As much as I didn’t want it to end, THE QUEEN OF SORROWS was a stunning conclusion to Sarah Beth Durst’s The Queens of Renthia trilogy. Durst amped up the action and emotional depths of her characters in this last book, especially with my favorite character Queen Naelin.
I loved Naelin’s part in this book. Durst does a brilliant job of plunging us into Naelin’s anguish, rage, and fear when she discovers her children have been kidnapped by Queen Merecot, and a mother’s determination and sacrifice to do whatever it takes to get them back. I was also surprised to find myself liking another character a lot, Master Garnah. Talk about a complex character you should dislike, but somehow Durst makes Garnah intriguing and funny with her view points on life and certain situations. You can’t help but like, in my case love, the psychopathic poisoner who only wants her son’s love. Then there is the antagonist, Queen Merecot. A complex villain whose heart and goals are in the right place but skewed due her narcissism and lack of empathy. Many of the scenes with Merecot, and when Durst dives into her intimate thoughts, were insightful into her character and sometimes funny. And speaking of complex characters and motivations, Durst reveals more about the vicious spirits that will change your opinion of them.
THE QUEEN OF SORROWS at its core is a story about the complex and dynamic relationship between powerful women and their desires, motivations, and goals. Durst keeps up the wonderful world building and adding even more layers to it in this last book. All the characters are fascinating and each adds something important to the story. A wonderful story in a wonderous fantasy world that all would enjoy reading.
A side note: I’ve seen reviews on The Queen of Renthia debating about whether it’s YA or adult. I personally don’t like reading YA, and in my opinion found this trilogy more geared to an adult audience with a YA crossover. If the YA genre is stopping you from reading this wonderful trilogy, don’t let it. Naelin is women in her 30’s with two kids. I feel most of the story revolves around her when she is introduced in book 2 and carries on into book 3. If you love stories about queens, women with magical abilities, and complex female relationships then pick this trilogy up.