Set in medieval Scotland, The Lost Queen tells us the story of Merlin’s forgotten-by-history twin sister as she grows up in the house of the king and marries for duty into another. Expect fantasy elements, plenty of war, two very entertaining love interests, and an epic time line!
Just so you all know where I was standing on my way into this novel, I am fairly new to fantasy and even more new to the historical fantasy genre. I didn’t come into this book because of the Merlin-era background, for the nobility or the 6th century Scottish setting, or for historically accurate writing. I just wanted a break from real life reading and thought a bit of magic fit the bill. With that in mind, I loved this book so much! The magic was hinted at or utilized through knowledge or healing, which grounded the entire novel, and the immense time line swept me away after about 50 pages.
The book starts with Languoreth, our main character, and her twin, Lailoken , at around “twelve moons,” aka they were twelve years old. We see their childhood develop and we learn about their destinies, which seem to be laid out before them without room for alterations. Lailoken will be a great warrior someday and is in training to become a Wisdom Keeper. Languoreth would love nothing more than to be a healer like her mother, or a Wisdom Keeper like her brother, but is bound by duty to marry into a royal family and continue the bloodline. From here, we watch the twins grow up and begin to fulfill these destinies. This sweeping timeline, following the twins from age twelve all the way up into their thirties, is a large part of why I loved this book so much. Though the book started out a little bit slow, I was quickly hooked into their lives and couldn’t wait to travel into adulthood with them.
I also thoroughly enjoyed the romance aspect of this novel! I did not expect this to be a theme at all, but I was so delighted with Languoreth’s early adulthood, her first Fire festival, and her two love interests. (Although, let’s be real, it was one love interest and I need more of that please.) All the love interests both of Languoreth and of the supporting characters added dimension to the novel and made me that much more of a fan.
There are a couple things I wish had gone differently, of course. We spent so much time with Languoreth in the beginning of the novel as she developed her healing with Arianne, learned how to use a knife with her brothers and cousins, and, in general, developed herself as a clever young woman. I thought a lot of that was lost as the novel progressed, since she loses her ability to heal (and, thus, her connection to her mother) and every time she goes to actually use her knife, she epicly fails. I’d love a little more powerful female energy to take over her life as she ages and, if the second novel goes the way I think it will, I hope Languoreth’s daughter is able to step up to the plate and develop her skills.
But, overall? I cannot wait for the second and third installments of this trilogy and I highly recommend anyone who is looking to go on an adventure pick up this novel!
Thank you to Touchstone Books for sending me this free review copy.
PUBLICATION DETAILS: 544 pp; Touchstone Books; September 4, 2018. 978-1501191411 .
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