It is genuinely interesting that my own novel – though it takes place over a hundred years in the future of this one, shares similarities with my own. I rarely see any other books with the same combination of tropes, mechanics and world building methods as my own, until I picked this book up.
And not only does this author have good taste, but she can tug your heartstrings like crazy.
I was given an Advanced Reader Copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much to the author for giving me this!
This story centres around interracial couple Sam and Annabelle as they leave their hometown, whom wish to keep them apart, and they head further North in early 20th century America to start their life anew. Then after a visit to a lake, Sam finds a mark of three roses on his arm and a nauseating pain in his body. Annabelle, desperate to save him, seeks out the bizarre thread of a nearby Oracle to help him. Little do they know what threatens to keep them apart and what world is falling deeper into the clutches of a tyrant.
This novel was very refreshing with its use of tropes. But the one I find most refreshing (minor spoiler I guess) is that the homewrecker is the villain. Typically at the start of a series when there is a couple in a relationship involving one or more main characters, you can predict that it won’t last. But Aldridge comes in with a very loyal and very sweet couple who fights to stay together – and thus far succeeds! The loyalty this couple held laced this story together and tied it off with a cute little bow.
The narrative structure was also new and refreshing. It’s a setup that makes much sense for the story and the introduction of the worlds involved, and one that didn’t feel too campy or stereotypical. Unorthodox narrative structures are hard to pull off, but Aldridge does it very well. I will however say that the third act didn’t feel completely third-act-y and it relieved tension I would have rather had (a phrase I thought I never would’ve said). I wasn’t quite on the edge of my seat and was waiting for a darkest moment that never came.
Speaking of dark, let’s talk about the world. While it featured largely a glimpse of a small section of Taegaia, that glimpse was very well established. A magic system well introduced and explained to plot relevancy combined with stunning visual descriptions of the world with strong vibe checks. The mood was extremely well set in this novel. Especially in Taegaia, the use of mood within environments and settings was incredible and added so much more to each scene.
These characters were fantastic, but I have to give special credit to the villain. For some reason, in many books I have read the villain is the weakest written character that falls into selfish stereotypes that fail to make an impact. Queendom of Chaos’s villain is anything but. They were introduced as a threat and retained that air constantly to the point where I was in awe of their power and sway. Most prominent was their charm – or anti-charm. They weren’t likeable from an interpersonal perspective, but they could intimidate just by walking. That’s a great villain.
But what definitely made me rate it so high is how this novel isn’t even out yet and I want the sequel. WHEN’S IT COMING OUT, MEGAN?
Queendom of Chaos gets a score of 4.5/5. Screw all those homewreckers.
Yours in writing