually see coming. Greatly detailed world. Oh that is my weakness is describing a intricate magical world. Best of all it did not end in a sequel hook. It was a complete tale.
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2/5 

Didn't pick this up for long and then never got back to it so I am not finishing it because it has been months. I was really intrigued by the cover and the the description but it wasn't for me.
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I DNFed this book. It just wasn’t for me. I think it might be for younger readers and I’m sure they would enjoy this.
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I thought this was a story about a girl and her journey toward rescuing the Island, but I more so believe this to be a story about her King - this was a wonderful fantasy novel, full of action, love, and a really engaging plot. Loon struggles with her place on the Island her whole life, especially since the rule is that Royals remain anonymous; she hasn't really met her siblings, even though one of them is the future Heart of the Island. However, when her mother Queen Petrel is unburied and her parents are dethroned, Loon must go on the run. A Mage is taking advantage of the chaos to attempt to remove the royal family once and for all, and Loon is the only one standing who can ensure the Island's survival. The love story between her and Kala is interesting because it's one of love, but also of sacrifice - I enjoyed how both characters developed over the course of the story, something that is always hard to do. I wish I could see how the next generation continues in a sequel! I definitely recommend this book if you enjoy fantasy on par with Eragon or Lord of the Rings.
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The book started out somewhat interesting, but I fell off the wagon fast. Around 12% I was somewhat bored.  The characters weren`t holding my interest as much as I would like, neither did the story…I ended up skimming the last parts.
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This was an interesting book. I had very different expectations going into it than what the book actually ended up being. For example, I thought the romance was between two women (I thought Kala was a woman’s name—it wasn’t). I expected the story to subvert some of the very well-trodden tropes it used (it didn’t). The result was a muted version of the story I had expected. It reminded me a lot of Dune in how it felt like an old-school style that played its genre tropes straight. 

On the positive side, it has a Deaf secondary character and extensive conversations in sign language. In fact, on the Island it’s very common for people to sign and speak at the same time. There’s also some (admittedly dubious) bisexual representation from a different side character. There are other analogues to various disabilities although I can’t speak to their accuracy. 

I think the book would have been better if it followed up more on some of the philosophical questions it raises about the Island’s religion and traditions instead of tacitly accepting them. The ending seemed like it was heading for a twist, but instead it played out exactly as expected from the beginning. 

TL;DR: I thought the book had very unique worldbuilding and a really cool concept but it fell flat due to its holding to old tropes and not providing closure to some of the internal questions it raises.
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Thanks to Netgalley and the author for providing a copy of The Unburied Queen.

So I felt this book is one of those hit or miss kind of tales. The writing style was unique, but I found it hard to commit to the story because of this. I loved the characters and the plot twists were interesting, but the writing style really let the book down for me. In saying this, some people will live the intricacy of it, but not me.
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The Unburied Queen by Capes - 5 stars!

Wow, this was a bit of a mind-bender. It felt weird and eerie, full of strange characters and unsettling moments, and yet I was absolutely glued to the story. As the cover describes, it's a metaphysical fantasy, with a diverse cast of characters that sparked so many feelings.

Bits I liked:
- it felt unique. Reading so much, you come across the same sort of stories again and again, but this one felt like it came out of nowhere and lived in my mind for days
- diverse BIPOC and LGBTQ+ characters that were far more than just a nod to these features. Each character was complex and fraught with internal struggles, and I loved slowly uncovering their motivations as the story progressed.
- amazing Deaf character and a great look at Sign being a widely-used language across the island (I am not Deaf myself so I can't really confirm this is good rep, only that to me it was refreshing to see it included, please do correct me if not!)
- writing style was vivid and lyrical, so I saw every word in my mind. The descriptive world-building meant I felt immersed in the strange island and its people's beliefs.
- unpredictable plot with varied pacing, a lot of emotive moments and certainly not your typical happy ending.

Bits I liked less:
- there were a few more typos/errors than I'd expect, even in an ARC. It didn't matter too much, it just throws you out of the story a bit.
- a couple of big moments didn't affect me as much as they should have, and I'm not sure why. I think some things happen so close together or so quickly that you don't have room to process, and so they didn't hit me quite right.

I've seen really mixed reviews on this and some do surprise me - mentioning they thought the island should run differently or that they didn't feel the characters behaved the way they thought they should. I can't quite see those points, though everyone experiences things differently. I completely felt the reasoning behind Loon, Kala, Nomor, Peter, Tetra and Slugs' difficult choices and emotional moments, and I loved how unique each of their stories were.

I'm still thinking a lot about them, and I feel like that's the mark of a truly good story. I hope I can experience their world again, and I look forward to reading more by Capes!
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First of all a big thank you to NetGalley and the author, Capes, for this ARC copy. What attracted me to this book was its cover, and the story did not disappoint me either.

The story is set on an island, called the Island, which runs on the magic present in the blood of the Royal family. When the time is right, in every generation, the Island chooses one of the Royal children to become its Heart. However, calamity strikes the Island when the current Heart becomes Unburied, and the Island loses its source of power. A conspiracy blooms on the Island, the Royal children get murdered, and Loon escapes with her childhood friend Nomor to find safety.

The story is beautifully penned. There are subtle hints at how Nature is all-powerful and how we humans are only deluding ourselves into thinking that we can be her master. At the beginning, I was a bit disappointed by the size of the island, but then I rationalized that it is a small and secluded island, where magic can bloom. The world building erased my disappointment, though. The author does a superb job here. The characters are equally well designed, but I would have really liked it if they grew with the story. 

I liked the characters of Kala and Nomor, especially. The character of the mage Slugs was an absolute beauty. Loon herself comes off as a weakling, but I later realized that that was indeed her strength. It was her nurturing nature that made her suitable to be a Heart. I did wish, though, that her weakness was explained better in the book. I liked many of the side characters as well. It was a pleasure to find enough representation of lgbtq+ as well as physically handicapped communities throughout the story. However, it seemed that the only purpose of the Royals was to find a spouse and procreate, and they didn't even get the pleasure to raise their own children, because the children were raised in anonymity. That was a turn off for me. I would have liked it better if they were trained to rule in a just fashion, and their duty to become a Heart took a backseat. I realize that was an important aspect of being a Royal, but that cannot be the sole purpose of one's existence!

The story kept me riveted throughout. As the story progressed, it went on explaining many of the mysteries, and introduced new ones, which kept the intrigue of the story intact. It introduced new ideas and side stories. I really liked how Nomor questioned the theological beliefs of the Island's community, and would have liked if this was examined further. 

The ending was another turn-off for me. No, Loon becoming the Heart and relinquishing her family and friends did not make much sense. I wished there would be a twist at the end that would have given the story the deeper meaning it deserved. 

However, apart from that and the other minor details that irked me, I absolutely loved the story. The author's penmanship is fluent, subtle and I find some of his ideas and descriptions pretty poetic. I wish the book went through a tougher editorial process though. That would have trimmed the rougher edges and made it into a great book.
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Thank you to Netgalley and Capes for giving me an eARC of this novel! This review will contain spoilers.
Considering the length of this book I completed it very quickly once I picked it up- which I think says a lot about how I feel towards it! This book was very unique, and I’m leaning towards that being a good thing. It felt a lot more high fantasy than what I’m used to reading, but didn’t find it had the complicated world building (snore) that a lot of other high fantasy books have and instead felt more character driven. I also felt like the character interactions were real- I mean the amount of swearing in this book had me chuckling to myself because it’s exactly how me and my closest friends interact. I especially loved Loon and her best friend and how their relationship was represented (almost like the idea of having multiple soul mates- not all of them necessarily being romantic). 

I didn’t give a full five stars because towards the end I didn’t quite get the emotion I wanted to get and expected after these characters going through a multi year journey together. I didn’t get that sadness from Peter dying, nor the sadness from Loon becoming Heart. I just didn’t get that gut wrenching emotion I would have expected from Kala losing two of the people closest to him.

Overall I enjoyed this book, and definitely recommend it to anyone looking for an ultimate otherworldly experience!
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I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley based on a description that piqued my interest. Partway through the book, I was so involved in the plot and characters, I started to panic that it might end on a cliffhanger, but it didn’t. This is a complete story, and what a story it is! I don’t even know what to compare it to (although there were certain aspects that made me think of Cloud Atlas—the book, not the movie). 

The characters in this book are basically human, with some supernatural qualities, primarily related to their connection with the Earth, which, in this case, is the Island. The Island is a world all its own, essentially its own universe, complete with supernatural monsters and a deep connection to the land and their ancestors. The Queen descends from a long line of royals in which one royal from each generation is called to the Pond to sacrifice themselves and become one with the Island. From here, they feed the Island, and consequently all of the inhabitants of the Island. When the Queen is unexpectedly “unburied” or pulled from the Pond, it is something that has never before happened and the mages have all kinds of hypotheses as to why it occurred. They are not in agreement, and one, in particular, decides to lead a revolution to eliminate all remaining royals, making them into scapegoats. Everything is thrown into disarray and the Island comes close to complete devastation as easily fooled people hunt down the remaining royals to kill them all. Meanwhile, Loon is the last royal and needs to avoid capture while waiting for the Pond to call her.  

The places in this story are so well described, I could clearly envision them. The characters were so relatable that I was sad when some died and anxious for the success of others.  The plot kept me guessing until the very end, and although it wasn’t a completely happy ending, it was a hopeful one. This book is a masterpiece of fantasy fiction and one I highly recommend. I am excited to read more from this author. I even signed up for her mailing list.
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This is the most realistic fantasy novel I've read in a long time. It still has the fantasy feel, it just seems like it could be happening in our world regardless of the world building. I liked our characters and the world building. I didn't love love this book and I can't quite put my finger on why. It was a solid read and a good book. Thank you to the publisher and author for the opportunity to give my opinion on this book.
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Nature gives life and takes life. But what if nature was sentient? What if the earth was alive? This very unique world and fantastical story felt eerily real. It is set on a magical, sentient island that gives life to an entire ecosystem and civilization, but also depends on sacrifices of people from each generation to survive. Despite being steeped in fantastical magic, the island and characters are complex, imperfect, and heartbreaking real. The deep and long-lasting friendship between Loon and Normer captured my heart from the beginning. Normer is a rare example of a strong deaf woman given serious character development and her own plot lines. I fell in love with each character, right down to Peter’s drunken wisdom. The mysteries of rebellion plots, magical anomalies, and the nature of the island kept me guessing and reading till the end. There were rotating perspectives, parallel plots, and time jumps that surprisingly suited the story well. The characters, plots, and world had enough dark edges to feel real. The author doesn’t shy away from the messy parts of life and death, moral grey areas, or characters that make mistakes. The ending and resolutions to the mysteries were satisfying and rung true. Things weren’t wrapped up excessively neatly enough to feel artificial. While this story was clearly very well written and compelling, it was too dark and had a little too much graphic violence for my personal taste. (I’m somewhat squeamish.) That’s the only thing that kept me from falling completely in love with it. Instead I’m just 80% in love with it. I’d recommend it for anyone a bit less squeamish than me. Thanks to NetGalley and Capes LLC for a free copy in exchange for an honest review!
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