Dia dhuit lovely bookworms. Today I have a very exciting post as I’m taking part in my very first blog tour for Queen of Coin and Whispers by Helen Corcoran. This sapphic political fantasy, was released June 20th by O’Brien Press.
Representation: Lesbian main character, demisexual main character, f/f central romance, multiple gay/bisexual side characters.
My Rating: ★★★.5☆☆
*Thank you to O’Brien Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. *
Queen of Coin and Whispers features one unprepared queen, one slightly more prepared spymaster, their kickass sidekick, and a whole court of vipers ready to take away the throne.
To say it was intriguing would be an understatement. While yes- the book slowed down in some places; for the most part- especially the ending- I couldn’t put it down. The plot bounced around a little in the beginning which is why the book felt slower, but once it got going, it was brilliant.
Let’s talk characters and specifically our stars- Xania and Lia. I loved them. Lia was such a strong queen– she’s thrown to the wolves when her uncle dies and leaves her a corrupt throne and she fights to both survive and fix it with everything she has. I think at times her judgement becomes flawed and queen gets to her head, but she was REAL. Did I want to scream at her? Oh yess many of times but thankfully Xania does it for me.
Xania was my love. I hate to pick favourites but… She was just amazing. Not only did I strongly relate to her being demisexual but I adored how kind she was- even as she becomes something the kingdom fear. Xania had such strong relationships with the people around her. When she loves- she’s all in and that includes Lia. Even when all hope is lost she stands by her and I really enjoyed their romance.
“- I didn’t just love her because she was my Queen, or because she was beautiful, or because I shared her bed. I loved her because she faced corrupt nobles and frustrated people while fighting to do what she considered right.”
The family theme is another thing I adored about the book. Xania and her sister, Zola, had such a good sibling bond and it reminded me of my brother and I. While Lia and her mother were as thick as thieves. Which is actually quite unusual, considering normally… the mother is evil. I liked the change.
The main criticism I had throughout the book from beginning to end was about the side characters. They just weren’t as developed and I felt most of them came across both two dimensional and forgettable. Sadly even Matthais- who for me didn’t have a personality outside protecting Lia. Another involved the world building which I found confusing, and if I’m being completely honest- the Whispers story could have been explained more.
Queen of Coin and Whispers wasn’t my favourite read but I did enjoy it. I feel this is a very strong debut- especially in fantasy- and I cannot wait to see what Helen Cocorcan creates next. Highly recommend to fans of political fantasy or for anyone looking to read more books with cute f/f relationships.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR.
Helen Corcoran was born and raised in Ireland, but is more likely to go searching for a werewolf than a crock of gold at the end of a rainbow. She worked as a bookseller for twelve years, with a specific interest in fantasy and YA fiction, which she also writes. She currently lives in Dublin, cultivating a budding caffeine addiction while her book collection threatens to take over her house.
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