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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

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    82
  • 4 Stars
    46
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    17
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    8
  • 1 Stars
    3

Performance

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    102
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    34
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    7
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    3
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    3

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    78
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    40
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    19
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

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
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

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

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

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

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Steadily Lost Momentum

I was wondering why this series wasn't more popular as I enjoyed the characters, the magical system and the world the author created. I was three quarters through the book when this question was answered. Everything became cliché from the problems she had at home, romantic interludes and unwarranted guilt over the decision to kill a villainous murderer. Then there's the ending, that even with a stretch of the imagination was unrealistic and improbable. The main enemy was done away with way too easy as well as some rivals. Okay, I'm gritting my teeth because in order to really explain how this book fell apart I would have to be more specific. Unfortunately, I cannot do that without major spoilers. I'll just add that this book may be okay for those who are just getting into this genre, but if you are an experienced reader of fantasy this book will seem elementary in the extreme.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I loved this book!

I loved this book and I cannot wait to listen to the reat of the series!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

This was awesome

The story and characters were really imaginative, and it had and ending I never expected. Really good listen.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A must read!!

I can't ruin it. you will giggle, get nervous, start to care then cry... after that be hopeful.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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.