Cover Image: Arca


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An engrossing sequel to SCORPICA, ARCA has all the skillful pacing, interesting characters, and plot twists I’ve come to expect from Macallister. I loved discovering that characters who seemed minor in SCORPICA re-appear and take on larger roles, evolving in unexpected ways. And the cultures of each of the Five Queendoms have become more defined, as well. This was a quick, immersive read, and I’m definitely looking forward to the next installment in the series.

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I am absolutely thrilled that Greer has ventured into the world of fantasy. Her stories are always so engaging and suck you in. This is the second book in this series and it was just as amazing as the first book. Now I just need all of the rest!! Full of action and magic - trust me, you're gonna love it.

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Macallister is planning more books in the series and it was obvious from the way that Arca ended that more was coming. But it did have a pretty good feeling of completeness at the end anyway. A lot of storylines, if not exactly resolved, were left in a good place so that there was a feeling of satisfaction with the story. I didn’t feel annoyed like continuation stories usually make me feel. I am content with the story I got in Arca but I will be happy to pick to tale back up when the next installment comes back out.

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Big, epic fantasy series tend to feature a lot of similar elements: Complex, oftentimes labyrinthine plots, dozens of characters, a fair amount of violence, and, generally, a whole lot of men. Or, at the very least, a predominantly male-centered perspective that conceptualizes the world in a way that’s not always particularly friendly toward female characters or their stories. After all, many of the greatest female characters in fantasy fiction are memorable in spite of the male-dominated stories they star in, for all the ways they still manage to make their mark in a world that is too often loath to recognize them or their abilities.

This is a big part of the reason that G.R. Macallister’s Five Queendoms series—-which currently consists of Scorpica, Arca, and a third in-progress novel with a title that is still to be revealed—-feels like such a breath of fresh air. An epic, generation-spanning tale set in a fully matriarchal society that’s not only dominated by but has been entirely conceptualized by women, the series is like almost nothing else on shelves at the moment. The world Macallister imagines is rich and expansive, full of intricate historical details, political rivalries, and traditions specific to each of the series’ queendoms and cultures.

Yet, Macallister smartly resists the temptation to make her Five Queendoms some sort of aspirational utopia, just because the world is primarily seen through a female lens.. No, its women are allowed to be just as brutal, selfish, and manipulative as the male fantasy leads who have come before them. They each have their own motivations and agendas, and their goals frequently come into direct conflict with one another, often with violent results. (Though there is thankfully much less sexual menace involved. See, it is possible, George R.R. Martin!!)

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I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Arca by G.R. Macallister is the second book in the Five Queendom's series. Much like the first book, this is a story steeped in political wrangling, strategic combat, and interpersonal drama. I would say that this novel is superior to the first and does a better job of handling its disparate elements. The overarching tale is one that observes a matriarchal society as it addresses a truly fundamental challenge to its system. For lovers of fantasy, romance, and political conflict, with solid character development and a twist on standard fantasy tropes, this is a solid read.

8 out of 10.

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Macallister's writing is soooo masterful, her characters are compelling, and her world-building is superb. This is a sequel that will transport readers to a realm worth revisiting, and leave them longing for more. In the previous novel, Scorpica, Maccallister examines the ways in which our desires can lead us astray, and the difficult choices we must make to protect ourselves and others. This series is top tier.
Full review to come on my YouTube channel.

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Thank you to NetGalley for the advanced reading copy of arca by Vr macallister. I didn’t realize this was a book two but it gave me enough info to get through this. Was very good and I will be getting the first and this book for my shop

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I’m very glad I was able to return back to the Five Queendoms in this sequel by G.R. Macallister. In Arca we join right where we left off, greeting many of the characters we left behind in Scorpica and are introduced to many others. Continue reading down below to get my take on this continuation of the Five Queendoms series.

Pacing and Plot
Arca is a honking book. So was Scorpica. Even though it was such a long book, it was really well-paced. Sometimes when I read longer books (and more surprisingly some shorter books) there are periods where things seem to drag on. There are some slight time jumps, especially in the beginning for new characters that we learn their backstory, but overall it stays within the time frame once the story really gets going.

The Five Queendoms series just is such a large world is easy to feel overwhelmed with just how big it is. Macallister does a great job of slowly increasing and increasing this world so that you do not feel that overwhelm. In Arca we learn more about the gods, more about different types of magic, more about socio-political strategies and issues across the kingdoms. There is so much we now know, but also so much more than can be built upon. Even though there is room for growth, I have not felt as though I am missing something to fully grasp the book.

I really enjoyed reading Arca. I will admit, it had been a while since I’d read Scorpica and I did not remember much of the plot or the characters. Without needing to read a synopsis I was back into the world and things were coming back to me. I think that is a sign of a well written series; even though both are larger books, I could fall back into the world with ease. If you read Scorpica, I can easily recommend you pick up Arca.

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Ready for an epic fantasy with women as the leaders? Who wouldn’t want to read that story?!

I thoroughly enjoyed this story and the varied characters. The magic woven throughout was fabulous and made for an even richer tale.

If you like stories such as Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings but can appreciate views from a female perspective, definitely pick this series up! Book 2 just released this month. Every bit as great as Book 1

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Review in progress and to come.

I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving a review

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While I liked Scorpica, I didn't love it, but this sequel was fantastic. Many of the things I didn't like in the first book were improved in this follow up. Arca continues the story of the five queendoms as the Drought of Girls comes to an end. It focuses on storylines in three of the countries: Queen Eminel, the all-magic girl who defeated the sorcerer Sessadon, learns to rule Arca; Ama, a guard for the future king of Paxim, falls in love with her charge with disastrous results; and the Scorpica queen decides to attack Arca and Paxim.

One thing I frequently struggle with and did not care for in Scorpica is the story being told through multiple viewpoints. I find it harder to connect with characters and understand them thoroughly, but I did not have that problem this time. I didn't always love each narrator's storylines but I did understand them and see how they were connected more easily. Part of this may be because the world felt more real and fleshed out in this book.

Another thing I struggled with in the first book were the time jumps. So much time passed off-page that it was jarring and sometimes hard to follow. However, in Arca the time jumps made so much sense and cut out a lot of needless exposition and got straight to the action. Instead of watching a character travel, you are told they will be traveling and cut to their arrival.

If I hadn't received an advanced readers' copy of Arca, I likely would not have have continued to read the Five Queendoms series, but I'm really glad I got it and I am now super invested in the characters Eminel and Ama and the story. I can't wait for the next book in the series!

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Wow why a sequel! I was nervous I was not gonna love this one as much as the first but it totally lived up!

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I loved the first book in this series, Scorpica, when it came out. I read it in a day nonstop! However, I could not get myself into this one and I very surprisingly had to DNF it partway through. I think there are a few reasons! First, the ending of Scorpica was wild and fast-paced. This one begins very slowly and it's not as engaging. Second, there is very little information to help remind the reader what happened in book 1. If you haven't read the first one in a while, this will be difficult! Finally, I think I may have just changed as a reader and this could be personal taste. I also have read some valid criticisms of the way gender is handled in this book that affected my view (regardless of some attempts in the plot to counteract it, it seems very binary).
I believe that someone who has recently read and enjoyed Scorpica (so the events are fresh and you know you like the writing style) will like this much more than I did. Giving this a three-star neutral review.
I appreciate the ARC from the publisher and NetGalley!

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Great second book in series that pays off. I admit, it took me a little bit to understand what was happening and where we were (as in the start), as there really wasn’t any short recap for Book One. Ultimately, that doesn’t make sense as the payoff is definitely centered on knowing the thing the made one fall in love with Book One. But eventually I found my way in and then it was a race to finish. There were some surprises, but mostly things happened that were right, and—in the end—all was as should be and I enjoyed as much as the first book. Interesting set up for book three!

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3.75/5 stars
Thanks to Saga Press and Netgalley for the ARC.

Arca continues the Five Queendoms series and we jump right back into the events from the end of Scorpica. Political maneuvers are the name of the game as the main players vie for power and supremacy. The world, the magic and the richness of the characters is what continues to stand out about this series. This matriarchal society is in the throes of major change and it's going to be so interesting to see if there ends up being more equanimity in the next installment as things continue to evolve.
Eminel, Azur, and Queen Heliane are the major threads throughout in addition to much more time with Paulus, Stellari and Gretti. I loved Ama and Paulus together and the growth of their relationship. Eminel and Beyda are a force to be reckoned with and I love the strength of their friendship. I did struggle a bit through the first half as it felt slow at times and seemed to take a bit for the story to find its feet. The back half flowed much better and had more action and it built to a strong conclusion.

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I received this sequel to "Scorpica" as an Advanced Reader Copy from in exchange for a fair review. I was absolutely mad for the first novel, "Scorpica," in this series, so I was eager to read the ARC, but unfortunately it wasn't as good as I had hoped it would be. Don't get me wrong, it was still a strong sophomore effort in a trilogy series, but "Scorpica" had me compulsively turning the pages and absorbed from the first to the last pages, which "Arca" did not manage to do.

Overall I still enjoyed "Arca" but it wasn't as smoothly pulling the audience into the drama of the series as the first novel did. I also felt a bit disoriented by the fact it was several months (or a year) between reading "Scorpica" and its sequel, so I didn't really recall the critical details of the final chapters in the first novel, and the beginning of "Arca". I strongly recommend reading "Scorpica" and its sequel "Arca," but it could have used a little delicate reminder of the plot twists at the end of the first installment in the series, and the following installment.

I greatly admire G.R. Macallister's novels (she also writes as Greer Macallister), but this particular novel had a challenge keeping me as engaged in the first 25% versus its stellar predecessor. Please continue to read G.R. Macallister's work, as I have high hopes for the last installment in the "Scorpica" series.

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- thank you to netgalley and the publisher for an arc to review!

- an alright continuation to the five queendoms series! i don’t have much to say, as it was similar to the first book.

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After reading Scorpica, I was looking forward to book 2 and Arca did not disappoint. I don't often read fantasy books, but the stories being told grab you and make you want to find out what happens next in the Five Queendoms. From the gorgeous cover to the very last page, you are drawn into the lives of Stellari, Ama, Eminel, Tamura, and Heliane. The map and list of major and recurring characters at the beginning of the book help you imagine where the story takes you and remember the many characters. The author has crafted a beautifully detailed story where you feel like you are in the middle of the training sessions of Ama and Paulaus or watching the battle for the village of Hayk. As a fantasy-newbie, I loved how the author created new words for these worlds and even if you've never seen them before, you understand the meaning. The magic felt organic and was written to make you believe (and possibly want some of those powers). If you are looking for an immersive fantasy story, I recommend Arca! Now I will wait patiently for the final book in The Five Queendoms!

Thank you Net Galley for an ARC of Arca by G. R. Macallister for an honest review.

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Arca is the second book in G.R. Macallister’s Five Queendoms series. It follows the main characters of her first book in the series, Scorpica, which was one of my 2022 favorites. These women are grappling with the changes happening in the queendoms. As rulers and women of power, they must hold their realms together despite uncertainties. And they each have their own style of completing these tasks.

The primary queendoms Macallister follows are Arca, Scorpica, and Paxim. Within each is a ruler—Eminel, Tamura, and Heliane. In addition, we meet each woman’s companions, allies, and rivals. Macallister humanizes all the characters despite the novel’s considerable political wrangling. She jumps from battles to strategizing and from succession troubles to the challenges of maintaining control. Along the way, we learn more about each queendom’s history.

I always enjoy Macallister’s writing style and have read several of her books. She knows how to engage her readers, as well as how to build descriptive worlds. Like Scorpica, Arca turns hetero, cisgender, and patriarchal norms to a more feminist, nonbinary, and matriarchal perspective. This is only one aspect of the epic, but I absolutely love envisioning the unique perspectives.

This is definitely not a standalone novel, as it begins where Scorpica finished. So pick up both books and immerse yourself in the worlds of Arca and her rival queendoms. They’re a perfect pair. I heartily recommend them both.

Thanks to NetGalley, Gallery Books, Gallery / Saga Press, and the author for a digital advanced reader’s copy in exchange for this honest review. The expected publication date for this book is March 7, 2023.

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Immediately upon finishing Scorpica, I dived into my ARC of Arca. While I enjoyed the first book, there were parts of it that really frustrated me. (Namely, the treatment of men. Yes, men get to be the carriers of most fantasy books and have all the power normally, but STILL. It bothered me that the one male character we got more of did not last long.) Some of those concerns were still present in this book, but overall, I enjoyed Arca much more than the first book in the series.

I thoroughly enjoyed the new POV characters we received in this book. We get two or three new ones, and their voices add a lot to the story. Especially Ama's -- who I was completely wrong about in the first book. I thought that Azur of the Scorpicae was her but apparently I just read something inaccurately. Two totally different characters in actuality.

ANYWAY -- Ama was my favorite, and I loved her journey but oh how my heart ached at one particular point. It wasn't her fault at all, but her heart was broken in two. Just...shattered. Ugh. I also really love that we got more of Eminel, as well. She really comes into her own in this book and that was delightful to watch. Watching her boss other people around knowing she was the most powerful and in the right was just CHEF'S KISS. Azur and Tamura were frustrating characters -- they were SUPPOSED TO BE -- don't get me wrong, but I really hated reading their POV sections as I do not vibe with who they are. They are very well written, though, and make sense within the book.

I am definitely interested to know where the story is going, and how many more books we'll be getting in this series. The world is fascinating and unique, and held my attention well. Not to mention that Macalliter's writing is top notch. Overall, I'd give Arca a solid four stars.

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