Ashley loved Winter Queen and has been waiting for this sequel ever since she finished reading Winter Queen, and we've got her review for you, as well as an excerpt (to make you want to read this series ASAP). But first, how about some information about the book and Amber?
About the Book
Title: Summer Queen (Fairy Queen #2)
Author: Amber Argyle
Publication Date: April 2, 2015
Synopsis: Nelay never wanted to be queen.
Poised to become the most powerful priestess in Idara, Nelay doesn’t have time to become a pretty bauble for the king. She’s too busy saving her people from the invading army sweeping across her kingdom.
But in defeat after defeat, Nelay begins to realize a bigger power is at play than that wielded by mere mortals. Only she can stand between the cinders of her once-great nation and the vengeance of a goddess.
Purchase Links: Amazon
About the Author
Amber Argyle is the number-one bestselling author of the Witch Song Series and the Fairy Queen Series. Her books have been nominated for and won awards in addition to being translated into French and Indonesian.
Amber graduated cum laude from Utah State University with a degree in English and physical education, a husband, and a two-year old. Since then, she and her husband have added two more children, which they are actively trying to transform from crazy small people into less crazy larger people.
Author Links: Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Amazon | Mail Chimp | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads | Argylers
Read an Excerpt!
Nelay slipped down alleys, went through a bar and out the back entrance, and twisted down two more blocks to make sure she hadn’t been followed. She climbed up a wall, using a windowsill and beams as steppingstones, before hopping onto a roof.
She crouched, staring at a man of the desert tribes. Though she’d contracted with him to smuggle her out of the city, she’d never met him. They had communicated only through her spies, so now she scrutinized the man who held her life in his hands. He wore the robes and headscarf similar to that of an Idaran, but in muted colors that blended in with the deserts. With his veil tied up, only a thin slit of his eyes showed.
The skin around those eyes crinkled in amusement when he saw Nelay. “So, this is the woman willing to pay a king’s ransom to slip behind enemy lines.”
“I don’t owe you an explanation, Rycus.” She didn’t want him to say anything that would give away her identity to any listening fairies.
He tugged his veil down under his chin, revealing a surprisingly young face, only a couple years older than her. His nose was a little on the big side, and his forehead reminded her of a shovel. But he had liquid eyes the color of sand at midnight and a nice smile, with brilliant white teeth against his dusky skin. This was the most renowned smuggler in two kingdoms?
“No,” he replied, “but we’ll be sharing close quarters for two months, so we might as well be friends.”
Nelay had enough experience with criminals to know they had their uses, but they were also incredibly unpredictable, and therefore dangerous. “I don’t need friends,” she said.
“Everyone needs friends.”
“If I’d known you were going to be this talkative, I would have picked someone else.”
Rycus grunted. “No you wouldn’t have. You wouldn’t have settled for less than the best.”
Nelay tossed him the bag of coins she’d received in exchange for two of her ceremonial rings. When the high priestess found out, she’d be furious, but Nelay would deal with that later. “We must hurry—the Immortals are nothing to be trifled with.”
Rycus pushed the bag into the folds of his robes without counting the money. He would receive the other half when he returned her and her family safely to Thanjavar. “You don’t have to come with us, you know,” he said.
Nelay snorted. He might have a reputation as a fair man, but it didn’t mean he wouldn’t cross her—say, if the king offered more money. “I already told you. It’s not a place marked on a map.”
“I could figure it out,” Rycus replied.
“No offense, but I don’t trust you.”
He shrugged. “And afterward, you’re sure you wish to return? Whatever has you running away will still be here then.”
“That is not your problem.” She might be Suka’s favorite, but even the high priestess couldn’t overlook what she’d done. Nelay’s only hope was to stand in the public bethel and announce herself the next high priestess. Then she had to beat Suka in the game of fire, the winner of which would become the next high priestess. King Zatal wouldn’t dare touch Nelay then.
And if she failed . . . she shuddered. She’d have the wrath of a king and a high priestess to face.
“What are you running from?” Rycus questioned.
I absolutely loved Winter Queen when I first read it, and it's still one of my favorite fantasy books ever. Amber knows how to craft an incredible world with wonderful characters who continue to live on well past the ending of the books. So when I was given the opportunity to read an advanced copy of Summer Queen, I immediately jumped on the chance! I couldn't wait to get back into this world and meet characters on the opposite side of the spectrum from those featured in Winter Queen. And I was not disappointed!
Nelay is not like any other priestess I've encountered in any of the books I've read. She's strong and independent and can hold her own in a fight, but she's also loving and willing to do anything to protect the people she cares about. She's also got a mischievous side to her, which I thought makes her hilarious. Nelay is also incredibly cunning, and she's always trying to figure out how to play things to her advantage. She's not afraid to back down from a fight she knows she cannot win, which I felt made her a dangerous enemy to have. I loved Illyenna in Winter Queen, but I honestly think that I love Nelay even more!
And then there's Rycus. Oh, Rycus. He's kind of off-putting at first, but then the more time we spend with him, the more I fell in love with him. He's absolutely fantastic for Nelay, and I think one of my favorite things in this book was watching their relationship develop. Except for those times when Amber does this thing where she gives me a mini heart attack and separates them and makes it seem like they're not meant to be together. I was so back and forth and I just could never figure out what surprises were in store!
Like all of Amber's other books, Summer Queen has gorgeous world-building. In Winter Queen, we learn about the lands of the Clansmen. In Summer Queen, the world is expanded and we learn more about the cities and the people who live in them, as well as the Tribesmen who live in the deserts. I can't wait to learn even more about this world and its people in the next book! The plot also moves along smoothly and quickly, and I never felt like anything was dragging along (even though this book is fairly long).
I would 100% recommend Summer Queen to anyone who has read Winter Queen, and the whole Fairy Queens series to fans of YA Fantasy. Especially if you enjoyed Rae Carson's Girl of Fire and Thorns series, and other books like it. I cannot wait to get my hands on the next installment (waiting is so hard!)! 5/5!!!
Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget that Winter Queen is on sale for $0.99 until April 17th, and Amber's book Witch Song is free across all platforms!
--Ashley & Paul