Queendom of the Seven Lakes is an entertaining, if not wholly original, political fantasy; a quick read, which centres around the journey of the first male ruler of a Queendom, and the assassin that must protect him.
Book: Queendom of the Seven Lakes by AB Endacott
Read before: No
Ownership: E-ARC provided by Netgalley for fair review
My overall impression of this book is that it had so much potential. I love political fantasy, and I was keen to see some really clever worldbuilding. Unfortunately, it fell a little flat on the character side of things.
Neither Elen-ai, the assassin, nor Gidyon, the prince, were particularly well-fleshed out. Gidyon in particular was very difficult to assess, since he flip-flopped between seeming about 13 and 25. I really couldn’t decide if he was meant to be a love interest for Elen-ai – the idea is joked about, and hinted at, but they never seem to do anything about it. If so, the age gap is a little weird for me (he is 17 and a spoiled kid, she is 22 and an experienced assassin). Elen-ai was unfortunately a very trite YA character – an assassin with a heart, who we’ve all seen before. The Queen is aloof, and we do not get to know her, and the various nobles are pretty interchangeable (apart from one rather grim case of fat-shaming).
I very much liked the conceit that the queen’s children had indeterminate fathers; how very different political machinations would be in real history if that were the case! A ruler who is guaranteed to be neutral would have a very different political environment than one tied by marriages and kinships to other families.
The magic in this book is minimal, and I hope will be explored further in future volumes. There appear to be healing powers, and also some sort of shadow powers, which are tied to the individual gods that are worshipped, but this is not touched upon particularly deeply.
This feels very much like a debut, but I would like to see the author develop, as I think she has real potential. If there had been more worldbuilding here, other than the paternity issue, then this could have been a really interesting world.
Two cats, but I would be interested in seeing more from this author in a few years.