Review: The Dagger Queen

The Dagger Queen by Amy Sanderson (The Sovereign Blades Book 2)

the dagger queen coverThe first book is The Steel Princess, which is currently 99p on Kindle and I reviewed here – it’s a nice YA-style read.

If you haven’t read the first one, this review does contain spoilers…nothing detailed but enough that you might get some of the plot. Also a disclaimer; I was lucky enough to get a review copy of this from Amy (before Christmas….sorry, Amy!) but I do always say what I think!

The blurb for this is essentially “angry ghosts and stabby ladies” – so if that sounds like your sort of thing, you can copy with minor spoilers and want to know what happens, read on…

It’s always the way, with the second book in a trilogy, that everything gets worse.

Well, everything certainly gets worse.

As the story starts, Skye is Queen of Eskeleth – legitimate, accepted and somewhat in control. But there are problems. Her half-sister, Tawny, is still free and plotting against her; the Noctures are still plotting, offering unwanted support to Skye; the revenants are rising, spreading fear and terror; the Wards are slowly failing; and she has the Imaldran Empire on her borders, patient and diplomatic, waiting for a chink in the armour.

When Prince Inigo, brother to the Emperor, arrives on a diplomatic mission, Skye is forced to confront one of the more distressing problems for her: a marriage alliance with the Empire would secure Eskeleth’s borders, but the price may be too high. Inigo is charming and determined – and has allies in Skye’s own Council.

And the Nocturnes are determined to continue causing trouble, pursuing their own course. Skye has to counter them – but she needs to understand their aims, and slowly realises that their influence goes deeper than she had suspected…

Skye has allies, and friends. But as the situation deteriorates and the days move towards a day of the dead, it may be those friends and allies who are most at risk, and who force Skye to make the decisions about the fate of Eskeleth – and herself – that threaten everything.

This is certainly a darker book than The Steel Princess. The political and personal decisions of the first book start to have consequences, and the unfolding events force more and more tangled problems on Skye. There is a lot more political manouevring, but still a good chunk of action and the tensions between friends – and enemies – feed in nicely. And the ending is dramatic, and leaves you wondering what’s going to happen in the next book!

If you enjoyed the first one, this is definitely worth picking up; and if you’re not too sure that YA fantasy is your thing, this book is a definitely slide into darker, more political fantasy. I’ll be interested to see how the third book plays out!

Author: kate

Kate Coe is an editor, book reviewer and writer of fiction & fantasy. She writes the sparkpunk GreenSky series and blogs at writingandcoe.co.uk. When she's not working, she fills her spare time in between writing with web design, gaming, geeky cross-stitch and DIY (which may or may not involve destroying things). She also reads far fewer books that she would like to, but possibly more than she really has time for.