I was digging through my TBR pile and unearthed this gem on my Kindle. The 100th Queen by Emily R. King features an orphaned girl named Kalinda who lives in a world where women are warriors but have lost their sense of sisterhood. They’ve been pit up against one another, wives and courtesans both, to earn the favored position with the Rajah, who rules as a tyrant.
It’s sort of like if the harem turned into gladiator fights, and the women are allowed to be ferocious instead of the comical hair-pulling you might expect from such a setup.
I enjoyed this book a good deal. The style of writing took a moment for me to get used to, but once I caught the rhythm it flowed nicely. It was quite lean on descriptions, which is unique in fantasy novels that rely heavily on transporting you to a setting, but the worldbuilding was still exemplary. Instead of lengthy backstory to support it, the author relied on the reader paying attention to what the characters said about the world, and that worked just fine.
I did see through one major red herring toward the end of the novel, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the book as a whole. That said, my one major complaint is that the male counterpart for Kalinda was a little weak. I didn’t find myself rooting for him the same way some others may have, but he is not the main protagonist of the novel so perhaps that’s a good thing.
Given the subject matter, I should warn parents that this should be considered a PG-13 novel. There are no explicit scenes, but enough is alluded to that the warning should go out.