Ari's Reviews > Nameless Queen

Nameless Queen by Rebecca  McLaughlin
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it was ok
bookshelves: 2019-reads

** spoiler alert ** description

The premise for Nameless Queen was wonderfully intriguing. But, unfortunately, this novel suffers from the impossible-to-ignore plight of the Mary Sue lead. Coin is amusing, resourceful, intelligent—and has an ability to master things that she has had no experience with before so fast and so well, that is quite difficult to believe. So difficult, in fact, that once you notice it, you can't help but notice all the things that happen around her that are conveniently too...well, convenient.

There is Coin, minding her own business, getting ready to perform a new con as the Nameless that she is, and bam—she receives the crown tattoo that signals her as Seriden's next ruler, and all of a sudden magical abilities that she has never even come across before are as easy for her to access and manipulate as breathing.

She can create illusions, she can influence others' senses, she can see auras. She has such a strong connection to auras, as a matter of fact, that she can even feel them as if they were her own.
People that she has never met before take to her with such ease that it's as if they have known her her entire life. Glenquartz takes two looks at her and he becomes her greatest confidant and bodyguard, even though she is the thing that his class seems to look down upon.
She can call out when she comes across poison just like that *fingers snap*—though we are never told that she has training in such a craft.
Coin enters the palace as a Nameless of the streets, but within one meeting she's a skilled tactician and diplomat.
Bursts of anger that partake in a lot of stabbing sharp things into flat surfaces is met with fear, because our lead is clearly one big bad female and we must not overlook her temper.
Two weeks is all it takes for Coin to be able to drop Glenquartz on his back in sparring, despite him being a skilled soldier...

It goes on, and on, to the point where you basically believe anything else that Coin tells you she's capable of, because, why not—up to his point there is no barrier that she can't overcome. Not even when Esther is dying at the end of the novel and at the near snap of a finger manages to transfer her own crown tattoo to Coin. Such ease, despite someone else being in the process of also obtaining that tattoo.

There's no struggle, no work is done to attain the end of a complex situation, and answers seem to come so simple to these characters. Characters, which sometimes are used as props, thrown into a scene for the purpose of spouting a few lines or doing a few actions that will help drive the plot along, until they are shooed along and tucked away again.

I won't say, however, that all of it was bad. There were things, like Hat, for example, that made this story worthwhile. Despite my mistrust of realism in allowing a child to perform any sort of medical care on a critical patient because she just so happens to be in a medical ward alongside an experience doctor, she's a darling of a character. She's loving, warm, sweet, funny, and she endears the reader to many of the moments that she is around Coin. She's one of the reasons that Coin is appealing—she makes her seem more human and more caring, even as she resists that bond with the little girl.

Belrosa's twist to use a Nameless army was a great addition, although, once again, it was not used to its full potential. Aside from them chasing Coin down after she escapes their training ground, they don't do much. I would have loved to see more glimpses of them, direct ones, not just the behind-the-scene peeks of their burning down houses or dragging away Nameless and making them disappear around the city.

And in a book where building relationships are less than realistic in their swiftness, Esther and Coin's was a breath of fresh air. Yes, it should happen just as it does, that the young women do not like each other. Yes, Esther should be suspicious and snappy at Coin considering their backgrounds. Yes, they should resist whatever warmth they feel for each other at the beginning, even once it's revealed that they're sisters. That was excellent, that was real, that was progress.

The end was a two-way street. I thought it ingenious that Coin locks Belrosa into her own mind, essentially, as a way to beat her. But the duels come and go in the blink of an eye. Once more, we have an opportunity for something to go through a process so that it grows and builds, but it gets cut short. And while part of me went a little nuts having Coin's name dangled before me then snatched up again, I can't help but enjoy that we still don't know who she was born to be. She may be the type of character that knows all and can do all, but having her be the person her experiences have shaped her out to be, rather than whoever she was christened as, portrays her as a more likable being.

Not only that, but not showing a romance arc for the lead was fortifying. In a genre where romance—especially love triangles—are so well used for the plot, the fact that the author did not lean on this other than a few very coy and subtle hints that never panned out to be anything else, was commendable.

Regardless of whatever faults were found, due to how the novel ends, I can't help but want to know what is to come. If nothing else, the open-ended story leaves you with enough questions that you continue to seek answers for them. Smart.
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Reading Progress

December 16, 2019 – Started Reading
December 16, 2019 – Shelved
December 17, 2019 –
December 18, 2019 –
December 19, 2019 –
December 21, 2019 – Shelved as: 2019-reads
December 21, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-6 of 6 (6 new)

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Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell Ugh this was such a disappointment

message 2: by Ari (new) - rated it 2 stars

Ari Nenia ⚡ Aspiring Evil Overlord ⚡ wrote: "Ugh this was such a disappointment"

Yes, and it's such a shame.

message 3: by Robyn (new)

Robyn Oh no, it's on my to-read list😔

message 4: by Ari (new) - rated it 2 stars

Ari Robyn wrote: "Oh no, it's on my to-read list😔"

I say still give it a tiny shot. You never know :)

message 5: by Somia (new)

Somia hope your next read is better

message 6: by Ari (new) - rated it 2 stars

Ari Somia wrote: "hope your next read is better"

Thank you, Somia :)

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