Gunrunner and diviner, Ophelia Leoni, sneaks out of bed after sharing a very hot one-night stand, albeit drunkenly with a sexy stranger, when trying to forget about her last mission that went wrong. However, Ophelia didn’t think the following hours will be as life-changing and full of danger as she’s told that she has to marry a Prince due to the disastrous mission, and that the marriage will help her family’s business. But Prince Kristian supports a group of people called Sanctify whose main aim is to wipe the galaxy of any humans not deemed pure. They are known to have a cruel reputation, and there is no Prince Charming in the works for Ophelia. It also doesn’t help the fact that Ophelia is a diviner; Sanctify sees her race as impure and have killed her people in the past, which hints that her marriage to Kristian is not going to end happily. But the marriage is thwarted when Ophelia’s sexy stranger, Boone, is aware of who she really is. Boone has his own agenda and he kidnaps Ophelia to stop the deal being made between Kristian and her family.
QUEEN OF SWORDS was such an enjoyable and fun space opera. I was thoroughly entertained with the romance, as well as the supporting cast of vibrant characters that were flamboyant and memorable. Boone is Kristian’s younger brother, and he’s vying for the kingdom of the planet of Hansarda. He also wants to stop the encroachment of the Sanctify movement which is oppressing and terrifying the territories they have taken over. By stopping the marriage, Boone hopes to curtail his brother’s power base, but this is a trap which is to distract and draw out Boone. Ophelia is merely a pawn in the game that Kristian has set up.
I love a good romance that has the main leads butting heads. It’s a trope I adore in romance because it heightened up the tension. Katee Robert ensured they worked out their issues and differences before falling back into bed again. I really liked this because even though both Ophelia and Boone had their secrets and their own agendas, they both had to work on compromising with each other when they learned that the arranged marriage was a trick. Although they still disagree over things, it was amusing and lively to see their interactions. It really added to their chemistry which was the highlight of the story.
Katee Robert’s also painted a vivid universe filled with colourful aliens (literally) that also helped to cement a terrific world, and I really liked the world-building, and the characters that inhabit it. I wished I had read the prequel novella in the Sanctify series because I wanted to know more about this world. I also loved how the tarot cards and its mythology were incorporated into the story. Every time Ophelia did a reading, it added another aspect of mystery into the plot and I was intrigued with the different stages of a diviner’s prophetic power which was linked with life changes. I wished this was explained more, though, because it was interesting and I loved how this affected the story with both Ophelia and her mother experiencing new changes in their powers.
I also loved the humour. The whole book consisted of some funny scenes, such as Ophelia dealing with a bout of nausea who then throws up on some expensive boots on a someone she perceives to be a rival. The dialogue, especially between Boone and Ophelia, was also amusing and funny, and it added a great tone to the story as well as the space opera feel which was reminiscent of FIREFLY and FARSCAPE.
I wished the ending and the big climax had more time to expand because I felt Ophelia acted out of character with some things, especially with someone very close to her. I also felt the ending was rushed and abrupt and I would have liked to see more of what happened in the end especially with the romance, because it felt that they just worked out their issues and I would have liked to see more of their HEA.
But QUEEN OF SWORDS was a fun crazy ride of a romp with a rich universe and cast of characters. It truly lives up to being a fun space opera. I was highly entertained and I will definitely be following this series because it certainly delivered what I love in a space opera: a rich universe, fast pace adventure and a very sexy romance!
I give Queen of Swords a B.