Sarah Beth Durst

The Reluctant Queen

ISBN: 9780062413352

The Reluctant Queen
Book Two of The Queens of Renthia

an epic fantasy novel
by Sarah Beth Durst
available now from Harper Voyager

In The Queen of Blood, Daleina used her strength and skill to survive the malevolent nature spirits of Renthia and claim the throne. Since then, she has kept the peace and protected the humans of her land. But now for all her power, she is hiding a terrible secret: she is dying. And if she leaves the world before a new heir is ready, the spirits that inhabit her beloved realm will once again run wild, destroying her cities and slaughtering her people.

Naelin has the raw power necessary to become an heir, but she couldn't be further removed from the Queen -- and she wouldn't have it any other way. Her world is her two children and her husband, and that's all she needs. But when Ven, the Queen's champion, passes through her village, Naelin's ambitious husband proudly tells him of his wife's ability to control spirits -- magic that Naelin fervently denies. She knows embracing her power will bring only death and separation from those she loves.

But Ven has a single task: to find the best possible candidate to protect the people of Aratay. And as the Queen's power begins to wane and the spirits become emboldened -- and ominous rumors trickle down from the north -- Naelin realizes that the only way to keep her son and daughter safe is to risk everything.

Read the first two chapters

*     *     *

Praise for The Reluctant Queen:

"In Durst's excellent second Queens of Renthia fantasy, the world of Renthia remains a dangerous place where the spirits of the elements want to kill humans, and only powerful queens...can control them.... Durst throws a lot of balls in the air but manages to juggle them deftly.... New readers will benefit from starting with the first book, but they'll want to get to this one as soon as they can." -- Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

A Science Fiction Book Club Selection

Read additional reviews.

Praise for the Queens of Renthia series:

ALA Alex Award Winner 2017

"Mythopoeic Award-winner Durst launches her Queens of Renthia series with a stellar and imaginative tale." -- Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

"A thrilling beginning to a sweeping series about searching for sovereignty and truth in order to save one's land." -- Library Journal (Starred Review)

"Known for YA novels like The Girl Who Could Not Dream, Durst dives into adult fantasy with thrilling results." -- Shelf Awareness (Starred Review)

"Durst is an expert world-building and has crafted an enthralling tale." -- The Washington Post

"A truly wonderful fantasy story. Filled with fresh ideas and excitement, told with verve and heart." -- Terry Brooks, New York Times best-selling author of the Shannara series

"Thrilling, heartrending, enchanting, absolutely un-put-down-able!" -- Tamora Pierce, New York Times best-selling author of the Tortall series

*     *     *

Download hi-res cover art by Stephan Martiniere.

*     *     *

Also available as an audiobook:

The Reluctant Queen

The Reluctant Queen
Audio Edition

written by Sarah Beth Durst
narrated by Khristine Hvam
available now from HarperAudio

Purchase Audible edition or Audio CD

International Editions:

Die Todeskönigin
German Translation

available now from
Penhaligon (Random House)

German ISBN: 9783764532000

The Reluctant Queen
Australian Edition

available now from
HarperCollins Australia

Return to Books page.

Copyright © 2023 Sarah Beth Durst
All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this site or portions thereof in any form whatsoever.
Website created and maintained by Sarah Beth Durst and Adam Durst.