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The Crow Queen (Eagles and Crows #2) by Melanie Karsak: A Book Review

The Crow Queen (Eagles and Crows #2)
Author: Melanie Karsak
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Clockwork Press
Release Date: December 5, 2023
Pages: 267
Source: This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: A queen at war.

      A love woven by the gods.

     The looming shadow of darkness to come.

     Britain, AD 38, When destiny crowns Cartimandua queen of the Brigantes, she inherits not just the rule of her ancient tribe but an imminent war. Seeking to take advantage of the upheaval amongst the Brigantes, the Parisii tribe strikes.

     Cartimandua’s enemies soon discover the new Brigantes queen wears a crown of thorns and talons. Carti has no time to waste on petty squabbles. The Cailleach whispers of a looming threat from the south. Wielding ruthless strategy and strength, Cartimandua acts quickly to secure her hold on the north before an even worse darkness descends.

     But even amongst the shadows, there’s a ray of light. Her new alliance with the Votadini tribe finds her engaged to the enigmatic Prince Cormag. Their bond offers a glimmer of hope for a bright future. Yet, as they carve out a life together, Carti cannot escape the echo of an old love.

To navigate the darkness looming on the horizon, Cartimandua must hold onto her throne and her heart with an iron grip. Can she protect her tribe and family from the rising storm?

     From New York Times bestselling author Melanie Karsak comes The Crow Queen, depicting the life of Celtic Queen Cartimandua of the Brigantes during the second Roman invasion.

     My Review: The Crow Queen picks up where The Blackthorn Queen left off. Cartimandua is now the rightful heir of the Brigantes. In order to be crowned Queen, Cartimandua must pass Cailleach's trial. Yet, passing the trial is the least of Cartimandua’s worries. There are threats of a looming war and the invasion of the Romans. Could Cartimandua be strong to protect her people?

     In The Blackthorn Queen, Cartimandua was a grief-stricken and naive princess. In this sequel, Cartimandua must learn how to rule as a Queen. Queen Cartimandua has to put her people’s interests above her own. I really love Cartimandua. She has to make many difficult sacrifices, including her heart. As the novel progresses, she is wondering if she is no longer the girl she once was. Even her identity has changed. Everyone around her only sees her as the Queen of Brigantes and rarely calls her by her own name. Therefore, Queen Cartimandua is not only trying to do what’s right for the people, but also is trying to find her own identity. She is transitioning into a young and naive Queen into a very strong and capable ruler! I can’t wait to see what happens to her in the next installment!

     Overall, this novel is about duty, identity, and love. All of the characters seemed very realistic and complex. The setting of Ancient Scotland is very beautiful and full of historical detail. I love how Mrs. Karsak has interwoven Celtic mythology into Queen Cartimandua’s tale! The Crow Queen was a very magical, lyrical, and enchanting take on this forgotten but important queen! The story was short and very fast-paced! I was so enthralled by the first page that I read it in one sitting! My only complaint was that I wish that it was longer! That means that I have to wait a few more months to find out what happens to Queen Cartimandua! How I wish the next installment, Queen of the Hollow Hills would release immediately! Nevertheless, the Eagles and Crows series must not be missed! I recommend this for fans of Mists of Avalon, The Horse Goddess, and The Lost Queen!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


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