Three Kingdoms. Two wars. And one queen who is desperate to save them all.
The kingdoms of Tunock, Taus, and Wilmington have been at peace for more than five hundred years. On their secluded peninsula, life is perfect for royalty and commoners alike. Fear of the pirates in the waters keep them from exploring further than the beaches, and tales of strange visions and missing persons keep them from going to the mountains Beyond. They are happy with their way of living and content in knowing that as long as they don’t cross the borders; they are safe. But everything changes when the castle of Tunock burns to the ground and the royal family disappears with no one to blame.
Princess Lauraine of Tunock never dreamed that she would spend her seventeenth birthday escaping a burning castle, but that’s precisely how she spent it. Left to the mercy of a knight whom she’s never met before, Princess Lauraine goes into hiding while trying to solve the political mystery of who attacked her home—and why. She befriends an old knight—whom her father declared insane—and though she trusts her father’s declaration as much as she trusts him, something about the old man seems sincere. Could her father have been wrong about him? And when strange things happen throughout the kingdoms—things that should only belong in the fairy tale books—Lauraine finds herself at an impasse: should she rise to the position of Queen and restore order to her kingdom; or risk losing her kingdom entirely in search of the truth?
As the events happening in the Three Kingdoms continue to unwind, Princess Lauraine makes a choice. A choice that promises little reward and far more humiliation if she’s wrong. With a small band of friends who she deems trustworthy, Lauraine gives her everything to become the person who will save her kingdom—even if it means losing herself.
I received this book from the author for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.
I had the privilege of being one of Rayleigh’s close friends for a few years before A Queen is Knighted was published. I listened to her rants and rambles as she worked her way through writing and editing this story. By the time I beta read it last year, I was so excited to experience the world she’d described to me so many times throughout our friendship! A Queen is Knighted, or AQIK for short, did not disappoint.
While Lauraine is the main character of AQIK, there are a few other perspectives the book takes us in throughout the story. I enjoyed figuring out the varied relationships between characters of different kingdoms and trying to figure out who was in love with who. The premise of the story was extremely captivating as it started with Lauraine waking up in the middle of the night with her kingdom on fire and being whisked away by a dashing knight who saved her life. Alone and confused, we journey with Lauraine as she pieces together what really happened that night and what she must do to save her family and her kingdom.
I loved watching Sir James and Lauraine become friends and learn to communicate with each other. They grew up very differently and had to navigate each other’s strengths and weaknesses as they traveled together. Their slowly budding romance is definitely one I’m here for and hoping to read more of in book 2!
As a diehard Lord of the Rings fan, I’m all about fantasy books whose plot centers around the epic journey. I loved getting to explore AQIK’s world and the intricacies of the magic and lore. I think my only struggle was that the plot and destination for the journey weren’t clear during the middle of the book. The exposition demonstrated how much thought the author had put into her world, but I lacked a sense of tension from the villain and backstory until about 2/3 through the story. This would be my only major drawback. First books in a trilogy tend to have this component of build-up leading into the second book, so once things were revealed later on, I was able to understand what everything had been building toward.
And that cliffhanger!! All jokes about desperately waiting for book 2 aside, I liked the tease at the end. We had the satisfaction of Sir James and Lauraine getting to their destination and the author giving us a glimpse into that beautiful world they’d been searching for without giving away all its secrets too soon. This kept the tension and excitement high and ready for the sequel, which I think is brilliant.
In conclusion, I give A Queen is Knighted 4 out of 5 stars. To be honest, I don’t think there are any content warnings to give! There is some violence and gore, but nothing out of the ordinary for your typical YA fantasy novel. The romance is light – I don’t remember any kissing. Perfect for readers of all ages!