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Queen of the Conquered

(Islands of Blood and Storm #1)

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  1,308 ratings  ·  389 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 massac
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. (Som…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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Average rating 3.53  · 
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Start your review of Queen of the Conquered (Islands of Blood and Storm, #1)
Apr 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

TW: slavery; suicidal imagery and ideation; mentions of rape; lynching

This book is a brutal exploration of slavery, privilege, and revenge. Although slow to start (which is what bumped it down a half star), this turned into political intrigue, mixed with the rage against colonialism, and a Clue-like murder mystery set in Caribbean inspired island setting. If you want your characters to be likable or have strict morals, you aren’t going to find that here. This wasn’t like anything I’ve
Nenia ✨️ I yeet my books back and forth ✨️ Campbell

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

Hey, my friends! It's 6/17 and it's on sale today for $1.99! Make like a rabbit and get hopping!

I'm doing a project for Black History Month where I'm trying to read as many books by black and biracial authors as possible. Most of the ones I've done so far have been realistic fiction, but QUEEN OF THE CONQUERED is fantasy. I'd read some of Kacen Callender's work before, but their style is much, much different here than it was in KING AND
☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣
TLDR? Here's the short version of this increadibly stupid dialogue:

Me: I don't like racism. I think people who are racists are stupid idiots. I think the book has the following weak points, though. Nevertheless, I will rate the book higher than I should for making a go at addressing the problem of racism.
POC1: No! How come you're saying that? You insensitive tone-deaf shit!
Me: Whoa? Well, I just have no idea how people can think racist stuff: it's so obv
chan ☆
Jul 17, 2020 added it
Shelves: 2020, on-pause
on pause for now, definitely interested in the story and will revisit. just not a fan of the audiobook and don't have a physical copy of this rn. ...more

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.
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 an ...more
Holly (Holly Hearts Books)
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review-copies
"Focus on yourself and your ambitions and soon you'll find that you care not what a single person thinks." ...more
"They would rather burn the throne to the ground than let you sit on it.”
“Then I’ll sit on its ashes.”

Spoilers follow, as well as trigger warnings for sexual violence. The entirely of this review will be on the subject of slavery and colonialism as well.

So What's It About? (From Goodreads)

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 massacred and enslaved generat
Tomoe Hotaru
Jan 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
09 Jan. '20
Read my review for King of the Uprising

“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
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! ...more
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 high
Apr 06, 2019 marked it as owned-tbr
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!
Oct 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: aoc, audiobook
☆ 4 / 5 ☆

Sigourney is the last surviving member of the Rose family of Hans Lollik and is seeking revenge for the murder of her family. Her goal is to make it on the throne of the country and beat the colonisers to it through careful planning and the use of her craft, an ability to read and control minds. However, contenders for the throne seem to be dying one by one and suspicion is cast on Sigourney as an outsider. She has to carefully make her way through the colonial politics of the island, t
Lady H
Feb 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020
Well, this was absolutely intense. It definitely took a turn I wasn't expecting, with a pretty superb twist coming in at the end.

Some thoughts:

★ Initially, when I read that Sigourney could read and control minds, I was a bit apprehensive, as I thought this would make her an all-powerful agent of chaos. I thought of Kilgrave, from Jessica Jones, who terrifies most people who meet him. But Sigourney isn't that powerful; her power requires focus and exertion and she can only control one person at
Apr 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2020
A beautiful cover and intriguing premise that held only lacklustre results within its pages.

This Caribbean inspired fantasy was on my radar for a while and I was so interested in reading this book. However, our protagonist falls flat from what I imagine the author wants us to view her as, whilst the plot and intrigue don’t really exist for the majority of the book. She comes across incompetent and helpless, not the heroine I imagined.

The secondary characters were better written and far more int
Holly (The Grimdragon)
“I’m afraid to die before I’ve experienced my reason for life.”

Queen of the Conquered is the beginning of a new series by Kacen Callender. It’s also their adult fiction debut.

This took me far too long to read after Orbit had sent a copy my way. For that, I’m kicking myself for not prioritizing this sooner. A wonderful readathon came to my attention, which was organized during Pride Month to honor Black queer books. Black lives are being erased in queer conversations and the #QueerBlackathon 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
Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
DNF at page 50. This hurts my heart. I wanted to love this so much.
Sabreena - Books and Prosecco
Queen of the Conquered

Stars: ⭐️⭐️

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 w
Para (wanderer)
DNF 30%

I was excited to read a fantasy book that touches on colonialism and slavery, but it just didn't work out in the end. I found it interesting enough on an intellectual level, the commentary on racism was excellent...but the plot failed to grab me. I didn't care. I understood very quickly that Sigourney is meant to be an intentionally unsympathetic villain protagonist, but currently, I need emotional attachment if I want to read on and here I had none. Her constant complaining about how nob
CF Dracarys
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
His writing is so beautiful!
Kathryn Speckels (Metaphors and Miscellanea)
This dark, brutal fantasy explores the pains of colonialism through a deeply flawed protagonist, caught between the aristocracy she is permitted to be a part of and the colonized people she is related to. Caught in this liminal space, Sigourney Rose's identity is largely based on self-hatred, feelings she has adopted from those around her: the nobles, who hate her because of the color of her skin, and the islanders, who hate her because they feel she has abandoned them and will do nothing to hel ...more
laurel [the 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
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 whic
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
I have so many thoughts on Sigourney Rose. Callender definitely gave us a new take on a familiar narrative; yes her main character can be the villain for all intents and purposes: willing to do whatever it takes to get the vengeance she has sought, while also harbouring thoughts of eventual freedom for her people, while selfishly thinking that her people will rejoice when she is queen, while also not giving more reflection to the fact that she has had quite a world of difference in her upbringin ...more
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 throu
Feb 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book starts out slow and at times repetitive, but all the world and character building are worth it when the action at last swells towards the book's riveting conclusion, an ending that wraps up much but left me tantalize for the sequel. ⁣

Queen of the Conquered takes on a story of colonization and slavery in a Caribbean inspired world, complete with an intriguing magic concept called kraft. Sigourney is the only free islander, the lone survivor of the massacre of her entire family by the j
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Kacen Callender is a Saint Thomian author of children's fiction and fantasy, best known for their Stonewall Book Award and Lambda Literary Award-winning middle grade debut Hurricane Child. Their fantasy novel, Queen of the Conquered, is the 2020 winner of the World Fantasy Award and King and the Dragonflies won the 2020 National Book Award for Young People's Literature.

Callender is Black, queer, t

Other books in the series

Islands of Blood and Storm (2 books)
  • King of the Rising (Islands of Blood and Storm, #2)

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