In the kingdom of Eire, banshees chill the air, and water-wights lurk in the rivers. But magic is outlawed by the king, and jealously hoarded by his Druid priests.
Neve is the youngest daughter of the king, and Ronan is a Druid’s apprentice-turned-thief, making a living by selling stolen spells. They should be enemies, but their shared hatred of the Druids-and a dark magic that has marked them both-makes them unlikely, if uneasy, allies.
When Eire is threatened by a power struggle, Neve must seize the chance to take her rightful place on her family’s throne, with the help of Ronan and the realm’s most dangerous outcasts. Their journey takes them to the outskirts of Eire where magic still runs free . . . and where an outlaw and a warrior princess might carve out a future with spells and swords.
“Neve Anann Eriu…”
The Dagda’s voice rolled like low thunder through the great stone gathering hall of his palace. The sound swept over Neve and she winced. Ruad Rofhessa, Dagda of the Tuatha Dé, only ever used his youngest daughter’s full name when he was furious with her. Although such occasions weren’t exactly uncommon.
* Thanks to NetGalley and Zando Young Readers for an eARC of this book. The following review is my honest reflection on the text provided. *
I’m seriously hoping that Queen Among the Dead is the start of a series because I have not gotten enough of this incredible world.
I loved the subtlety of Livingston’s writing. As the worldbuilding takes place, you’re introduced to these young characters who quickly win you over. And as things start to come together, you’re not really sure where it’s headed, but you can tell it will be big. I had no idea what to expect or who would survive, and I was hooked on every page.
The sheer amount of worldbuilding that takes place is incredible. Did I understand every word? No. Did I love all of it? Most definitely. The magic system and its potential after years of eradication was breathtaking. As Ronan and Neve discover their powers and are consistently drawn to each other despite usually trying to stay as far away as possible, you’re drawn into their world. I did feel a little bad for Sakir – he spent so much time by Neve’s side, training her and covering for her, and he’s totally blindsided when Ronan comes on the scene. Then, suddenly, there’s magic and betrayals and tough choices to be made. I think Una and Lorcan and a lot of the other side characters (particularly from Ronan’s side of town) were a little underdeveloped, but they did serve their purpose.
I’ve got my fingers crossed for this to turn into a series (as long as no annoying love triangle develops). I’m not ready to leave this world, particularly Neve, behind.