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The Queen's Resistance: The Queen's Rising, Book 2

Book review by
Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media
The Queen's Resistance:  The Queen's Rising, Book 2 Book Poster Image
Satisfying fantasy sequel ramps up the action and violence.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Fantasy meant to entertain.

Positive Messages

Good always wins out over evil in the end. Earning trust and respect takes time and patience, but if you keep everyone's best interests in mind and always try to do what's right you'll earn them in the end.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Strong, smart, loyal, and more-than-capable female role models in leadership roles and as authority figures. Brienna is a clever, creative thinker who wants to do what's right and help both her new family and her country's new government heal past wounds and become strong together. She's not afraid to take action and will do whatever is needed to help her loved ones and her friend the queen. The good guys are loyal and protective, and the villains are motivated by the needs for revenge and power.

Violence

Descriptions of torture, mostly from a past brutal government, mention cutting off hands and feet, losing eyes, breaking a child's bones one by one until she dies, children being scourged, women being beaten and screaming, being strung up by manacles on the wrists, a long cut from forehead to jaw, and punching teeth out. Blood and pain are briefly described. Fights with swords, knives, and arrows mention stabbing, slicing, and driving swords and knives into the heart, necks snapping, punches, and hard slaps, also with some descriptions of blood and pain. Young girls are discovered chained to beds in a brothel with vague speculation about what they endured on a nightly basis.

Sex

A few kisses and some brief descriptions of romantic feelings.

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Occasional mention of ale, cider, and wine with meals. No drunken behavior.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Queen's Resistance is the fantasy sequel to The Queen's Rising. The story picks up a few days after the events in the first volume, so characters and events may be hard to follow if you haven't already read it. This story is more violent, featuring fighting with swords, knives, and arrows and (mostly not-gory) descriptions of torture -- including mentions of  children being scourged, women being beaten and screaming, being strung up by manacles on the wrists, and punching teeth out. Young girls are found chained to beds in a brothel and there's some vague speculation about what they endured on a nightly basis. Lots of strong women in positions of leadership and authority in governing as well as in armed forces. Themes explored include how to create and maintain strong bonds of family, clan, and country; and of course, of good winning over evil.

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What's the story?

In THE QUEEN'S RESISTANCE, the battle's been won and the evil Lannons are locked up awaiting trial for the atrocities they committed while ruling over Maevana. Now it's up to Brienna, Jourdain, Cartier, and Isolde not only to restore the throne to its rightful heir but also to rebuild their own lands and clans while gaining and keeping the people's trust. But factions loyal to the Lannons are still out there, and when Declan Lannon escapes from prison, the four will have to learn whom they can trust, and prove themselves trustworthy, before Declan can gather enough strength to retake the throne.

Is it any good?

This second of a two-volume story shifts slightly away from romance and brings larger doses of action, intrigue, and violence to a fantasy realm with just a dash of magic. Reading THE QUEEN'S RESISTANCE second is strongly recommended to help understand the characters and events, which pick up here only a few days after the events of the first volume. World building and character development, as well as a lot of Brienna and Cartier's romance, are on the back burner as new threats arise and intrigue, action, and violence come more to the forefront.

Some of the dialogue is a little forced and awkward, and most of the story's twists and turns are no surprise, but the plot moves along at a good pace and keeps the pages turning. Best for fantasy fans who enjoy intrigue and action, and who can handle the violence; although romance fans will not be disappointed.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the violence in The Queen's Resistance. Does reading about violence affect you the same way seeing in videos, games, or movies does? How much is too much?

  • Did you read The Queen's Rising first? Which of the two do you like better? Why? If you didn't read it, would you like to now?

  • What are some of your favorite fantasy series? How does this one compare? Why are fantasy series so popular?

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