An exciting second installment in King’s Hundredth Queen series takes readers from one disaster to another along the way to restoring the Tarachand Empire.
After leaving the city of Vanhi, Kalinda and her party decide that they must find Prince Ashwin, as he is the heir to Rajah Tarek’s throne. The prince summons Kalinda to Iresh, the capital of Janardan, a country that borders the Tarachand Empire and has taken in Tarachand refugees. Once there, Kalinda is asked to fight in another tournament to see who will be Prince Ashwin’s champion to take back and rule the Tarachand Empire from the bhuta Warlord Hastin. After the previous book’s tournament to wed Rajah Tarek, Kalinda swore she would never fight again, but if she does not, a foreigner will rule her people. She is unsure she can trust the other contestants to rule—or even Prince Ashwin himself. The plot is, predictably, filled with deception and intrigue. The narration switches perspective between Kalinda and her sweetheart, palace guard Deven, since they are separated for most of the book. All of the characters are persons of color, as the world is inspired by (but hardly faithful to) Sumerian mythology, according to the author’s note. King treats the readers to stunning descriptions of Kalinda and her sister warriors’ characters, even giving villains redeeming traits and hints of sympathy.
A descriptive action-packed fantasy in a vivid world, this novel is for readers interested in seeing its protagonist use her powers and wit to smash the patriarchy. (Fantasy. 13-18)