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A Dark Queen Rises

(The Burnt Empire Saga #2)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  138 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Returning to Ashok K. Banker’s brilliant epic fantasy world of the Burnt Empire, A Dark Queen Rises features Aqreen and Krushita, a mother and daughter on a quest to protect the innocent and bring down tyrants.

Queen Aqreen of Aquila leaves her husband Jarsun and flees across the Red Desert. She is determined to keep her daughter from being used by Jarsun to stake his clai
Paperback, 508 pages
Published April 20th 2021 by Mariner Books
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Average rating 4.01  · 
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 ·  138 ratings  ·  38 reviews

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Start your review of A Dark Queen Rises (Burnt Empire Saga, #2)
May 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
CW: graphic violence/gore, body horror, infanticide, drug use


Probably slightly less than a full 5 stars in terms of my personal enjoyment because this book had more battle scenes than the first book, which is just not my personal preference (but I have a feeling I'm probably in the minority here so if you found book 1 a bit slow and not action-packed enough, you'll probably enjoy book 2 more), but this was just such a good follow-up to the first book that I'm just
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
4.0 Stars
This was an enjoyable sequel in this East Indian inspired epic fantasy series filled with action and political intrigue. I did not love it quite as much as the first book but still a very enjoyable read.
I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

After finishing the previous book for this saga, I was really excited to jump into A Dark Queen Rises. Both books were pretty hefty and a lot happened as well. In the beginning, meaning the first book, there was a ton of people to keep track off that it hurt my brain quite easily at times. This time around, it seemed a bit easier for me. Maybe because it's an audio but who knows? It was also really interesting to see how th
Pretty Little Bibliophile
I remember reading UPON A BURNING THRONE, Parts 1 & 2, last year and I really enjoyed them. As such when Simon&Schuster sent me an email regarding this next book in the series, I was quite excited!

The BURNT EMPIRE SAGA is a kind of retelling of the Mahabharata for today's readers. Banker's world is full of a cast of diverse characters, and you often find various parallels between these ones and the original Vyasa's cast. However, Banker's characters although inspired from the original demigods a
May 22, 2021 rated it liked it
Banker continues his lush and vivid adventure across the Burnt Empire, bringing new characters unto the field, fighting for peace and moving parties into place to sweep across the land to assert control and subjugate.

As with Upon a Burning Throne, Jarsun has not let his greed for power subside and has now swayed new apostles to his war. But there are forces massing in order to maintain balance in the empire.

With rich descriptive prose, the landscape and different kingdoms' political and monarchi
May 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to NetGalley and RB Media Recorded Books for the audio ARC of A Dark Queen Rises. It was my choice to read and I'm leaving this review voluntarily.

Goodreads doesn't have the audio version up yet and I don't have the ASIN because I had the audio galley copy.

I read the first one in ebook format and just like I thought when I wrote that review, the audiobook is the way to go with this epic story in The Burnt Empire. The audiobook narrator Vikas Adam does an excellent job creating distinct
Sarmat Chowdhury
Sep 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The second book in the Burnt Empire Saga, Banker returns to Arthaloka and the political machinations of the Krushan dynasty, this time focusing on Krushni, the daugther of Jarsun and Aqreeen, as she escapes from her father and his plans of conquest, and focuses more on the lead up to the confrontation between Jarsun and her, even though he is continuing his expansion of conquest to acquire the Burning Throne.

Much like a similar fashion to his first book, Banker does not allow for the events of
May 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars
May 26, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-and-own
F I N A L L Y finished, ugh so good, it hit a bit of a slump in the middle but really picked up and I raced through the last third. I can't wait to see how everything ties together in the final book. ...more
Rae (Bookmark Chronicles)
Feb 03, 2022 rated it it was amazing
See my review on The StoryGraph ...more
Kylie Q. Rada
Dec 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
4.5 ⭐s. This was, dare I say it, even better than the first one. And no fatphobia?!?!? You go, Glen Coco!!!! I'm v excited to finish out the trilogy. ...more
Krishne Tanneerbavi
Nov 08, 2020 rated it liked it
A dark queen rises is the third part in the series, The Burnt Empire Saga, after Upon a buring throne Part I and Part II.

I greatly enjoyed reading the first two books and I was excited to read this one. Unfortunately, this was a bit of dissappointment.

I'm very intrigued by Mahabharata and love reading different versions and new takes on it. The first two books were fact paced thriller retelling of the Mahabharata. This book just felt too drawn out. It is a 632 page book and took me a lot of tim
I enjoyed parts of this book (including meeting a new villain), but there were a LOT of action scenes which were just ok? and a significant part of this book dragged and was incredibly repetitive to the point that I barely registered when something happened. Definitely not as compelling as the first book (so much for the 5 star prediction) but I'm still interested in how the story will continue. ...more
Jun 11, 2021 rated it liked it
Definite improvement to the first novel.
While I still didn't love this book, I also did not have the partial resentment like I had for the first one.

This can be categorized as a sequel but we follow mostly completely different characters, which was a bit jarring to me, although I did like them a lot more, once I got to know them. I did not necessarily like how we always got a lot of characters for a certain amount of time and then we switched but that was also fine.

The sexism wasn't as prevalent
The saga continues from Upon a Burning Throne and I loved it as much as the first! I love the new twists on this old story that I've known since I was a toddler. Fell in love with Krushita and Drishya and can't wait to see where this goes. Ashok K. Banker has quickly become on of my favorite authors and I look forward to seeing how the Burn Empire Saga ends and read much more by him. ...more
Nimalee  Ravi
May 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Oh wow! This story is full of magic, love and betrayal. I remember my grandfather telling us the story of Mahabharata and this story is similar yet has it's own hold. One of the things I really enjoyed is the way Banker had created a world that is so realistic and entertaining. Absolutely loved the characters and each characters are so defined. I can't say anymore without spoiling the plot so please you really need to read this book. The story ended with a cliffhanger and I can't wait for the ne ...more
Jul 20, 2021 rated it really liked it

CW: domestic abuse, child murder, mentions of rape/sexual assault, war/violence, body horror

Note: please forgive me if my spellings are off, I listened to the audiobook and couldn’t find all the names to double check.

I was unsure about continuing on with this series intially after mixed feelings on the Upon a Burning Throne, however I overall enjoyed this book better than the first. While I think this book isn’t necessarily perfect for me, it is very well executed. The narrative is a lo
Siddhant Agarwal
Sep 25, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2022
Picking up after the events of Upon A Burning Throne, this book focuses on Aqreen and Krushita as they journey to Reygar, and how Jarsun consolidates his power through various alliances. With the plot moving in multiple places, the storyline focuses on Krushita’s journey from a toddler to her awakening of the power within. The storytelling is engaging and while the parallels with the mythological tales are there, the book does stand on its own in terms of the imagery and the complexity of the pl ...more
Epic Girl Reads

A Dark Queen Rises book two of The Burnt Empire. Interesting, chaotic, bloody tale.

The tale takes place in Reygistan Empire, about Krushita the daughter of Jarsun, the evil lord who wants to rule all of the Burnt Empire. All Krushita wants is to end her father’s wrath.

Book two was an improvement from the first book. More action, that’s it!

I had so many “wtf” moments. I have no knowledge about The Mahabharata mythology. But this series is confusing as hell. And maybe this confusion makes i
Erin Crane
Jul 29, 2022 marked it as dnf
I got to about 120 pages in this one and then DNFed. I enjoyed the first book quite a bit despite some writing issues that irked me. It was so fresh and wild and twisty. However, when I finished the first book, I wasn’t sure I cared to continue. I thought it was possible that the first book would be as far as I’d go because the second book wouldn’t be “fresh” in the same way.

This book completely shifts focus and looks at a different cast of characters. Some of them were interesting, but ultimate
Laura Newsholme
Jun 10, 2022 rated it really liked it
This was a really fascinating and epic sequel to Upon a Burning Throne and once I got used to the new characters and setting, I loved it! The idea of a wagon trail caravan that takes seven years to reach its destination is so unique and the found family attached to that caravan is wonderful. I also enjoyed the interaction between Jarsun and Tyrak and found all of the political machinations were deeply satisfying. I am so intrigued to see how the two sides of the world will come together in the c ...more
Apr 19, 2022 rated it it was amazing
So much atmosphere and world building!! Yay! One could feel the sand in the desert and even the otherworldly surroundings between the portals.
I have to admit that at first I was a bit lost in the plot and characters, mostly because I didn't remember all the details from "upon a burning throne" but eventually things came back to me and I was able to make the connections. I enjoyed the character work and mythological elements in "A dark Queen rises" a lot.
Well crafted, love, loss, family and myt
Aug 18, 2022 rated it liked it
While lush and vivid in its prose and worldbuilding, I was a bit disappointed at how pushed back the women in this book were. The title of the book is “A Dark Queen Rises”, and yet we spend a long time focusing on male violence and male conquests. I had to skim pages of Tyrak’s fights at the end of the book because I wanted to see more of Krushni.

I am still looking forward to the finale though (is it true this series was changed from 10/12 books to just three books?!). I’d love to see the princ
May 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: physical-format
EDIT: After finishing this book I and taking a few days to think about my ratings I decided to bump it up from 4 to 4.5 stars. I still stand by my opinion that I enjoyed the first book more (mostly because I enjoyed the characters more). But I still think this story is amazing.

So far I like book one better than this book. Not to say that this book was bad, I just wish we got more chapters the focused on Krushita and Aqreen instead of the many chapters that focused on Tyrak. But that's just
May 18, 2022 rated it it was amazing
YESSS!!!!!! The female power in this book is so good. The imagery is so good and all the settings are so creative and vivid. It is like watching a movie in my head. I like how the author explores motives and choices and how they impact many different lives. Ugh I can't wait for the next one. ...more
Martina (sith acolyte)
Aug 31, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-library
K Saju
Apr 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
Interpreting of the classics in such a delightful way, loved it.
Cassandra Sim
Nov 18, 2021 rated it it was ok
Too much time spent with that stupid Tyrak.
Randy Patton
Sep 24, 2021 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Better than book 1. I will read the next one.
Eevie  Hudson
Feb 01, 2022 rated it it was amazing
4.5 rounded up
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Other books in the series

The Burnt Empire Saga (3 books)
  • Upon a Burning Throne (Burnt Empire Saga, #1)
  • The Blind King's Wrath (Burnt Empire Saga #3)

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