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Publisher's Summary

An idealistic young student and a banished warrior become allies in a battle to save their realm in this first book of a mesmerizing epic fantasy series filled with political intrigue, violent magic, malevolent spirits, and thrilling adventure.

Everything has a spirit: the willow tree with leaves that kiss the pond, the stream that feeds the river, the wind that exhales fresh snow.

But the spirits that reside within this land want to rid it of all humans. One woman stands between these malevolent spirits and the end of humankind: the queen. She alone has the magical power to prevent the spirits from destroying every man, woman, and child. But queens are still just human, and no matter how strong or good they are, the threat of danger always looms.

With the position so precarious, young women are chosen to train as heirs. Daleina, a seemingly quiet academy student, is under no illusions as to her claim to the throne but simply wants to right the wrongs that have befallen the land. Ven, a disgraced champion, has spent his exile secretly fighting against the growing number of spirit attacks. Joining forces, these daring partners embark on a treacherous quest to find the source of the spirits' restlessness - a journey that will test their courage and trust and force them to stand against both enemies and friends to save their land before it's bathed in blood.

©2016 Sarah Beth Durst (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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    86
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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Unfettered II brought me here, no regrets.

The performance by Khristine in unfettered brought me to this book. She did a good job on this one too. The story really is interesting and kept me on edge near the end. It was so so throughout. Decent progression and all but lacking in passion and deep background stories.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Lovely concept, No pay off story wise

I fell in love with the world, the way the humans and nature where so intertwined. And the concepts of the spirits were great; but the story ended up being flat, I was left frustrated at character interactions. Older characters for some reason acted very immature and left me feeling whiplash.

I have a few other gripes but the character interactions and the seeming immaturity of the book were my biggest problems.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Fantastic Narrator, Story Needs Work

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I would only if they don't read a lot of fantasy, or just trying fantasy out as a genre. It does have a fun and unique world and magic, as well as a solid ending. But characters were just stock characters, ridiculous instalove and a weak writing style.

Have you listened to any of Khristine Hvam’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes I listened to the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. Hvam is a fantastic and passionate narrator. She puts everything she has into every story she does, from the voices to the scale of emotions throughout. She saved this book for me; I would've given up if I had read the physical copy.

Do you think The Queen of Blood needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

It does wrap up enough that people might not need the next books. But I am curious of how she's going to expand the world and lore of the spirits.

Any additional comments?

Great narrator that brings life to a story that is slow in many places, stock characters and a writing style that's way too much "telling" and not enough "showing." If you read a lot of fantasy, you might be disappointed by it. But the cool world and magic and solid ending is worth a shot in audiobook format.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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A favorite comming of age story

YA at it's best - a fun magic school and a setting influenced my the magic. I loved how the spirts were a combination of an elemental magic system with the perils of summoning.

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  • Story

ugh. skip this

terrible character development. you really don't care about any of them.
story jumps around without adding anything in the making
very superficial descriptions and much more of a YA novel, with emphasis on young

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

unique and engaging

After listening through the book, I have to say I can understand why this is a bestseller. The author Sarah didn't follow the normal cliches and danced around them in interesting and exciting ways, laced with fresh ideas and excellent writing that kept me enthralled. I highly recommend to anyone whom is a fan of Fantasy genre.

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  • Story
  • kailene
  • jacksonville, FL, United States
  • 10-11-16

Awesome

Queen of blood you wouldn't think what this title was about until you reach the last chapter. A story of children's dreams and of nightmares...the book is like a beautiful song strong along fast paced action packed and has something for everyone, love,loss, happiness, heroes, villains and the world building perfectly beautifully written and woven into a land you see. Very amazing and not you typical happy ending but a cliff hanger all the same with possible plots for the next book nimbly placed into spot you could miss if not reading each word. Fabulous written expressive and young adult yes but none of the angst that comes with it

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Interesting, but not satisfying...

I like the concept of the spirits and the affinity for power over the elements. Admittedly, that is what drew me to this book. However, I feel this book lacked a more complex story line. Parts of it reminded me of other great works like the Hunger Games and Harry Potter, but in the end I feel there are some loose ends leaving me wanting more.

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  • Story

BORING

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

This book I believe would appeal to readers who remember "The Littles" or have read "The Borrowers". The entire story I kept picturing little people who live in trees; even though the author makes it clear from descriptions this is not the case. However, the juvenile plot and predictable story line kept pulling me back into those 2 directions.

What was most disappointing about Sarah Beth Durst’s story?

Most disappointing thing I would say that the premise of the story is unique. However, it was incredibly boring and fell extremely flat.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator did a decent job with what she was given.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment. Mad at myself for seeing it through. Hoping the end would do an about face and surprise me.

Any additional comments?

Listening to this book felt like being trapped in a huge hedge maze blindfolded and having someone direct you to the end. Every time you get excited you are going the right way, you into thorn bushes. You think its just going to take your guide a minute to get in the groove and direct you right and here comes the bush.

The characters were in constant contradiction. Their dialogue v. behavior.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Amazing!

If you like fantasy then I recommend this book. While it has a serious case of Insta love, the rest of the story is so incredible that I got over it quick. I'm getting the next book immediately.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful