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Queen of the Conquered

(Islands of Blood and Storm #1)

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  263 ratings  ·  105 reviews
An ambitious young woman with the power to control minds seeks vengeance against the royals who murdered her family, in a Caribbean-inspired fantasy world embattled by colonial oppression.

Sigourney Rose is the only surviving daughter of a noble lineage on the islands of Hans Lollik. When she was a child, her family was murdered by the islands’ colonizers, who have
Paperback, 400 pages
Published November 12th 2019 by Orbit
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Aryn The way I understood it, after doing some digging on the same question myself is this: Their name is Kacen. Kheryn is their dead name, I believe.…moreThe way I understood it, after doing some digging on the same question myself is this: Their name is Kacen. Kheryn is their dead name, I believe. (Someone correct me if I'm wrong)(less)

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i showed up early to a book reading/signing last week, and once i had settled comfortably into my seat, i took this book out of my bag and started reading. the woman next to me noticed the cover and exclaimed that she had just finished it herself and loved it, enthusiastically praising its merits.

this is that kind of book. the people who love it are going to gush about it; chatting up strangers, recommending it to friends, gift-wrapping it for family members. me, i’m the jerk who
Chelsea Humphrey
Sep 13, 2019 marked it as dnf-lost-interest
Shelves: from-publisher
I feel like this particular snake is making an appearance on all my highly anticipated SFF novels of 2019, and I'm not mad about it.


*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.
☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~  ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣
Racism as the most salient topic
Racism is insanely boring. I almost didn't think I'd have it in me to follow through all the skin-colour-themed debacles. In real life, I imagine, it's even worse.

I've got some questions to the people of the countries that practiced (or maybe still do) racism: how the fuck can people, sane and seemingly adequate, find time and will and effort and energy to go about all the racist bullshit? Were they bored? Had they nothing better to do? No other endeavours to
Holly (Holly Hearts Books)
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, review-copies
"Focus on yourself and your ambitions and soon you'll find that you care not what a single person thinks."
K.J. Charles
The premise of this book is incredible. It's set in an alt-Euro-colonised Caribbean island archipelago, where the white colonisers have enslaved the black islanders and the worst vilenesses of slavery go on. The various islands are ruled by white families. Our POV character is Sigourney, the mixed race inheritor of a white family who were murdered by the other top families and who is now scheming her way to becoming the next regent of the islands, in order to wreak revenge for her bereavement ...more
Jun 03, 2019 marked it as to-read
At this point, I'm just gonna add every book with this snake on the cover. It's the exact same snake and all the books sound oh so good!
Apr 06, 2019 marked it as arc-to-read
Not only is this a gorgeous but this book is about the colonisation of the Caribbean????! I am here for any book where colonisers are the villains!
Tomoe Hotaru
Jan 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
“Your own people hate you. You’ve betrayed them. Abandoned them, for coin and comfort, while they’re enslaved and raped and tortured and murdered around you. No one has any love for you, even if you pretend they do. Even if you force them to. You have no true allies or friends. Those closest to you want you dead.”


And at the end of the day, that is exactly what Sigourney Rose is. You may be spending half, if not the entire novel, feeling sorry for her--that her grand
Yanique Gillana
Nov 01, 2019 rated it did not like it
So disappointing...

1.2 stars

Characters: 1
Setting: 1
World Building: 0
Plot: 2
Language: 2

I am grateful to Orbit for sending me an advanced copy of this book, because I specifically requested it with high hopes and confidence in their publishing selections. With that said, I was thoroughly shocked and disappointed. This is another one of those instances where I have to say that I believe a book is objectively bad. Even when I dislike a book, I can usually find the good aspects of it in order to
Kacen Callender
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Thanks for visiting the GR page of QUEEN OF THE CONQUERED! I'm incredibly proud of this book for its unique look at a badass yet morally gray main character and for its "brutal yet beautiful" Caribbean-inspired setting. I love this book, but don't take just my word for it! QUEEN OF THE CONQUERED has two starred reviews, one from Kirkus and another from Library Journal, and it also has a plethora of amazing quotes from fellow authors:

"A brilliant analysis of power and privilege set against an
Nenia ⚡ Aspiring Evil Overlord ⚡ Campbell
I read another book by Kacen Callender earlier this year and was really impressed with the depth of their writing. Looking forward to reading this book because I'm all for non-Western fantasy novels-- especially ones with morally grey characters and Tough Subjects.

Also, it's on sale today for $1.99!
Allison Thwaites
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Big thanks to Paola Crespo at Orbit Books for sending me a free ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Earlier this year I said wasn't going to read anymore slavery books because I am tired of the sufferation. Lies, all lies. I will read slavery books if they are written like this. The colonisers are the villains and I'm not being asked to feel sorry for them or try and understand them? Yes please.

This was such a compelling story, one where I was absorbed right from the beginning
laurel [suspected bibliophile]
Trigger Warning: Slavery, Murder, Graphic Torture, Rape

As a child, Sigourney Rose's family was brutally murdered by the colonizers of her home islands. Now an adult, and as the only islander member of the ruling classes, Sigourney has vowed revenge on all who wronged her family. She's going to kill them all, and take the crown for herself. But on the island of Hans Lollik Helle, she becomes the target of a strange, mysterious magic—and the nobles start dying around her.

This was such a hard book
Sabreena - Books and Prosecco
Queen of the Conquered


Disclaimer: The amazing humans at Hachette Book Group Canada were kind enough to send me an arc of Queen of the Conquered in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions below are my own.

“Burning fields, charred houses, slaughtered people. This is my legacy.”

I am so sad. I wanted to love this book so much! But alas, I did not. I think the writing style was just not for me. It might be for you though!

Queen of the Conquered is about Sigourney Rose, a woman whose family was
Dec 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: caribbean, fantasy
Last year, after reading White is for Witching, I wondered why there weren't more--or any--Caribbean authors setting gothic horror type fare in plantation houses. I had a need for a fantastical haunted take on these sites that strewn brochure pages, refashioned into luxury leisure venues, treasured for their local mahogany furniture and Georgian architecture--these sites on which our ancestors were enslaved, raped, tortured and slaughtered.

Enter Queen of the Conquered.

I am as eager as any other
I actually finished Queen of the Conquered over a week ago, but it’s taken me some time to wrap my head around it and find my entry point into a review.

The first half of the book is an absolutely amazing work of colonial-inspired epic fantasy that hooked me in the first chapter and absolutely refused to let me go until I read just one more page. The setting was so original and so vivid, the characters so complex, and the culture-building exquisite. Unlike some reviewers, I would hesitate to say
Dec 17, 2019 marked it as wish-list
$2.99 on US Kindle, December 17, 2019
Dec 31, 2019 marked it as did-not-finish
Got about 50% of the way through before dnf-ing.

I wasn't hating this, but I wasn't having a great time reading it either. The amount of exposition was a bit much for my personal taste. And the repetition of our MC thinking about how everyone hated her, why they hated her, how she felt about them hating her, etc... it just wasn't working for me. It felt like I was being beaten over the head with the theme of the book.

The world-building was also a bit jumbled for me. I'd categorize this as
Wow. Where to begin?

On the off chance you've read Gideon the Ninth, you'll find this very similar, in that you get a group of nobles gathered in an isolated location who fight to the death to see who will inherit the crown. Just replace necromancers with psychics. Otherwise, picture Game of Thrones, but everyone's trapped on the Iron Islands and has limited armies.

Technically this book is fantasy, as it takes place in an imaginary country, and has magic. But really, this book very much reads
Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
Apr 15, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2019
oh HELLLLLLLL yas to that cover
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
Wow. What a truly brilliant examination of power, privilege, rights and wrongs... I highly recommend this one!

Find this review at Forever Lost in Literature!

Queen of the Conquered was a punch of a novel that I did not expect. This is an intense book that is definitely not for the fainthearted.

Queen of the Conquered follows Sigourney Rose, the last person alive in her family after a brutal attack when she was a young child that resulted in the brutal death of everyone in her family,
shri (sunandchai)
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Full review on my blog!

Queen of the Conquered was one of my highly anticipated reads since the beginning of 2019. A book about getting revenge on colonizers? Oh, count me in!

However, while I loved it like I hoped I would, it turned out to be a very different story than what I was expecting. Yes, this is a revenge story, but it isn’t until the very end of the book that we find out it is not Sigourney’s revenge story at all.

Admittedly, I did start to resent the narrative halfway through–I
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
If I could give it a 100 stars I would. This was brutal, smart, raw, and amazing. I loved it.
Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Cinematic as h*ck.

I read an early unedited manuscript that I obtained as an employee of Hachette Book Group. Full review closer to pub date.
Dec 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Queen of the Conquered was more like a 3.5 read for me. While I absolutely loved the subject matter of this book, an #ownvoices fantasy inspired by the Dutch colonialization of the Carribean, Queen of the Conquered was difficult for me to get through. Queen of the Conquered is a story about Sigourney, a native Islander who schemes her way, partly using her magical kraft, into the ruling colonizers. Because of this, she partakes in the enslavement of her own people which is one of the central ...more
Dec 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Eh. This book drew me in, but the ending twist was a let down. Wouldn't recommend it. Plus, it has some adult themes I wasn't very okay with.
Sarah (A French Girl)
Nov 13, 2019 marked it as to-read
So, I'm currently reading this book. I've see a few people mention that the writing is awkward. After a page, I can confirm that yes, the writing is kinda awkward. The sentences are bloated and sprinkled with adjective that don't need to be there and strange construction.
Lauren James  (storied.adventures)
Full review on my blog, Storied Adventures

*I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Likes: The world, the magic, the story itself, the ending.

Dislikes: The word 'Hate' is used every other page. I get it. They hate the MC the MC hates them. It was very repetitive. I did not like Sigourney at all. She acted like she was the good guy because she is an islander and she's a better slave master than the pale skinned Fjern and she feels guilty when she KILLS her own
Christine Sandquist (eriophora)
This review and others can be read on my blog, Black Forest Basilisks. Thank you to Orbit for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Queen of the Conquered is a fearless new addition to the SFF world, tackling issues such as salvery, colonialism, and the structures that perpetuate bigotry from within. Kacen Callender, formerly known as and published under Kheryn Callender, doesn’t flinch and holds no punches as he discusses these issues in a gritty, hands-on manner. He does not shy
Leah Rachel von Essen
Sep 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Queen of the Conquered by Kacen Callender features a lush, cinematic, violent world. In their adult fantasy debut, Callender writes of a Caribbean-inspired land where kongeligs (nobles) war, feud, and kill for power, ruling over enslaved islanders and quelling rebellions. Sigourney Rose is a black islander, but she is also a kongelig. When she was young, the leaders of this place killed her entire family: she hopes to take the throne using her kraft of mind reading and control, and get revenge ...more
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