On her twentieth birthday, the beautiful but arrogant Princess Mina von Rhine crosses the point of no return. Unwilling to be married off to a warmongering Northerner, she defies her father, the powerful King of the Rhine, and ridicules all her potential suitors.
Furious at her appalling behavior, her father vows he will give Mina’s hand in marriage to the first unmarried man who walks through the palace gates—be it nobleman or beggar. And when an impoverished Northern soldier arrives at the castle the following day, the king stands by his word and offers Mina to him.
This ill-suggested match, however, might prove of use to Mina after all. The Northern soldier doesn’t seem too fond of the marriage himself, so Mina offers the handsome but insufferable warrior enormous riches if he helps her escape into the North.
But the journey through war-torn lands forces the princess to realize that if she can’t melt her frozen heart, marriage might be the least of her concerns.
From the author: This is a beautiful, dark, and romantic re-imagining of the long-forgotten German fairy tale King Thrushbeard, which was one of the very first stories to use the enemies to lovers trope. It was first published by the beloved Brothers Grimm (whose works include such classics as Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and Rapunzel! The Brothers Grimm invented many modern-day romance tropes). If you’d love to read an adult version of a compelling old fairy tale and enjoy romances with sizzling passion, this book is a must-read.
This is the FIRST book in a series. The second book, Queen of Ashes, will be released in September! The book ends on a mild cliffhanger, but book II is just around the corner
Solid four stars!
Let me start with the things I like about this book. I like the world-building, I like the fantastical elements, and the chemistry between the MMC and FMC is overall very enjoyable. There are also many popular tropes – such as MMC secret identity (although this was revealed halfway through) and adventure/traveling/forced proximity. There is a bit of a princess + bodyguard element to the relationship, so if you are into that you’ll want to read this book as well.
This book is not perfect. To start I feel like the FMC’s title of Night Queen is a bit underwhelming, even worse so if you read the blurb before reading the book. The blurb made her seem so sinister, evil, intimidating, and mature, but instead, we get a bit of a juvenile spoiled princess that sometimes insults people who instead of calling ”sinister”, I just feel like she was acting a bit like a bitch. Yes, she has given some harsh punishments to the people in the palace (rightfully so though, I won’t elaborate because of spoilers). But even then she just never felt like the way the blurb made her out to be. So that was a pretty notable area of disappointment. The writing can also be occasionally awkward and chunky.
These flaws ultimately are areas of improvement, but I still enjoyed the book! It’s fun to read and if anyone of the tropes I mentioned interest you, I still recommend you give this book a shot.
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Denise graduated with a master’s in Social Work from an ivy league school and has spent many years of her life working with families and individuals in need of assistance. She has always had a passion for writing, but it wasn’t until she went through a difficult pregnancy and was on bedrest that Denise turned her passion into her profession. Whenever Denise is not typing away on one of her books, you can find her caring for her son, binging Netflix with her beloved husband, or chasing after her puppy (who should technically be an adult dog by now).