Hi everyone! Recently I read Queen of Coin and Whispers by Helen Corcoran and loved it so much. This is a book for all the women out there – because they’re the only ones pulling all of the strings in this world. It reminds me of Priory of the Orange Tree, except it isn’t quite as long. There is a lot of political intrigue with subtle battles for power and control, with characters relying a lot on their intelligence and ability to act quickly. I just love this gorgeous cover too, so dramatic.
Star rating: 4 stars
This is a book with two points of view – Xania and Lia. Lia has inherited a Kingdom where the resources have been abused by the previous King. It is bordering on bankrupt, and she must decide who she can trust. Xania’s father died, but she’s pretty sure it was murder. She wants nothing more than to find out what really happened and avenge his death, but for that she needs access to the right people. When offered the chance to be Lia’s spymaster she’s sceptical, but something makes her take the job. Lia offers her previously inaccessible connections and the chance for her to improve her family’s position.
As the Queen’s Whispers, Xania’s life is more dangerous than ever before. Lia gets her promoted at her job at the treasury to give her more reach. She’s relying so much on her instincts and has to use her intelligence rather than her limited ability to fight. As Queen, Lia faces betrayals from all over. She has Parliament nobles to contend with and they are not making it easy for her. Never mind the pressure to get married and produce an heir to secure the future.
This book has female / female romance front and centre, in a world where same-sex relationships are accepted. Lia’s issue is that she needs an heir, which is a consideration when it comes to her feelings for Xania. I loved the romance, the two characters work really well together and complement each other.
The other thing about this book that I really appreciated was Xania’s relationship with her Step-Father, which is portrayed positively. In a world of evil Step-Mother stories, I enjoyed this change! Definitely something I never even knew I wanted in a book, and I definitely be looking for it in the future.
Helen Corcoran definitely put Ireland on the map in fantasy fiction here, and I can’t wait to see what she decides to write about next.