Format: 432 pages, ebook
Published: December 20, 2022 by Sourcebooks
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Rating: 2 out of 3 Wine Glasses
The next book in the epic fantasy series by USA Today bestselling author Scarlett St. Clair.Isolde, newly coronated queen, has finally found a king worthy of her in the vampire Adrian. But their love for each other has cost Isolde her father and her homeland. With two opposing goddesses playing mortals and vampires like chess pieces against one another, Isolde is uncertain who her allies are in the vampire stronghold of Revekka.Now, as politics in the Red Palace grow more underhanded and a deadly blood mist threatens all of Cordova, Isolde must trust in the bond she's formed with Adrian, even as she learns troubling information about his complicated past.
Adrian and Isolde's star-crossed story continues with Queen of Myth and Monsters, and it is a bumpy ride (pun intended) to say the least.
Let me preface this review by stating that I absolutely adored the first book in this series, King of Battle and Blood. It was an epic tale and ended up being one of my favorite reads of 2021. So imagine by disappointment when I struggled to even finish this second book.
This book begins right where the last book ended; Isolde is struggling with the devastating betrayal and loss of her father while navigating her new life in the vampire court and coming to terms with her past life. While Adrian is not only trying to hang on to his power and control by the skin of his teeth but also still coming to grips with the losing and reuniting of Isolde. A lot happens in this book, but nothing that actually moves the series arc forward until the very last chapter...
I'm not sure if Queen of Myth and Monsters suffers from middle book syndrome, or if the author was just rushed to release the story but it was night and day compared to the first book. My main issue with the story was that is was 99.9999% f*cking and fighting. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a good, smutty book but there needs to be substance to it to balance out the smut. There was such much gratuitous sex between Adrian and Isolde that it felt forced and quickly became repetitive. So much so, that I found myself eventually skimming through most of the book. My other issue was that the characters, who were previously multifaceted, seemed to do a complete 180 to these unpleasant, one dimensional characters whom I didn't even recognize. By the end, I no longer liked the characters I had previously fallen in love with.
The plot itself is stagnant, with no forward momentum for the series until the last chapter. Even with everything under the red sun being thrown at Isolde, and how many dramatic changes she underwent, it felt very rushed and then swept aside. Some important details for more then one character were revealed as well, but only briefly touched on and never revisited, which I found odd. The last 15% finally had substance, with surprising betrayals, only to end in a jarring cliffhanger.
Adrian waited 200 years for Isolde, I expected more then what was shown between them in Queen of Myth and Monsters. That being said, I did read and finish the book and I will continue on with the series in hopes that the characters that I had previously known and loved return.
“Is this how it will always be?”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
She pressed her head into her pillow, allowing me access to her neck. “We always fight and fuck.”