An awesome new sci-fi romance!
Queen of Swords
by: Katee Robert
When the cards tell Ophelia Leoni she’s supposed to marry the Prince of Hansarda, the gunrunner grits her teeth and boards the starship that comes for her. It doesn’t matter if the ship’s commander is the gorgeous stranger she just spent a wild, drunken night with. As a Diviner, she’s painfully aware the cards don’t lie. Ever.
Boone O’Keirna knows Ophelia is trouble the second he sees the way she moves. Not about to let the little hellcat marry his sadistic half-brother, Boone pretends to be the Prince’s emissary and kidnaps Ophelia. Too bad they can’t be in the same room without him wanting to throw her out an airlock–or into bed.
Even as they fight each other–and their explosive attraction–Ophelia and Boone sense something is wrong. Too much is going their way. Soon, they realize while the cards may never lie, the truth is sometimes hidden between them…and the future king of Hansarda is not one to take defeat lying down.
Twitter: @EntangledSelect Steals and Deals
I don’t read a lot of science fiction books, mainly because they tend to bog the reader down in all that science. Give me the story and enough information to “get” it, and I’m good. Katee Robert’s first full-length installment of her Sanctify series, The Queen of Swords, definitely lands full-on on the show rather than tell side of the spectrum here. It’s just bursting with story, peopled with fantastic (in both senses of the word–they are both great and very different) characters, and the action and drama are all there. And the chemistry between Ophelia and Boone? Awesome.
I’ll admit, I did at times feel as if I needed a teensy little cheat sheet. I’m still not entirely sure what makes a “sans shower” different from what I engage in on a daily basis, for example. At first I thought perhaps it used something other than water, but that was disproved about halfway through the book when one character went to take one and the other fantasized about the water running down their body while they did so…hmmm.
Sorry. Picturing that myself, for just a moment. Niiiice.
Alien people populate the world of the novel, and though we are told their species name, we only get the barest of details about what they’re actually like. For the most part I didn’t mind too much–since it is so easy to load up a sci-fi novel with too much description and exhaustive detail–but this one was so bare bones in that respect that I almost felt as if I were coming in on the middle of an established series where everyone else of course knew exactly what made a Abura-Sumashi quite so Abura-Sumashi-ish, while I was all “Abura-what? Who?” Really, for the most part I just ran with it, mildly surprised to find out a character had tusks, fur, or green skin when it was mentioned almost off-handedly, but occasionally it did have me scratching my head.
I realized when I reached the end that there is a prequel novella–The High Priestess, about Ophelia’s parents–which I immediately picked up (99 cents, or at least it was at the time of writing this), though I suspect that especially with it being a novella it’s not going to have a lot of specific world-building detail either. (It will, however, tell us how two people who are supposed to be mortal enemies in that world get together in the first place, and I will be reading it ASAP.)
I loved the tarot aspect of the story–it’s made me more determined than ever to finally dig out my Tarot of Jane Austen book and cards this summer, just for fun–and the little drawings at the beginning of each chapter are a nice touch.
Hands down, though, it’s the characters that really make the story shine. I adored Ophelia and Boone, and hope they play a prominent role in the rest of the series. I was very happy to see that book two (Queen of Wands) will be Boone’s sister Jenny’s story, because she was great in this book. Cole, Boone’s copilot and good friend, was also a very strong character…though he’s covered in fur, apparently. It does sound lovely, however–all soft and rippling and brindled. It also provides excellent camouflage at one point, which was handy. 😉
Overall, I enjoyed this book quite a bit and will definitely be picking up book two when it’s available. I’m giving it four stars and a A-, mainly because it did leave me with questions about the universe they’re in and the fact that the pacing at the end is a tad on the quick side, but on the whole this is one series I’m pretty sure I’m going to enjoy the heck out of.
Rating : 4 stars / A-I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
Katee Robert learned to tell stories at her grandpa’s knee. Her favorites then were the rather epic adventures of The Three Bears, but at age twelve she discovered romance novels and never looked back.
Though she dabbled in writing, life got in the way–as it often does–and she spent a few years traveling, living in both Philadelphia and Germany. In between traveling and raising her two wee ones, she had the crazy idea that she’d like to write a book and try to get published.
Her first novel was an epic fantasy that, God willing, will never see the light of day. From there, she dabbled in YA and horror, before finally finding speculative romance. Because, really, who wouldn’t want to write entire books about the smoking-hot relationships between two people?
She now spends her time–when not lost in Far Reach worlds–playing imaginary games with her wee ones, writing, ogling men, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.
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