Jun 28, 2021

ARC Review--The Queen Will Betray You by Sarah Henning


After a thousand years of political stability, the realm of The Sand and Sky is up for grabs. Four kingdoms, four rulers vying for the ultimate prize, sovereignty over the entire continent: A ruthless old king spinning webs, whose schemes encompass generations. A widowed queen whose only credo is all kings must die. A runaway queen whose unexpected return upends everyone’s plans. And a prince-in-waiting determined to wait no more.

Standing against them are a dispossessed princess and her stableboy love with a surprising claim of his own. Their only hope in the face of unspeakable betrayals, enemies hidden in the shadows, and insurmountable odds is the power of true love...






I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.


Sarah Henning returns to the magical fantasy that pays homage to The Princess Bride with the follow-up to The Princess Will Save You with The Queen Will Betray You. Though the storyline now shifts from being the retelling like the first book did in its own unique way, I was still tickled that Sarah included bits and pieces of other The Princess Bride lore, if you wish to call it that. You’ll see other famous name drops and of course, there’s still Luca’s words that are reminiscent of Westley’s.

Now that Amarande, Luca, Ula, Yrtzi, and Osana have escaped the wedding from hell with their lives they are setting a new course. One for Ama to get back to her own kingdom and one for Luca to start the takeover of getting his rightful kingdom of Torrence back, because yes, this stable boy is actually a king in the making. I was already thrown a bit off by the sudden separation of the starcrossed lovers. I mean, they fought so hard to get back to each other in the first book and now they separate at the very beginning of the book. It was starting to make me wonder if these two were even meant to be together since they never seem to actually spend time together.

Ama receives quite the surprise when she gets home though, she meets the mother she never knew, the Runaway Queen returns…with Ama’s half-brother who is now being fit to take over her kingdom. Ama is none too happy about this but when she’s thrown in her gilded prison, there’s not much else she can do but wait, and plan. It’s when she’s planning, a very surprising thing happens and while I want to say what it is, I am going to try to refrain myself. Though it’s not spoiler per se, it was a jawdropper and I don’t want to ruin that for anyone else. So yeah, she gets a very surprising rescuer, let’s just say that.

Meanwhile, there’s lots of scheming happening throughout the kingdoms. Ines, Renard and Taillefer’s mother is doing everything she can to keep her crown and throne. Even if it means tearing Taillefer apart. For yes, Taillefer our own little six-fingered man with five fingers, is still in the picture for this one folks. He’s still determined to get his crown from his mother now that Renard is out of the way.

Whereas Luca is trying to convince his supporters of his true identity. He is the true king of Torrence, the kingdom that fell apart and became the Warlord’s territory. With Ula as his Indigo like guide, they will work together to defeat the Warlord and get Luca his kingdom back, but as we all know, that is not going to happen so easily.

Told in the multiple third person point of view, we get tossed around the kingdoms and get inside look into some of the other characters we only glimpse before. The occasional flashback sometimes proved to be more confusing than helpful, but hopefully things work out better in the final version of the book.

For awhile, I almost thought we’d have some sort of complex love triangle between Ama, Luca, and Ama’s rescuer. I didn’t think it would be possible, but occasionally there were these little moments that had me wondering. It wouldn’t fit well with The Princess Bride story, naturally, but since Ama rarely gets to spend time with her true love these days, it had me wondering. But as they say, true love never dies, at least I think they say that. Lol.

What made this one so much fun in a twisted sort of way was that you never really knew who you could trust. As I mentioned, everyone seems to be scheming and making their own devious plans and you never really know who is truly on Ama’s side. The characters will definitely surprise you throughout this one, and especially in that ending!

Let’s talk about the ending in the vague sense. When I picked this up, I initially thought things would end here. But literally just a day or two before starting this book, Sarah announced it was going to be a trilogy! So I was left wondering how early was that in the planning? Well, the ending is definitely one that could go either way in a sense. It did give you the air of finality and completion, loose-ends were mostly tied off. Though the next title does have me reeling with ideas of what could possibly happen next. You might notice that these titles give you something of a spoiler…but since there are many queens scheming in this story, it might take a bit to figure out which queen is going to be doing the betraying.

The Queen Will Betray You was a nice follow-up to The Princess Will Save You. I loved that it still paid homage to The Princess Bride, even though that part of this story is over. That there were still these little moments here and there, I was positively grinning when a certain character makes a very famous speech, albeit not quite the same way. You can expect these little Easter Eggs throughout the book! This is sure to be one amazing trilogy by next year and it’s off to a smashing start! After all, it had the best inspiration for the start of the series! This is one not to be missed by fans of The Princess Bride or any fantasy that deals with court intrigue, schemes, betrayals, and of course, true love!


Overall Rating 4/5 stars


The Queen Will Betray You releases July 6, 2021






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