Saturday, February 10, 2024

*Review* Queen's Catacombs by Jordan H. Bartlett

 Genre: Fantasy
Published: March 14, 2023
Pages: 410

Winning the crown was only the beginning.

Jacs, now the rightful Queen of Frea, seems to be Queen in title alone. She scrambles to learn the customs and traditions of a Realm she had only read about in books. The Council of Four have her firmly under their thumb, and their ideas for the Queendom are oppressive and outdated. Their knowledge of her mother and Master Leschi’s whereabouts is the only leverage they need to make the new Queen dance to their tune.

Jacs is determined to find those who were taken from her and do what’s right for her Queendom. But in her search for answers, Jacs uncovers a much darker truth from the Queendom’s past that will forever change its future.

I received a copy of this audiobook through Netgalley. This is my honest review. 

I seem to be making quite the habit lately of starting book series out of order. That is what happened here with Queen's Catacombs, as it is book two in a series and I've not read or even listened to book one. This is important information, as many of my struggles with this book would probably have been non-existent had I simply read the first book first. The biggest of those was keeping all the characters positions and relationship to Jacs straight (although some of that problem may also be attributed to the fact that I was listening to the book rather than reading). 

Queen's Catacombs is what you would get if you wrote a fantasy novel with Barbieland as your original world inspiration. All of the positions that are typically filled by men in our historical or typical fantasy worlds are filled by women in this novel, a fact I was constantly having to remind myself of when titles like Lord and Master were being used, and my initial inclination was to put a male face in that place. And the oppressive female dominance feels just as wrong in this book as it does in the recent Barbie movie. 

Even with my struggles putting faces to names, I was absolutely drawn into this story and the intrigue of the queendom. I wanted to see how Jacs would solve her problems and assert the authority that she was supposed to have, even though the Council of Four was not interested in a Lowerite having any real power. 

The narration felt like it fit the main character really well, but it didn't feel like there was much difference in the way most of the female characters spoke. The male characters voices did have a slightly deeper tone and felt at least natural adjacent as it was narrated by a woman. 

Overall I give Queen's Catacombs 3.9856 out of 5 stars. - Katie 

Jordan H. Bartlett is a New Zealand-born Canadian with a love for children’s literature and female empowerment. She grew up reading books about boys for boys and found it hard to find a strong female heroine she could relate to. Bartlett wrote Contest of Queens to give young readers that character she so longed for in a world where gender norms are reversed. Bartlett currently resides in Banff, Alberta where she works as a Speech Language Pathologist and is a certified yoga instructor.

No comments:

Post a Comment