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The Hundredth Queen

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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 Kalind 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. In Emily R. King’s thrilling fantasy debut, an orphan girl blossoms into a warrior, summoning courage and confidence in her fearless quest to upend tradition, overthrow an empire, and reclaim her life as her own.


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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 Kalind 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. In Emily R. King’s thrilling fantasy debut, an orphan girl blossoms into a warrior, summoning courage and confidence in her fearless quest to upend tradition, overthrow an empire, and reclaim her life as her own.

30 review for The Hundredth Queen

  1. 5 out of 5

    Emily May

    The lead soldier is the clearest to make out; his long legs taper from narrow hips and a boxy, solid chest. He is the first man I have seen in person. My eyes widen to take him in. He is more fascinating than the chapel murals of the sky-god, Anu, and his son, Enlil, the fire-god. ^This is on the third page; the first time the MC meets the guy who - surprise! - will become the love interest. Every now and then, I like to take a break from my TBR. I'll either pick up a classic I've always been me The lead soldier is the clearest to make out; his long legs taper from narrow hips and a boxy, solid chest. He is the first man I have seen in person. My eyes widen to take him in. He is more fascinating than the chapel murals of the sky-god, Anu, and his son, Enlil, the fire-god. ^This is on the third page; the first time the MC meets the guy who - surprise! - will become the love interest. Every now and then, I like to take a break from my TBR. I'll either pick up a classic I've always been meaning to read, or I'll check out what's hot right now among my GR friends. So when I kept seeing The Hundredth Queen in my feed and I was in the mood for some light fantasy, I decided to give it a shot. But I fail to understand the popularity of such a cliche, derivative fantasy novel. Maybe there was a time, however many years ago, when it was somewhat interesting to write a fantasy with little world-building, a plain, boring protagonist who everyone else thinks is special, instalove, beautiful mean girls, and a central conflict that doesn't really make sense... maybe there was that time, but I really thought it was long gone. In this book, a plain and unremarkable orphan called Kalinda has grown up in the Sisterhood - a religious group that grooms girls to be servants, courtesans, or, if they're lucky, wives to powerful men. We are repeatedly told how unattractive and bad at fighting Kalinda is, but in the first few chapters alone, we see her defeat a strong opponent and be called "beautiful" by several others. The evil and vindictive girls are, of course, stunning (and aware of it) in comparison to Kalinda who says she's plain but is somehow believed to be special by everyone else: “Natesa and Sarita flaunt their bodies, unrushed to get dressed. They are replicas of the goddess Ki, petite and round, soft yet firm, fit yet feminine. So unlike my gangly, angled shape.” The whole plot of the book is about women competing against one another for men's affections, among other things. When Kalinda is chosen to be Rajah Tarek's 100th wife, she soon realises that she must compete with the other wives in a rank tournament. This is a series of fights where wives can challenge one another for their rank and, hopefully, gain more power. I found this part really poorly-explained. The reasoning behind it seemed weak, and the wives didn't seem to have much to gain from competing in potentially fatal battles. It was just another thing in this book that made it seem like it needed some tighter editing. Everything from reasons that don't quite add up, to weird sentences that shouldn't have made it to print: Jaya frowns so hard that a crane could roost on her lower lip. Add to this a romance set up with instalove, and it just wasn't an impressive read. There was absolutely no chemistry between Kalinda and Deven because there was no gradual build to their relationship - no banter, no tension, nothing to keep me excited. They are obsessed with one another from the very beginning. And while you could maybe explain away Kalinda's obsession with the fact that she's grown up in the Sisterhood and never seen men before - what's his excuse? Maybe I'll just stick to my regular TBR for a while. Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lola

    Insta-love. Rape. Stereotypes. Patriarchy. Manipulation. YA tropes. It was a lost cause. If only I knew.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Aly's Bookish Wonderland

    Tremors rack my body. I cover my mouth, locking in a gasp. Rajah Tarek is here. The ruler of the Tarachand Empire has come to Samiya. I hold still, my flesh shivering. I promised myself I would not DNF The Hundredth Queen. As I slogged through, wading across pages of murk and badly written metaphors, I thought to myself, "I'm almost there. The end is nigh. What is the point in dropping this book now?" But I quickly realised that finishing this book was not worth sacrificing my sanity over. No Tremors rack my body. I cover my mouth, locking in a gasp. Rajah Tarek is here. The ruler of the Tarachand Empire has come to Samiya. I hold still, my flesh shivering. I promised myself I would not DNF The Hundredth Queen. As I slogged through, wading across pages of murk and badly written metaphors, I thought to myself, "I'm almost there. The end is nigh. What is the point in dropping this book now?" But I quickly realised that finishing this book was not worth sacrificing my sanity over. No siree. So it is with a newly-freed heart that I climb atop the highest tower and screech: I HAVE DNFed THIS NOVEL AND DAMN, IT FEELS GOOD. The Hundredth Queen is easily summarised: a special snowflake with a mysterious, incurable illness is 'Claimed' by the Rajah to become his hundredth rani. Of course, our tstl heroine is aghast at the prospect of marrying Rajah Tarek and constantly complains about the unfairness of living in a lavish palace and being waited on hand and foot by people not so lucky. Throw in a tournament to become the 'ultimate' rani, and here you have every YA fantasy novel ever written. Ever. Oh, not to forget the looming love triangle between a royal guard, Deven, and the mysterious bhuta who --surprise!-- doesn't actually want her dead, and I could most likely predict how the last 30% would've gone down. I am the last wife he will ever claim, and he wants a warrior to defend her rank as his final rani. This book is bad. Badly written, badly plotted and presented as a mashup of cultures that don't fit well together. India is not a monolith. Repeat after me: INDIA IS NOT A MONOLITH. Whatever country you see, each part, each teeny-tiny segment, has a culture all of its own. Different regions may believe in the same religion, but they have their own legends and myths and fairytales. It bugs me to no end to see countries lumped together like a single entity. Look at the United Kingdom: Wales, England, Scotland, Northern Island -- each country has different histories. They have their own stories to tell. Faeries are predominantly the most well-known legends for Scotland and Ireland (and even some parts of Wales) but goddamn, each legend is different. Here is an author who did a lot of research, but obviously not enough, and ended up creating a huge salad of nonsensicality. I don't understand the myth of Rajah Tarek and his 100 wives and hundreds of courtesans. The only reason we're given is that the god Anu had 100 wives, and so to be close to him, Rajah Tarek must have 100 wives, too? It makes no sense. How about be a good king, and then your people will love you for that and not because you love to sleep with multiple different helpless women whenever it strikes your fancy? The Hundredth Queen is badly written. It flows smoothly enough to show that it has been edited and revised, but there are still phrases that made me want to throw my Kindle into the toilet and flush it away. He sets his tea aside and unbuttons the top of his jacket, releasing his neck from the strangling collar. [Page 110] I breathe the steamy air into my pores [Page 123] I follow a heartbeat behind, my limbs floating around me. [Page 135] My cheeks sap of warmth. [Page 182] Head, meet desk. You will become very well acquainted. Most of those sentences occur at least once every couple of pages, but I had to quit highlighting because it was becoming beyond ridiculous. The romance begins around page 20, and is so obvious that it actually physically hurt to read. There is no chemistry between Deven and Kalinda, and it's almost boring. I can understand Kalinda's fascination, somewhat, with Deven. Living in the Sisterhood meant never seeing a man or meeting a man. If it hadn't been for paintings of Anu, their god, I very much doubt she'd even know what a man would look like. Although the fascination is understandable, it's ridiculous that she makes one embarrassing assumption and then it's smooth sailing from there. It's unbelievable, as far as storytelling goes. But the romance. Ugh. It felt forced, lacked all warmth and empathy. Where are those beautiful, slow burn romances of yore? What happened to slowly building a relationship with the love interest? What happened to tension so thick you could cut with a knife? I used to love reading YA for this reason: the slow, slow build-up. The dramas and obstacles the characters had to face and defeat. The (always untimely) kiss to end all kisses. That is what romance is all about. Yet, with Deven and Kalinda it's love at first sight, lust at first breath, and awkward kisses from then on. This is a man assigned to protect her at all costs, a man with a position and reputation to protect, and yet from the first day he does nothing to stop her, frankly embarrassing, advances. My face warms. "Not all women have my temper, Captain." "Not all women wear it as well as you do, Kalinda." [Page 71] The hem of my petticoat rides up to my knees, and my backside presses against his hips. [Page 65] If I were to sketch Deven's heart, I would draw a labyrinth of secrets. A puzzle that I will not be solving tonight. [Page 53] I did not think he noticed my moment of panic earlier, but I suppose he did. I accept his hand, and our fingers entwine. [Page 79] I. FELT. NOTHING. Nothing. Zilch. Nada. Niente. Every exchange between Deven and Kalinda had me rolling my eyes, sighing deeply and wishing for the whole ordeal to be over already. It was torturous. And it got worse when the second love interest was presented, or who I assume would become the second love interest. 'Cause it ain't a YA book without a love triangle, amirite ladies? There is a subplot to the book once you read past the various tournaments to the death, the cattiness and bitchiness of all the other women in the palace (because of course everyone hates Kalinda and Kalinda hates everyone for absolutely no reason whatsoever) and it is, unsurprisingly, war. A war is brewing between magical entities called the bhuta, who want something that Rajah had stolen from them and blahblahblah. I've gone past caring, right into coma-zone. I'm sure, with a bit more work, a bit more tidying up, this book would've been enjoyable. As it stands, it's a case of 'too many ideas, not enough room.' This book is a Chosen One plot tied into a Hunger Games plot tied into a Rebellion plot tied into a Badly Drafted Romance plot and let's not forget the Bargain to Tie All the Characters Together Forever plot. It can't decide whether it's meat or fish and frankly, it's warm outside and I wouldn't have minded some fish. And with that, I shall conclude my first DNF of the year, and my first 1* rating of the year. I am disappointed, so I'm going to go watch videos of cute baby sloths on YouTube. I received a copy to review from Amazon's Kindle First program.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sh3lly (GrumpyBookGrrrl.com)

    Okay, lemme just clarify some things and maybe weed out some people who probably shouldn't even give this book a try. This story has instalove. This story involves a culture where the females are owned as property. It's backwards as heck. The females have no power and their best lot in life is to: 1) Get "claimed" by a kind man as wife 2) Live a life in a temple of women, devoted to the gods 3) Be a favored courtesan 4) Live somewhere in a hypothetical wilderness or land that isn't run by an empero Okay, lemme just clarify some things and maybe weed out some people who probably shouldn't even give this book a try. This story has instalove. This story involves a culture where the females are owned as property. It's backwards as heck. The females have no power and their best lot in life is to: 1) Get "claimed" by a kind man as wife 2) Live a life in a temple of women, devoted to the gods 3) Be a favored courtesan 4) Live somewhere in a hypothetical wilderness or land that isn't run by an emperor When I first started reading this, I was a bit put off by the servant/slave/property status of women. But, this does not define the story. There are very strong themes of friendship and sisterhood. "Anything can be changed by those who have the courage to blaze their own path." Kalinda is an orphan who was raised in a temple. She is tall, skinny, and plain, but gets chosen by the biggest king in the land as his one hundredth wife. Yes, he has a huge harem - the wives plus courtesans. She finds out she must duel any contenders in a tournament. Kalinda just wants to live a peaceful life with her best friend, but she finds romance and is thrust into a leadership position with rebels who have elemental powers. There have been a lot of Young Adult "queen" stories, and I won't say there is a whole lot here you might not have read before. However, I was quite engaged in the story and liked it enough to want to read the next one! Like I said, the highlights were themes of friendship and finding the power within yourself, standing up for your loved ones and what you believe in. The author says the religion in this story was derived from Sumerian deities. I've always been interested in Mesopotamian myths, so it worked for me. You also get heavy dharmic vibes. I thought Kalinda showed great girl power by the end. It may not be the most sophisticated novel, but it was pretty darn peachy, in my view.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Edith

    Another appropriating white author who doesn't understand that india is not a monolith. Trash.

  6. 4 out of 5

    K

    A very predictable story with an interesting mythology bogged down by an insta-love romance between two people who are madly in love and willing to die for each other long before they have any reason or interaction to feel that way. I do, however, appreciate how many books I've read lately that don't feature a bad boy love interest who is rude to the protagonist but secretly loves them. More good guy love interests 2K17.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Beth (YA Books Central)

    The Hundredth Queen is by far one of my favorite books of 2017. I received an ARC of this incredible book before it even had a cover and I was completely obsessed after just reading one chapter. I am one of those readers who is usually drawn to a book because of the cover so when I received this book I read it just because the synopsis sounded intriguing.....and WOW am I happy that I gave this book a chance! The Hundredth Queen blew me away.....I literally could not put the book down and finishe The Hundredth Queen is by far one of my favorite books of 2017. I received an ARC of this incredible book before it even had a cover and I was completely obsessed after just reading one chapter. I am one of those readers who is usually drawn to a book because of the cover so when I received this book I read it just because the synopsis sounded intriguing.....and WOW am I happy that I gave this book a chance! The Hundredth Queen blew me away.....I literally could not put the book down and finished it in one weekend. The Hundredth Queen was full of magic, suspense, fantasy, action, betrayal, and swoon-worthy romance. Emily's writing is beautiful, captivating, and full of emotion. Each character is unique and fascinating in their own way but the main character, Kalinda, is the heart of the story. Kalinda is a strong female heroine who beats the odds to become one of the Rajah's queens.....most importantly his Hundredth Queen. Kali is torn from her peaceful and serene life at the Sisterhood's temple and brought to the Rajah's palace where she will fight for her life in a tournament against his other ninety-nine queens and also his courtesans. When Kali is pulled from the temple she is escorted to the Rajah's palace by Deven, a high-ranking palace guard. I loved the immediate connection between Kali and Deven and how easily they became intertwined with each other. Deven's fierce protectiveness toward Kali was beautiful and breath-taking and their romance felt like it was destined to be. “His warm smile squeezes me breathless." Another aspect of the story that I loved was how Emily portrayed the importance of strong female relationships between the characters all throughout the story. The Hundredth Queen is a sweeping YA fantasy that is full of incredible world-building, breath-taking romance, and a magical journey that will keep you intrigued until the last page. There were so many fascinating twists and turns throughout the story and each turn of the page seemed to be more suspenseful than the last. Each chapter was so exciting and intriguing and I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next. I literally cannot wait to read The Fire Queen to see what lies ahead for Kalinda and her journey to become the One Hundredth Queen. Link to YABC Review: http://www.yabookscentral.com/yaficti... Link to Curling Up With Good Book Review: http://curling-up-with-a-good-book.bl... Original Short Review: WOW....I mean WOW...one of my most favorite books that I have ever read....in my top ten EVER....This book has everything....magic, suspense, fantasy, action, betrayal, and swoon-worthy romance.....I am completely and utterly obsessed...Emily's writing is breath-taking and has so much emotion...This story drew me in from the very first page to the very last page ....and when I read the last page I literally cried because it was over...I cannot wait to be back in this world and to see what happens next....I need this sequel NOW!!!!! I mean NOW!!! Add this book to your TBR list NOW! My full review to come...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Crazy4Books

    With that gorgeous cover and amazing reviews I was really excited when I got a copy of this. I went into this book not knowing much so when I started it I was afraid it was going to be too similar to Wrath and the Dawn. However despite it similarites it had some unique elements. For one the Rajah doesnt kill his wives he makes them do it themselves in a rank tournement where each time he chooses a new bride she has to fight all of the Rajahs courtesans who wish to take her place. The rank fightin With that gorgeous cover and amazing reviews I was really excited when I got a copy of this. I went into this book not knowing much so when I started it I was afraid it was going to be too similar to Wrath and the Dawn. However despite it similarites it had some unique elements. For one the Rajah doesnt kill his wives he makes them do it themselves in a rank tournement where each time he chooses a new bride she has to fight all of the Rajahs courtesans who wish to take her place. The rank fighting is looked down upon by the main character Kali so I didnt enjoy it as much as I was hoping to. In a sense it was nice to have a main character point out the wrongness of girl on girl hate and value the importance of sisterhood. Most if not all of the Rajas wives have been trained to fight by the Sisters at the Temple which is where we first meet Kali. All she ever wanted was get passed over at the Claiming and join the Sisterhood with her friend but her plans are derailed when the Rajah comes to claim his hundredth wife. I enjoyed Kalis relationship with her best friend but there wasnt enough of it. I loved how they travelled using elephants and the way the elemental magic worked. I enjoyed the mythology and the setting. I felt like the romance happened a little too fast given the fact that shes promised to another and that can get them both killed but I loved how the romantic interest wasnt a bad boy. He was actually a good person who respects women so in the end I was rooting for them. The way women were treated bothered me but I appreciated how the authors calls attention to the wrongness of it. The Rajahs first wife was the antagonist that stuck with me the most emotionally but I didnt understand some of her decisions. There were a couple other interesting antagonists like the General and obviously the Rajah but some of their decisions didnt add up. Overall the writing was easy to fall into and I liked how things ended. It left me feeling satisfied but still looking forward to the sequel. Spoilers Ahead ************* I didnt completely understand why the Rajahs first wife betrayed her sister. The general claiming Kalis best friend as punishment didnt make sense either since she confronted him after he came back from the Temple. I also dont understand why the Healer wasnt honest with her. Not knowing could seriously put her life in danger. Sadly I was able to predict the major twist early on in the book but I didnt expect all the death which made the story that much more gripping. *received in exchange for an honest review*

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sophie "Beware Of The Reader"

    An Advanced Reading Copy has been kindly given by Skyscape and Two Lions via Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest opinion 4 “fight for freedom” stars Words of a cover junkie: I think the cover is just gorgeous! Seriously just take two minutes to admire it and tell me it’s not awesome. I could frame it and never tire of watching it. Emily R King is a new author to me but after reading the enthusiastic reviews of other blogger friends I was really intrigued. I discovered a very talented author gif An Advanced Reading Copy has been kindly given by Skyscape and Two Lions via Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest opinion 4 “fight for freedom” stars Words of a cover junkie: I think the cover is just gorgeous! Seriously just take two minutes to admire it and tell me it’s not awesome. I could frame it and never tire of watching it. Emily R King is a new author to me but after reading the enthusiastic reviews of other blogger friends I was really intrigued. I discovered a very talented author gifted with a vivid imagination able to create a refreshing story setting and great characters. What is this book about? Kalinda has always suffered from fevers. She is orphaned and raised among sisters teaching young girls and women the art of fighting. The monasteries are financed by benefactors who can claim some young women to become servants or wives. In this world, all women exist to serve men. They don’t have a real choice as to who they could marry or what they could do with their lives. More than once in the story will Kalinda regret this lack of choice. Her dream is to be free to choose her own destiny. Compared with her brethren Kalinda does not feel beautiful. She is taller than all the other girls and due to her illness did not learn to master her art as expertly as others When a visitor (the Rhaja) comes to the Monastery he intends to claim a girl that will be the winner of the fights among all the girls. Kalinda never expects to be chosen and yet shockingly the Rhaja selects Kalinda to be his wife. One of her bullies Nastea will become a courtesan. Kalinda is heartbroken to leave her dear friend Jaya. She promises to go back one day and choose her as handmaiden. This story takes an unexpected turn with the reveal of Kalinda being the hundredth wife and all that it entails. Traditionally the hundredth wife has to compete for her position but every wife and courtesan can fight in the hope to get a better status. This tournament is brutal and some women can die. She is lost in this brutal palace and finds solace in the company of the handsome and righteous Captain Deven Naik. Romantic feelings will soon emerge but their love is forbidden and could put them both in mortal danger. That’s all I’ll say as I don’t want to spoil the plot. What I really liked: √ I loved the choice or Emily R. King to portray her heroine as “plain” or rather different than others. Kalinda will have to make up in wit and intelligence what she lacks in training. She will never be conceited as she does not see herself as beautiful. She truly stands out. I love when heroine are far from perfect and have to work twice as hard to reach their goal. It’s inspiring. √ Kalinda is like no other wife or courtesan. She does not want her position and it gives her courage to speak her mind to Rhaja Tarek. Once again the female character has her own mind and thinks out of the box what I did enjoy tremendously! √ Kalinda was shocked with Rhaja Tarek’s attitude. Tarek is cruel and unfair as a ruler. He likes to witness the fights among his wives and courtesans. He does not care for them. They are just toys for his own pleasure and he shares his courtesans with others. Of course it’s inherently wrong to treat women as objects. She wants more for the other wives and courtesans. She wants to create bonds, some kind of sisterhood among women and stop the competitions. Again this is an inspiring message: unite rather than divide. Help each other. In one word: freedom. Kalinda wanted to make her own choices. Forge her own destiny. That’s what I loved about all else in this book. What I did not like so much: √ Deven indecisiveness. I get that he wanted to do the right thing. I get he thought about others and the kingdom before his needs and wants. It can be admirable except… when he gets hot then cold. When he says he’ll let everything go for her and then make a 180° turn. I do prefer my male characters to be ready to sacrifice everything for their sweetheart even if I know that in real life it does not always work like that. But that’s exactly why I love reading: I escape reality and can live in a fantasy world of my own taste. Between forbidden love, conspiracy, sabotage from rival women and shocking truth about Kalinda’s past and her sickness this book has really been captivating. Emily R King has a beautiful writing and sucked me in her world filled with Queens, saris, demons, cruel Rhajas, handsome and fierce captains. A world where little girls are raised to become trained fighters and yet can only exists thanks to men.

  10. 4 out of 5

    R.K. Gold

    Before I get into why this book is only 3 stars I will say some positives. I was always engaged in the storyline; there was never a moment where I thought "I should put this down" or not finish. It was an entertaining and easy to follow plot, and though there was no massive world building the author also never created a confusing environment. Everything that happened had a complete explanation. If you are worried about spoilers you should stop reading here. The best part of this book was the vill Before I get into why this book is only 3 stars I will say some positives. I was always engaged in the storyline; there was never a moment where I thought "I should put this down" or not finish. It was an entertaining and easy to follow plot, and though there was no massive world building the author also never created a confusing environment. Everything that happened had a complete explanation. If you are worried about spoilers you should stop reading here. The best part of this book was the villains. The Rajah, the Warlord, the warlord's daughter and the first wife of Rajah Tarek were the driving force of the entire story. Just about every dynamic moment directly stemmed from them Kalinda was almost never acting on her own, but either under direct order or in direct reaction to something they did. In the end she decided to make her first proactive decision, which showed a good character arc I'm sure we will see for the rest of the series, but that doesn't stop her presence from being underwhelming at times in the text. Deven was also a little underwhelming, his only purpose centered around Kalinda, so he lacked a bit of his own identity, one I am sure will grow as the series goes on. His brother though caught my attention and stole every scene he was in. I was not a fan of their instalove either. Netesa was so meh to me. She was the first sorta minor antagonist we see, but she's so irrelevant throughout the book that their later friendship just didn't do anything for me. Jaya was my least favorite character (that you're supposed to like). It's just assumed their best friends on the first page but there is almost no connection between them except what Kalinda says. They behave like two women with a long (and honestly romantic) history, but there were like no flashbacks, and very few anecdotes to build the relationship up so I only knew they were best friends (or soulmates) cause the text said so. As such, her death fell flat with me. Overall, I will finish this series, I will probably be entertained by this series, but. . . . yeah.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cait • A Page with a View

    2.5 stars. Ehhh no this is nothing like The Wrath and the Dawn. That was a well-written book with an amazing main character, vivid world, and... a good story. The writing here is average and definitely awkward at times. The plot twists are predictable and the relationships are a bit forced/hollow. Buuuut it's still entertaining in parts and I kept reading because there's a freaking princess/guard trope and it gets me EVERY TIME. The basic idea is that Kali can only leave the remote compound she 2.5 stars. Ehhh no this is nothing like The Wrath and the Dawn. That was a well-written book with an amazing main character, vivid world, and... a good story. The writing here is average and definitely awkward at times. The plot twists are predictable and the relationships are a bit forced/hollow. Buuuut it's still entertaining in parts and I kept reading because there's a freaking princess/guard trope and it gets me EVERY TIME. The basic idea is that Kali can only leave the remote compound she lives in with a bunch of other girls if a benefactor claims her (and then controls her life). Rajah Tarek comes and claims her as his hundredth wife after seeing her fight because she'll have to go through rank fighting where his 99 other wives can fight her to the death for her position as the first wife. There's a lot of scheming and viciousness, but the only part I was really there for was the guard Kali falls in love with. Except it was super instalove and you could see the whole conflict coming from a mile away with all of the foreshadowing about how "guards are forbidden to touch any woman of the rajah's court," examples of wives who will be executed for following their hearts, etc. There's also a lot with elemental magic and history buuuut I strangely just did not care. Also, it just wasn't fun to read a story that had so much girl hate and oppression of women the whole way through. I did like the main character enough to finish the book, but maybe comparing this to TWATD is unfair and sets it up to be a letdown? I don't know. Basically, I don't totally regret reading this but am fine skipping the sequels.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Iryna *Book and Sword*

    1.5/5 stars I have so many questions. - Why didn't anybody tell me how bad this was? - Why did I fall for the pretty cover yet again? - Why didn't I DNF'd it? - Why YA fantasy isn't really fantasy at all? - Why did I spend $2 on it? I do have to say that this had tons of potential. Tons! But sadly it was all wasted away. Partly because of the super Insta-romance, and partly because of the very detached writing. I have never read a book where writing was both very good and very, very bad. The beginning 1.5/5 stars ​I have so many questions. - Why didn't anybody tell me how bad this was? - Why did I fall for the pretty cover yet again? - Why didn't I DNF'd it? - Why YA fantasy isn't really fantasy at all? - Why did I spend $2 on it? I do have to say that this had tons of potential. Tons! But sadly it was all wasted away. Partly because of the super Insta-romance, and partly because of the very detached writing. I have never read a book where writing was both very good and very, very bad. The beginning pulled me in because I liked the writing - it was simple, yet it did the job. For few pages at least. But the more I progressed the more I felt detached from the story. It wasn't telling, it was showing and there's nothing worse than that in a fantasy novel. It also felt second hand, as if the story was being re-told. Details were glazed over, there was no world building whatsoever and the fight scenes were non-existent. For a book that for the bigger portion of it focuses on a tournament - the actual tournament was so short and so under-described that I had to read over again to make sure I didn't miss it. The fights were explained in 2-3 sentences tops and they all ended as soon as they began. I was flabbergasted! The book wanted to show these women as awesome warriors yet it skipped and glazed over all of the fight scenes? I could have used way less fawning over "his pretty chiseled chin line" and more of actual fighting. Which brings me to the romance. The romance was more instant than the instant coffee and I couldn't care less about it. Curiously enough there was no actual romantic development, despite the main character always thinking about "her lover". There was no connection, no tenderness and no apparent reason for that romance to bloom. She saw him for the very first time and boom she knew he was the one! Bullets left the gun slower! If we ignore the nauseating romance the book still doesn't have that much to offer. Cool magic concept that wasn't explored nearly enough. Side characters that didn't get enough page time. World that didn't get any world building at all. And the only details we got were as to which color sari she was wearing and how thick her eyes were lined in kohl. I also wasn't a fan of the "religion" in the book. The author's note states that it was tweaked from an actual religion, and I don't like that. You either create your own completely unique religion, or you follow an existent one to the tee. Also the whole thing was undeniably disgusting - a "king" who's got hundred wives and over two hundred "whores" and he would "spend time" with 4-5 of them at once. Ewwwwww. ​The plot did have some interesting turns here and there, but it just wasn't enough to make up for how atrociously predictable the whole book was - every YA cliche possible - this book got it. If you strip away the fantasy setting this was pretty much Shatter Me by There Mafi (it just popped into my head and now I can't unsee the similarities). This should teach me once again not to trust pretty covers. I don't know if series get better or worse after this and I don't know if I will be picking up the rest. Not soon that's for sure. ____________________________ So I just randomly bought this for my Kindle sooooo I guess I will be reading this soon-ish. My WEBSITE My INSTAGRAM My WORDPRESS BLOG

  13. 4 out of 5

    Amy Leigh

    This is a captivating story about Kali. As someone who has been sick most of their life this book is inspiring. I can't wait to read the second book in this series! A tale of how a sickly orphan girl named Kalinda, raised by the sisterhood in a fictional Ancient India/Sumeria esque setting, can fight and rise to be the most powerful Queen in her land. The story is told completely through the eyes of Kalinda and is written so well that you can see and feel as she does. Starting with her preparati This is a captivating story about Kali. As someone who has been sick most of their life this book is inspiring. I can't wait to read the second book in this series! A tale of how a sickly orphan girl named Kalinda, raised by the sisterhood in a fictional Ancient India/Sumeria esque setting, can fight and rise to be the most powerful Queen in her land. The story is told completely through the eyes of Kalinda and is written so well that you can see and feel as she does. Starting with her preparations for a "claiming" in the sisterhood all the way through her tournament where she has to show strength and literally fight to claim her throne as the hundredth Rani, a queen. She is gifted a security detail because Tarek the king believes she will be the most important of all his hundred wives, more important than his "Kindred" the first queen. Kalinda learns that much of what the sisterhood taught her was lies and her illness and fevers are actually her strength. The brotherhood and a group being protected enlightens her to who she really is and gives her a new purpose. She has to fight through manipulation of the courtesans and other wives. She must save her best friend from a cruel General. She must save the captain of her security detail and her heart. She must save the kingdom from an evil king. She must own who she is and be strong even if it costs her everything, even her life.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lillian ☁ Cloud 9 Books ☁

    ***** 5 Stars ***** I'm shocked to see some of these ratings. If I read this in high school, I know I would've been going to class with only a few hours of sleep. The younger version of me that loved Hunger Games and Twilight would have LOVED this book. This story has everything I enjoy. A strong heroine. Unbreakable sisterhood. Magical encounters. I couldn't put this down! Yes, there is an insta-love chemistry, but I didn't find anything wrong with it. It's well written and extremely creative. Ho ***** 5 Stars ***** I'm shocked to see some of these ratings. If I read this in high school, I know I would've been going to class with only a few hours of sleep. The younger version of me that loved Hunger Games and Twilight would have LOVED this book. This story has everything I enjoy. A strong heroine. Unbreakable sisterhood. Magical encounters. I couldn't put this down! Yes, there is an insta-love chemistry, but I didn't find anything wrong with it. It's well written and extremely creative. Hopefully the next books in the series keep up with this incredible momentum!

  15. 4 out of 5

    mith

    Haha, awkward. How badly I wanted to like this book and how drastically it fell from my expectations. Look, frankly, I was wary about this book. I was giving it the benefit of the doubt but I am always wary about authors writing about a culture such as this one. It's not that I think they didn't do their research well... it's that I just don't think they'll be able to tell this culture's story well. As it should be told, if that makes sense. Anyway, despite that, I went into it still hoping I'd li Haha, awkward. How badly I wanted to like this book and how drastically it fell from my expectations. Look, frankly, I was wary about this book. I was giving it the benefit of the doubt but I am always wary about authors writing about a culture such as this one. It's not that I think they didn't do their research well... it's that I just don't think they'll be able to tell this culture's story well. As it should be told, if that makes sense. Anyway, despite that, I went into it still hoping I'd like it and sadly, I did not. The problem? At its heart, it's boring. It is just really, really boring. There were things happening, sure, but absolutely none of that captured my attention. From the get-go, it was dull. I didn't connect with nor like any of the characters; didn't feel excited or much of anything while reading the entire book. I actually had to push myself to keep reading this. Part of this was because of the writing. It just wasn't my style. It felt vague and, like I've said, dull. The main character, Kalinda, felt like she had zero personality, while side characters didn't stand out or actually have much character to them. Basically, everyone felt generic, two-dimensional, and booooooooring. Uh, what else... Oh, yes. There was a decent female friendship but it didn't last very long, which was disheartening. There were more interactions with mean girls rather than having women support one another, which just made everything worse, really. For the love of all things holy, there were fights, which were encouraged all of that, along with torture, so really. No thanks. I didn't like the romance. At this point, I don't even care that it was insta-love because like most everything else about this book, there was nothing that made it interesting, gave it life, made me want these two characters together. Most of their interactions were cringe-worthy at best. While the guy, Deven, was decent, he didn't stand out. Okay, anyway, I'm beginning to feel like a broken record. Overall: it was boring, nothing caught my interest, I didn't like it, and that's about it. 2 stars.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jacqueline's Reads

    DNF with 4 hours left .... AUDIO REVIEW I originally picked up this book via kindle and I realized I couldn't do it. Several months later I keep seeing the freaking cover on my Amazon feed and I finally got the audio because sometimes I like the audio more than the kindle version. The female narrator is fantastic and I kept on listening because of her. But at the end of the day I couldn't take the plot / summary / storyline, basically the freakin' book. This book will give you rage. Like powerful an DNF with 4 hours left .... AUDIO REVIEW I originally picked up this book via kindle and I realized I couldn't do it. Several months later I keep seeing the freaking cover on my Amazon feed and I finally got the audio because sometimes I like the audio more than the kindle version. The female narrator is fantastic and I kept on listening because of her. But at the end of the day I couldn't take the plot / summary / storyline, basically the freakin' book. This book will give you rage. Like powerful angry rage If you like angst, like super villain - down on the heroine, everyone hates each other plot then cheerio to you, it's perfect! I don't need a romance book < --- surprise! It's true. I can do a good YA book with a slow burn / on the back burner romance, so that was fine with me. I actually like a slow burn romance, but insta-love isn't my cuppa in a YA book. I like to read the WHOLE before before bam the two characters realize they love each other and boom a kiss. I'm crazy like that. What I couldn't take, the Heroine was the 100th WIFE to the King. I thought the 100th Queen was like, oh she's the 100th one like ever. NO, she's the 100th WIFE and guess what? The King has whores on the side too. And the whores and wives fight each other for spots?! What do you get if you are higher than let's say the 10th spot? I don't know, it was never explained. I'm confused too. But I couldn't get past the king. He even let's his whores sit on him and fondle him in front of his wives?! I got too angry and I just decided to end it there. This book is for some, and this book isn't for me. I don't like the Down-on-the-Heroine kind of reads. I need some happy, some low angst moments enough to keep me happy.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jaime (Two Chicks on Books)

    Omg this book was freaking awesome!!!! It's the perfect crossover for Young Adult and Adult fantasy lovers! I adored Kali and Deven and I can't wait to read book 2! I need it now!!!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sylvia Mercedes

    Let me start by saying this book is beautiful. Seriously beautiful. I mean, that cover? Yeah. But it's more than that. The writing, the atmosphere, the depth of the narrative. I found myself pausing to say, "Wow!" more times than I can count. Emily R. King can write. This book was an ALMOST five star for me. Only one thing held it back . . . but that was a big enough issue, I struggled to get passed it sometimes . . . Full review on my website!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Katherine Karas

    Okay not a review because I'll have to take time to gather myself and all my anger and annoyance and all the bad emotions and tell you in my Wrap Up. BUT I just read the description for the next book. AND WHAT THE F*CK Y DO PEOPLE STILL EVEN WRITE BOOKS LIKE THIS STILL. This story had so much potential but it was so brutally murder and then next book sounds [how to convey feelings without cursing?] I just really can't.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Minni Mouse

    2.5 stars. The readers who say this was a cross between the young adult and new adult genres? Lies. The readers who liken this to The Wrath and the Dawn ? Well, okay, I suppose I see where they're going with that from a story perspective...but not even close on the prose. Another case of getting sucked in by arranged marriages and courtesans and forbidden lurve. Serves me right. Be right back while I try to recover my diminished IQ. THE GOOD 1) Entertaining. Badly entertaining. Until 60% through w 2.5 stars. The readers who say this was a cross between the young adult and new adult genres? Lies. The readers who liken this to The Wrath and the Dawn ? Well, okay, I suppose I see where they're going with that from a story perspective...but not even close on the prose. Another case of getting sucked in by arranged marriages and courtesans and forbidden lurve. Serves me right. Be right back while I try to recover my diminished IQ. THE GOOD 1) Entertaining. Badly entertaining. Until 60% through when I gave up and skimmed the rest. 2) Relatively fast paced. 3) Clichéd. I love clichés. At least I used to. THE BAD 1) Cringeworthy instalurve. One of the most laughable and are-we-serious-right-now cases I've read. "We can go back up the Alpanas and hide. We can make our own fates.” “What about your mother and the rest of the courtesans?” Deven kisses my fingertips, and my heartbeat quickens. “The bhutas will free them once we find the book. By then, we will be on our way.” He presses his lips to a tender spot on my palm, and my mind turns fuzzy. “I will build us a modest cottage with a prayer alcove. Outside, we will have a meditation pond—” “And a garden for Jaya to grow flowers.” Deven smiles and kisses my pulse hammering at my wrist. “We will have fields and fields of greenery for our sheep, and a watering hole to swim in. I will build a fire every night for you to sketch by, and we will decorate the walls with your art. When we go out at night, we will look for the Samiya beacon in the distance.” That escalated quickly. 2) Mediocre writing. This has nothing on the writing quality of The Wrath and the Dawn, folks. Close to zero cultural depth. If this was my culture, I'd be a bit offended by how bad it was. 3) (view spoiler)[Incest. Why. Even if we ended up saying say it isn't so, why. Why introduce it. Because now we can't unsee it, especially on the wedding night. And it all just gets really freaky. And weird. And awkward. (hide spoiler)] THE VERDICT I broke my reading fast for this? While I was unashamedly entertained for a good majority of this book, these characters are idiots. Idiots, I tell you. Every one. And I am one of them since I'll probably still read the sequel.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Taffy

    Opening line: "Snowy mountains tear into the ashen sky, their jagged peaks pearly, like wolverine fangs." So starts one of the best books I've read this year. Why? Why is it one of my favorites? I got sucked into the book, characters, story and couldn't pull myself out. Heart-pounding adventure, romance and intrigue. Wow. So well written. Ms. King's words are mesmerizing and kept me reading long after I should have been asleep. Kalinda is an orphan, raised by the Sisterhood, destined to quiet and Opening line: "Snowy mountains tear into the ashen sky, their jagged peaks pearly, like wolverine fangs." So starts one of the best books I've read this year. Why? Why is it one of my favorites? I got sucked into the book, characters, story and couldn't pull myself out. Heart-pounding adventure, romance and intrigue. Wow. So well written. Ms. King's words are mesmerizing and kept me reading long after I should have been asleep. Kalinda is an orphan, raised by the Sisterhood, destined to quiet and prayers. But that doesn't really suit her and we come to love her quiet rebelliousness. She must fight to stay alive to become the Hundredth Queen. She's smart, strong and driven to do what's right. I love how she's disgusted with the way the men treat the women. Deven is the guard is suppose to watch over her. But he gets too close to her and develops a relationship and then more. He's torn between his duty to the empire and his growing admiration (or is it love?) for Kalinda. Tarek is the rajah is greedy, crazy and cruel, and he is the one who Claimed her and is suppose to marry her. I wanted him to choke on his tongue so many times. And all of this story is set on the backdrop of an exquisite country and palace. Ms. King has a way with words that develop not only characters, but the worlds in which the characters live. The food, the clothes, the country and its people. I felt like I was there, like I could reach out and touch the Turquoise Palace. I can't wait to read the next book! Hurry and get it out on shelves! Violence: Fighting. Lots of fighting, but not super descriptive. Language: No Sex: Sexual tension; kissing 5 STARS

  22. 5 out of 5

    Scrill

    ARC received from Netgalley for fair review I. JUST. CAN'T. I hate DNFing an ARC, but no thanks. My overall reaction: I gave this a solid shot, and by 73% I am baffled by the lack of romantic development, despite there being a huge romantic element. I get instant attraction, but really? instant attraction to the first man you've seen, and despite the ramifications of possible DEATH you risk your life and their's for someone you hardly know? You also hate someone for something you have been groomed ARC received from Netgalley for fair review I. JUST. CAN'T. I hate DNFing an ARC, but no thanks. My overall reaction: I gave this a solid shot, and by 73% I am baffled by the lack of romantic development, despite there being a huge romantic element. I get instant attraction, but really? instant attraction to the first man you've seen, and despite the ramifications of possible DEATH you risk your life and their's for someone you hardly know? You also hate someone for something you have been groomed for for your entire life? I mean, I get the girls wanting some kind of personal freedom. But honestly, having had only known one kind of life..you think that they would have been a little bit more accepting and honored on how their life is leading. I'm sorry I just feel like the romance is hurried and there for has ruined the book. I like the idea of this magical element that can essentially destroy you if it's not properly honed. I also loved that even though said magical element is news to our character, that she's not just like magically all powerful and bad ass. The problem for me is, I hope they get caught and are killed even if the benefactor is a little gross, and I don't think you're supposed to feel about the main character like that.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)

    “Let the sky lead me, the land ground me, the fire cleanse me, and the water feed me.” The Hundredth Queen is an imaginative fantasy that blends beautiful imagery and persistent characters. We follow Kalinda, an orphan ward of the Sisterhood, as she’s chosen to be the hundredth queen for the tyrant Rajah Tarek. Kali must fight for her place in the palace, while hiding a dangerous secret about herself. The Hundredth Queen is filled with mystery, romance, and a beautifully imagined world of pow “Let the sky lead me, the land ground me, the fire cleanse me, and the water feed me.” The Hundredth Queen is an imaginative fantasy that blends beautiful imagery and persistent characters. We follow Kalinda, an orphan ward of the Sisterhood, as she’s chosen to be the hundredth queen for the tyrant Rajah Tarek. Kali must fight for her place in the palace, while hiding a dangerous secret about herself. The Hundredth Queen is filled with mystery, romance, and a beautifully imagined world of power, control, and retribution. Things I Liked : Kali was a pretty solid main character. I love that she was inquisitive and hard working, determined to better herself and dedicated to the values of the Sisterhood. She tries to take all the agency she can in this heavily patriarchal society. Though she is naive and rash, she fights for her beliefs and those she loves, and that is always admirable. I absolutely loved everything about the Bhutas. They were my favorite part of the story. I’m a sucker for elemental magic and I loved the power displays and the history they brought to the story. Bhutas >>>>>>. I really loved the imagery in the story. Everything felt very vivid and clear, it made it super easy to become enveloped and invested in this world. Things I Didn’t Like : Even though this story is clearly a fantasy novel, it was hard for me to not connect the fantasy setting to the real-world influences. It made the setting feel just slightly off, and not quite as distinct as I would have liked. I’m not usually an insta-love hater. I understand it’s place in the story and can usually get behind it, or at least be okay with it because I understand it’s purpose. However, this was a little heavy on the insta-love. It was a little too much, a little too quickly. I like the relationship that develops between Kali and Deven, but the start was a little rushed for me personally. While I loved the imagery, and it captivated me enough to become invested in the world, I would have liked some more information and more world building. Kali and others constantly mention the 5 godly virtues, but they are never mentioned all at once (and if they are I missed it - sorry). It would have been nice to establish the culture and religion more, so I could connect this with the world the characters live in. I felt like the actual tournament provided good action, but we only really knew 3 of the girls competing so the deaths held little impact, besides fueling Kali’s anger. I also felt like Kali really didn’t have enough time to learn/practice her powers. For the book to focus on her trying to understand what powers she possess, and what she’s capable, we really didn’t get to see her explore them much at all. I felt like most of the side characters were not really developed outside of their relationship to Kali. I understand this is her story, but the other characters really just felt like they were along for her story, they didn’t have much on their own. The Hundredth Queen is a solid fantasy story, that brilliantly sets up it’s sequel The Fire Queen, to have more action, more challenges, and more powers. This is a richly imagined story with fantastic magic wielders and slightly weak characters and world building. The Hundredth Queen is a good story, with an even more promising future. I received a copy of the book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  24. 4 out of 5

    skadoosh

    seems like dodgy, culturally appropriative worldbuilding check out this twitter thread: https://twitter.com/thedimishra/statu...

  25. 4 out of 5

    Monique V

    Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. 4.5 Stars I really enjoyed this book. This is the story of Kali who without meaning too catches the attention of the king and becomes the hundredth Rani. Because she is the hundredth Rani any of the other wives and courtesans can challenge her to a duel. The bad part is that Kali sucks at fighting. She is of a sickly complex and suffers constant fevers. But she discovers a lot of things about her se Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. 4.5 Stars I really enjoyed this book. This is the story of Kali who without meaning too catches the attention of the king and becomes the hundredth Rani. Because she is the hundredth Rani any of the other wives and courtesans can challenge her to a duel. The bad part is that Kali sucks at fighting. She is of a sickly complex and suffers constant fevers. But she discovers a lot of things about her self in the palace and even finds love even if it is forbidden. She has a plan and that is to not lose because that would mean her death and she made a promise to her best friend that she would win. I am a lover of cool settings and incredible characters that take you on self-discovery journeys. This book takes inspiration from India and ancient Persia to create a world that is rich while also being quite unique. I loved the displays of magic in this book I just wish I understood the magic system better and I hope the next book will help with that. The romance was very insta-lovevy. I am not 100% sold on it but I am exited to see where it goes. This book was a wild ride and I cannot wait to read the sequel. I highly recommend this book!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rosalyn Eves

    I wasn't sure what to expect going into this book, but I found it fresh, vivid, well-plotted, and intriguing. I think my favorite thing is the way the story grapples with faith--how it informs one's life and one's decisions, how one creates agency within a faith tradition. Looking forward to the next one!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    3 stars "We are all half-demon, half-god. The demon half being the mortal side that continually errs, and the godly half being the side that strives to improve. In each life, we endeavor to raise our standing and become closer to everlasting perfection." Eighteen year old Kalinda is an orphan ward, raised by the sisterhood. She has been plagued by fevers all her life and because of this, it is doubtful that she will ever be chosen to leave as a benefactors wife, courtesan or even servant. She is j 3 stars "We are all half-demon, half-god. The demon half being the mortal side that continually errs, and the godly half being the side that strives to improve. In each life, we endeavor to raise our standing and become closer to everlasting perfection." Eighteen year old Kalinda is an orphan ward, raised by the sisterhood. She has been plagued by fevers all her life and because of this, it is doubtful that she will ever be chosen to leave as a benefactors wife, courtesan or even servant. She is just fine with that however. Kali wishes for nothing more than to join the sisterhood with her best friend, Jaya. But all that changes when Rajah Tarek comes and claims Kali as his wife. But not just his wife...his hundredth and final wife. She is taken immediately and assigned a group of guards for her journey to the palace. Captain Deven Naik is the head of her guard and it is to him that Kali begins feeling an attachment to. Once Kali reaches the palace, she must face a rank tournament to prove herself worthy of being Tareks hundredth rani. She may be challenged in the tournament by any of Tareks courtesans, who are all striving to win her position and increase their own station in life. Kali is no warrior, but she will need to be just as cunning and ruthless as the others in the palace if she wishes to succeed. But a hidden and forbidden power, one that she doesn't even yet know about, may be the key to her survival...and her freedom. Mild spoils ahead! This was my Kindle first selection for the month and I was very excited to see it listed as an option. The concept is a very interesting one and this book had the potential to be a strong first installment in a new fantasy series. For me, certain aspects of it just didn't work. I wasn't a fan of the insta love between Deven and Kali, at all. They had barely met and were already basically so in love that they were ok with risking their lives just to be with the other. It was annoying and a bit unbelievable. But what honestly bothered me the most about this novel was the way the woman in it are treated. Throughout the whole thing, woman are treated horribly. There are plenty of instances where they are beaten, held to oaths and promises against their will, severely punished and even killed when they break said oaths, looked down upon, raped or otherwise used for nothing other than pleasure to whichever man demands it and more. It was honestly hard to read about at times. "I do not understand why the gods have made it so that every woman's lot in life is to owe her security to a man. Maybe if it were otherwise, we would not put up with them. But is silent obedience our divine role?" The best thing I can say about Kali as a MC is that she is so against the way women, not just herself but others as well, are treated. She is outspoken and borderline rebellious. "I want what I have always wanted -- freedom to decide my own fate and live in peace." The story was somewhat predictable and just kind of jumped around a lot. It ended not necessarily with a cliffhanger, but the ending obviously set the stage for the 2nd book. I will likely read the next in the series, as I'm curious to see where the author goes with the story after everything that happened at the end....but it's not really going to be at the top of my read list. I have seen some glowing reviews of this novel, so my opinion is probably just in the minority, but for me it was just meh. Not amazingly mind blowing, but not so terrible that I couldn't bring myself to finish it. Just meh.

  28. 5 out of 5

    BAM The Bibliomaniac

    Audio # 43 I feel like Bardugo fans may like this series

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lilly (Lair Of Books)

    *HUGE thanks to Skyscape, Netgalley & Emily R. King for the eGalley copy of The Hundredth Queen PLOT The Hundredth Queen centers around Kalinda who was really trying to live a low key life in the Sisterhood’s mountain temple where she’s lived all her life as a orphan. Prone to strange fevers, Kalinda isn’t able to train as the other sisters do in the ways of the sister warrior Ki. Spending her days sketching or in the infirmary is what she is used to. Due to her sickness, she isn’t the stronge *HUGE thanks to Skyscape, Netgalley & Emily R. King for the eGalley copy of The Hundredth Queen PLOT The Hundredth Queen centers around Kalinda who was really trying to live a low key life in the Sisterhood’s mountain temple where she’s lived all her life as a orphan. Prone to strange fevers, Kalinda isn’t able to train as the other sisters do in the ways of the sister warrior Ki. Spending her days sketching or in the infirmary is what she is used to. Due to her sickness, she isn’t the strongest or what they’d consider the prettiest either. A moment of righteousness shines a spotlight on her placing her on Rajah Tarek’s path. She is selected as his One Hundredth Queen & yanked out of the one true home she ever knew. Taken to the palace as a wife is considered by many in the Sisterhood to be a privilege and a honor. Rajah Tarek has wives & consorts all living in the palace separated by position (wives vs. consorts) but the One Hundredth Queen holds a very special place. See, the One hundredth has the luck of being open to challenges. Any consort may challenge Kalinda for her position in the tournaments held whenever the Rajah brings a new wife to the palace. The difference here is that since she will be his last wife, it will also be the tournament to end all tournaments. This would be the only opportunity for any of the courtesans to knock Kalinda off her highly esteemed position. From the moment she enters the palace walls, all eyes are on her and she is sized up for some as competition and others a threat. Kalinda may not be the strongest however, deep within her she holds a power that is old and unknown to her. The underlying emphasis placed on friendships between women was one of my favorite aspects of this book. The Hundredth Queen is filled with lush world building, action, cunning, betrayal, and plenty of curve balls you won’t see coming. CHARACTERS The characters in The Hundredth Queen are primarily female, we first get introduced to Kalinda’s best friend Jaya. the friendship between this two was more akin to blood sisters than friends & it was refreshing to see them look out for one another. Once selected as the one hundredth, she is escorted by the Rajah’s captain of the guards, Deven. This character serves as a love interest to Kalinda & I must admit he fell a bit lack luster to me lol but to others he may be swoon worthy ;) he did manage to grow on me but that was more towards the final chapters. Once in the palace where the Rajah’s wives & courtesans live, we meet some very interesting women to keep an eye on. Starting with the one to fear the most. the Rajah’s Kindred aka 1st wife. She is not playing nice & throughout the book Kalinda must watch her back at all times. The Rajah himself is a worm! baha! I knew I wouldn’t like him the minute i read the Goodreads blurb. The man is a polygamist who has some deep rooted issues with women & there were plenty of times I wanted to square off with him lol. I was left very intrigued by Deven’s brother who shares the same powers as Kalinda (shhhh secret!) and others like them introduced towards the end. I’m hoping to get to know them better in the next book, also Deven’s brother was way more alluring to me jeje. The characters are not the most fleshed out you’ll come across in Fantasy seeing as this one is more plot driven, but they do let you get to know them just enough to want to know more. WRITING & FINAL THOUGHTS Overall The Hundredth Queen is filled with the magic and fantasy it promises in the blurb. I did wonder when I started reading whether this was truly YA considering it’s a story about a polygamist tyrant. Although there weren’t any sexual scenes depicted, it was implied given the nature of this book. I was honestly swept away by the story itself that my loathing for the Rajah was ever present but it didn’t prove to be an obstacle in my enjoyment of this story. I do wish Kalinda as a character was a bit more fleshed out but there’s plenty of implied growth for the sequel that I’m looking forward to. In regards to the world building, I am aware that there’s some buzz on the author’s inspiration. King does preface the book with a Author’s Note that briefly stated the following: “The religion of the Tarachand Empire, the Parijana faith, is a fictional variation derived from Sumerian deities. However the Parjina faith and the Tarachand Empire do not directly represent any specific historical time period, creed , or union. Any other religious or governmental similarities are coincidental and do not depict actual people or events” To be honest, it didn’t seem like any one particular culture/religion rather bits and pieces gathered to create this fantasy setting. I’ve made my rounds reading reviews & looking out for solid issues found within this book & I have not yet found one. On the contrary, I have seen readers who are cautious & insightful when reading/reviewing diverse books, give The Hundredth Queen the green light of approval. I may be wrong, and if there are any solid reviews out there providing insight, I’ll def read them. For now, I’ll sign off by saying that I look forward to Kalinda’s continued adventures in the sequel The Fire Queen ;)

  30. 4 out of 5

    Krysti

    You know that wonderful moment when you get to read that book that you've been DYING to read, and it's even BETTER than you expected?! Well, that was The Hundredth Queen by Emily R. King for me! This book is PERFECT for fans of The Girl of Fire and Thorns, The Wrath and the Dawn, and Graveling. MY RATING: FIVE STARS On top of being an all-around AMAZING story, there are some great messages in this book about sisterhood, faith, feminism, and what it truly means to be a woman. The story itself is incr You know that wonderful moment when you get to read that book that you've been DYING to read, and it's even BETTER than you expected?! Well, that was The Hundredth Queen by Emily R. King for me! This book is PERFECT for fans of The Girl of Fire and Thorns, The Wrath and the Dawn, and Graveling. MY RATING: FIVE STARS On top of being an all-around AMAZING story, there are some great messages in this book about sisterhood, faith, feminism, and what it truly means to be a woman. The story itself is incredibly addictive and fast-paced. The plot is layered beautifully with twists and turns that you'll never see coming. Emily delivers bombshell after bombshell that create a fascinating backstory for this world. I personally can't wait to learn even more about it in the next book. Kali is a fantastic main character and definitely one that you will root for. She has weaknesses that she has to overcome in order to survive, which significantly increases the stakes in this story while also making her relatable. She is intelligent and witty. Watching her navigate both the political pitfalls of court and the physical dangers of the tournament is entertaining and empowering. You'll want to BE Kali after reading this book. Kali's relationship with her best friend Jaya is loving and BEAUTIFUL. I feel like there are too few strong female friendships in YA fantasy. The only other author I've seen depict a friendship between women this well is Susan Dennard in Truthwitch. Female characters in fantasy are far too often depicted as loners or as having mainly male counterparts, which contributes to a sort of stereotype that strong women can't have loving friendships with other women, which is not the case in life and shouldn't be the default in fiction. All the women in this story are captivating. It's so fascinating to watch Kali build relationships with the other wives and courtesans. They're fierce, they're warriors, they're loving, they're complex, and they're absolutely inspirational. Emily explores the true meaning of sisterhood in this book in way that I've never seen done on such a large scale before, and she does it expertly. There are also some GREAT male characters in this story as well. Captain Deven Naik is the super swoony love interest that you've been dreaming of, and while I found Rajah Tarek terrible and vile, he has a backstory that transforms him into the type of villain you'll just love to hate. The magic system is also very well-developed with clear rules, so it maintains absolute believability throughout. I feel like we just got to brush the surface of the magic in this book, and I'm so excited to see more of it in book two. Clearly, I LOVED this book. I cannot recommend it highly enough! It is set to hit the shelves on June 1, 2017, so mark those TBR lists. And the sequel, The Fire Queen, already has a tentative release date of September 26, 2017, so thankfully we won't have long to wait between books in what is sure to be a treasure of a series. COVER RATING: FIVE STARS This cover is just quite simply BEAUTIFUL. The color scheme is off-the-charts amazing. I love the gorgeous henna tattoos on the hand as well as the fact that Kali is holding the vial of liquid, which plays such an important role in this story. Let's all just take a moment to gaze upon it. SWOON RATING: FIVE STARS Oh, Captain Deven Naik, you are officially my new book boyfriend. Since Kali is betrothed to the Rajeh, her feelings for Deven are absolutely forbidden, which increases not only the stakes of their relationship but the heat behind their stolen moments as well!

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