Queendom of the Seven Lakes by A.B. Endacott
Published: November 15th, 2017
Genre: New Adult, Fantasy
There are always those who are willing to pay for someone else’s death. Having grown up amongst the Family of Assassins, Elen-ai knows well the prices people are willing to pay to see their enemies fall quickly, quietly, and discreetly. When she is asked to preserve life rather than take it, she is surprised. Upon hearing that her charge is the Queen’s only child Gidyon, who is secretly being groomed to succeed his mother, she is horrified. To ensure political stability, no man has ever sat on the throne of the Queendom of the Seven Lakes. Yet one does not easily refuse a Queen, and so reluctantly, Elen-ai accepts the contract. Her fears only deepen upon meeting the sixteen-year-old Prince Gidyon, who treats her as no better than a petty murderer. However, following an attack on his life, Elen-ai is forced to admit that the danger of leaving this boy-prince alone may be even worse than leaving him to his own devices. Elen-ai reluctantly accompanies Gidyon across the country to identify those within the seven most powerful families who are responsible for the attempt on the Prince’s life. Somewhere in their travels from the calm waters of Lake Tak to the looming cliffs above Lake Bertak, the two form an unlikely yet profound friendship, and Elen-ai begins to see that Gidyon has the makings of a great ruler within him. As they meet with the families of power, it becomes increasingly clear that secrets and power games run far deeper throughout the Queendom of the Seven Lakes than either of them ever suspected
*Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
“The mind of a queen is a thing to fear. A queen is used to giving commands, not obeying them; And her rage once roused is hard to appease.”
This story was truly iconic. I am shocked it was a debut. I am always awed when an author writes a five-star debut novel it leaves me with the idea that their stories will just get better. Queendom of the Seven Lakes follows the story of an Assassin named Elen-ai as she accepts Queen Latana’s contract to protect her son, Prince Gidyon, from being killed. I haven’t read a story about an assassin yet and I loved every minute of this. It was thrilling and not romantic. I will not lie I expected a love story and I wasn’t looking forward to it but the author surprised me immensely. We didn’t have to sit through a cliche romance but got to witness a blooming friendship between a guy and girl (yes those are real *GASP* I know.) It was lovely and a different take than I was expecting but a welcome take.
Elen-ai was an awesome character. I want a whole movie on her so I can witness her awesome fighting skills on a big screen. I loved her for many reasons. One she knew her own strength and how powerful/tactful she was. Her aloof nature with people and ability to stay in the shadows was something I liked that we got to see a lot because it made her more authentic as what she was. One of my favorite scenes with her is when she first fights Gidyon and she shows him what’s up. She is smart, calculating, strong, and obviously can kick butt. The queen hires her because she is the most skilled assassin and best to keep him safe. I love the growth in Gidyon. At first, he doesn’t want Elen-ai around and he is arrogant but then we see his bond with her and him grow into a king. And we saw him always look to her and want her around as the story progressed. Their friendship cracked me up a lot and I can’t wait to see more of it in book two.
“My Prince, if I may offer you a piece of advice: beware of the charms of an attractive and interested person. More people have been brought to ruin by lust than I can possibly count.”
The writing and dialogue were really good as well. I think the author did a wonderful job of putting things where they needed to be but furthering the story along. There was dialogue when necessary and description when necessary. I loved the world building as well. It flowed gradually into the story as we saw each of the seven families and different parts of the kingdom. I liked that we got history and knowledge about the kingdom and how it’s run (like why a man was never on the throne, the skills of the Family (Assassins), the different religions, and cultures) in snippets and chunks instead of whole chapters. This made for a fun and exciting story instead of a boring and tedious history lesson. Another thing is how we learned that some people developed gifts from their gods and again it was migrated into the story and not a whole chapter. We were shown these things through the writing and not just told.
Lastly, I loved the pace and plot twists/plot in general. I loved this idea of a female protecting the male and remaining the one with the fighting skill it made it more realistic as she is an assassin. I loved trying to guess who was trying to kill the prince and the queen and as things were unfolding I was figuring things out. Also again how the author was authentic with how Elen-ai figures things out as well and the Prince’s naive nature sometimes. Like about Rania trying to bed him, or the men who were possibly his fathers, and who was the one who planned to kill them. The ending with the Queen left me speechless because it was so left field. It made sense but I was NOT expecting it.
“The true skill of the Family lay not in their ability to take life but to make it seem as though that life had not been deliberately taken.”
Read this story please if you get the chance. It was amazing and deserves more love and hype.