The Lost Queen

A Novel
Narrated by: Toni Frutin
Series: The Lost Queen, Book 1
Length: 17 hrs and 44 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,322 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The Mists of Avalon meets the world of Philippa Gregory in the thrilling first novel of a debut trilogy that reveals the untold story of Languoreth - a forgotten queen of sixth-century Scotland - twin sister of the man who inspired the legend of Merlin. 

I write because I have seen the darkness that will come. Already there are those who seek to tell a new history....

In a land of mountains and mist, tradition and superstition, Languoreth and her brother Lailoken are raised in the Old Way of their ancestors. But in Scotland, a new religion is rising, one that brings disruption, bloodshed, and riot. And even as her family faces the burgeoning forces of Christianity, the Anglo-Saxons, bent on colonization, are encroaching from the east. When conflict brings the hero Emrys Pendragon to her father’s door, Languoreth finds love with one of his warriors. Her deep connection to Maelgwn is forged by enchantment, but she is promised in marriage to Rhydderch, son of a Christian king. As Languoreth is catapulted into a world of violence and political intrigue, she must learn to adapt. Together with her brother - a warrior and druid known to history as Myrddin - Languoreth must assume her duty to fight for the preservation of the Old Way and the survival of her kingdom, or risk the loss of them both forever. 

Based on new scholarship, this tale of bravery and conflicted love brings a lost queen back to life - rescuing her from obscurity, and reaffirming her place at the center of one of the most enduring legends of all time. 

©2018 Signe Pike (P)2018 Simon & Schuster

Critic Reviews

"[Narrator Toni] Frutin creates an atmosphere of tension as the proponents of the new Christian God seek the demise of the Old Way and the Druids (the Wisdom Keepers). She sets a strong, steady pace that make the hours fly by." (AudioFile)

Editorial Review

Recovering a fantasy-like piece of history

Wife to a Christian-born king and daughter of the Old Way, Languoreth stands at the crossroads of the changing times. She must be the warrior behind the walls to fight to preserve the traditions of Scotland and its druid magic. Sound like a fantasy? Well, it’s not. It comes straight from a little-told piece of Scottish history, fully researched by Signe Pike and told in the melodic brogue of Toni Frutin. Though the past may seem like a kind of fantasy, the world drawn in this historical novel is utterly touchable. —Melissa B., Audible Editor

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Lost no more!

I saw the "Outlander meets Camelot" on the cover and knew I had to read this one! I was expecting to be interested but a little let down. I mean, it's being compared to Outlander and Camelot! I wasn't let down at all. I was surprised. I fell fast and hard for this book.
The writing was beautiful, the story was very interesting, and the characters felt alive and well thought out!
If you are interested in Arthurian legends, historical fiction, Scotland, or even just a really good tale...read this!
The note from the author at the end was also very interesting. I'm so happy Signe Pike brought forth The Lost Queen, Languoreth, so she could get the spotlight she so deserved!

This is the first book I've listened to narrated by Toni Frutin and I would definitely listen to more. Her voice was perfect for this!

Now I'm off to try and wait patiently for the next book to come.

63 people found this helpful

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surprised by strong reviews

I found this book to be just ok. The author is an historian--and her author's note at the end is the best part of the book. The tale she has put together is -- in my opinion (and clearly I am alone in this) cliche and her characters predictable and not well-drawn. The detail that I believe this historian could have included to deepen the reader's engagement with the story, is scattered quite sparsely and superficially. Someone compared this to Diana Gabaldon's Outlander and Marion Zimmer Bradley's Mists of Avalon series, but there is really no comparison. Both Bradley's and Gabaldon's books are rich with historic detail (hence, each one is a tome) and their characters are so finely drawn they seem to take on life. So--this is, I believe, this author's first time out of the gate and she may overcome her weaknesses as a story teller as she develops as an author. I really do hope so, because based on her author's note, I suspect she has enough knowledge of the history and setting to follow in Gabaldon and Bradley's footsteps.

29 people found this helpful

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Okay, Not Great

I was very excited to read a book about a Queen that may have been lost to history. Early British civilizations are very interesting to me, and the promise that we would hear more of Merlin's tale was just too good to pass up. However, I was completely underwhelmed by this book.

The book starts off very well, and is descriptive and captivating. I loved the detail given throughout, especially as our main characters grow and begin learning about their world and the battles raging between their religion and newfound Christianity. Learning about the Dragon Warriors and the way that society worked so long ago was very interesting and the details and descriptions made it come alive. Toni Frutin's narration was fantastic and her voice changed convincingly for each character. I honestly think I enjoyed the book more because of her voice.

However, I have two main problems with the book, which caused me to only give it three stars. The first is that, like so many historic novels, it turns into a romance novel, with Languoreth falling in love with a man she can't have. I just felt this was unnecessary. But I honestly would have even been okay with that- except for the fact that she never actually becomes the "lost" Queen at any point in this book. I listened and listened, waiting for her to come into her own and learn to rule....and then the book ended. I just feel as if the pages wasted on a love triangle could have been used more effectively by showing Languoreth growing up and becoming an effective ruler, and explaining all of her many accomplishments as Queen. Instead, I felt that there had been very little character growth when the last bit was read, and I wasn't sure what the point of the book was.

I did not know this until after I finished it, but I guess this is the first book of a trilogy (with the second book coming out in 2020), and so we can hope for more character growth from Languoreth in the future, but I felt overall that the book did not really give me what I expected, and so I was disappointed. I guess this all could've been rectified if it had a different title, but I just expected a book called "The Lost Queen" to have the main character be....a Queen?

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Couldn't get into it.

I tried 4 times to listen to this book and never got past the first hour. Perhaps I've just listened to too many fantasy books this past year, but I finally returned it (which I almost never do).

10 people found this helpful

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Held me captive!!

Loved this story immensely. It left me wanting more!! Such amazing descriptions made me feel as though I were there!

19 people found this helpful

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YA Romance Novel?

I found this book disappointing. It read like a YA romance novel rather than a richly descriptive historical tale of a lost queen. Langoureth spends much time wailing about her troubles and pining over her lost lover. I was drawn in by the high ratings.

12 people found this helpful

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Arthurian history buffs - read this book!

Wonderful debut of historical fiction. The story was engaging, the characters fairly well developed (Christianity gets a bad rap from these fellows, but it is what it was), and the details of the locations were perfect!
The narrator did a grand job with all the different characters - male and female - and I'm sure I am not the only one who would have struggled to pronounce the names and some of the old language used to help set the tone historically.
Definitely hoping there is a next book from this author!

9 people found this helpful

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When is the next book out... can’t wait.

Absolutely loved this book from start to finish. Great story great pace. I felt emotional involved right from the start and all the characters came vibrantly to life. I will definitely be recommending this one.
It is indeed an echo of the Mists of Avalon... another book I just loved. Can’t wait for the next book and it’s not that often I say that. The only other one I am currently waiting on is the Winds of Winter, so that’s saying something.

5 people found this helpful

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Started off good

The book started off strong, the main character very likable. You think she will end up doing something incredible at some point in the plot. However, the storyline does not deliver in the end. The author reads a note at the end about how she came to write the book that I found very interesting. She noted that she tried to be as historically accurate as possible but there is very little known about the main character in history which may explain why the plot doesn’t take a more interesting turn at the end. Narration was superb. Overall, this was a good listen, but not a book I felt really “wowed” me.

2 people found this helpful

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I couldn't finish the book

I couldn't even finish the book and debated asking for a refund. The story tries to be intriguing but turns out to be just boring.

1 person found this helpful