The Lost Queen was one of my favorite reads of last year and I raved about it to everyone I knew. Not to mention I gave it to all my friends and family as a Christmas present too.
So it’s easy to say that I had this next book on my TBR the instant I was done with the first book. The second it was available on Netgalley, I downloaded it and started reading.
Not going to lie, this one took me a lot longer to read than I was anticipating. Not because it was bad (not at all!) I just started it at a time when I was busy and couldn’t get to it as often as I wanted.
The story continues in The Forgotten Kingdom, the second book in the astonishing Lost Queen trilogy, already hailed as “Outlander meets Camelot” (Kirsty Logan) and “The Mists of Avalon for a new generation” (Linnea Hartsuyker).
AD 573. Imprisoned in her chamber, Languoreth awaits news in torment. Her husband and son have ridden off to wage war against her brother, Lailoken. She doesn’t yet know that her young daughter, Angharad, who was training with Lailoken to become a Wisdom Keeper, has been lost in the chaos. As one of the bloodiest battles of early medieval Scottish history scatters its survivors to the wind, Lailoken and his men must flee to exile in the mountains of the Lowlands, while nine-year-old Angharad must summon all Lailoken has taught her and follow her own destiny through the mysterious, mystical land of the Picts.
In the aftermath of the battle, old political alliances unravel, opening the way for the ambitious adherents of the new religion: Christianity. Lailoken is half-mad with battle sickness, and Languoreth must hide her allegiance to the Old Way to survive her marriage to the next Christian king of Strathclyde. Worst yet, the new King of the Angles is bent on expanding his kingdom at any cost. Now the exiled Lailoken, with the help of a young warrior named Artur, may be the only man who can bring the Christians and the pagans together to defeat the encroaching Angles. But to do so, he must claim the role that will forever transform him. He must become the man known to history as “Myrddin.”
Bitter rivalries are ignited, lost loves are found, new loves are born, and old enemies come face-to-face with their reckoning in this compellingly fresh look at one of the most enduring legends of all time. (summary from Goodreads)
So I am going to say this first—I liked the first book better. That’s not to say that this book wasn’t good, I just loved the first book so much that I knew going into this one that it would probably not replace the first one. As I mentioned, I started this one when I was reading a couple of other books and also starting a new job that was busy. So I went days sometimes before coming back to this one which I think caused me to feel a little disconnected with parts of the story.
As always the writing was wonderful and the research—there is no other word for it than impeccable. I remember marveling at the research in the first book and this book is equally thought out and researched. I also read the author notes at the end of this book and was even more in awe of the painstaking research the author must have done in order to create such a wonderful saga.
Her writing and descriptions—especially of the battles—were elegant, haunting and full of action and interest. But this isn’t a book that you want to rush through. There is a lot to digest and process so reading it quickly isn’t something that I would recommend, though I think I would have preferred to read this book a little faster than I did so I could keep everything fresh in my mind.
I did have a hard time recalling certain characters and their role in the story. This book basically picks up right where the first book left off so don’t try and pick this one up if you haven’t read the first book. I recalled the principal characters just fine but I struggled a little at first to place characters and their history or connection to the larger narrative at first. But once I got back into the world and the characters I was perfectly fine.
The cover is stunning and one that you will definitely want on your shelf. It’s truly one of the most eye catching, show stopping covers I’ve seen in a while. I am in love with it. Plus the story is unique and magical. I cannot wait to see how things come to an end in the upcoming book that marks the end of the trilogy.
Though I liked the first book a little better, this was a superb installment and a worthy follow up to an amazing book. If you love historical fiction with a hint of magic, or if you love Arthurian legends, this book right here is a treat for you!