cover image The Queen of Sorrow: The Queens of Renthia, Book 3

The Queen of Sorrow: The Queens of Renthia, Book 3

Sarah Beth Durst. Harper Voyager, $21.99 (432p) ISBN 978-0-06-241338-3

The thrilling and sometimes melancholy finale of Durst’s Queens of Renthia trilogy continues to expand the world of Renthia, finally bringing the story into Semo, the neighboring country that had attacked the land of Aratay in the previous book. Naelin—one of Aratay’s two queens, capable of commanding the wild nature spirits of the land—learns that her children have been kidnapped by Queen Merecot of Semo and is forced to bargain to retrieve them. Naturally, everyone’s plans go awry (including those of Naelin’s fellow queen, Daleina), and both countries find themselves fighting for survival. As Durst’s scope expands, she still has time for character growth (including a nice focus on Daleina’s younger sister, Arin, whose exploration of her bisexuality ends up tying directly into her own quest to help save the nations), and for some sharp twists. Younger fans of Durst’s YA works might be surprised by just how adult the story gets at times—Naelin and Daleina both enjoy a lot of sex, and death is plentiful and sometimes horrific. The well-crafted denouement wraps up the entire adventure perfectly. Agent: Andrea Somberg, Andrea Somberg Literary. (May)