Beneath the Keep by Erika Johansen (Queen of the Tearling #0)
**We received an arc of this through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. We’d like to thank Erika and Dutton Books for the opportunity. This book came out on Feb 2nd and you can get it here or at your local independent bookstore**
Reviewed by Sam!
What I drank prior: I’m not the drunkest I’ve ever been, but it’s good enough for me. I’ve had 3 Moscow mules. Big ones.
The story of a decadent kingdom descended into darkness, alliances forged under fire, and a battle over a prophecy that will change the course of history.
The Tearling has reverted to feudalism, a far cry from the utopia it was founded to be. As the gap between rich and poor widens and famine threatens the land, sparking unrest, rumors of a prophecy begin to spread: a great hope, a True Queen who will rise up and save the kingdom.
But rumors will not help Lazarus, a man raised to kill in the brutal clandestine underworld of the Creche, nor Aislinn, a farm girl who must reckon with her own role in the growing rebellion. In the Keep, the crown princess, Elyssa, finds herself torn between duty to the throne and the lure of the Blue Horizon, a group of fierce idealists who promise radical change . . . but Elyssa must choose quickly, before a nefarious witch and her shadowy master use dark magic to decide for her. It is only a matter of time before all three will be called into the service of something bigger than they have ever imagined: a fight for a better world.
Drunk Overview: this is the prequel to the queen of the yearling books about Kelsea’s mom, Elyssa. Elyssa is the princess, her mom is a bitch, and our friendly neighborhood rebels, the Blue Horizon, are stirring trouble. If you remember the BH is run by the Fetch. Anyway, Elyssa wants in to the BH cause she hates her mom so much and mom doesn’t like that so.
Spoiler-free Thoughts: I miss this world so much and not only am I still sorta mad by the end of the series, I’m upset cause we really can’t have more than this book.
Characters: so we have a few new and many already beloved characters. Elyssa is bangin’, like actually amazing, and the book tells us why she sucked for Kelsea. We also have the Mace… we get his perspective and oh my god if he weren’t already my son, he is sure as shit is now. I will also say, one of the new characters, Maura… my aching soul. My heart aches for her.
Plot: this whole thing was to explain Elyssa and her actions and it was exactly what I wanted. Truly, I loved the story. I laughed, I cried, I hurt, and it was great. The best part was that even though I know and had read the OG trilogy, this was still a totally unique story that I didn’t have any clue how it would end, except that there would be a child named Kelsea. And that’s the best kind of prequel
Writing Style: I MISS IT
World Building: I MISS IT MORE
What to pair it with: this is like a red ale. Lingers long after
Until next time, we remain forever drunkenly yours,