Isabella's Reviews > The Sea Queen

The Sea Queen by Linnea Hartsuyker
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it was amazing

I adored this book. I absolutely love Linnea Hartsuyker's writing style and I felt like she got into her stride and was more confident with it in her second book. Her descriptions are enthralling and in this second book, I enjoyed that we got to explore minor characters like Oddi and Sigurd more deeply.

It is not often that I enjoy a sequel more than the original but I found that the plot was much more inventive (although I do love an old-fashioned avenging one's father coming of age story when it's written well and has as much action as The Half-Drowned King). It would good to see the plot branch out to a more so that the second book wasn't just a less good rehashing of the same storyline.

I am a firm believer that Linnea Hartsuyker is one of the best writers of battle scenes out there. I love action-filled plots but often find that most battle scenes are more or less the same as others. I read through them with only excitement to see which characters survive, not actually interested in the details of the battle. However in all of Hartsuyker's books the battle scenes are inventive and exciting. They take place on boats and use tactics that are surprising but also don't seem ridiculous. Her battle scenes are both exciting and realistic and they were just as good in the Sea Queen.

One of the things that I loved about this book was its focus on women and women's roles in society. It was really refreshing to have a focus on female characters and the struggles they face (losing children to illness, multiple pregnancies close to each other, being vulnerable in the house when all the men are away raiding). I especially appreciated seeing female characters who were married and had children having a voice in the story. I feel like most books in this genre focus on stories with primarily men or focus on unmarried women and often end the story soon after they are married. I also appreciated having female character that were different to each other and the author not using these differences to put one of them down as weak and conforming. Svanhild was determined to go into battle whereas Hilda was a traditional wife and both these characters were represented in the story without representing either option as bad.

The main thing that I appreciated about this book was that the fact that it was more mature. I don't mean that there were any more racy scenes than in the first but more that the character's themselves matured. This book was about what happens after the happily-ever-after, after you've won the battle and your land. It's about juggling family and duty and destiny. In so many books in this genre we only see young people who are willing to die for their cause, we rarely see the complexity that comes in when they're married and have family and still have causes they feel are worth fighting for.

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Reading Progress

May 4, 2018 – Shelved
May 4, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
August 9, 2018 – Started Reading
August 11, 2018 – Finished Reading

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