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The Queen of Blood
Cover of The Queen of Blood
The Queen of Blood
Book One of The Queens of Renthia

Winner of a 2017 ALA Alex Award!

A Tor.com Best of 2016 pick!

Set in the magical world of Renthia, The Queen of Blood is Sarah Beth Durst's ambitious entry into adult epic fantasy. With the danger of Peter Brett's The Warded Man, heart of Naomi Novik's Uprooted, and lyricism of Patrick Rothfuss' The Name of the Wind, this is the first chapter in a series destined to be a classic.

Everything has a spirit: the willow tree with leaves that kiss the pond, the stream that feeds the river, the wind that exhales fresh snow . . .

But the spirits that reside within this land want to rid it of all humans. One woman stands between these malevolent spirits and the end of humankind: the queen. She alone has the magical power to prevent the spirits from destroying every man, woman, and child. But queens are still just human, and no matter how strong or good, the threat of danger always looms.

With the position so precarious, young women are chosen to train as heirs. Daleina, a seemingly quiet academy student, is under no illusions as to her claim to the throne, but simply wants to right the wrongs that have befallen the land. Ven, a disgraced champion, has spent his exile secretly fighting against the growing number of spirit attacks. Joining forces, these daring partners embark on a treacherous quest to find the source of the spirits' restlessness—a journey that will test their courage and trust, and force them to stand against both enemies and friends to save their land . . . before it's bathed in blood.

Winner of a 2017 ALA Alex Award!

A Tor.com Best of 2016 pick!

Set in the magical world of Renthia, The Queen of Blood is Sarah Beth Durst's ambitious entry into adult epic fantasy. With the danger of Peter Brett's The Warded Man, heart of Naomi Novik's Uprooted, and lyricism of Patrick Rothfuss' The Name of the Wind, this is the first chapter in a series destined to be a classic.

Everything has a spirit: the willow tree with leaves that kiss the pond, the stream that feeds the river, the wind that exhales fresh snow . . .

But the spirits that reside within this land want to rid it of all humans. One woman stands between these malevolent spirits and the end of humankind: the queen. She alone has the magical power to prevent the spirits from destroying every man, woman, and child. But queens are still just human, and no matter how strong or good, the threat of danger always looms.

With the position so precarious, young women are chosen to train as heirs. Daleina, a seemingly quiet academy student, is under no illusions as to her claim to the throne, but simply wants to right the wrongs that have befallen the land. Ven, a disgraced champion, has spent his exile secretly fighting against the growing number of spirit attacks. Joining forces, these daring partners embark on a treacherous quest to find the source of the spirits' restlessness—a journey that will test their courage and trust, and force them to stand against both enemies and friends to save their land . . . before it's bathed in blood.

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Awards-
About the Author-
  • Sarah Beth Durst is the author of ten fantasy novels for adults, teens, and children, including The Lost, Vessel, and The Girl Who Could Not Dream. She won the 2013 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award and has been a finalist for SFWA's Andre Norton Award three times. A graduate of Princeton University, she lives in Stony Brook, New York, with her husband and children.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from July 25, 2016
    Mythopoeic Award–winner Durst (Chasing Power) launches her Queens of Renthia series with a stellar and imaginative tale. In the fantasy world of Renthia, spirits—tangible magical beings associated with the four elements—would destroy all humans if it weren’t for the queen, a powerful chosen ruler who can control them. When a group of spirits destroys an outlying village, young Daleina chases them off and discovers that she has the power to potentially be a queen one day. After training for years at the academy, she comes under the tutelage of Ven, a disgraced champion (and former lover) of the current queen, Fara, and they work to make Daleina stronger as it becomes more apparent that Fara might be losing control of the spirits. Durst ably dispenses with tropes of the genre, zooming through the standard “young magician at the academy” plot to focus on Daleina’s growth as both a person and a potential queen. In addition to a solid cast of characters and great political intrigue, Durst delivers some fascinating worldbuilding, and the spirits are malevolent, cunning, wild, and mysterious antagonists. Agent: Andrea Somberg, Harvey Klinger.

  • Library Journal

    July 1, 2016

    The universe is made of living things, and spirits reside in the trees, the wind, and the water. However, the spirits are not fond of the humans who encroach on their lands and would destroy them all but for the queen, the sole person who can control the undead. Still, the queen is human, with weaknesses like everyone else. To ensure the spirits stay bound, young women who show some magical powers are chosen to attend the academy and become the queen's heirs. Daleina, who saved her family when the rest of her village was struck down by spirits, knows that her magic isn't substantial and that the throne is out of her reach. As spirit attacks become more frequent, Daleina joins with the disgraced champion Ven to figure out why the invasions are increasing. If they are unable to stand strong against the oncoming forces, their land will fall under a siege of darkness, death, and blood. The captivating characters will draw readers into a world of magic and intrigue and keep them wanting more. VERDICT Durst, an award-winning YA author (Vessel) and three-time Andre Norton Award finalist, presents a thrilling beginning to a sweeping series about searching for sovereignty and truth in order to save one's land.--KC

    Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Terry Brooks, NYT Bestselling author of the Shannara series "Wow, girl! What a great story! A truly wonderful fantasy novel which doubles as an allegory for our own earthly struggle between Man and Nature. Filled with fresh ideas and excitement, told with verve and heart. This book deserves a wide readership, and I think it will find one."
  • Tamora Pierce, author of New York Times bestseller Bloodhound "Thrilling—heartrending—enchanting—absolutely un-put-down-able!"
  • Library Journal (starred review) "Durst, an award-winning YA author (Vessel) and three-time Andre Norton Award finalist, presents a thrilling beginning to a sweeping series about searching for sovereignty and truth in order to save one's land."
  • Publishers Weekly (starred review) "Mythopoeic Award-winner Durst (Chasing Power) launches her Queens of Renthia series with a stellar and imaginative tale...In addition to a solid cast of characters and great political intrigue, Durst delivers some fascinating worldbuilding, and the spirits are malevolent, cunning, wild, and mysterious antagonists."
  • Jeff Wheeler, Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Kingfountain and Muirwood series "The Queen of Blood is full of rich tension from the opening scene to the nail-biting finale."
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Sarah Beth Durst
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