3 reasons you’ll enjoy the Queens of Renthia series and The Queen of Sorrow


The Queens of Renthia trilogy by Sarah Beth Durst comes to an end this week with The Queen of Sorrow. Here are three reasons you’ll enjoy it.

About a year ago, yours truly had the chance to look at Sarah Beth Durst’s The Reluctant Queen, the second book in The Queens of Renthia. This year, Harper Voyager sent me The Queen of Sorrow, the final book in the series.

While it may not be as strong as The Reluctant Queen was, this is still a solid fantasy trilogy that fans can enjoy this summer — or as they wait for more Game of Thrones, since Renthia continues to be a bit more like Westeros in that the magical spirits of the land are happy to slaughter humans.

That all being said, let’s get into three reasons to like The Queen of Sorrow.

More couples? More couples.

The Queen of Sorrow isn’t a romance novel by any stretch of the word. It does, however, have romantic subplots. Naelin and Ven, as well as Daleina and Hamon both, make reappearances here, and you’ll meet an LGBTQ couple at some point in the story.

Unfortunately, that third couple’s development seems to mostly happen “offscreen,” if you will. To be fair, they’re not major characters, but it would have been nice to see more of them together. Does it need to be a slow burn? Not necessarily.


The spirits of Renthia may not have necessarily needed an explanation for their behavior, but we get one in The Queen of Sorrow nevertheless. A little mythology about the nature of a world never goes amiss, although the third book of a trilogy seems like a particularly late time to introduce some of the fundamental concepts used here. The conflict itself isn’t a problem; this is, again, a third book, so we expect the clash to be sufficiently monumental. It’s that this seems a little late in the game.

The supporting cast

How on earth did we not get to spend so much time with Headmistress Hanna before? Even though we meet Garnah in previous books as well, the two of them shine through as exceptionally strong supporting characters — perhaps even more complex than Merecot, with whom we spend quite a lot of time, despite her feeling a little flat here.

Daleina and Naelin, too, don’t seem as interesting; Naelin, of course, spends most of the book missing her children, which doesn’t help. Meanwhile, Daleina’s still queen, so she doesn’t do much moving anyway. However, unlike Naelin, she does get to shine through the eyes of others.

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What’s your experience reading The Queens of Renthia?