drey's Reviews > The Hedgewitch Queen

The Hedgewitch Queen by Lilith Saintcrow
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's review
Dec 25, 11

bookshelves: 2011-reads, fantasy, ebooks
Read in December, 2011

I noticed the cover of The Hedgewitch Queen, then I saw it was by Lilith Saintcrow, who’s one of my favorite authors. So of course I had to pick it up…

drey’s thoughts:
The first in an anticipated duology (The Bandit King is due next June), The Hedgewitch Queen is a fast introduction to an orphan girl who gets involved in events larger than she wishes for, and how she rises to the occasion. Vianne di Rocancheil is a lady-in-waiting at the Court of Arquitaine who spends her days and nights keeping her Princesse from court intrigue and plots, and her free time tending to her garden and reading her books. Life is as good as it gets…

Then her King and Princesse are murdered, the King’s brother is looking for her, and she barely escapes all the mayhem. Thank goodness for the Captain of the King’s Guard, whose presence of mind gets her to safety. Entrusted with the Great Seal of Arquitaine by her dying Princesse, Vianne has no idea how to proceed when it seems as though the Seal has awoken and chosen her for its bearer. Which means this orphan hedgewitch is now Queen of Arquitaine…

Danger nipping at her heels, Vianne sets off on a harrowing ride to seek safety. Dogged by assassins, she manages more than a few times to use the Seal’s power at sorcery to save her life, and those of her Guard. There’s a lot of unknowns to face, and she does it with aplomb – after bouts of illness, anxiety, and steadfast refusal to accept that the Seal is hers, and hers alone.

There’s politics (of course), there’s romance (once she realizes a certain someone’s been keeping an eye on her for ages), and there are regrets for a simpler life lost. Vianne is smart, plucky, and compassionate, and by the end of the story she’s making decisions and issuing orders. I wish she wasn’t quite so wishy-washy in the beginning, and Tristan’s initial crush on her is just a tad creepy. But overall I liked the story and I liked the characters. Can’t wait to see how this war plays out in The Bandit King!

drey’s rating: Excellent!
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