Review + Playlist: The Queen Will Save You, by Sarah Henning
THE QUEEN WILL BETRAY YOU, by Sarah Henning
Imprint: Tor Teen
Publication Date: July 6th, 2021
Page Count: 352 pages
Content Warnings: gore and blood, people being burned alive
*I received an e-arc from Netgalley and Terminal Tours free of charge, and my opinions are completely my own.*
Survive the battle, win the war.
The breathtaking sequel to The Princess Will Save You in the Kingdoms of Sand and Sky duology — a brilliantly-executed YA fantasy homage to The Princess Bride.
After a thousand years of political stability, the realm of The Sand and Sky is up for grabs. Four kingdoms, four rulers vying for the ultimate prize, sovereignty over the entire continent: A ruthless old king spinning webs, whose schemes encompass generations. A widowed queen whose only credo is all kings must die. A runaway queen whose unexpected return upends everyone’s plans. And a prince-in-waiting determined to wait no more.
Standing against them are a dispossessed princess and her stableboy love with a surprising claim of his own. Their only hope in the face of unspeakable betrayals, enemies hidden in the shadows, and insurmountable odds is the power of true love...
When I finished The Princess Will Save You, I wasn't sure just how Sarah Henning could top it and possibly continue the story in a meaningful way. I am so glad to be writing this now, absolutely admitting with glee that I was so so so wrong! The Queen Will Betray You is the perfect sequel, acting as if it is just the next chapter in the Kingdom and Sky series - you almost can't tell if it is inherently a sequel. The character development that was seemingly complete in the first book is furthered even more and you grow to love and root for every character (even Taillefer!) If you do one good self-care thing this week, make it grabbing a copy of The Queen Will Betray You.
I love just how much Henning makes The Queen Will Betray You all about feminism and dispatching the patriarchy, while also showing how someone can become a villain outside of those beliefs. Ines and Geneva are such beautiful contrasts to Amanrande and Luca - we can see the past reflected in the choices that the two lovers contemplate. It then becomes easier to see just how easy it is to wind down the wrong road and how different the two sides in how they chose to react.
What is my number one love language? Making playlists about the books I am obsessed with, of course! This particular playlist, I focused more on character exposition and particular moments/events in The Queen Will Betray You. Some examples include:
Amarande: Castle - Halsey
The gritty anger and defiance that Halsey sings in Castle matches Amarande's feelings about the council and those who stand in her way.
Luca: Everything I Ever Thought - Zachary Levi
I felt that the wondering ballad that Flynn Rider sings in Tangled the Series could also be sung by Luca as he learns more about his history and just how involved King Sendoa was.
Ferdinand: Numb - Linkin Park
Ferdinand is constantly manipulated by everyone around him - the lyrics of Numb speak immediately to that (I'm tired of being what you want me to be/Feeling so faithless, lost under the surface/Don't know what you're expecting of me/Put under the pressure of walking in your shoes).
Taillefer: Hans of the Southern Isles - John Riddle
As we learn more about Taillefer, he becomes more human and easy to relate to. Being the younger sibling and overshadowed - who hasn't felt like that? It brings to mind when Hans is discussing being the 13th son of a king and how he doesn't matter in the long run.
Ines: Look What You Made Me Do - Taylor Swift
Ines is a gaslight-gatekeep-girlboss if I have ever seen one. I refuse to answer any further questions.
Geneva: I Will Prevail - Kate Shindle
Geneva is ready to kill and fight anyone who gets in her way, much like the Mad Hatter in the Broadway show Wonderland. This song encompasses all of the self-justification and willingness to do whatever it takes to succeed.
Check out the entire playlist below:
Are you still not sure about reading The Queen Will Betray You? Well, if you like these books:
The Princess Bride, by William Goldman (duh!)
The Gilded Ones, by Namina Forna
Serpent & Dove, by Shelby Mahurin
Shielded, by KayLynn Flanders
Then you’d definitely want to grab a copy of The Queen Will Betray You!
Excited to read The Queen Will Betray You yet? I am too! No need to wait, thank goodness - The Queen Will Betray You is out TODAY! You can get a copy from your local bookstore or library, or you can get a copy online. Click on these buy links and you can get your own copy at the following links:
Many thanks to Terminal Tours for allowing me to join the The Queen Will Betray You book tour! You can check out the rest of the tour stops on their Tour Schedule webpage.
Sarah Henning is a recovering journalist who has worked for the Palm Beach Post, Kansas City Star and Associated Press, among others. While in South Florida, Sarah lived and worked through five hurricanes, which gave her an extreme respect for the ocean. When not writing, she runs ultramarathons, hits the playground with her two kids and hangs out with her husband Justin, who doubles as her long-suffering IT department. Sarah lives in Lawrence, Kansas, which, despite being extremely far from the beach, happens to be pretty cool.