King Callie by B. Lynch wasn’t the fierce YA read I was expecting

King Callie by B. Lynch wasn’t the fierce YA read I was expecting

Based on the blurb and the cover, readers are expecting King Callie to be a book with a teen female protagonist fighting for her rightful claim to the throne.  I was expecting a Queen of the Tearling or *fingers crossed* another Throne of Glass.  Instead, this book is mostly the narrative of adult protagonists:  the widowed queen working stealthily to give her daughter the throne, a couple of adult men fighting over power and an unfaithful woman, an adult seer who spends almost the entire story locked in a dungeon.  Callie is not the primary focus of the book.  She does not fight for her throne – she stands in the background or makes bad judgement calls that threaten everything.  She experiences no significant growth, and by the end, it feels as though the battle axe that placed her on the throne has made a big mistake.  If the road to victory didn’t test and harden her, what was the point?  The plot was almost entirely political maneuvering, and I found it very dull.  While my expectations were not met, I am sure there is an adult audience who wants to read a medieval political sword story.  That crowd will not be attracted by the blurb, and that is a fatal flaw.  Language and situations are okay for all audiences, but it just isn’t going to be an interesting read for all audiences.  I gave it two stars and I gave myself a chocolate bar for reading this one all the way to the end. 

Goodreads Summary

Caliandra, the teenage princess of Barra, is in dire straits. 

Not only did her fiancé break off their engagement and leave her for a richer woman, but Caliandra’s father is gravely ill – and if her brother Valric is unable to find the cure he’s set out for, their titles and wealth will disappear. Their father had been chosen as king by a magic axe, and when he passes on, so does the crown.

Soon, the worst befalls the princess – Valric turns up dead, her father succumbs to disease, and the axe goes missing, leaving the throne open for a coup by the devious Minister of War. Caliandra and her mother decide to risk everything on a desperate bid to find the axe and oust the Minister, driven by a prophecy that the proper King will take his place – Caliandra.

But when she finds out which trusted family friend betrayed her brother, will Caliandra’s thirst for revenge sabotage her only chance at the crown?

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


About queenbook

When the final bell rings, I stash those messy piles of essays and analysis assignments in a desk drawer and I head home to a pile of good books. My kids and dog eat too many chicken nuggets and the house could be neater, but as long as I get my daily read, I guess we are doing all right. When I was twelve and fifteen and eighteen and twenty, I believed I needed to get out there and do those things I had just been reading about, which ended in disaster, tears, a tattoo that scares me every time I catch a glimpse of it in the mirror, and the realization that some of us are meant for action, and some of us are meant to critique the pace of action in a book. I read primarily YA fiction as I have a rather hulking classroom library and a hundred high school readers to engage daily. Nothing makes me happier than coming to school and finding an impatient teenager waiting by my door to turn in a book and get another one just like it. I adore a good zombie, a medieval princess, or girl assassin (I would like them all in one book if you are a writer looking for some inspiration). I add historical mystery to my wish list a year in advance, and you should get out of my way when the next Outlander book comes out. I have an embarrassing fondness for rock star books, but only if they don’t get too trashy and embarrass me. My favorite book of all time is The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery. My book boyfriends include Gilbert Blythe, Alonzo Wilder, and Jamie Fraser. They are mine and you can’t have them.

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