Book Review : The Hundredth Queen
By Emily R. KIng
He wanted a warrior queen. He got a revolutionary.
As an orphan ward of the Sisterhood, eighteen-year-old Kalinda is destined for nothing more than a life of seclusion and prayer. Plagued by fevers, she’s an unlikely candidate for even a servant’s position, let alone a courtesan or wife. Her sole dream is to continue living in peace in the Sisterhood’s mountain temple.
But a visit from the tyrant Rajah Tarek disrupts Kalinda’s life. Within hours, she is ripped from the comfort of her home, set on a desert trek, and ordered to fight for her place among the rajah’s ninety-nine wives and numerous courtesans. Her only solace comes in the company of her guard, the stoic but kind Captain Deven Naik.
Faced with the danger of a tournament to the death—and her growing affection for Deven—Kalinda has only one hope for escape, and it lies in an arcane, forbidden power buried within her. (Courtesy of goodreads.com)
Adult Point of View
I don’t like writing book reviews when I didn’t absolutely love the book, particularly when I’ve met the author. With that said, I only had one main complaint and many things I liked about The Hundredth Queen.
First here are some of the highlights:
I liked King’s writing style. It is very current and moves along at a great pace. She includes great imagery. The plot is driven by the characters, which is my favorite kind of plot.
The characters were rich and full. Even the serving woman sho helps Kalinda at the Turquoise Palace has a backstory, that comes out in little bits rather than dumped. Kalinda, the protagonist, works through her character flaws of never feeling adequate compared to others. She learns to find her own strength. Kalinda is also a firm believer in her gods and is willing to accept direction. Deven, the main love interest, is also complex. He would have preferred to be a priest, but needed to become a soldier. He has a complicated past with his family, which is effectively used in the plot. The other characters, such as wives, sisters and concubines, are each distinct and obviously have a backstory that controls their actions. Some of the other women grow and others don’t – much like real life. Even Rajah Tarek, the bad guy, has a reasonable backstory. I couldn’t really feel sorry for him because he was always selfish and a jerk. Nevertheless, he has motivation for his evil ways.
I didn’t like the tone of the story. The gods’ will has been twisted and the nature of Tarek is particularly gross. There are little comments, such as, his gift to his new wife is the first night they spend together they will be alone. After that he will always have multiple women present for any intimate encounter. He is bloodthirsty, to watch the women kill and hurt each other. His idea of love is twisted. I felt oily reading some of the scenes. It is also gregariously violent. The women are required to kill each other, and there are some brutal scenes. Sisterhood has gone awry.
3 out of 5 stars
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