Genres: Romantic Fantasy, NA Fantasy, Epic Fantasy | Release Date: 4 July 2023 | Series: Crowns | Pages: 551 | Indie Author | Review
A huge thank you goes to Book Sirens and indie author Nicola Tyche for letting me read a copy of North Queen, book one in an epic romantic fantasy series! This wonderful NA fantasy is skilfully layered with complex characters, delicate plots and a heartache for the ages. So clearly, I’m a fan! But let’s start with an overview, shall we?
Princess Norah, the heir to the Mercian throne, was hidden away by her father in an effort to keep her safe. But when she’s finally tracked down to take her rightful place as Queen? Norah has no memory of where she’s been for the last three years; she doesn’t even recall her name. With the war between Mercia and the Shadow King’s army having dragged on for a decade, Norah must marry for a powerful alliance. But can she marry someone she doesn’t love, when her heart sings for Commander Alexander Rhemus? Is it even possible for Norah to do her duty, when she remembers nothing about her kingdom? And what happens when the Shadow King’s actions pull her down a twisted and treacherous path?
Nicola has an immense talent for creating a plot which will hold your attention until the very last page. This beautiful tale doesn’t just have a straightforward good vs. evil situation; there’s so many nuances to the threads of the story within North Queen! This is a massive happiness boost for me, because I love a detailed and expansive plot, which can just fully immerse readers in a new realm. Add to that the trope of lost memory? It’s such a smart move when you’re setting up a big romantic fantasy like this!
Within North Queen, we soon learn that not everything is as it seems. Villains have redeeming characteristics, and the heroes aren’t always going to get things right. Nicola gives us characters with *depth*, and every time I learned something new about them? My heart both hurt and melted at the same time! Norah is a pretty smart cookie, and I love that she learns to use her lost memory to an advantage: judging everyone by what she witnesses, rather than what would’ve been drummed into her from an early age.
I’m allowed to have a slightly obscure happiness boost, right? The magic within certain animals, like the fox and horse Norah comes across, completely warmed my soul. It’s one of those kinds of reads which will give you hints of the spark we get from Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia or Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Magic is alive and well within North Queen, and it has a richness to it which I completely love. It’s like a decadent, sumptuous dessert which will leave you simultaneously satisfied and wanting more.
I will note that there’s the beginning of a love triangle, which (if not done well) can sometimes cause issues with my enjoyment of a story. However, North Queen once again rises to the challenge! At least for book one in the Crowns series, this trope is effortlessly navigated with tact and a realistic quality which I admire.
North Queen by Nicola Tyche is an epic romantic fantasy featuring a powerful plot, complicated characters and a heartache for the ages. And for this to be her romantic fantasy debut? Take a bow Nicola, because this is *incredible*! I honestly can’t wait to see what comes next for Norah. If you love what you’ve heard from my review? Just click on the links below to pre-order this amazing book! Happy reading, glitterbugs!
You can pre-order North Queen via these links: