The Queen's resistance by Rebecca Ross

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The Queen's Rising book 2. HarperCollins Children's Books, 2019. ISBN: 9780008246013.
(Age: 13+) Recommended. Themes: Fantasy, Coming of age, Conspiracies, Betrayals, Dissent. I loved The Queen's rising and its sequel is equally as riveting. Brienna and Cartier, now known as Aodhan Morgane, must take up new roles and responsibilities as Queen Isolde takes on the reins of ruling Maevana, and metes out punishment to the Lannons, the family that had ruled so unjustly.
The Queen's resistance is different to many fantasy sequels in that it concentrates on the difficulties of restoring justice to the land and the problems that a new ruler faces after overthrowing a tyrant. The great moral dilemma of whether all the Lannons should be executed for treason (even the children) is one that is faced by the Queen and her entourage and raises tricky questions of whether everyone should be judged on their bloodlines and whether children have been forced to act in evil ways by their parents. There are scenes of dark dungeons and it is not difficult to imagine the torture that has occurred in the cells deep underground.
Brienna faces the challenge of fitting into the MacQuinn household when there are whispers about her background. She must prove herself worthy of the MacQuinns and of her Queen's trust. Cartier too faces difficult times especially as he has taken an orphan boy, Tomas, under his wing and put his trust in him. Brienna and Aodhan's feelings continue to bloom although having time to spend together is almost impossible with Brienna's duties to the Queen and Cartier's rebuilding of his estate.
The story is told in alternating chapters from the point of view of Brienna and Cartier and the reader will find the action described engrossing and the tasks that face them often seem herculean. The notion of the traditional family is questioned as Brienna is taken in by the MacQuinns and Cartier is prepared to look after a homeless boy.
Even though the first book, The Queen's rising, could easily be read as a stand-alone and will be enjoyed by fantasy lovers, The Queen's resistance makes a fascinating and engrossing sequel.
Pat Pledger