Monday, August 24, 2020

Book Review | THE VANISHED QUEEN by Lisbeth Campbell

THE VANISHED QUEEN  by Lisbeth Campbell
Publication: August 18, 2020
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Imprint: Saga Press
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: ★★★½

When a country is held in thrall to a vicious, despotic king, it’s up to one woman to take him down.

Long ago, Queen Mirantha vanished. King Karolje claimed it was an assassination by a neighboring king, but everyone knew it was a lie. He had Disappeared her himself.

But after finding the missing queen’s diary, Anza—impassioned by her father’s unjust execution and inspired by Mirantha’s words—joins the resistance group to overthrow the king. When an encounter with Prince Esvar thrusts her into a dangerous game of court politics, one misstep could lead to a fate worse than death.

Esvar is the second son of an evil king. Trapped under his thumb and desperate for a way out, a chance meeting with Anza gives him the opportunity to join the resistance. Together, they might have the leverage to move against the king—but if they fail, their deaths could mean a total loss of freedom for generations to follow.

Set in a world where resistance is as dangerous as it is important, The Vanished Queen is a tale of the courage and sacrifice it requires to take on a tyrant. -Publisher

The book cover is gorgeous and paired with a strong summary. I knew I have to request a copy from the publisher. However, I had a hard time immersing myself in it.

The tyrant King Karolje rules the Kingdom of Vetia, and his power relies on secrets, lies, and manipulations. He has no qualms killing anyone who opposes him, even his wife, Queen Mirantha. His sons, Tevin and Esvar, grew up learning and exerting their schemes against their evil father. Meanwhile, amidst the impoverished populaces, hides the resisters. Among them is Anza, the harpy.

For me, it seems that two different people wrote this book. I can easily dismiss the grammatical errors since I read an uncorrected proof. Still, there are parts comprised of disjointed sentences and flat narratives. [Maybe], this is one reason why this book also felt winding at times. Meanwhile, other parts emerge with strength and sureness that capture the reader’s interest. Or, this book went through a gradual progression, years maybe, and the writer’s evolution becomes evident as the story unfolds. Either, I hope editing catches on that, and none of these appears on the final cut because this book has great potential.

The very intricate weave of intrigue and passion is juicy. Campbell’s command of political and economic scheming is fascinating. And it’s the most exciting theme for me. Mirantha’s chapters help bring that out, and probably the best-written parts. And although I prefer King Karolje and Tevin to be fleshed out further, I am content with the rest of the characters.

Filled with drama, romance, and pursuit of justice, fantasy readers will enjoy THE VANISHED QUEEN. There are some dark topics ahead, so be forewarned.

Alan Dingman designed the beautiful book cover. While Lisa Flanagan, Tristan Morris, and Vanessa Moyen read the audio version.


About the Author:
Lisbeth Campbell grew up in Illinois and western Pennsylvania. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her jobs have run the gamut from housecleaner to teacher. When she is not writing, reading, or spending time with her husband and daughter, she is probably attending to one of her cats.

*Thanks to Simon & Schuster for the uncorrected proof in exchange for this unbiased review.
*This post is a part of the monthly linkups organized by Lovely Audiobooks! You can click here to check it out and be a part of it.


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