Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:
Series: Romances of Arquitaine
Author: Lilith Saintcrow
# of Books: 2 (The Hedgewitch Queen, The Bandit King)
Book Order: Chronological
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Politics, Drama, Fantasy, Historical, Alternative History, Suspense
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: First Person
The Hedgewitch Queen takes the honour of being the first eBook I have ever bought–yet it took me nearly 2 years to actual get around to reading it. Eventually, I managed to find the time to read both books and here are my thoughts about them:
One thing that nearly turned me off of reading The Hedgewitch Queen once I started it was the odd writing flow it had to it. I found that I had a hard time understanding what was going on and there were a lot of terms used that I didn’t always know the meaning for (though there is a glossary of terms at the back of the novels that does explain some terms). Eventually, I got the movement of things a few chapters in and that was when I started to enjoy the story a lot more.
My favourite aspect of the plot was the mystery/suspense surrounding the treason of the King. I really had no idea how everything was going to unfold so I enjoyed watching it come to life as I read it. I find the sequel, The Bandit King does a great job of connecting things together from the first book so you get a better understanding regarding what happened in the previous book. Really, it was the treason plot that I liked most about this book because the romance isn’t as big of a focus as one expects when you read the series title as “romances of”. It’s definitely there but I felt it was more subtle and behind the scenes–what I’m trying to say is that it isn’t just a lovey-dovey romance novel. If you go in expecting a political soap-opera of sorts you will get a better grasp of what is happening.
I think a lot of people will struggle with the characters. The Hedgewitch Queen is told solely from Vianne’s POV and The Bandit King is from Tristan’s POV. I had a very hard time liking Vianne. Man, at the start of the Hedgewitch Queen she is easily one of the most annoying heroines I have ever had the displeasure of reading. She was extremely vain and dumb and I found that very frustrating to read. BUT, she has great character growth and definitely smartens up by the end of The Hedgewitch Queen which I appreciate. As for Tristan, I really liked him overall but I think a lot of people will get annoyed by his “angstiness” at times. He plays the tortured lover well I think and I enjoyed having him telling the second book to save me from another round of Vianne’s thoughts–though it was a little much at times.
I really had no idea how the series was going to end or what was going to happen next in either book and I really liked that. I’m glad the series was only 2 books long because I don’t know how much more could be added to the series before it seriously began to suffer from an inflated plot. So I think the Bandit King ends things nicely though I would have liked an epilogue.
I liked this book because it was very different from other books that I read. I really got sucked into the treason plotline and I liked the unpredictability of it. I don’t think a lot of people will enjoy it though so I recommend that you read a sample of it and if you can’t stomach the first few chapters then pass completely on the series. But if you are looking for or want to try a Young Adult political thriller with magic, this is for you!
Would I Recommend this Series to a Friend: No, I don’t think my friends would be interested in this type of storyline.
Similar Reads: Throne of Glass by Sarah H. Maas (Throne of Glass Series #1); The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson (Fire and Thorns Series #1) and The Ring and the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz (The Ring and the Crown Series#1)
Synopsis for The Hedgewitch Queen (from Goodreads):
Vianne di Rocancheil is a lady waiting at the Court of Arquitaine, where she studies her books, watches for intrigue, and shepherds her foolhardy Princesse through the glittering whirl. Court is a sometimes-unpleasant waltz, especially for the unwary, but Vianne treads its measured steps well.
Unfortunately, the dance has changed. Treachery is afoot in gilded and velvet halls. A sorcerous conspiracy is unleashed, with blood, death, and warfare close behind. Vianne must flee, carrying the Great Seal of Arquitaine with her. This is the one thing the conspirators need to rule, and they won’t rest until they have it. A life of dances, intrigues, and fashion has not prepared Vianne for this. Nor has it prepared her for Tristan d’Arcenne, Captain of the King’s Guard and player in the most dangerous games conspiracy can devise. Yet to save her country and avenge her Princesse, Vianne will become what she must and do whatever is required.
A Queen can do no less.