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A chance at glory.
The Queen’s Cage.
Where the Olympians select their Chosen and pit them against each other in a battle to the death.
The Cage’s bars only open twice every five years - once for the twelve Chosen, and another for the Victor, the last one standing. The last person standing gets a surname, an imperial title, and a claim to the Emperor’s throne.
Imperial Princess Seraphina Queenscage wasn’t always like she was now. She was once simply a duke’s daughter, hailed as Athena’s Chosen.
A bringer of ruin.
But that year she stepped out, bloody and glorious.
History is written by the victors, they say.
It was probably a good thing she murdered the rest of them.
around 4k+ words / chapter, every Monday & Thursday
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Phew, that's a hard one to review. Queenscage has a fast-paced story that is told in ever-shifting scenarios of different viewpoints. With every scene you get more information about the bigger picture, things are starting to make sense and you realise how big and thought-through the world-building of this novel is!
That is quite a unique and fitting way to write a fantasy novel that lives mostly from intrigue. My problem here is that it should maybe not start the exact same way. This works awesome after you know the characters, environment and basic plotline.
But in the first few chapters, reading a complex intrigue about characters I didn't know yet, felt a bit like trying to solve a difficult puzzle of a picture that I don't want to see as I have no investment into it yet. That made it a bit of a chore to read at the start.
Still - all in all it was a very unique and entertaining way of telling a complex story and if the beginning left us a bit more time to get immersed and invested into plot and characters, this would be awesome!
Style Score: as said, the style is working great in the middle but is hard to get into at the start. I'd say 3* at the beginning and easily 5* after a few chapters with the same style so I will settle for 4*.
Story Score: Nothing to complain. As soon as you manage to get the puzzle together, this is a great story, worth of 5 stars.
Wasn't easy either for me. The Characters all have depth and are believable. Personally, I might have the problem that the only characters I like would die off as they are not cold or ruthless enough to survive in this setting. Still, as the writing is really good, I would go for 4,5 stars here.
Overall I would recommend the story to readers who like complex intrigue and unique styles in general - this is where the fiction shines!
Oh boy, is this story something. I will straight out say that I will be giving this story a five out of five since it deserves it so dang much. Whats so good about it, you might ask. Well, first off, the characters in this story are more than just a name on a paper. They have more than just depth. They had striking personalities that make them stick out. I have read the first five chapters of this story. How many have been shown off? Over twenty. And I can remember details about almost all of them.
The style is very heavily oriented on building up the world. Everything shown has a porupose, and we slowly get to see it all unravel, as we get further and further into the story. I have not yet ventured too deep myself, but I make several assurances that I will do so in the future.
10 out of 10. Would read again.
Has all the political intrigue and cloak and dagger of game of thrones mixed with the presence powers provided by Olympian gods along with heroes. Every imperial character has more depth to them than most main characters in other novels, they each have their own motivation and their power reflects their personality as well making it fitting.
The grammer is basically perfect with no obvious spelling mistakes and the world building is great.
Oh, Queenscage, what can I say. I was first meant to read only some of it, but I ended up reading it all.
If I had to describe this story with only one word, it would be intriguing. The author has created such an immense world of politics, plotting, and interesting characters that it's admirable.
The strongest points in the story for me are definitely the world-building and the author's style. I really like the style of writing. The grammar is really good and the writing flows with ease. There is a lot of information, backstory, characters, history, culture and you name it. Sometimes the amount of information seems a bit exhausting, but the story is so intriguing that I looked past it. The author has created a lot, and I'm in awe of that.
I'm not a fan of multi-POV, but it didn't bother me much in this book. It was because of the author's style of writing that let me enjoy the book nonetheless. The chapters have length, but I think they need to be so that the reader has a chance to fully get into the world. The story isn't progressing too fast for my taste either.
The characters are interesting, and even though there are lots of them, they seem complex and distinct from each other. Time will tell what characters will make it to the end. The MC, Seraphina, is strong and cunning, and I'm interested to read what will happen to her.
There is a lot going on in the story, and at first, it felt a bit heavy since the reader is pretty much shoved in the middle of everything. I wished that the story would have started with a chapter that let me first get to know the MC better (maybe the first interlude etc.), before being thrown in the middle of it all. I had trouble remembering who was who and if I had encountered some name before etc. but when I got further into the story, I was fine with it.
But all in all, this is one intriguing story! Heavy world-building and intriguing premise and plot with politics included. It is a book you have to fully focus on, but if you do it, you'll be rewarded.
Fraught is the word that came to mind as I read through this politically charged, intriguing story. I don't even know how to use fraught properly in a sentence, but I think it would be something like "this story is fraught with political machinations." With little fanfare, we are thrown into the world of Queenscage and the author expects you to take your time and figure out who is who and what the hell is going on. I, personally, like the approach of letting the readers meander as they try to get their bearings and figure out which way is up. The author does an excellent job of introducing the characters with an air of mystery. Our MC, Seraphina, immediately comes off as cunning and mistrusting. There are a good amount of POV changes and I think this works in the story's favor since it is quite obvious there's much to learn about the world. The worldbuilding just might be my favorite aspect of the story, what with the author's plentiful use of in-world terms that make things feel foreign yet recognizable. Unfortunately, the worldbuilding tends to get in the way of the character building, at least this is the case early on. I will come back and amend this statement as I find time to read more if I feel things change.
Also, the chapters are meaty! And I think that's a good thing. They read like traditionally published chapters. This definitely gives up more time with each POV character.
Story & Grammar:
The two strongest points for me. The hints of story that we get and the intrigue surrounding the MC and the rest of the cast. We learn, right off the bat really, that sometimes being the winner might not be the best thing to happen. As a Victor, Seraphina joins a family. That family seems to be filled with homicidal superpower wielding folks who do as they please, even as far as killing and maiming with little to no repercussions. Seraphina herself is just as homicidal, within the first few chapters she causes an incident that involves the blowing up of buildings. Like I said in the overall section, this story is fraught with political machinations and intrigue. I look forward to finding some time to read more so I can figure out more of the plot.
As far as grammar goes, I found little that detracted from the experience. Maybe a few parts that slipped through the editing cracks but nothing major that pulled me out of my immersion. I did enjoy how thoroughly the lingo of the world permeates the writing, it really shows that the worldbuilding and the cultures of the world are on the author's mind.
Style & Character:
While I would say that these were the weakest bits, that doesn't mean by much. Especially for Character as I expect there to be more character-building moments the further I read.
Character gets a 4 because there are so many characters and POV's that the reader is plopped right into. The length of each chapter helps bolster our understanding of each character, even if by a little. Seraphina comes off strong and capable almost immediately. The rest of her supporting cast is distinct and I look forward to learning more about them. Still, time will need to be invested to truly get to know each character. What does play in the characters favor is the fact that they feel familiar as if I've already read about them before. This doesn't mean that they aren't unique, just that they fill a familiar archetype and makes it easier to get to know them.
The style might not be for everyone. Multi-POV often isn't and that's fine. A couple chapters might even be a bit jarring as they jump from one POV character to another. But I found it to my liking as I enjoy multi-POV. Other than that, I found the style enjoyable.
I enjoyed my time reading, enough that I'll be coming back to this one as soon as I find the time to do so. Queenscage is fraught with political and interpersonal machination that is quite scintillating. The MC is a strong female lead who shows flashes of cunning and is a thinking person's type of lead. As a character, I think Seraphina has huge potential for growth. As a story tool, it'll be fun watching her make her way through the muddy and murky landscape that is her family politics.
For readers who like their chapters chunky, this one is for you. Each chapter is lengthy and will give you plenty to sink your teeth into.
I will be following along and reading as I find the time. You're doing great author!
Queenscage is a battle royale story that takes place after the battle royale. If you choose your kingdom's heirs based on a last-person-standing deathmatch between chosen heroes of the gods every half-decade, you end up with a bunch selfish, manipulative heirs with a lot of blood on their hands, severe PTSD, and a proven willingness to do pretty much anything to get their way. So when the world changes and opportunities arise for advancement or war...
If you're a fan of epic fantasies with in-depth worldbuilding and a lot of political intrigue, you will absolutely love this story. If not, I still recommend giving it a go, because it's a fun time all round, but it does throw a *lot* of names, relationships, and complicated backstory at you and expect you to keep up. It took me longer to get through than the word count would suggest because I'm not much of an epic fantasy reader and had trouble remembering who everyone was, but it was still a fun time. The main critique I'll give it in terms of style and structure is that it does have a tendency to reveal information a little bit after the reader needs it, rather than before. This makes it impossible to properly engage and 'play along' with the story, instead leaving the reader to passively watch the protagonist figure out something complicated using information we don't have, and then explain to us what happened after the fact. It leaves the reader feeling constantly wrong-footed, but it's still very entertaining to follow along.
Not much to say about the grammar. It's fine. No glaring faults.
The story, specifically the story concept, is where this book really shines. Yes, there are ten million battle royale stories, but most of them focus on the exciting fight and don't care too much for the world outside (even the Hunger Games was far more interesting inside the arena than outside). The battle royale here is background, glimpsed in occasional flashbacks -- the story is a complicated political intrigue between the survivors of a game played for the entertainment of the gods, and the people around them. As a premise, it's a hundred times more interesting.
The characters are also very consistent and distinct from each other. This is quite handy, as there are an awful lot of them, as tends to be the case in epic fantasy. You won't get any "generic mean noble II died, here is generic mean noble III, try to remember he has a different name now" here -- everyone present is their own distinct, fascinating person.
Overall, this is one of the best stories I've encountered on this site, and I say that as someone who's not even all that into epic fantasy. It's great fun, but it will demand your full attention and focus to keep up with what's going on -- no 'passive relaxing TV show' kind of reading here.
If you want the quick pitch, this is Game of Thrones with Greek Mythology, crossed with Hunger Games / Battle Royale.
And it's bloody (pun intended) AMAZING!
The worldbuilding and depth of the story hit you right from the get go. You may have to go back and reread parts, but that's hardly a chore. The story is fast paced and just drag you along for an amazing ride.
The style is good- it's polished, clean, if I picked this up in a bookstore I would be buying it and checking the author site to see when the inevitable 3 sequels come out. This feels to me like a huge franchise even within the first few chapters.
Grammar - saw nothing wrong, everything's well done.
The story takes a lot of other things you *think* you've read before, mixes them together, and gives you something new and better. Again, GoT + Hunger Games, plus Percy Jackson, but it's so much more than that.
Characters- I love Sera. I love how she thinks, I love hearing her thoughts, I want to know more about what she went through. It's first person, which I usually don't like, but I like being in Sera's head.
Just go read this.
I am a bit of a sucker for stories that begin with an unapologetic in medias res. Queenscage opens with a juicy morsel of worldbuilding quickly followed by wheels within wheels intrigue that continues unabated thereafter. The characters are enjoyable to listen to, both in dialogue and narration - to the extent that I didn't notice that it was first person initially, which is an achievement because I usually carry a strong dislike of first person.
Further details about the worldbuilding and broader plot are laid out piecemeal in ways that dovetail nicely with the action at hand, and the PoV switches provide pleasing contrast and a welcome additional perspective rather than being jarring or disorienting.
I don't normally tend to notice the style and formatting of a story unless it is detracting from my experience, so it was welcome to see a story that has had clear thought and effort put into its presentation. The epigraphs, introductions and various breaks are composed carefully and in a tasteful manner. It's very nice to see a story with such a rapid output that takes the trouble.
All told, I'm very pleased with what I've read so far and look forward to seeing more developments from this story. Well done, author!