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Queen of Coin and Whispers

(Queen of Coin and Whispers #1)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  1,103 ratings  ·  314 reviews
‘She loved me as I loved her, fierce as a bloodied blade.’

When teenage queen Lia inherits her corrupt uncle’s bankrupt kingdom, she brings a new spymaster into the fold ... Xania, who takes the job to avenge her murdered father.

Faced with dangerous plots and hidden enemies, can Lia and Xania learn to rely on each another, as they discover that all is not fair in love and t
Paperback, 464 pages
Published June 1st 2020 by The O'Brien Press
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Helen Corcoran Lia and Xania’s world has no labels, as same-sex couples are accepted and considered normal. However, I put as much of characters’ preferences in the …moreLia and Xania’s world has no labels, as same-sex couples are accepted and considered normal. However, I put as much of characters’ preferences in the text as possible as a nod towards our labels—these include:

- Lia (lesbian)
- Xania (demi lesbian)
- Matthias (gay)
- Zola (bi)
- Isra (bi)

There are numerous background characters who are queer; due to the book being through Lia and Xania’s POVs, these are shown through relationships etc.—if possible—as it wouldn’t come up naturally in the POVs.(less)
Helen Corcoran Hello! It's a standalone. The plot arc is complete by the end, but I have ideas for more books set in the same world. It depends if the publisher is i…moreHello! It's a standalone. The plot arc is complete by the end, but I have ideas for more books set in the same world. It depends if the publisher is interested.(less)

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Average rating 3.77  · 
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 ·  1,103 ratings  ·  314 reviews

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Elle (ellexamines)
what if i was a queen.... and you were a spy trying to get vengeance for your dead father...... and then we fell in love.... and we were both girls?
Helen Corcoran
Oct 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I’m biased, of course, but this book means a lot to me!

QUEEN OF COIN AND WHISPERS is YA fantasy of manners. It’s about Lia, a newly crowned, idealistic queen, and Xania, her (female) spymaster, who takes the job to uncover her father’s murderer. When they fall for each other, their feelings collide with their expected paths in life: duty and vengeance.

It might be your cup of tea if you like:

✨ f/f (both are lesbians; Xania is also demi)
✨ a queen who’s grown up wanting to rule
✨a girl who likes n
May 21, 2019 rated it liked it
I was sent this book in exchange for an honest review. This hasn't affected my opinions in any way.

This was . . . Fine. I enjoyed myself mostly, I'm glad I read it, but had I put it down and not picked it up again I likely wouldn't have remembered nor cared.

I'm trying really hard to review this book in depth like I normally would, but honestly I just don't have anything to say. I have no real criticisms of this book, and no real praise. I didn't dislike my reading experience, but this book was u
Gabriela Pop
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Helen Corcoran is out to put Ireland on the map when it comes to outstanding YA fantasy. A fresh voice in the genre, this book is out for blood and for your hearts.
Following the paths of a young Queen come to power and her spymaster out for vengeance, QUEEN OF COIN AND WHISPERS is an action-packed story full of political intrigue, twist, turns and intense emotions. It is also a wonderful love story between these two powerful women trying to balance out everything they've already got on their
anna (½ of readsrainbow)
rep: lesbian mc, poc lesbian mc, lesbian, gay & bi side characters, poc side characters

Review also on my blog. ARC provided by the publisher.

2.5 ☆

A fantasy novel featuring a sapphic relationship between a queen and her spymaster? What could be better, you ask? Well, actually...

First things first, this is not a bad book. But. Unfortunately, there's a but. I can see what this book tries to achieve and I deeply appreciate it, it's just that it doesn't really reach its goals.

Both Lia (the queen) and
★★✰✰✰ 2 stars

Queen of Coin and Whispers is a very generic YA fantasy novel. While it is not necessarily badly written, its story, setting, and characters are both forgettable and lacklustre.

What initially drew me to Queen of Coin and Whispers was its F/F romance. Once I began reading this book I quickly realised that the queer romance was the only thing that makes this story somewhat more interesting than your usual YA fantasy. The world-building is poorly rendered, the plot, as such, consiste
Sep 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: releases-2020
Star Rating: —> 2 Stars

Yeah... just... not for me. So boring; I just did not care ATALL about any of the characters... just no.

***Buddy Read with my OTP BR soul sister, Darceeeee! 😘***

The romance between the MC’s, Lia & Xania, invoked absolutely ZERO feeling from me☹️... which is SO RARE; I am such an emotional sap, lol!
I usually always LOVE love... but nope, not here ! Blahhhhh. I wanted to read a great f/f romance... this did NOT deliver; so very disappointed. 😔

I normally finish a buddy read
charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)

Five Reasons You Should Be Looking Forward to this Book

Rep: lesbian mcs, lesbian, gay & bi side characters, brown mc

Galley provided by publisher
a queen? falling in love with a spy? and they’re both girls?

ongmgnsvwrljsg this sounds SO good
buddy read with my soul sister.... my OTP buddy reader.... the darling.... ASHLEYYYY!!!!!

"I was Xania Bayonn.
And I would live."

well, i wish you wouldn't.
ok that's rude, and honestly incorrect, because i don't care about Xania enough to mind whether she lives or dies. but i just COULDN'T RELATE to these characters! i couldn't fall for them, or feel anything other than apathy for them, and it really brought down how much i enjoyed this novel. add in the fact that i could barely follow the story
I was so excited to read this sapphic fantasy between a princess and her spymaster because I was fascinated by the premise. I would have read it much earlier if not for the pandemic messing up with my focus and making me too anxious to read anything. But now that I have read, I’m pretty unsure what I have to say.

It’s not that the writing is bad. It was actually very easy to read and I finished it in a single sitting with very little breaks in between. But I also felt that the story promised a lo
rachel ☾
if only those last 150 pages weren't so messy

Representation: Lia (mc) is a lesbian; Xania (mc) is brown & a demisexual lesbian; Mattias (sc) is gay; Zola (sc) is bi/pan; BIPOC & queer scs.

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May 13, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Buddy read with Tee.


Queen of Coin and Whispers is the potato salad of YA fantasy. Full review to follow.

* I received a digital ARC of Queen of Coin and Whispers from the publisher (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.
What a wonderful book! I was sold on the fact that this was an f/f YA fantasy, so I knew that this was going to be one I enjoyed.

I absolutely loved the fact that this was a fantasy of manners, something that I just don't read very often. Usually my fantasy books involve lots of blood and murder, and while you get some of that in Queen of Coin and Whispers, much of the politicking goes on behind the scenes. Disrupting alliances, scheming against enemies, and uncovering treasonous plots are at the
3.5 stars

I received a copy of this book from O'Brien Press in exchange for an honest review.

Princess Aurelia is now a Queen and she employs lesser noblewoman Xania to be her new spymaster after witnessing the younger woman's bravery and stealth. As Xania fits into her new role, Lia must learn how to rule her kingdom whilst also keeping all sides happy - as well as avoiding assassination attempts and choosing a husband despite her eye constantly being drawn to her new Mistress of Whispers, Xania
This book follows a dual perspective of two characters. We have Lia, a young queen ascending a corrupt throne determined to be better than her predecessor and root out the corruption that has overtaken her court. We also have Xania, a baroness determined to avenge her father’s suspicious death. The two women are united by their mutual friend Matthias and by their plots to take down the same man, Vigrante. Xania becomes Lia’s spymaster, known as Whispers, and the two begin working together t
Queen of Coin and Whispers is the sapphic political intrigue book that everyone has been waiting for. A romance between a queen and her spymaster? A backstabbing, divided court that wants to see the new queen fail? Discussion around the realistic portrayal of ruling and the focus on money? Yes, please!

After the death of her uncle, the king, Lia becomes the queen of Edar at eighteen. She is resolved to be a better monarch than her partying, money-spending uncle ever was, but first, she needs a sp
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing

So, basically, now I can die happy. I’ve read this book.

Did I enjoy Queen of Coin and Whispers? Did I ENJOY Queen of Coin and Whispers I hear you ask? I would murder to protect this precious book-baby.

On Goodreads, the author summarized the book as:

a queen who’s grown up wanting to rule
a girl who likes numbers (and revenge)
flirting through books
kind step-parents, strong family and sibling relationships
queer friendships
predominately female cast

– and, honestly, I pretty much knew I was goi
Apr 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This hit my most anticipated 2020 list as soon as I found it was about a spymaster who falls in love with her queen...and a queen who falls in love with her spymaster. I knew this could turn into one of my favorite reads of the year....and it could be a new top favorite.

If I am being honest I was not expecting my reaction to this book...It was everything I was hoping for and a lot more. I found myself forcing myself having to put it down just to sleep, but still waking up early to go back to rea
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant, pacey and intriguing story. I adored the central characters, Lia and Xania, and shipped them with every fibre of my being. Highly recommended for fans of vivid world-building, strong female characters, f/f romance, witty dialogue, spying, intrigue and courtly settings. I've been so excited to read this and it did not disappoint. As a queer reader, I loved seeing how queer relationships were treated in the world of this book, it was so refreshing and heartening. I will be squeeing ab ...more
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As part of my work experience during Transition Year in Ireland, I was allowed to read and review this book. I won't spoil anything but I can't help but say that I absolutely adored even the unedited version. It's one of those books that you will pick up at least two or three times a year to read and every time I can guarantee that you'll find something new in the book. I can't wait for it to come out in 2020 so I can read it again and again! ...more
May 08, 2020 rated it it was ok
Oof. That was rather disappointing. While the beginning was promising, I found that the longer I read, the more I just didn't care and was frustrated by the various elements that let me down.
First, I found the romance quite lacking. Apparently it was supposed to be slowburn, but I did not see that at all, and was frustrated by how quick they got together, which led to me not caring.
Second, the world building was quite confusing. It took me way longer than it should have to understand which direc
Roberta Pop
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There's so many things that passed through my brain whilst I was reading this, most of which would make this review not pg-13, as lots of holy effs and other things among those lines were gasped out loud as I turned pages. There was no way I could have ever predicted any part of what went down, and I really mean any. I loved seeing Lia grow as a queen and Xania developing as a person. As much as I loved those two (and pretty much all characters) Matthias found himself becoming my soft child who ...more
Landice (Manic Femme)
“She loved me as I loved her, fierce as a bloodied blade.”

Queen of Coin and Whispers

Queen of Coin and Whispers is a sapphic YA fantasy novel by Helen Corcoran that focuses on political intrigue instead of magic. Corcoran has described Queen as “a low-fantasy novel with a historical basis,” because elements of the novel are inspired by Elizabethan spycraft, which is basically the coolest thing I’ve ever heard (check out this Twitter thread where she goes into more detail on her research).

Queen was one of my most ant
Laura King
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Though not out until April 2020, Queen of Coin and Whispers is still one of my favourite reads of this year. As well as wanting to read my friend's book, I was already drawn in by the premise: a young queen and ordinary young lady turned spymaster fall in love when brought together by a common enemy and shared thirst to prove themselves, but since I don't ordinarily read fantasy I didn't expect to fall so in love with it.

I was sucked in by the dark and atmospheric first page. The pacing is maste
I was sent this book as an advance copy by the publisher via NetGalley for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own.

DNF @ 32%, no rating

I think after trying for two months to get into this it's time to be honest with myself that I'm just not going to finish it, even if I initially only put it on hold. But I've also been reading reviews that confirm that the problems I was having don't get better in the last two thirds of the novel, so this is the right decision although it always hurt
Feb 13, 2020 added it
Shelves: re-reads
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I loved this book.  So much.  It was just utterly perfectly made for me.

Firstly, queer royalty? YES PLEASE. Secondly, political intrigue? So up my street.

Lia is so wonderful as a queen - she is struggling to not upset everyone, but equally wants to change how things are, so make them fairer.  You really see her struggle, and how she looks at her decisions.  I also really like the relationships she maintains (and gains) thro
Gorgeously written YA fantasy, with lushly tactile world building, it features a spy master driven by revenge and her queen, newly ascended to the throne, whose grasp on power is somewhat shaky.

As feelings tentatively unfurl, the tension mounts as the battle for the throne - and for survival - intensifies.

A stunning debut from a fabulous young Irish writer.

Ariel (ariel_reads)
Mar 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Ahh this was so good! Really fun court intrigue (think- Crier's War or Priory of the Orange Tree), plus all the adorable soft pining between the two main characters, Lia and Xania. Netgalley review and official blog (!) post to follow up soon :) ...more
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this YA fantasy. Twisty and layered political intrigue in a credible world of monarchies and parliaments. A young spymaster fuelled by a need for vengeance, and a new Queen determined to prove herself against powerful forces.

Characters who develop and mature believably on the page, at times grabbing your heart in a most distressing way!
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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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Queen of Coin and Whispers (2 books)
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