THE HUNDREDTH QUEEN
by Emily R. King
He wanted a warrior queen. He got a revolutionary.
As an orphan ward of the Sisterhood, eighteen-year-old Kalinda is destined for nothing more than a life of seclusion and prayer. Plagued by fevers, she’s an unlikely candidate for even a servant’s position, let alone a courtesan or wife. Her sole dream is to continue living in peace in the Sisterhood’s mountain temple.
But a visit from the tyrant Rajah Tarek disrupts Kalinda’s life. Within hours, she is ripped from the comfort of her home, set on a desert trek, and ordered to fight for her place among the rajah’s ninety-nine wives and numerous courtesans. Her only solace comes in the company of her guard, the stoic but kind Captain Deven Naik.
Faced with the danger of a tournament to the death—and her growing affection for Deven—Kalinda has only one hope for escape, and it lies in an arcane, forbidden power buried within her.
Haha! That headline sounds awful, but I mean this is in the best sense of the word because the story was so rich and realistic that I was infuriated by what was going on. aka I was emotionally invested in the story! That is a difficult thing to do (with me), but this story definitely did it. I could have finished this in two days if I didn’t read so gosh darn slow. Haha! But it was a story I didn’t want to put down and only did because I knew I had other things I had to do. Very exciting!
The MC, Kalinda, was not my favorite at the beginning. She seemed like an annoying, stupid, stubborn character who had little understanding of the world (for obvious reasons given her background), but she developed into an exciting, determined character whom people could be inspired by and rally behind. Her change from start to finish was excellent. Best of all, it wasn’t perfect. The qualities that make her who she is remained throughout and caused quite a bit of drama and foolish choices along the way.
There is definitely some predictability in this story because of all the hints that are dropped throughout (and it made Kalinda look like an idiot when she didn’t immediately pick up on things), but these aspects were not presented in a way to be hidden. Rather, they were presented in a manner for the reader to sniff them out first and think ahead. So, it verged less on predictability and more on foreshadowing, which was a unique twist that I rather enjoyed, especially because they were not the only aspects that appeared later in the story (many of which were unexpected.)
OO! That world!
Anyone who reads my reviews knows how much I drool over worlds and this is definitely one of those worlds to drool over! 😀 There were so many different aspects and details that built up the world and motivated different characters in different ways, religion being one of these aspects. It was so realistic in the way it was interpreted and utilized for each character. And the religion bled into the rest of the culture and society to really flesh everything out and tie it all back together. It was gorgeous!
Yeah… While I may have loved Kalinda and the tension that was Kalinda and Deven’s relationship was rather delicious, I did not like Deven as a character. He seemed to have very little personality. He was the least fleshed out of all the characters (even characters seen less than him got more development) and this was rather disappointing because I could not become invested in their relationship because of this. It was like he was just a piece of meat to stare at and have lust for. I would have preferred more development of his character and I dunno, something of him besides his devotion to Kalinda to make him seem human.