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The Sea Queen by Linnea Hartsuyker
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really liked it
bookshelves: arcs

3.5 stars rounded up to 4.

Linnea Hartsuyker is back with The Sea Queen, follow up to her Norwegian epic The Half-Drowned King.

I don't want to get too spoilery, so I won't give away much of the plot. The Sea Queen picks up six years after the end of The Half-Drowned King. Ragnvald is king of Sogn but still spends most of his time warring at King Harald's side Svanhild sails with Solvi and their fragile and softhearted son Eystein. Harald still seeks to unite all of Norway under his rule, but Ragnvald yearns to return to Sogn and tend his land. Meanwhile, Solvi is still determined to take back his ancestral throne and defeat Harald. Svanhild worries that his ambition will kill their sickly son, and deep down feels her responsibilities are holding her back from her destiny.

With tragedy and betrayal, politics and war, The Sea Queen is definitely fast paced and complex. The author has obviously done extensive research and fully immerses the reader in 9th century Norway. The main characters experience relatable and authentic growth, particularly Svanhild . Her journey is tragic but she emerges stronger and empowered.

My only negative remark would be that the author's writing style is a bit...detached, I guess? She doesn't delve too deeply into the character's emotions or thoughts, so you don't feel as connected to the characters. They're well-developed, just not vibrant.

This is the second book of a trilogy, but doesn't end on a cliffhanger. If you love the show Vikings, or enjoy complicated political and historical sagas, then this series is definitely one to read.

*I received an advanced copy of this title for free in exchange for an honest review.


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Reading Progress

June 1, 2018 – Shelved
June 1, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
August 6, 2018 – Started Reading
August 6, 2018 – Shelved as: arcs
August 19, 2018 – Finished Reading

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