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The Hedgewitch Queen by Lilith Saintcrow REVIEW

The Hedgewitch Queen by Lilith Saintcrow (Hedgewitch #1)


Synopsis from Goodreads
Vianne di Rocancheil is a lady waiting at the Court of Arquitaine, where she studies her books, watches for intrigue, and shepherds her foolhardy Princesse through the glittering whirl. Court is a sometimes-unpleasant waltz, especially for the unwary, but Vianne treads its measured steps well.

Unfortunately, the dance has changed. Treachery is afoot in gilded and velvet halls. A sorcerous conspiracy is unleashed, with blood, death, and warfare close behind. Vianne must flee, carrying the Great Seal of Arquitaine with her. This is the one thing the conspirators need to rule, and they won’t rest until they have it. A life of dances, intrigues, and fashion has not prepared Vianne for this. Nor has it prepared her for Tristan d’Arcenne, Captain of the King’s Guard and player in the most dangerous games conspiracy can devise. Yet to save her country and avenge her Princesse, Vianne will become what she must and do whatever is required.

A Queen can do no less.

 Amazon kindle | Amazon UK kindle

* * *
You know I love Lili's writing, right? This year she managed to round up nicely two of her series - Jill Kismet and Strange Angels, so I'm eagerly awaiting what she'll come up with next.

I loved The Hedgewitch Queen for two reasons - it's a fantasy very much akin to Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder - dark enough, brutal enough with a strong female protagonist who presses all the right buttons for me :) Second reason is that despite being fantasy it's not too long, I've read it in few hours and was really shocked by how abruptly it ended. I want MORE and I want it NOW!

What did I like about Vianne? She is a medicine woman, a healer, so self-sacrificing is a must. She comes off as pretty weak in the beginning, but there are good reasons for it. She fight her destiny because she doesn't want people to die for her, and she cries and faints a lot because her body is totally wrecked with fever induced by enemy's sorcery. 

As soon as our lady comes to terms with what she is and what needs to be done, she turns to be pragmatic, ruthless and Machiavellian enough so it's an absolute pleasure to read about her. She doesn't let men dictate her what to do and she goes with her instincts no matter what. You go, girl!

Tristan on the other hand is classic Valek, assassin of the previous King with his own agenda, he is dark, cold-blooded and pretty bloodthirsty. Vianne as far as I can see is his only weakness. That man will do anything for the girl, in fact he had a crash on her for years, but was too afraid to openly show his feelings.

Funnily enough despite all the men in Vianne's life she is the one who ends up saving everyone's ass over and over again. Classy. She really doesn't need all the knights in shining armour, and it filled me with glee to no end.

So yeah, not going into the plot itself so I won't give you any spoilers. All you need to know, - it's fast, pretty straightforward and quite realistic. This is no fairy tale.

* * *
Превосходное фэнтэзи от Лили Сэйнткроу во многом сродни Touch of Power Марии Снайдер.

Вианн ди Роканчель - аристократка и знахарка, которая оказывается невольно замешана в заговор и убийство королевской семьи. Убегая из дворца вместе с остатками королевской гвардии она пытается исполнить обещание, данное умирающей принцессе - доставить королевскую печать последним союзникам короля.

Только вот королевские гвардейцы считают её новой королевой, так как печать признаёт её как последнего наследника престола из-за её сомнительных кровных узов как дочки бастарда королевской семьи.

Вианн кажется сначала довольно слабой героиней, которая плачет и постоянно падает в обморок. Однако на то есть свои причины. Во-первых, она противится судьбе изо всех сил, потому что не хочет, чобы из-за неё началась гражданская война. Как знахарю, ей это невыносимо. Во-вторых, враждебная магия  оставляет после себя лихорадку, от которой она избавляется только к середине книги. На самом деле, как только она принимает свою судьбу, Вианн показывает насколько хладнокровной, прагматичной и хитроумной она может быть, и несмотря на всех мужиков, которые пытаются ей указать, что делать она доверяет только своим инстинктам. Причём, классически для Лили, с огромным количеством в округе рыцарей в блестящих доспехах, именно Вианн вытаскивает их задницы из неприятностей снова и снова, над чем я постоянно хихикала.

Тристан мне чем-то напомнил Валека. Ассассин на службе у короля, он холоден, безжалостен и довольно кровожаден. С другой стороны, Вианн - его единственная слабость, что вполне понятно, ведь он был в неё тайно влюблён годами и всё никак не решался объясниться в своих чувствах.

В общем-то, книга не длинная, концовка шокирует своей неожиданностью, действия навалом, и всё довольно реалистично. Очень хочу продолжения прямо сейчас. Читайте!



Marg @ Clockwork Reverie said...

I've read the first 3 books in the Strange Angels series and quite enjoyed them. But I was not at all aware of this book/series. I think Lilith Saintcrow is good at writing complex, intriguingly flawed heroines. So, I think I'm gonna have to consider giving this one a try. However, I will admit that I'm a bit hesitant since I was never able to really get into Kristin Cashore's or Maria V. Snyder's fantasy series, which this book seems reminiscent of.

kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews said...

You might want to download a sample from Amazon kindle and see if you like it first, Marg. I certainly found the ambiguity of male characters here similar to Maria Snyder, and it's the same type of simplified fantasy as Snyder and Cashore, but I like them both so for me it wasn't an issue.

Giselle said...

Oh I love this cover! I've never read anything by this author but I keep hearing she is just great I have to pick one of her books up soon! This sounds like a great one to start with! Awesome review!

Xpresso Reads

Bex said...

Ohh, definitely like the sound of this one! Similar to Touch of Power, huh? o: That sounds great. Absolutely loved that one! Yet another book you've made me super curious about! Lol. Great review. *goes to check out*

Jenny said...

Yeah!!! Love a girl that doesn't need a knight in shining armor! I haven't read anything by Lilith Saintcrow which is clearly a travesty and one I need to fix immediately. Thanks for such a fantastic review!

Ailsa said...

I'm hoping to read this book soon! :)


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