The Queen of Sorrow by Sarah Beth Durst
The Queens of Renthia book 3. HarperCollins, 2018. ISBN
(Age: 15+) Recommended. Themes: Fantasy. Ambition. Family. Durst brings her unique series to a satisfying conclusion in the third book in the series, following The queen of blood and The reluctant queen. Queen Daleina has been joined by Queen Naelin, both ruling the kingdom and trying to keep the evil nature spirits at bay. When Queen Naelin's children are kidnapped by the spirits, Naelin cares only for them and is prepared to sacrifice everything to get them back. She believes that Queen Merecot of Semo has been behind the kidnapping and is ready to go to war. However, Merecot has grandiose ambitions and all of Renthia is threatened by her actions.
This is an action packed book, while at the same time exploring the emotions and actions of a mother whose children have been taken. Queen Naelin has enormous power which hasn't been trained, and she is willing to burn the kingdom to get them back. Queen Daleina has to keep a calm head and look at the bigger picture while Queen Merecot is ambitious and devious. The scheming, politics and actions of the three women make for an interesting story. It is also fascinating to read a series that has older main characters with subtle romance, rather than the love triangles that sometimes feature in fantasy series.
I would recommend this series to fantasy readers who enjoy character driven plots and a fabulous forest setting where the inhabitants live in villages in the trees and fight off attacks by spirits.