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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Queen to Ashes is a work of epic fantasy for young adults, penned by author Mallory McCartney. Forming the second book in the Black Dawn series, this instalment focuses on heroine Emory Fae as she steps out of the world of humanity and into that of her true calling into the kingdom of Kiero. Here, her rightful place as queen is threatened by the mad king, and the young woman questions her abilities to play a tactful and brutal game to climb to her place at the top of Kiero’s royal elite. As she steals focus from the king, the queen in waiting hopes that her rebellion will rise all around her.
Author Mallory McCartney writes with ease in her fantasy world, creating a darkly suspenseful journey filled with surprises and enchantment at every turn. I loved the character of Emory, a young woman faced with destiny who reacts realistically but also bravely to the threat and promise of the world before her. Adair was also brilliantly made, a flawed man with a complex psychology that I really enjoyed unpicking, and that gave the novel a thriller/suspense subplot that merged really well with the dark and sometimes violent fantasy elements that were taking place. The plot is suitable for teen readers, but also encompasses complex themes and enough unpredictability for adult readers to enjoy it too. Overall, I’d highly recommend Queen to Ashes as a stylish and suspenseful fantasy novel for young adults and adult fantasy fans alike.