Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: January 3rd, 2017
Ansa has always been a fighter.My Thoughts:
As a child, she fought the invaders who murdered her parents and snatched her as a raid prize. She fought for her place next to Thyra, the daughter of the Krigere Chieftain. She fought for her status as a warrior in her tribe: blood and victory are her way of life. But the day her Krigere cross the great lake and threaten the witch queen of the Kupari, everything changes.
Cursed by the queen with fire and ice, Ansa is forced to fight against an invisible enemy—the dark magic that has embedded itself deep in her bones. The more she seeks to hide it, the more dangerous it becomes. And with the Krigere numbers decimated and the tribe under threat from the traitorous brother of the dead Chieftain, Ansa is torn between her loyalty to the Krigere, her love for Thyra, and her own survival instincts.
With her world in chaos and each side wanting to claim her for their own, only one thing is certain: unless Ansa can control the terrible magic inside her, everything she’s fought for will be destroyed.
The Impostor Queen was one of my top favorites of last year and I was SUPER excited to get my hands on The Cursed Queen. TIQ left off at such a dangerous place that I just knew TCQ would be explosive. Well to my surprise, this installment takes us back to before Elli's adventures and to a place where trouble is brewing among the Krigere tribe.
I wasn't really happy when I found out this book was about totally new characters, but by the second chapter I was all in! The Krigere tribe is actually pretty horrible. They are raiders and they live by taking what's not theirs. I liked the fierceness of the people, but I was a bit uncomfortable when raids were being described. It was pretty horrible, but thankfully the author chose to make these just stories and not something we had to witness through the characters eyes first hand. That being said I found the Krigere tribe quite fascinating.
The story itself like I said takes place at the same time as Elli's story. If you remember in the beginning of TIQ the Valita goes out to sea to stop raiders. Well you guessed it these are those same raiders. We get to see the aftermath of the Valita's destruction and yes it is as crazy as you would imagine. The Krigere are left without their chieftain and must rally around his daughter who does not share the same principles. From the beginning it is a hard road from Thyra's (the daughter) pleas to start a new way of life to the fight bigger than anyone saw coming.
I will say that I liked this story. It was stronger than TIQ at times and weaker at others. One thing I wasn't fond of was the romance. I thought Fine strayed from her path in TIQ and I feel like in this one she is just trying to hard. I liked Ansa and I was excited to see her drawn to Thyra, but the back and forth got to be a bit much and I didn't like the inclusion of Jaspar. It felt almost too similar to TIQ and I was a bit upset that Fine wouldn't just go there with her characters. She moved in a better direction this time, but it all still felt like she wasn't sure she wanted her characters to love each other. For me this became a distraction and took away from some of the things Ansa was going through. I wanted to focus more on the "curse" Ansa was given and see if she could tame this new side of herself. By her constantly complaining about being discarded as Thyra's wolf I lost the momentum.
Speaking of being Thyra's wolf, I wasn't happy with Thyra for most of the story. She kept Ansa in the dark about so much and it really ticked me off. I know the whys, but if she had included her and chosen to stand with her things could have gone so much better. Miscommunication is a peeve of mine and these two just could not get on the same page! So frustrating!
Even with all that though I still liked the story for the most part. I found it went hand in hand with the first one really well and Fine did a great job weaving these two stories together. I am excited to see what the third installment will bring because I'm not sure it will be as explosive as I want it to be. This one ended on a happier note that the previous book and it seems like all the peace is all that is wanted from the parties left standing, but I know things will not be that easy for either side so I am anticipating a blow up somewhere along the way.