Title: The Queen’s Resistance
Series: The Queen’s Rising #2
Author: Rebecca Ross
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Published: March 5th, 2019 (HarperTeen)
Synopsis: Finally, Brienna is a mistress of knowledge and is settling into her role as the daughter of Davin MacQuinn, a disgraced lord who returned to Maevana to reclaim his house. Though she’d just survived a revolution, one that will finally return a queen to the throne, she faces another difficult challenge. She must prove herself trustworthy to the MacQuinns. But as Queen Isolde Kavanagh’s closest confidant, she’ll have to balance serving her father’s house as well as her country. And then there’s Cartier, a wholly separate but desirable factor in her new life.
Aodhan Morgane, formerly known as Cartier Évariste, is adjusting to the stark contrast between his pre-rebellion life in Valenia as a master of knowledge and his current one as the lord of a fallen house. During his castle’s restoration, he discovers a ten-year-old boy named Tomas, whose past and parentage are a complete mystery. So when Cartier’s former pupil Brienna is as taken with Tomas as he is, he lets his mind wander—what if he doesn’t have to raise him or his house alone?
As the Lannon trial rapidly approaches, Brienna and Cartier must put their feelings aside to concentrate on forging alliances, executing justice, and ensuring that no one interferes with the queen’s coronation. But resistance is rumbling among the old regime’s supporters, who are desperate to find a weakness in the rebels’ forces. And nothing makes a person more vulnerable than deep-seated love.
The revolution has succeeded, and a queen is poised to once more sit the throne of Maevana. Brienna now has to win the trust of the MacQuinn household, not all of whom are especially welcoming, prove that she is more than who her birth father was, and claim her right as Lord MacQuinn’s adopted daughter. On the other hand, Cartier returns to claim a House he has few memories of and struggles to manage the weight of the responsibilities that now lie on his shoulders. Isolde’s coronation draws closer, but before she can be crowned, there is still work to be done. Not all the Maevan Houses are fully in support of her, and the with the Lannons’ trials coming up, Brienna and her allies must keep an especially wary eye out for any supporters of the old regime who might lie in wait and quell any signs of an uprising.
Picking up immediately following the events at the end of The Queen’s Rising, this sequel was significantly better in terms of storytelling. For one, it didn’t give away any major plot points right at the beginning like the first book did. Things didn’t seem to come to the main characters as easily and the tone of the narration took a more serious turn in some places, which in turn contributed a lot to character development. Cartier, or rather, Aodhan Morgane, gets his own POV in this one, which was a really nice addition that gives a new depth to the narrative. Declan Lannon was an interesting villain, but it would have been more effective had he been introduced in the first book itself.
While I was disappointed that we didn’t get to see much of Brienna’s passion sisters from Magnalia, I loved the new character Neeve and her backstory, and between her, Brienna and Isolde, Rebecca Ross once again does a fantastic job depicting strong friendships and sisterhood. When it comes to Cartier and Brienna, in the previous book, I felt that their romance was odd, but it actually made much more sense in this one, and was even enjoyable. No spoilers, but I absolutely loved the last chapter – I knew it had to be coming eventually given the scene with the tapestry earlier in the book. The only thing that I found mildly annoying was how much detail the events of the previous book were reiterated with right at the beginning – enough that had I not read the first book, I would have still managed to understand what was going on by the end of the first chapter.
While I thought The Queen’s Rising wrapped up the story quite nicely, The Queen’s Resistance is definitely worth a read, because it’s quite rare to come across a fantasy novel that discusses what happens after the victory, the tough decisions that need to be made and what it takes to rebuild and establish peace across the land. I would not say no to a third book in this series, as even though everything seems resolved, I’m still curious to know more about these characters, but it seems to be a duology for now. Definitely recommended!
Have you read this book? Let me know in the comments below!
Other reviews in this series:
Book 1: The Queen’s Rising