A stunning Celtic YA fantasy adventure set in the ancient kingdom of Eire, inspired by the legend of the first true queen of Ireland, perfect for fans of Shelby Mahurin and Adrienne Young.
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.
Gorgeous lore and Celtic references, Queen Among the Dead is a fresh fantasy story with twists, turns and relationships you cannot refuse to root behind.
I adore the relationship between Neve, Ronan and Sakir. Our MC, Neve is strong from the start and I like how she consistently retains her fierceness. She does not ever seem to waiver in what she wants and appreciate that in a strong lead.
I will say, the timeline is a little jumpy at the beginning. There is very little background, just quick drama and then a jump, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing it just didn’t seem like a “prologue”. There were some missing pieces or things I felt could have been explained better.
It was a really good story line and I think with a little less lore-building (or better introductions of it) it could have went from good to amazing. The plot is there and I really feel for the characters as we go through the story. There are also some great twists and turns. It was just tough to constantly flip back to the beginning to see which lore was which.
Overall, if you love old Ireland lore and high fantasy-esque stories… definitely give this one a try!
Thank you so much to NetGalley & Zando Young Readers for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.