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Queen's Hunt (River of Souls, #2)
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Queen's Hunt

(River of Souls #2)

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  208 ratings  ·  36 reviews
Queen's Hunt is the second title in Beth Bernobich's River of Souls novels, following her startling debut, Passion Play. Filled with dark magic and sensual images, this is fantasy writing at its best.

Ilse Zhalina has left to start a new life in a garrisoned fort, leagues from her estranged lover, Raul Kosenmark. The violent quarrel that ended Ilse and Raul's relationship w
Hardcover, 332 pages
Published July 17th 2012 by Tor Books
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3.47  · 
Rating details
 ·  208 ratings  ·  36 reviews

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Jan 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Death and rebirth. The eternal contradiction of magic.

Where book 1 of the River of Souls series was an introduction to the world of Ilse Zhalina, Queen's Hunt has spread out to encompass the three warring kingdoms, complete with a number of shiny new perspectives (Raul included). Tensions are higher, there is much more action, and we see reincarnation become much more central to the plot. It's interesting to see how characters' dealings with one another in a past life can affect their dealings i
Patrice Sarath
Jun 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
In Queen's Hunt, Beth Bernobich creates a riveting secondary world inhabited by fully realized characters who wield magic and weapons with equal facility. I was fascinated by the magic system and the world she created. And as a language lover, I was absolutely delighted by the language used to invoke the powers of the magical other world, a Germanic analogue that rivaled Tolkien's created languages. The incantations just beg to be intoned.

Ilse Zhalina, Bernobich's heroine from her first book, Pa
May 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is the second book of the Series and I always have issues with second books. All too often, they suffer from what I call the Bridge Problem, existing only to connect Book One and Book Three. Nonetheless, I waited with great impatience and anxiety for this book to come into my hands, because the first book was so compelling. But to my intense delight this bridge has a story fit to stand alone! It also has several sassy, savvy, feisty female characters at the center of the plot, which just wa ...more
Feb 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-and-sf
Ilse Zhalina's tale continues in Queen's Hunt, and the second River of Souls book lives up to the promise of Passion Play. The tale is expanded to introduce more characters (and more POV), but the author manages to keep juggling all the narrative balls without dropping any.

One of the best parts of the book for me was the development of strong female secondary characters, especially in the scenes where three women are traveling together, depending on each other and their own skills rather than o
C Hellisen
Ahhhhh no! I need the next book stat.
Nerine Dorman
Aug 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Beth Bernobich is one of those authors for whom I’ve developed a serious case of instaluv – so I’m compulsively working my way through her books as and when my reading schedule allows. What I adore about her writing is that she’s unhurried, focusing on the relationships between people and also developing whole characters who not only love, but also maintain interests and aspirations. These elements, of course, get derailed by events not always under their control, which keeps me turning those pa ...more
Apr 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, first-reads
I received this free through Goodreads first reads. I was so excited when I won. I have been waiting for the second book to come out for a while. I loved the first one. This picks up a few months after the first one ended. Ilse and Raul are seperated so she can not be used against him by his enemies. While he is trying to find a way to bring about peace, Ilse is looking for the fabled jewels of Lir, three of the most powerful objects in the world. She hopes to use these to bring about peace as w ...more
May 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I was eager to read Beth Bernobich's second book in her River of Souls series, Queen's Hunt. The first one, Passion Play, introduced the reader to the world of Ilse Zhalina and Raul Kosenmark, a world rife with politics and magic. It was one of those books that you find yourself reading in one sitting, because it is just that good, but also trying to slow down as you reach the last pages, to make it last.

Queen's Hunt picks up right where Passion Play left off. There's been a horrible fight (or h
Apr 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: from-the-fcpl
The second part of the “River of Souls” trilogy. This one was plottier, more of an action-adventure story than the romance of the first one. The use of magic, and the all the various political shenanigans, seemed to make more sense. The creation and reincarnation mythos was still a bit beyond me, though. I would give a B+ for effort, but a C for execution.

I had checked the third book out from the library, but I looked at my To-Read List, had a little talk with myself, and brought it back. You k
Jun 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
I received this as an ARC from Tor Books. I hadn't read the first book in the series, and was concerned that I'd be lost - but I needn't have worried.

This struck me as a good, old-fashioned sword-and-sorcery saga - lots of inter-and-intra-kingdom politics, a great deal of magic, intrigue, soldiers, pointy things, and magical jewels that can make you live forever.

And it's old-fashioned, too, in the way that the sex and violence is never terribly explicit, and the language is never coarse, so yo
Dr susan
Jul 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Although I do not like books with multiple points of view, the flow of Bernobich's story kept them from being annoying. Knowing that at least 4 books are planned, I wait eagerly for #3 (Allegiance) and hope that Ilse and Raul will not have to suffer apart for too much longer.
Allegiance is here, so I am reading Queen's Hunt again. I forgot how easily I lost track of time while visiting with Ilse and Raul.
I also forgot that Queen's Hunt is a story of treachery, joy and grief.
Sep 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Did not go where I expected. It went better! Plot is deliciously complex yet logical. Have not ever seen reincarnation used in such a clever way. It reminds me somewhat of the Fionavar Tapestry with the interesting use of reincarnation, not as a modern retelling/remix of Tolkein.
Jun 08, 2012 rated it liked it
I liked it. It's a very fast read, almost like a short story or novella. The story is exciting and the characters are interesting, I look forward to the next book. I won this book via Goodreads First-reads.
Oct 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
A foggy, hard-to-follow plot and list of characters.
Not much character development.
A nice side romance could have been better developed.
Feb 04, 2019 rated it liked it
3 1/2. I really did enjoy the story, but I found the ending rather unsatisfying (even though there is a third book, which I'm very excited to read!) The way some things were resolved just seemed a little too neat for me. However, I do appreciate this author's view on life, death, and reincarnation. It has been making me think a lot lately, and that is always a wonderful thing for an author to do.

I've heard good things about the third and final book in this series, so I am looking forward to mov
May 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Only realized it was the 2nd in the series upon completing it... so that might be part of why I felt so confused throughout (i.e. how to travel through the otherworlds) :P otherwise, in fairness, I think the storyline was interesting enough but my confusion hindered me from enjoying it further
Mar 12, 2019 rated it liked it
This book had a creative storyline, a little hard to follow with all the characters but other wise a good read.
Jun 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really didn’t have any words to describe how I felt when I finished QUEEN’S HUNT, and I mean this a good way. This series so smart and emotional. It has everything I want in a good fantasy book, including a well developed fantasy world and just enough magic to keep things interesting. Where the first book of the series, PASSION PLAY, was an introduction to the fantasy world and to the main character Ilse, this sequel is more about the war brewing between three major kingdoms and the political ...more
Heather Jones
Nov 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This is the second book in the River of Souls series and is very much a “middle book”. Not in any negative sort of sense. In the same sense that the "set" in volleyball is the middle step in a pass-set-spike sequence. Queen's Hunt takes the plot-ball that has been put in motion in the previous book and positions it ideally for the conclusion.

In a secondary world that evokes but does not mirror certain cultures of Europe’s past, magic and politics drive the plot in a setting where memories and so
Jul 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
I received this through the GoodReads Giveaway.

I have not read the first book in this series, but it was easy to pick up the threads and start the adventure.

I haven't read a book this good in quite some time! It has all the elements that make a great story: love, betrayal, a quest, magic, spies & past lives!

Ilse and Raul have staged a public break up to throw off their enemies. While Raul tries to prevent war via his spy network and political influence, Ilse will try to find a magical stone
Apr 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This is the second book in what I think is a trilogy. I hadn't read the first book, but this sounded intriguing enough to give it a try anyway.

And I have to confess that at the start of the book I was confused a lot. Not knowing what happened in book one, who some of the characters were, and if they were good guys or bad guys, I felt adrift. This being a world where people also remember their earlier lives didn't make it easier. But slowly I learned more about the world, the characters and what
Feb 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Purchased myself - 3.75 stars
Too short.
I loved 'Passion Play,' it was an amazing book, but I feel a bit let down by Queen's Hunt. It was a good solid book but it could have easily been fleshed out and that while a good adventure took place, and the world building continued to be grand, it left me feeling like there should have been more. The character development was sorely lacking, Gerek was almost a wooden character, we did not learn nearly enough about him for him to have such a major role i
Clay Kallam
May 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf-fantasy
I admit the cover’s pretty cheesy, but “Queen’s Hunt” (Tor, $24.99, 332 pages) still deserves attention. It’s book two in a series that began with “Passion Play,” and it’s a typical pre-industrial fantasy with magic and paranormal powers – but just like “Passion Play,” Beth Bernobich takes the familiar and makes it interesting with a combination of strong characterizations, a complex plot and solid writing.

Also on the positive side, “Queen’s Hunt” is more or less a complete book, rather than the
Leigh Kimmel
Nov 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Ilse has settled in at Osterling Keep far from her lover Raul Kosenmark and is still searching for the jewel that might give her country balance in the struggle against the un-aging King Dzavek. When she meets escaped prisoner Queen Valara, who is also invested in keeping the jewel of Lir out of Dzavek’s hands, they join forces, both physically and magically. Can they trust each other is the question on each of their minds. Evading Lord Markus Khandarr is hard for both the girls and for Raul in ...more
Feb 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a hard book to rate. It's just as good as the first book, really, but as it's carrying middle book weight, there are a lot more plot threads being started up and carried along than resolved, which ends up being more frustrating when I don't have the third book to read yet than it would otherwise. And much as I loved most of the characters who got PoV in this book, I was also a bit frustrated by there being so many of them. I just couldn't track all of the names and plots attached to each ...more
Nov 21, 2013 rated it liked it
This book broadens the focus of Passion Play, and introduces more POV characters. I wasn't sure that these characters added anything to the story. It's a good book, which wraps up an arc that I thought would take the whole trilogy, but the pacing was off. The characters spend a lot of time traveling about, meet each other in highly unlikely ways, and make a lot of plans which come to nothing.

Magic plays more of a role in this book, as do past life memories- I liked both these concepts. I'll read
Solid middle book, but if you were hoping for a lot of focus on Raul and Ilse's relationship, well...prepare for disappointment. The minor characters and the overall world issues dominate this story. Maybe the third one will have this focus? But all-in-all, solid plot, interesting places for this to go, some resolution of things brought up in the first book.

Fair warning - the romance here is of the gently-wafting-curtains kind, so if you are here for the steamy erotica, you will be sad.
Jul 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Quick read, but it didn't really feel like a sequel to the first book with the exception of two of the main characters. There are multiple viewpoints this time instead of just the one (or two) that were in the first, and things just seemed to happen a bit too quickly and conveniently.

Definitely entertaining and worth reading, though.
Aug 19, 2016 rated it liked it
This book was much better than the cover art led me to believe. Fairly complex, it seems to have ratcheted up a couple of notches from the first book in terms of characters, complexity, multiple lives stretching across multiple centuries...I always liked the theme of people being made to replay their lives, like a never-ending dance, again and again.
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Beth Bernobich is a writer, reader, mother, and geek. She loves to tell stories.

Other books in the series

River of Souls (3 books)
  • Passion Play (River of Souls, #1)
  • Allegiance (River of Souls, #3)