Book #32: The Queen’s Executioner by Christopher Mitchell

Would you kill for your sister?

High Mage Shella has a choice to make.

When her sister decides she wants to be Queen at any cost, should she help her?

Or stop her?

Feeling restless in the claustrophobic and over-crowded metropolis of her birth, Shella is drawn to the power of her sister’s voice as she assembles thousands of their people, calling upon them to gather their possessions and follow her in a Great Migration.

Her sister plans to lead them over the border into the Rahain Republic, whose unconquered army has just returned from victorious campaigns abroad. There, she intends to settle and crown herself Queen.

Shella’s mage powers have only ever been used for the good of her homeland. Now, in the service of her sister, is she prepared to use their darker side?

For Shella knows that if she cannot control her powers…
…they will consume all that she loves.

I received a copy from the author for an honest review. Below is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation for this review.

Hmmm… I really wanted to like this book. I like fantasy. I like politics in fantasy. And I love a unique magic system. However, The Queen’s Executioner fell short for me.

The writing isn’t bad. Let me get that straight. The author can write and he definitely has an interesting story idea. But, the writing is what I would consider the first draft. Not really a full length and polished work. There is a reason for that statement.

I understand that with fantasy, you need to have exposition and sometimes there is a very fine line between world building and info dumping. I don’t like info-dumping and Mitchell does a good job at not doing that. However, the world isn’t well built either. You don’t see descriptions about characters until well after their chapters. You don’t find out about the people being descended from different animal species until a minor character gives another one a history lesson.

I had no clue what the characters looked like, how they acted, or even what anything looked like. There were bright moments where the narrative did have great descriptions. But, I was left confused and upset when dialogue, later on, explained something previously. It left the story lacking a way for me to connect.

The shiny bright moments had attention to detail, some world building, and body language. But it didn’t make up for the rest. It is a decent enough beginning, but I feel Mitchell could do better. The bare bones of an interesting story is there and I see it, I’m just not invested in the rest of the story at the moment.

Final Rating: 2/5

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