When the Balitang family returns from exile in the highlands, Aly once more accompanies them – this time travelling as one of their maids. Chaos and intrigue await the household in the steamy, exotic city of Rajmuat, where Aly must constantly prove to friends, foes and family that she both is, and is not, who she says she is.
Such is the life of a spymaster, and a master spy is what Aly was raised to be.
I had high hopes after the elaborate setup of Trickster’s Choice that Trickster’s Queen would be an intricate network of spies executing complicated plans to bring about a revolution and a new way of life for the raka and luarin of the Copper Isles. Unfortunately, what actually happened was a shallow story of coincidences and lucky breaks.
I wanted brilliant plans that only Aly and her collaborators would be able to execute, alliances formed with important connections through espionage, coercion, and blackmail. I was looking forward to how the rebellion was going to make tough decisions, especially those regarding the suitability of Sarai as a leader and the politics of Elsren’s claim to the throne. Lucky for them, every tough decision was made for them, and always in their favour! No one had to dirty their hands outside of what they were willing to do, they were handed incredible advantages with no effort, and their brilliant plans consisted of high school gossip and petty graffiti.
Nawat and Dove, my two favourites, were largely absent as well. When they did make appearances they were wonderful, as expected. Nawat matured and became a bit more human, and Dove flourished in her role. I know there are a lot of people who are opposed to the romantic storyline involving basically a newborn human who just happens to be an adult male who previously lived as a crow. And sure, I get it’s a bit sticky, but he’s the one bright spot in this story who adds a little levity and charm, don’t try to take him away. A new addition to the cast, Taybur Sibigat is the commander of the King’s Guard and he seemed promising. Smart and caring, he was competent at his job and seemed to be on to Aly from the beginning. I just wish he had been utilised more; he could’ve played several roles well, working for or against the rebellion. But that seems to be the curse of Trickster’s Queen; lots of potential, no follow-through.
Yes, the story was enjoyable, I like the characters so spending more time with them wasn’t terrible, and any mention of Tortall and our old friends is always wonderful. This was by no means a terrible book, it was just a little boring and commonplace when I was expecting exciting and original.