The Vanished Queen
When a country is held in thrall to a vicious, despotic king, it’s up to one woman to take him down.Long ago, Queen Mirantha vanished. King Karolje claimed it was an assassination by a neighboring king, but everyone knew it was a lie. He had Disappeared her himself.But after finding the missing queen’s diary, Anza—impassioned by her father’s unjust execution and inspired by Mirantha’s words—joins the resistance group to overthrow the king. When an encounter with Prince Esvar thrusts her into a dangerous game of court politics, one misstep could lead to a fate worse than death.Esvar is the second son to an evil king. Trapped under his thumb and desperate for a way out, a chance meeting with Anza gives him the opportunity to join the resistance. Together, they might have the leverage to move against the king—but if they fail, their deaths could mean a total loss of freedom for generations to follow.

The Vanished Queen Details

TitleThe Vanished Queen
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 18th, 2020
PublisherGallery / Saga Press
ISBN-139781982141295
Rating
GenreFantasy, Fiction, LGBT, GLBT, Queer

The Vanished Queen Review

  • Nenia ⚔️ Queen of Villainy ⚔️ Campbell
    January 1, 1970
    OK, real talk though, after a slew of some pretty miserable reads, the idea of a fantasy novel where a woman takes down the despotic piece of shit tyrant king sounds like... heaven
  • Beth Cato
    January 1, 1970
    I had the good fortune to be sent a galley of this, and IT IS SO VERY VERY GOOD. Preorder it. Count the days until August.
  • Shehzeen Muzaffar
    January 1, 1970
    Long ago, Queen Mirantha vanished. King Karolje claimed it was an assassination by a neighboring king, but everyone knew it was a lie. He had Disappeared her himself.But after finding the missing queen’s diary, Anza—impassioned by her father’s unjust execution and inspired by Mirantha’s words—joins the resistance group to overthrow the king. When an encounter with Prince Esvar thrusts her into a dangerous game of court politics, one misstep could lead to a fate worse than death.Esvar is the seco Long ago, Queen Mirantha vanished. King Karolje claimed it was an assassination by a neighboring king, but everyone knew it was a lie. He had Disappeared her himself.But after finding the missing queen’s diary, Anza—impassioned by her father’s unjust execution and inspired by Mirantha’s words—joins the resistance group to overthrow the king. When an encounter with Prince Esvar thrusts her into a dangerous game of court politics, one misstep could lead to a fate worse than death.Esvar is the second son to an evil king. Trapped under his thumb and desperate for a way out, a chance meeting with Anza gives him the opportunity to join the resistance. Together, they might have the leverage to move against the king—but if they fail, their deaths could mean a total loss of freedom for generations to follow.oh how would I have loved a map in this book! LIKE GIVE ME A MAP PLEASE?😭 this book was really really good. The worldbuliding really did it for me and the only reason I ended up finishing it because at one point I was going to DNF it because Anza really frustrated me at some point like I get it she is smart and all but what else? TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE CHARACTER's personality! PLEASE!My FAV POV was Queen's pov and it was extremely well written. I also loved the politics in the one the moral compass of how evil is acceptable and how evil is taking it too far!!ARC was provided by netgalley in exchange of an honest review.
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  • Sheila Goicea
    January 1, 1970
    I love the cover for this book (not that it bears any weight on the story within.) However, the beginning of it's synopsis is odd?Long ago, Queen Mirantha vanished. King Karolje claimed it was an assassination by a neighboring king, but everyone knew it was a lie. He had Disappeared her himself.Or is it just me?My Blog ¦ Bookstagram ¦ Twitter ¦ Pinterest ¦ Facebook I love the cover for this book (not that it bears any weight on the story within.) However, the beginning of it's synopsis is odd?Long ago, Queen Mirantha vanished. King Karolje claimed it was an assassination by a neighboring king, but everyone knew it was a lie. He had Disappeared her himself.Or is it just me?My Blog ¦ Bookstagram ¦ Twitter ¦ Pinterest ¦ Facebook
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  • Kelsea
    January 1, 1970
    I received an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. When I first saw this book on Netgalley the cover initially hooked me and then I read the synopsis and was very intrigued and excited! But unfortunately this book just wasn’t for me.The beginning of this book started off strong. A tyrannical King who controls the city through fear and quickly disposes of anyone who stands against him. A young girl who is fighting for change, fighting for her city and its freedom. An I received an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. When I first saw this book on Netgalley the cover initially hooked me and then I read the synopsis and was very intrigued and excited! But unfortunately this book just wasn’t for me.The beginning of this book started off strong. A tyrannical King who controls the city through fear and quickly disposes of anyone who stands against him. A young girl who is fighting for change, fighting for her city and its freedom. And then the Prince, second in line to the throne, who is trying to find a way to fight back against his sociopath of a Father without losing his life in the process. There was a lot of potential but it fell a little flat for me. I never felt any attachment to Anza, one of the main characters. She was very one-dimensional and I just lost a lot of interest during her chapters. Esvar, the Prince, was very much of the same. There were a couple of other side characters that we also never knew a lot about, they would come in and then come out of the story with very little background. The one character I really loved was the Queen, Mirantha. The book tells a couple of chapters from her POV (via a diary) and I absolutely loved those chapters! They were far too short for my liking and I wished we could have more!The world building was beautiful and detailed! The political intrigue, conspiracy and fight for the crown while battling neighboring kingdoms was what kept me reading this book! The pace was a bit off for me and I tended to lose interest during the slower times but usually it would pick back up again just before I truly lost interest. I do want to give a warning that this book does touch on some dark topics (torture, forced abortion, rape) so please be aware of that if you have some triggers. Overall, this book wasn’t for me but I’m sure others would enjoy it! The writing was well done and the world building was beautiful but without the characters to connect with I just struggled to finish this book.
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  • gwendalyn _books_
    January 1, 1970
    This book was received from the Author, and Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. An intricate complex novel, with a sophisticated political details. Incredibly strong fleshed out character development. The reader will have first hand knowledge of the inter-most thoughts of the characters fears and struggles. A vicious tyrant, you will love to hate. Twist and turns that will keep you guessing. A wonderful fantasy exper This book was received from the Author, and Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. An intricate complex novel, with a sophisticated political details. Incredibly strong fleshed out character development. The reader will have first hand knowledge of the inter-most thoughts of the characters fears and struggles. A vicious tyrant, you will love to hate. Twist and turns that will keep you guessing. A wonderful fantasy experience filled with friendship, loyalty and the pursuit of justice. Medieval elements, a secret resistance group and narrow escapes, will keep you completely immersed. The book paced keeps you moving forward and, I enjoyed the writing style and prose. To give away further plot would be to lessen the pleasure for readersKey CharactersAnza: Raised in a country village, she comes to Karegg, the capital of Vetia, to study at the College. When her father is executed by Karolje some years later, she joins the resistance against the king.Esvar: Karolje’s second son, he is bitterly opposed to his tyrannical father but is hemmed in by court politics, his loyalty to his older brother, and the king’s absolute power.Jance: After graduating from the College, he joins the king’s army, only to find his personal and political loyalties tested as opposition to Karojle mounts.Karolje: Cruel, abusive, and very clever, he rules with an iron hand and uses his power to toy with the lives of everyone around him, including his family.Mirantha: She faces the daily choice between escaping from her marriage to Karolje or staying to protect her children. Then the king takes matters into his own hands.Sparrow: Leader of the resistance, she seeks not only to overthrow Karolje but to put an end to the absolute monarchy itself.Tevin: The older son and heir of Karolje, he wants to be king but not at the cost of bloody civil war or his own honor.
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  • Marilisa
    January 1, 1970
    I was sold on this book from the summary. I love me a story about a crumbling kingdom led by an evil and corrupt king, and the battle to depose him. I’ve been on a search for good books with strong main character and complex, entertaining political intrigue, and I have not been let down by The Vanished Queen. I loved Anza as a character from the very beginning, I always appreciate authors that write strong, independent women that know their worth and fight for what's right. Anza was all of that I was sold on this book from the summary. I love me a story about a crumbling kingdom led by an evil and corrupt king, and the battle to depose him. I’ve been on a search for good books with strong main character and complex, entertaining political intrigue, and I have not been let down by The Vanished Queen. I loved Anza as a character from the very beginning, I always appreciate authors that write strong, independent women that know their worth and fight for what's right. Anza was all of that and much more. She finds herself in very delicate situations (partly her own fault), but she never gives up. Who I wasn't completely sure of was Esvar. In the beginning, his character felt a little underdeveloped and this feeling followed me for most of the book, even though you grow to love and appreciate his journey. What really made me give this book 5 stars was the writing. I have been devouring it from the very first pages, unable to take a break. The words flew at a very good pace even in the few more boring parts and I felt my heartbeat fasten so many times I lost count. About mid-way through. I started to worry the book would end on a cliffhanger and build into a series. I was oh so glad when I realised it wouldn't do that. I'm not sure why, but I deeply wanted the story to neatly wrap up and it did. There is space for a sequel if the author decides for it, but most readers would be satisfied with this being a standalone. A small trigger warning: the story is set in a corrupted kingdom and around the resistance fight. It therefore touches on darker themes such as rape, forced abortion and domestic abuse (maybe look for a trigger warning list). Please be aware of this before going into this book. I thank the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an arc in exchange for an honest review. #TheVanishedQueen #NetGalley
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  • Aimée
    January 1, 1970
    The Vanished Queen follows various characters in the waning rule of an evil king. Anza joins the resistance after her father has been executed, Esvar is the second son of the king, fighting to get his brother on the throne and overcome the similarities he sees between himself and his father. This book is beautifully written, I was engrossed almost immediately. I felt it excelled at introducing me to these characters and the world. All the characters have very visible flaws that they struggle wit The Vanished Queen follows various characters in the waning rule of an evil king. Anza joins the resistance after her father has been executed, Esvar is the second son of the king, fighting to get his brother on the throne and overcome the similarities he sees between himself and his father. This book is beautifully written, I was engrossed almost immediately. I felt it excelled at introducing me to these characters and the world. All the characters have very visible flaws that they struggle with, and this is portrayed really nicely. Where this story excells is absolutely the characters, and especially the women. This story felt like a love letter to womens resilience in a world that treats them as objects and pawns. Anza and her discovery of the disappeared queens journal show us two different female struggles and I thought it was very well done.All the characters developed well throughout the book, and by the end I felt as though I really understood their motivations and feelings. In a nice bit of representation, Anza appears to be bisexual and speaks of her previous lovers, male and female at various points throughout the book.I felt the story flowed quite well, with the exception of some dragging at around 25-30%. It is definitely more of a slow burn story, there's a lot of set up and political intrigue before there is any kind of big climax. To me this all led to a satisfying conclusion but I can see it being frustrating to other readers. Overall, this book was an a real gem for me, and it'll stick with me for a long time.This book is certainly dark and I would mark it with trigger warnings for: sexual assault, forced abortion, domestic abuse and suicidal thoughts.Thank you to netgalley for this book.
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  • Julie - One Book More
    January 1, 1970
    One of the strengths of this novel is the character development. The author skillfully utilizes point of view, dialogue, and events in the plot to create well-developed, dynamic, and interesting characters. I love that the story is narrated from three different points of view. This gives the reader a well-rounded view of what is happening in this world. Furthermore, by including Queen Mirantha’s perspective using journals from the past shows how long King Karolje’s oppressive and murderous rule One of the strengths of this novel is the character development. The author skillfully utilizes point of view, dialogue, and events in the plot to create well-developed, dynamic, and interesting characters. I love that the story is narrated from three different points of view. This gives the reader a well-rounded view of what is happening in this world. Furthermore, by including Queen Mirantha’s perspective using journals from the past shows how long King Karolje’s oppressive and murderous rule has devastated their kingdom.Prince Esvar’s perspective is much different from his mother’s, which is vastly different from Anza’s. Yet, they share the same goal. Using the varied narration allows the reader to see a rebellion on all levels and from different perspectives. Small and large rebellions have significance and worth in the lives of these characters, and they all work toward the betterment of their kingdom.I also like the growing relationship between Anza and Prince Esvar. They are very similar in their loneliness and isolation as well as in their desires for the kingdom. They are both complex and dynamic characters that do unsavory things even though they don’t want to. They see the bigger picture and do what they have to for those they care about. They definitely have a strong connection, and their love story is a bright spot in an otherwise heavy story.I do think that the story is a bit slow. There is a tremendous amount of character and plot development. Extended conversations, interactions, and thoughts lead to strong and dynamic character and dynamic world-building, but sometimes get tedious, especially at the beginning. That being said, the political intrigue is engrossing, as are the stories of the major characters.Favorite Parts:- The well-developed characters.- The three-person narration. It’s almost like reading three parallel stories.- The political intrigue. The entire book presents continual struggles for power.- The surprise twist! I don’t want to spoil anything, so I won’t say much, but OMG! There’s a great twist!Recommendations:People who like stories with strong heroes trying to rid their kingdom of an evil and sadistic ruler will enjoy this piece. I also think readers who like detailed and immersive stories with tremendous character development and multiple points of view will like this book.Thanks so much to Netgalley and the publisher for an advanced copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
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  • Francesca
    January 1, 1970
    A tyrant king, a woman leading the resistance, a Prince and a commoner unite for the same cause. This adult fancy has everything you hope for. Murder plots, secret affairs, the fight for justice and so much more. The story was told by three narrators. Anza, a resistance member. Prince Esvar, second son of the tyrant king. And in journal references by the now vanished Queen. I was enthralled by Anza, the commoner turned resistance fighter, who thought of herself as irrelevant but ended up turning A tyrant king, a woman leading the resistance, a Prince and a commoner unite for the same cause. This adult fancy has everything you hope for. Murder plots, secret affairs, the fight for justice and so much more. The story was told by three narrators. Anza, a resistance member. Prince Esvar, second son of the tyrant king. And in journal references by the now vanished Queen. I was enthralled by Anza, the commoner turned resistance fighter, who thought of herself as irrelevant but ended up turning into the a great weapon and the heroine of her own story.Prince Esvar’s inner workings gave us a glimpse of what it took to truly survive under such a king as his father. Always doing just enough to not give the king reason to kill him but never losing himself in the process. When he unexpectedly encounters the resistance he surprised himself and finds out exactly what he’s capable of. The real question is always, how much of his hand does he let those around him actually see?...The journal entries for Queen Mirantha slowly grew on me, but ended up being my favorite parts to read about. What Anza or Esvar sometimes reference usually got a further explanation in the Queen’s journal, which was a cool way to tie everything together. I loved seeing the correlation between all the characters and loved the disappeared Queen and the role she played in how the story ultimately played out. With some LGBTQ+ aspects, a kick ass chick with a bow, a handsome and mysterious prince and a disappearance of the queen to try to solve, you should definitely preorder this book.*An ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Ariel (ariel_reads)
    January 1, 1970
    Vanished Queen is a complex, multi-layered, and slow-building political intrigue within a medieval setting. The strengths of this book surrounds the depth of the characters and the time spent establishing their motivations and fears and convictions. Unfortunately, such in-depth attention focused the characters meant that it seemed much more difficult to balance pacing. For me, the plot did not move forward at an immersive pace until about 75% of the way in. Negatives aside, if medieval political Vanished Queen is a complex, multi-layered, and slow-building political intrigue within a medieval setting. The strengths of this book surrounds the depth of the characters and the time spent establishing their motivations and fears and convictions. Unfortunately, such in-depth attention focused the characters meant that it seemed much more difficult to balance pacing. For me, the plot did not move forward at an immersive pace until about 75% of the way in. Negatives aside, if medieval political intrigue, royal drama, and an overarching story about overthrowing tyranny is up your alley, it's worth the read!
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  • K.V. Johansen
    January 1, 1970
    I read an ARC of this -- really enjoyed it. Conspiracy, action, suspense in a very well-written story whose characters are driven by personal loyalties, friendship, hope, and a burning desire for justice. (It's secondary-world fantasy, but aside from a few aspects of the world there's little magic in play, for those who are wondering about that. The resources the characters have at their disposal are by and large those inherent to everyday primary world humans.)
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  • MichellemyBelle
    January 1, 1970
    ***ARC provided by Gallery/Saga Press in exchange for an honest review***🚨August 18, 2020 release day🚨That cover though!Finally, a villain to hate! A mercurial, sociopathic King that holds all the power and the fear. Along with his unsympathetic, vicious rule there is a growing resistance among the people: overthrowing this said king by whatever means necessary. Add a delicious layer to the plot of disenchanted heirs to this Maniac King's throne and his disappeared Queen, you find the makings of ***ARC provided by Gallery/Saga Press in exchange for an honest review***🚨August 18, 2020 release day🚨That cover though!Finally, a villain to hate! A mercurial, sociopathic King that holds all the power and the fear. Along with his unsympathetic, vicious rule there is a growing resistance among the people: overthrowing this said king by whatever means necessary. Add a delicious layer to the plot of disenchanted heirs to this Maniac King's throne and his disappeared Queen, you find the makings of courageous political drama full of adventure and a sprinkling of fantasy.Written with many points of views that encourage a meaty, enjoyable plot twist. The dialogue is also full and very well-written. Hierarchy of power in this very political world is well established and well explained. When all is said and done, the main goal to take on a Tyrant King pulled the story line fast and it did not disappoint. Romance, conspiracy, escapades, murder and secrets. I was completely enthralled.
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  • Anne
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to NetGalley and Gallery Books Publishing for letting me read and review this book. It was an interesting fantasy story and I had hoped to like it more than I did, but it was a bit too dark for me.At any rate, this has a good storyline and characters and I did like it some. This story is about a Queen who is said to have vanished or have been killed by a neighboring country, but everyone knows that it was because of the King that she disappears and is said to have died.It's years later th Thanks to NetGalley and Gallery Books Publishing for letting me read and review this book. It was an interesting fantasy story and I had hoped to like it more than I did, but it was a bit too dark for me.At any rate, this has a good storyline and characters and I did like it some. This story is about a Queen who is said to have vanished or have been killed by a neighboring country, but everyone knows that it was because of the King that she disappears and is said to have died.It's years later that a young woman, Anza, who's going to college and graduates and finds the journal of the vanished queen and learns some more about the queen and what happened to her. Anza also has a father who was in the evil King's service that was killed so she decides to join the resistance to overthrow the King and get vengeance for her father's death.After Anza has joined the resistance and is working with them to overthrow the King so they can have the Prince Tevin take his place as a better, more just ruler and King, then the other Prince Esvar joins the resistance as well to help them overthrow his father and get his brother to take over as King. Prince Esvar is stuck and feels trapped with the evil King Karojle, his father in control, and wants him to pay for killing his mother, the vanished queen.Also, Sparrow, who's in the resistance as a leader has her reasons for wanting King Karojle dead as well and she helps to train Anza and tells Anza about her father who was killed because Anza's father saved Sparrow at one point and Sparrow helps Anza as repayment for what Anza's father did for her.There's a lot of political intrigue, lies, deceit, secrets, and duplicity all around. When it comes to the end, there is a bit of a bright spot and some hope amid the darkness of this story with what happens with everything and some truths being revealed and such, but this is a very dark story and it's not always easy to read this kind of book.In this story, there is a lot of profanity and explicit language about romance and intimacy in some places that I didn't like and would have liked a content/trigger warning about that. Also, I think it could use some other content/trigger warnings about other heavy, dark, and hard topics that were talked about throughout this book like rape/marital rape, abuse/domestic abuse, murder/suicide-suicidal thoughts, forced abortion and things like that. If any of those things or types of things are not what you like to read about or can tolerate then I wouldn't recommend this story for you.If you like these kinds of epic fantasy stories with the grimdark vibe and don't have as much of a problem with those kinds of things then you could enjoy this because it does have a good storyline despite the darkness and things that I had a hard time with when I read it so if you want to read it then, by all means, check it out, you could very well like and enjoy it more than I did.
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  • Anita Fajita Pita
    January 1, 1970
    This was a good, solid book. The plotline was interesting - a twisted king who rules with fear, his kind princess wife who didn't really know what she was in for, and their two sons who raise the question of which parent will ultimately impact their development and future selves? Sounds good, right? Well it is.But that's kind of it. It's good. I wouldn't call it great. It was very dialogue driven. Have you seen those clever reviews that articulate these writing styles in easy to understand langu This was a good, solid book. The plotline was interesting - a twisted king who rules with fear, his kind princess wife who didn't really know what she was in for, and their two sons who raise the question of which parent will ultimately impact their development and future selves? Sounds good, right? Well it is.But that's kind of it. It's good. I wouldn't call it great. It was very dialogue driven. Have you seen those clever reviews that articulate these writing styles in easy to understand language, and they talk about how the audience needs the author to develop the story, not tell them the story? I always read those reviews and kind of scoff and think, well they're authors. They tell stories. Scoff scoff. Well, this is that! I finally understand! The king was a despot because Campbell told me he was. There were mentions of prisoners gone missing, interrogations gone too far, queens having been 'Disappeared' with a capital D. But the king didn't ever grind his boot on his son's head after having knocked his mouth onto the floor for having his own thoughts - even though there was irrational fear in the princes of this happening, it never happened. I was usually let down by his appearances on the page, always waiting for something cleverly evil or twisted to come out of his mouth, and if never did.He never laughed maniacally as he watched hellhound tearing innocent men apart. He didn't hold dinner parties at which the conversation was careful and guarded. I mean, the princes told us that he did those things, but he never did. He was just dying in the background of the entire book. And though it is viable story fodder, because an entire kingdom despised him in secret, it wasn't felt by me as a reader. The entire book was wrapped around the central idea of a king who was never developed. This made it hard for me to fully embrace the story. I didn't feel the burning need to dethrone the king because I never experienced him being cruel. I only heard rumors. Notice I haven't even capitalized king. He should be King, no?Moving on, the other characters were fine. Mirantha's story was very interesting, and I liked learning her past throughout the book. The princes were shadows of the men they could have been, almost as if there just wasn't enough space to develop them - though the page count would beg to differ. Jance... I can't talk about Jance without spoilers (view spoiler)[he deserves so much better (hide spoiler)]. There were, upon reflection, a surprising amount of smaller characters who were developed better than the king (again, the entire premise of the book surrounds the king and his dastardly ways) though imo none of the characters were deep.
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  • Candice Allen
    January 1, 1970
    *** Did not finish, review on the portion I did read. I make three attempts to read this book and finally had to stop, here are my reasons:While this book had an interesting concept/ premise regarding a strong female lead fighting again a tyrant government lead by a terrible king with a dash of romance with the prince that caught my interest to read, the story failed in execution. I found myself not caring about the main characters, they were one dimensional and did not pull me in. The descripti *** Did not finish, review on the portion I did read. I make three attempts to read this book and finally had to stop, here are my reasons:While this book had an interesting concept/ premise regarding a strong female lead fighting again a tyrant government lead by a terrible king with a dash of romance with the prince that caught my interest to read, the story failed in execution. I found myself not caring about the main characters, they were one dimensional and did not pull me in. The description that generated my original interest in the story did not come to fruition in a way that kept me wanting to read more. The female lead and the male lead had alternating chapters told in their perspectives but the information shared was more of a "tell me" style to try and build how terrible the King is and what an awful situation they are all in rather than helping us to become connected to the characters and world they are living and interacting in. The chapters from the female perspective jump in time as well from when she found the diary while still a student at the university to running from a bomb explosion, making it confusing to follow along. I did not enjoy the style or format this was written in, it was something I had to force myself to read instead of being pulled in and grabbed by the dialogue and description. I also found the language used by the characters to be offensive and the focus on the many lovers male and female was unnecessary. I was not able to finish this book, this may have more to do with my personal preferences than the author so give it a try if the things I mentioned as objectionable to me don’t bother you.
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  • Annalisa
    January 1, 1970
    The Vanished Queen is a well crafted epic fantasy story that examines at power and justice. It is told from three points of view and in two timelines. I really liked the current timeline and Anza and Esvar's point of view. I was slower to connect with Queen Mirantha's point of view. This might be because from the beginning we know that she was disappeared by the King. King Karolje is a tyrant and Anza joins the resistance when he touches her life. Esvar, the younger prince, releases her from pr The Vanished Queen is a well crafted epic fantasy story that examines at power and justice. It is told from three points of view and in two timelines. I really liked the current timeline and Anza and Esvar's point of view. I was slower to connect with Queen Mirantha's point of view. This might be because from the beginning we know that she was disappeared by the King. King Karolje is a tyrant and Anza joins the resistance when he touches her life. Esvar, the younger prince, releases her from prison when she is picked up in a raid that had nothing to do with her. From this chance encounter Esvar begins to think of what it would mean to join the resistance and through Anza he begins communicating with them. I liked their relationship but also them as individual characters. The story did need the characters to have emotions and Anza seems to be full of life and cared for those around her even when she keeps trying to distance herself.The Vanished Queen was a little slow for me to get into but once I did it was a fun read. I expected it to be much darker than it was, and I'm glad the author didn't have the story turn darker. The characters were alive with flaws. Lisabeth Campbell has written a novel that is full of wonderful quotes and messages that translate well to the real world. I will be recommending this story because it is the best epic fantasy novel I've read this year.*Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for providing me an advanced copy in exchange for my honest opinion.*
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  • Leona
    January 1, 1970
    This was a fantastic book. It pulled me in from the very beginning.Multiple (third-person) points of view, none of which I confused for the others. Campbell described just enough of the setting as it was needed, and filled in other details later. Very well-written.These characters were all believable, complex, and interesting. I wanted to see what would happen to them. The evil king truly seemed sadistic. What did I love about this book? The political intrigue. At the beginning, I couldn't see h This was a fantastic book. It pulled me in from the very beginning.Multiple (third-person) points of view, none of which I confused for the others. Campbell described just enough of the setting as it was needed, and filled in other details later. Very well-written.These characters were all believable, complex, and interesting. I wanted to see what would happen to them. The evil king truly seemed sadistic. What did I love about this book? The political intrigue. At the beginning, I couldn't see how things would weave together. (Yes! I love not seeing exactly where a story is going.) For some reason, I really needed to read something rife with behind-the-scenes machinations, and this was perfect. In a world such as this one, the characters wrestle with their own morality and choices. What a pleasure it was to have 2 prince brothers who were NOT at each other's throats! Esvar and his brother Tevin are not close friends or confidantes, but they supported each other. Not to say that Esvar didn't have his own ambitions, but he supported his brother's claim to the throne as heir.Also, this book is standalone, which I prefer.Altogether, I loved this book. I look forward to reading more by Lisbeth Campbell in the future.I received an advance reader copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    The Vanished Queen was a huge struggle for me to read. The cover was a draw, and the synopsis sounded right up my alley. Unfortunately, the execution fell terribly flat for me.My main issue was the characters, especially the main ones, Anza and Esvar. They were all very dull and boring without any distinguishing characteristics. I could not relate to or care about either of them, and that's a major reason why the rest of the story didn't work for me. The story in general dragged on and on and on The Vanished Queen was a huge struggle for me to read. The cover was a draw, and the synopsis sounded right up my alley. Unfortunately, the execution fell terribly flat for me.My main issue was the characters, especially the main ones, Anza and Esvar. They were all very dull and boring without any distinguishing characteristics. I could not relate to or care about either of them, and that's a major reason why the rest of the story didn't work for me. The story in general dragged on and on and on. It seemed as if a lot was going on, but then nothing actually happened. I even put it away for awhile and came back, hoping I'd be in a mindset where this book would appeal to me. No such luck.Also, I'm sure this wasn't the case, but at times it felt like every other character in the book was one of Anza's past lovers. It was a bit much.There is a significant amount of dark content and possible triggers for some people (rape, abortion, torture, abuse and the like). While these subjects were never really discussed in depth or especially descriptive, it may bother some.I really hate to give such a low rating, but I struggled HARD with this one.***I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advance Reader Copy generously provided by the publisher via NetGalley.***
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  • Hannah
    January 1, 1970
    There are books you can’t put down and then there are books that captivate you. Those books you can’t put down are forgotten once you pick up the next book. After reading a book that captivates you, you can spend months (or longer) searching for a book that is just as good or even better.This is one of those captivating books. Off the top of my head, I can only remember two other books that left me as awestruck as this one (Fire by Kristin Cashore and Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom). I There are books you can’t put down and then there are books that captivate you. Those books you can’t put down are forgotten once you pick up the next book. After reading a book that captivates you, you can spend months (or longer) searching for a book that is just as good or even better.This is one of those captivating books. Off the top of my head, I can only remember two other books that left me as awestruck as this one (Fire by Kristin Cashore and Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom). I won an ARC of The Vanished Queen in a Goodreads Giveaway, so it was by happenstance that I came across this book - isn’t that how you usually find the best books? And this book was everything.Along the same lines as Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard and Fire by Kristine Cashore, The Vanished Queen tells the story of a kingdom and of a family. This adult fantasy novel is a Shakespearean history and Anastasia-like narrative all rolled into one. Even the characters who died long before the setting of the story come alive with Campbell’s writing and storytelling. There’s a taste of tragedy, love, action, and family in this book that could and should satisfy all kinds of readers.
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  • MaryAnn Christman
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this book through a Goodreads giveaway.An evil king, an abused queen, their two sons and a group of resisters determined to end the tyranny of their country. This book started a little slowly for me, but once I got into it, I found myself wanting to read much more than I had time to do. The book tells the story of Karolje, the king who will stop at nothing, whether it is "Disappearing" his wife, playing his sons against each other, or executing innocents to further his own p I received an ARC of this book through a Goodreads giveaway.An evil king, an abused queen, their two sons and a group of resisters determined to end the tyranny of their country. This book started a little slowly for me, but once I got into it, I found myself wanting to read much more than I had time to do. The book tells the story of Karolje, the king who will stop at nothing, whether it is "Disappearing" his wife, playing his sons against each other, or executing innocents to further his own power. The book alternates between the present time and intersperses chapters periodically about the queen, Mirantha, and what led up to her Disappearance. Tevin and Esvar, their sons, are doing their best to survive until their father dies and they can right the wrong he's brought to the people. The book had a little bit of everything, politics, intrigue, magic by way of the Truth Finders who can get into people's minds to determine if they are lying, romance, swordfights, murder... I enjoyed the story and the last 50-100 pages had me not wanting to put it down until I finished. A solid first novel. I look forward to reading more in the future by this author.
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  • Shilo Quetchenbach
    January 1, 1970
    I really wanted to like this book. The blurb and description were so promising, and it has a gorgeous cover, but the story fell very, very flat for me and I ultimately decided to DNF.There's this evil king - Karolje - except... we never actually see him being evil. We are told that he is evil, but all he does is sit on his throne being too-thin and on the way to dying.Then we have two princes who - we are told - are resisting him. A resistance fighter who - we are told - is part of the resistanc I really wanted to like this book. The blurb and description were so promising, and it has a gorgeous cover, but the story fell very, very flat for me and I ultimately decided to DNF.There's this evil king - Karolje - except... we never actually see him being evil. We are told that he is evil, but all he does is sit on his throne being too-thin and on the way to dying.Then we have two princes who - we are told - are resisting him. A resistance fighter who - we are told - is part of the resistance.Pretty much nothing actually happens. The characters think a lot, and recall things, and think about how awful the king is and how they're going to resist... and that's it for the first 15% of the book. I honestly couldn't force myself through any more of it because it was a slog.Also the writing-- besides being long-winded and very Tell-not-show-- is choppy. Full of short sentences. One on top of the other. Kind of like this. Occasionally there will be a long sentence, or an attempt at a more flowery description, but overall it is painfully flat.*Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for providing an e-arc to review.
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  • Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC!This was a great book. I really enjoyed it. And everything was well wrapped up at the end and didn't fall flat.The evil people were believably evil, and the good guys are gray area and actually discuss and struggle with how far is too far.Some of the minor characters were a little lacking. They left me wondering why in the world would Anza be friends with them.I found the views of relationship fluidity of the world to be very refreshing. Marriage wasn't pushed Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC!This was a great book. I really enjoyed it. And everything was well wrapped up at the end and didn't fall flat.The evil people were believably evil, and the good guys are gray area and actually discuss and struggle with how far is too far.Some of the minor characters were a little lacking. They left me wondering why in the world would Anza be friends with them.I found the views of relationship fluidity of the world to be very refreshing. Marriage wasn't pushed on everyone. No one seemed to care who you were previously with. Being bi seemed to be the norm. Though I don't remember much mention of males being as fluid.It could have done with out the "magic" of Truthfinders and Hellhounds. They were the only magical things, weren't really explained, and could just be swapped out with really good interrogators and vicious dogs. There also needs to be a pronunciation guide at the beginning. How is King Karolje pronounced?!?!? And a map would be helpful.
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  • Dom
    January 1, 1970
    Lisbeth Campbell’s The Vanished Queen weaves a slow paced, intricate tale of political intrigue, revolution, and triumph in a feminist, low magic package with grimdark vibes.Don’t let the gorgeous cover fool you: this is not a light read. The brutal regime the cast fights against demonstrates that brutality in a variety of ways, including depictions of abuse, sexual assault, torture, murder, and more. But unlike other novels in the genre, it doesn’t use the suffering of women as a convenient nar Lisbeth Campbell’s The Vanished Queen weaves a slow paced, intricate tale of political intrigue, revolution, and triumph in a feminist, low magic package with grimdark vibes.Don’t let the gorgeous cover fool you: this is not a light read. The brutal regime the cast fights against demonstrates that brutality in a variety of ways, including depictions of abuse, sexual assault, torture, murder, and more. But unlike other novels in the genre, it doesn’t use the suffering of women as a convenient narrative device and instead brings empathy, nuance, and strength to their journey.One of the protagonists, Anza, is a bisexual woman, with references to her relationships with both men and women in the text, and the universe is casually queer. It was refreshing for a story with such dark themes not to include rampant homophobia among them.If you enjoyed the general concept of Game of Thrones but wanted more nuanced women in the story, women who display strength in ways other than cold assassination or rampant conquest, The Vanished Queen will be a perfect fit for you.
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  • Marissa
    January 1, 1970
    The Vanished Queen follows several characters while an upcoming war threatens their safety and loved ones. Anza, a college graduate joins the resistance to honor her deceased father and to protect the ones she cares about. However, it seems her father has been grooming her for this fight without her knowing, tying her fate to several other characters. Prince Esvar is stuck under the thumb of his evil father and king, Karolje. He must do everything he can to live to see his brother take the throw The Vanished Queen follows several characters while an upcoming war threatens their safety and loved ones. Anza, a college graduate joins the resistance to honor her deceased father and to protect the ones she cares about. However, it seems her father has been grooming her for this fight without her knowing, tying her fate to several other characters. Prince Esvar is stuck under the thumb of his evil father and king, Karolje. He must do everything he can to live to see his brother take the thrown, even if it means joining the resistance. First off, I want to say this book is very well thought out. The political aspects are very intricate; the history, the conflicts, everything is there. The reason I only gave it three stars is that this book is very plot driven, which leaves the characters a little bland. The story is also very drawn out. It was slow to build momentum and when the climax of the story finally came, it was underwhelming.
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  • Nancy
    January 1, 1970
    The Vanished Queen, by Lisbeth Campbell, is an excellent read. The cover states that it is “a blend of fantasy and political drama.” However Campbell has given us a truly evil King, strong heroines, action, a small touch of romance, great character development, and a story I didn’t want to end. The story is told from three points of view, Queen Mirantha who had been “vanished” years ago by her husband, Prince Esvar son of the tyrannical king, and Anza a member of the resistance who is driven by The Vanished Queen, by Lisbeth Campbell, is an excellent read. The cover states that it is “a blend of fantasy and political drama.” However Campbell has given us a truly evil King, strong heroines, action, a small touch of romance, great character development, and a story I didn’t want to end. The story is told from three points of view, Queen Mirantha who had been “vanished” years ago by her husband, Prince Esvar son of the tyrannical king, and Anza a member of the resistance who is driven by revenge for the murder of her father. Though it’s listed as fantasy, there is very little magic and the characters are human. Think George R. R. Martin’s world but without the dragons. I highly recommend this book. The Vanished Queen is scheduled for release 8/18/20. I am very grateful for the ARC I received from Saga Press through Goodreads Giveaways. I really hope the author decides to do a sequel. Please, please, please.
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  • Alexandra
    January 1, 1970
    This was such a moving story. It was raw, gritty and uncomfortable but for all the reasons a book should be. It spoke candidly about justice and showed how flawed and broken people won't always be perfect but can work together to create change.I loved how each of the characters felt so different from one another. Lisbeth Campbell did a fantastic job painting distinctions into each of her characters that gave them a unique voice and highlighted their strengths and weaknesses.The writing was poeti This was such a moving story. It was raw, gritty and uncomfortable but for all the reasons a book should be. It spoke candidly about justice and showed how flawed and broken people won't always be perfect but can work together to create change.I loved how each of the characters felt so different from one another. Lisbeth Campbell did a fantastic job painting distinctions into each of her characters that gave them a unique voice and highlighted their strengths and weaknesses.The writing was poetic and beautiful but not in a way that made the story feel bogged down or overly flowery. I was highlighting like crazy as I read because the thought provoking narrative had so much depth and I want to continue to mull it over.If you love strong female leads, real and raw young men, deep rooted political intrigue, revolution and a hint of romance, this book is for you.ARC received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Samantha
    January 1, 1970
    This is an ARC review for Netgalley. The cover is beautiful. The synopsis is intriguing. Everything else is boring. The charActerization is non existent. There were really only 6 characters and they all were flat as pancakes. Sure we learn a lot about a few of them, but they had no personality. There was kinda sorta a magic system (truth finders and hellhounds) that was there for some unknown reason with out an explanation of origin. The characters act for the realm and to prevent war with anoth This is an ARC review for Netgalley. The cover is beautiful. The synopsis is intriguing. Everything else is boring. The charActerization is non existent. There were really only 6 characters and they all were flat as pancakes. Sure we learn a lot about a few of them, but they had no personality. There was kinda sorta a magic system (truth finders and hellhounds) that was there for some unknown reason with out an explanation of origin. The characters act for the realm and to prevent war with another country but the entirety of the very long novel occurred in one city. Boring. The fight scenes were described so literally and lacked any excitement which was disappointing since the whole of this story was about an uprising.
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  • Tessa Dysart
    January 1, 1970
    This book is very dark. It is definitely not YA (although I don't think that it is being marketed as YA). It deals with tough topics like rape, domestic abuse, forced abortion, and suicidal thoughts. If any of those topics are a trigger, I would recommend not reading this book. If those topics don't trigger you, and you enjoy darker high/epic fantasy books, then you might enjoy this story and characters.But, even apart from the triggering aspects, I thought that the characters could use more dev This book is very dark. It is definitely not YA (although I don't think that it is being marketed as YA). It deals with tough topics like rape, domestic abuse, forced abortion, and suicidal thoughts. If any of those topics are a trigger, I would recommend not reading this book. If those topics don't trigger you, and you enjoy darker high/epic fantasy books, then you might enjoy this story and characters.But, even apart from the triggering aspects, I thought that the characters could use more development early on. They seemed a little wooden.Thank you NetGalley and publishers for the free eARC, it just wasn't the right book for me.
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  • Jo
    January 1, 1970
    The Vanished Queen was a good book, but I had a hard time connecting with the characters. Pros: Strong writing, terrific alternate world building, believable villain (the king, nice to see one that isn't just a cardboard cutout), a couple of surprises that you might not see coming.Cons: The politics. If you like stories about old-world/medieval political maneuvering, this is definitely for you, because the plot is rife with it. I thought it (they?) overwhelmed the story.3.5 stars rounded up to 4 The Vanished Queen was a good book, but I had a hard time connecting with the characters. Pros: Strong writing, terrific alternate world building, believable villain (the king, nice to see one that isn't just a cardboard cutout), a couple of surprises that you might not see coming.Cons: The politics. If you like stories about old-world/medieval political maneuvering, this is definitely for you, because the plot is rife with it. I thought it (they?) overwhelmed the story.3.5 stars rounded up to 4 because of the quality of the writing.*ARC via netgalley and publisher in exchange for my agreement to review; my opinions are my own*
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