What I'm loving about THE QUEEN OF BLOOD by Sarah Beth Durst...and enter to win a copy!!!

Blog Tour Schedule:

Week 1:

Week 2:

I ADORE Sarah Beth Durst. Her novel ICE was the second book that I EVER reviewed on my blog back in February 2010.. It was one of the first YA novels I'd read since "outgrowing" YA. The novel's fairy tale roots helped bring me back to the genre and return my love of reading fairy tale retellings. I've had the pleasure of meeting the author a few times at events in New York City and she is always so nice and kind and amazing. When I heard that she was coming out with not just a new book, but a series---a SERIES!!!--and that it was to be adult fantasy, I was so incredibly excited. I've been anticipating THE QUEEN OF BLOOD *so* much and can't believe that it's finally out! Plus, the book is so pretty in person! Just look:

I was really excited to get onto the tour for THE QUEEN OF BLOOD and put together a review to share with all of you. However, a review isn't quite what you're getting today, and I'm sorry for that. I didn't have access to a review copy until two weeks ago, and in the past two weeks, I've been managing a week-long event and reading four other books for required blog tour stops. I also stopped to read a book for an author signing--and didn't even get to finish that. I didn't have a chance to start reading THE QUEEN OF BLOOD until two days ago--and last night I passed out after dinner and didn't read anything at all. I'm only 148 pages in and don't feel I can fairly review the book yet as I have more than half of it still to read.

So instead, today I'd like to talk about everything I love SO FAR about this book and give you a fuller review next week. Does that work? ^_^

First off, the setting!!!! You guys, this book is set in a world unlike any I've seen before. PEOPLE LIVE IN TREES. It was a little confusing at first--are the people in the world the size of fairies? Because that would make sense. When it is mentioned that the Queen is six foot tall, I disregarded that notion. (I'm also REALLY glad that information was in the book, because I was REALLY wondering about this!!!) I'm still not sure that I can envision a world made out of trees, but I'm going with it. These are just monster trees with massive trunks. The best villages are made when trees circle together and are side-by-side so that dwellings can spread even more. In this world, trees are carved into and people live inside of them. When there is a terrible attack, houses fall from branches, etc. In my head, I'm still envisioning them small just because I can't grasp the size mechanics, but I think it is so fascinating. I can't wait to explore more and see how this world is put together.

I also love the use of spirits. I love books with elemental magic, where people can control the elements. In this world, it isn't the people who control the magic, but the spirits. Water spirits, earth spirits, etc. And the spirits can be creepy, like a water spider, or beautiful, like a fire fox. Females who have an affinity for controlling various spirits may get jobs in villages as hedgewitches. Females blessed with the ability for all six affinities may find themselves training to be a potential Queen. In this world, the Queenship is inherited not through blood, but through affinity. Students train to be the best at controlling the spirits so that they may protect the world from malevolent beings. If a student shows particular control, she may be chosen by a Champion to be a candidate, and if she passes those trials, she becomes an heir. When the Queen inevitably falls, the most competent Heir is chosen as her replacement.

THE QUEEN OF THE BLOOD centers around Daleina, a girl whose village was destroyed by malevolent elemental spirits. Her family was one of the only ones to survive, thanks to the fact that Daleina's affinity for spirits manifested and she was able to make them leave her family alone. They were found by a champion named Ven, who assessed Daleina's powers and determined that she'd never amount to anything more powerful than a hedgewitch. Now, nine years later, Ven is a disgraced Champion whose Heir has fallen, and he must choose a new candidate. Daleina is studying at the Academy, but she's barely competent and doesn't have the ease for working with elementals that other girls do. Yet she knows why she's there and why she wants to be Queen. She remembers the horrors she faced as a child and wants to protect other villages from the same fate. When her path reconverges with Ven and he chooses her to train as his candidate and a potential heir to the throne...well, that's where I right now in the story. But you probably wouldn't have gotten much more summary from me than that anyway! ^.~

Look for a fuller review of this series launcher next week, and for now, just now that I am vastly enjoying the book already!
O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Author: Sarah Beth Durst
Release Date: Sept. 20, 2016
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Received: For Review
Purchase Links:

Amazon | B&N  

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, 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.

About the Author

Sarah Beth Durst is the author of ten fantasy novels for adults, teens, and kids, including Conjured, Vessel, and Ice. Her latest book for kids, The Girl Who Could Not Dream, came out in November 2015 from HMH/Clarion Books, and her next book for adults, The Queen of Blood, comes out in September 2016 from Harper Voyager.
She won the 2013 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award and has been a finalist for SFWA's Andre Norton Award three times. She is a graduate of Princeton University, where she spent four years studying English, writing about dragons, and wondering what the campus gargoyles would say if they could talk. Sarah lives in Stony Brook, New York, with her husband, her children, and her ill-mannered cat.

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