A mortal's dream to be a queen of the fae... Mortal Queens by Victoria McCombs (Review & #Giveaway) #newbooks #booktwitter #yalit #yabooks #fantasy @enclavebooks @celebrate_lit

Welcome to my tour stop! Read my review and enter the giveaway below...

Mortal Queens
(The Fae Dynasty #1)
By Victoria McCombs
YA Fantasy
Hardcover, Audiobook & eBook, 320 Pages
February 6, 2024 by Enclave Escape 


They vanish without a trace, disappear into the night…

Each year on the center island, one girl is chosen to be the next Mortal Queen of the idolized fae. The mortals praise these lucky girls, but their daughters are never seen again.

The fae realm is eternal night, where disputes are settled by chess matches, power is acquired through the most devious kinds of trickery, and seven illusive kings roam. The fae hide their faces behind masks and guard their glass hearts to keep them from shattering. But beyond the veil of this luxurious paradise, a dark secret simmers, for their Queens have disappeared.

When aspiring artist Althea is selected, she is desperate to avoid the same mysterious fate. With no one to trust, she conceals messages in paintings and receives anonymous replies from a stranger who slowly reveals the tale of a girl who outwitted the fae. Only if she is clever enough will Althea survive the fate of the Mortal Queens. As long as the king who cannot love does not claim her first.

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My Review

MORTAL QUEENS is a story about a girl's dream coming true and how that dream turns into a nightmare when she finds out not all is as she assumed. It's about friendship, family, romance, deception and truth all set in a vivid fantasy world of the fae. Fans of young adult fantasy and fae stories will find much to love about this book.

I liked these characters as well as the premise from the start. Althea is someone who has had to fight for her family's survival ever since losing her mom years ago, even though her dad remains. She has grown up with fanciful stories of the fae from her mom and an equal amount of stories of warning from her dad, but just like all maidens on her island, she hopes to one day be chosen as a mortal queen of the fae. I liked how she cared for her brothers and how she bravely accepted her fate at the beginning. Of course things change when she realizes everything isn't as she thought and the tricks, traps, and games begin in the fae world. The other characters were interesting as well. I really loved the fae world that the author created and how there is an underlying reason for these mortal queens. I liked the constant back and forth with the fae as they aren't human and aren't generally trustworthy. The magic, hierarchy and fantasy world were all interesting as well. There is plenty of mystery as readers follow Althea on her journey to self discovery and to find answers as she navigates this new world. There is also a bit of romance that is a bit of a slowly drawn out instantaneous love.

There were a few things I would have liked developed more. The characters and the fae especially as a people weren't consistent. The author portrays them a certain way and then contradicts that at several points, so it was a bit confusing as a reader to be told something and see them act one way and then in the next breath be completely vulnerable which didn't fit. The heroine is also said to have been prepared by her dad with specific skills but somehow doesn't use any of them nor is prepared for what she faces. I felt like a lot of that needed to be worked through and developed so that things were consistent. I also was frustrated by answers and reasoning never being given. Some things were alluded to and then never visited again. She's told all sorts of incorrect stories and lies, but also told that certain people wouldn't lie who tell her those things, so none of it is reliable. Other things were constantly hinted at but when the heroine was given an opportunity to be aided, she was answered with more questions and teasing instead of straight answers. It's a pet peeve of mine when stories won't answer questions even if it makes logical or genuine sense to do so just to push forward a plot and take up a whole book. Kind of like when a mom has a magical daughter but won't tell her she's magical or prepare her for an enemy that hunts her just so that the main character is kept in the dark and so that the story can be stretched. It has never made sense to me, especially as I am a parent and would never see that as benefiting my child.

In the end, was it what I wished for? I am a fan of stories with fae and this one intrigued me. I enjoyed the overall idea, the fantasy world, and generally liked the characters. I wanted more development in certain areas, but am still planning on finding out what happens in book two.

Content: Some innuendo and violence, but clean.
Source: I received a complimentary ARC from NetGalley through Celebrate Lit, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Victoria McCombs is the author of YA fantasy books such as The Storyteller’s Daughter and The Royal Rose Chronicles. She lives in Omaha, Nebraska with her husband and three children. Her days are filled with coffee, reading, golfing, board games, and homeschooling the littles.

More from the Author

There are several parties thrown in the fae realm, so today I’ll be sharing a party favorite recipe! I’ve had strangers reach out years after a party to ask for this recipe, and it’s so simple to make!

Cucumber Party Sandwiches

Ingredients: One French loaf (the thinner, the better. It will be topped with a cucumber.)

1-2 cucumbers

8 oz cream cheese

½ cup mayo

1 package dry Italian dressing

We’d always buy the French loaf in a roll that you bake like crescent rolls, however I’ve struggled to find them recently, so I just buy the premade bread. However you acquire your bread, you’ll want it cooked and sliced into inch thick pieces.

Cut medium-thick slices of cucumber

Combine the cream cheese, mayo, and dry Italian dressing.

Spread the mixture over the bread, then top with cucumber. May garnish with pepper if desired. Done!

Tour Schedule

The Lofty Pages, February 24

Texas Book-aholic, February 25

Wishful Endings, February 26

Book Looks by lisa, February 28

Fiction Book Lover, March 6 (Spotlight)

Simple Harvest Reads, March 7 (Guest Review from Mindy)

Guild Master, March 8 (Spotlight)

Tour-Wide Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Victoria is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Have you read any of this author's other books? Are you a fan of stories with fae? Will you be reading this one?

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