Book Reviews

Book Review: A Queen of Ruin

Title: A Queen of Ruin
Author: K.F. Breene
Genre: Fantasy, Romance

What It’s About: Finely goes down to the shore to pick up the demons and the fairies and bring them back to the castle. Then she and Nyfain get to work on helping sort out the castle and the kingdom. Weston, the alpha wolf, speaks to them both and Nyfain realizes that he may have to pay off his kingdom to get to keep him, if Weston wants to stay in the Wyvern Kingdom, which he does. This raises the problem of money for them–they have nearly none. It is then that Ami–officially known as Queen Arleth–asks to speak with them.

They have dinner with her during which Arleth reveals that she could no longer take the Mad King’s maltreatment, so with her guards and her trusted confidant, Delancy (“Dee”), she came up with a plot. The plan went into effect when Nyfain left to go to the fairy kingdom for good, and she ended up getting beaten within an inch of her life by the king. Dee saved her by putting herself between the king and Arleth, after which her guards took her out of the country through ships, while making it seem like she had died. When she healed enough she went to go find Nyfain, only to find out that no one knew who Nyfain was and the kingdom of Wyvern did not exist. So she had been waiting and living in the village, wondering about Nyfain, and then Finley showed up. She offers that they go to eat dinner by the fire place, and then reveals to Nyfain that the Mad King is not his father at all. She then tells him the story of what was going on with her and the king, and how she ended up having a relationship with Taerlaeh, the king’s guard, that got her pregnant with Nyfain. The Mad King was happy to let her raise Nyfain the way that she wanted to, and started to take interest in him when he was old enough. Taerlaeh loved him, even though he didn’t know at first that Nyfain was his son, but he later figured it out when he overheard the king berate her for Nyfain not being his, and put himself in-between them to save her. He then got killed by the King for treason. Nyfain finally puts it together that his father used to say he is not good enough to even be Taerlaeh, which he always understood that he was not good enough to even be a traitor worth mentioning, but now knowing that Taerlaeh was his father, who was the king’s top guard–his second in command–it paints a different picture. Queen Arleth tells Nyfain that she will help him get the gold out that was promised to her by the Mad King, and gives him the information that he needs to get it free. But even with the Queen’s gold, they do not have enough to pay everything that they need to, so both Finley and Nyfain realize that they can melt the armory to pay off things.

Time goes on, and several things happen. First, Nyfain hasn’t regained his wings after the curse, though some of the scales have come back, so Finley sets out to work on a cure, and with Arleth’s help, she realizes that the everlass from the field where Hannon had saved their sister would be used for this, alongside with demon blood freely given. They visit the field and notice that some of the everlass is different and they try to find a way to replicate it. After several tries, she eventually does figure out the cure and Nyfain gets his wings and his golden scales back, and they mate and she marks him for the second time in the sky as dragons. Secondly, the news makes it way around that Nyfain is not the true son of the king, and several dragons do try to challenge him for the throne, but in the last challenge, Nyfain kills the dragon and that ends any will of challenging him. Thirdly, Dolion attacks while Nyfain still doesn’t have his wings. In that attack, the dragons find out that their attacks are useless, so Finley wills them all to land and fight on the ground, alongside with the wolves, which is hugely successful. She is able to also hurt Dolion by biting him as a dragon, but then gets surrounded and ends up getting hurt which results in her being put on rest, though Nyfain relents and lets her pick everlass.

After Nyfain gets his wings back, they have the coronation, and that night Finley gets a strong mating urge, which sets Nyfain off, and so the guards have to pull her out of the dinner so that Nyfain doesn’t kill anyone. They end up using the hidden hallways to chase each other, and then he has sex with her several times over in the hallways.

With the coronation out of the way, the group makes their way to the Fairy kingdom to speak with King Stavos about Dolion. En route there, while Finley and Nyfain are having sex to satisfy her heat, they see Demon ships coming for them. As they prepare to battle, some questions arise about Finley’s heat and her being potentially pregnant. Tamara asks her if she feels euphoric as the heat ends, and when Finley realizes that it is exactly how she feels after their mating session, Tamara tells her that this usually does signify she is pregnant. As promised, Finley stays out of the battle, but they down the ships at sea, and afterwards, she and Queen Arleth create pregnancy tests that Finley takes–both of which come out as positive. Nyfain also listens to all of the stories of the people who had suffered in the dungeons of Dolion’s castle, the last of which was Finley’s story, which angered him so much that he ripped off the doors and had to fly as a dragon for a while.

Arriving at court in the Fairy Kingdom, Finley and Nyfain see Nyfain’s ex-fiancee–Eris, who is disgusted by him. She also finds out that Calia has been spying on them from the dinner that night, and is upset with Calia because she thought they were friends. So when Calia takes her out on a tour of the garden, she asks her bluntly, and eventually Calia pulls her to the side to tell her that she specifically got her a table nearby the head of their healing operations so that she can speak with her, if she knows how. Queen Arleth has a feeling that Finley will get stuff out of them for the healing remedies, that she herself had not been able to do in their visits. As soon as Finley sees the everlass, she gets pissed off, and yells at the gardeners for mis-treating it. Eris shows up and asks her what the problem is, as Eris is the head gardener of the king’s castle. Then she makes the mistake of mentioning Nyfain, and Finley loses her sanity about it, letting her dragon terrify Eris without doing too much to hurt her. When she’s back in her human form, she commands everyone around, takes over three worktables in the garden, and then gets invited to return. Nyfain and Finley spend about three weeks in the Fairy Kingdom, during which Finley blows apart the Fairy’s healing operations, getting to know a lot of their secrets on potions, elixirs and other healing items.

During that time, they are attacked by Dolion’s demons. Once in which the demons storm the castle and the whole Wyvern group takes them out, and the second time, the demons get their hands on Hannon when he goes to search for a toy left by their youngest brother. When they find him, it looks like he’s tied up to the stake and some of the demonic creatures are unleashed on him. Unfortunately, Nyfain and Finley along with some of their friends are not able to reach Hannon on time, and he ends up dying. Finley is so upset by this that she sits outside his burial hut with Nyfain and many other members of both their kingdom and the Fairy kingdom, holding vigil. As the sun rises, Hannon’s hut sets on fire, and they are indignant, but then a beautiful red feathered animal rises from the hut–the phoenix. And Hannon comes back to life–as to shift for the first time he has to die. Calia delivers the news that kingdoms will want to use Hannon for their benefit, which is not a good thing.

It then turns out that Dessia–Calia’s sister–is the basilisk, the phoenix’s mortal enemy. This is something that Hadriel and one of the other dragons found out by accident, and so they have Calia tell Finley and Nyfain, resulting in Finley slapping Calia. One of the requests though is that they take Dessia with them so that she can be safe, and Hannon agrees to be Dessia’s protector as he doesn’t want to kill her nor she him.

They then head to the meeting palace of the Council of the Kingdoms. There, the steward begins to get involved in Nyfain’s and Finley’s business, because any time he mentions Dolion, the steward shows up and tells them that it’s slander. The Queen and King of the Red Lupine Kingdom are clearly in Dolion’s pockets, while the other King and Queen of the other wolf kingdom do not want to do anything against Dolion, saying that it’s easier to just let him be. An argument ensures where Finley stands up to the whole court and speaks a bit about her experience in Dolion’s castle, also mentioning the other stolen individuals. Hannon and Nyfain get her out of there after there is some hostility, and that night the battle begins–Dolion attacks the castle with his troops along with help from the Red Lupine Kingdom. The only thing that he did not account for was the fact that Weston was a stronger natural alpha wolf than the King of the Kingdom, and is easily able to steal the wolves to be on their side. The group fights to get to the King of the Fairy Kingdom, but then realize that Dolion has made it back to his domain.

So they bring the fight to Dolion’s castle, with Govam’s help. They make it through the secret castle entries thanks to Govam, Denski and the other demons, after which they make their way to the upper floors, where it becomes a losing battle, during which Nyfain tells Finley to leave and save her and their unborn child. They kick a demon out a window, which becomes Hannon’s signal to start his attack–except he does not know how to use brimfire. Dessia tells him that he has to think about saving the whole world not just his family to activate it, and once he leaves to fight, she speaks with Calia and tells her that she’s going to reveal who she really is–the truth will set her free. During this time it is revealed that Dessia and Calia are the king’s daughters, resulting from an affair with a servant. Dessia transforms into a basilisk and attacks the foundations, while Hannon finally figures out how to use brimfire and kills Dolion. After the battle, they visit the dungeons for Nyfain to see where they all lived, and then go home.

A few months later, Hadriel checks in on Finley-now visibly pregnant-and Nyfain cuddling on a couch in the library. Then she gives birth to their daughter, Tabitha, which Hadriel ends up holding while Finley is resting for a bit. Finley could not be happier than she is, having found her golden prince and having her family. Queen Arleth is also taken with how Nyfain is as a father to Tabitha–reminding her of Taerlaeh. The kingdom had grown in prestige over time; their garden and library outdoing the Fairy Kingdom’s ones, and they had different shifters who found themselves at home here. Calia comes to visit, but she always excuses herself from conversations that she believes should not be heard by her so she can’t spy on them, and Dessia has disappeared, no one knows where. Hannon continues to do his work as a phoenix, on they council, but he doesn’t answer all of the requests that come his way from others for some blessings. Overall, life is good.

My Thoughts: This book has more battles, more romance and more intrigue. I have loved seeing how Finley and Nyfain kept growing closer, how protective he is of her, and also how the author weaved mythology within the story–the phoenix and the basilisk–as well as Finley’s pregnancy. I did feel though that it would have been cooler if Finley had twins –a girl and a boy– instead of just a girl (and I really didn’t like the name Tabitha, but luckily there’s no story with her so it ends there), but she has been built up to be exceptional throughout the series of the book–from being able to figure out her way with everlass, to getting pregnant so quickly after imprinting and figuring out how to band everyone together–that her having one thing that is normal makes sense.

I’m actually sad that this series is over because I loved Finley’s story, but I also think that it was a very good closure to the series with that ending. And because of all of these intricacies, I did find this story to be very good, so if you’re looking for a series to read, this is definitely it.

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