Unlikely Queen: T. L. Smith *Review*

Cover of Unlikely Queen by T. L. Smith is on the left side of the image, surrounded by a black and white chess board. Added text says: Prophecy dictates that Tahlia will overthrow the Queen... It's time for her to rule this kingdom.

Genre: Paranormal Fantasy | Release Date: 29 March 2022 | Series: Crystal Castle | Series Book: #1 | Pages: 261 | Indie Author | Review

“Be cruel, vindictive, ruthless.

You need to be worse than the queen to defeat the queen.”

T. L. Smith


Unlikely Queen was a gem of a find when I was going through e-ARC possibilities on Book Sirens. The first in the Crystal Castle series, this paranormal fantasy will be released in just a few days! It’s a tale of high stakes and *very* unlikely allies. T. L. Smith writes from Tahlia’s POV, our heroine with a prophecy over her head that says she will be the one to overthrow the current Queen.

It is up to Tahlia, with the aid of her eldest sister (Tatiana), to make this happen. Tahlia doesn’t just control one aspect of magic. She has so much more at her fingertips than anyone could ever realise. Even the demons, vampires and angels are perplexed when they come across her. And what about the Angel of Death, Grim? He can’t seem to stay away from Tahlia, and is (ironically) always saving her from dying. But what happens if he can’t be there to save her? Does Tahlia have the knowledge and skill to save herself, and those she loves? I read Unlikely Queen in one sitting, and I was sad when I reached the end as quickly as I did.

Cover of Unlikely Queen by T. L. Smith on the right side of the image, with a sepia image of a tree, river and rocks surrounding it. Added text says: The evil Queen will be overthrown, long live the Queen.
The Unlikely Queen is about to make her move in this T. L. Smith gem.

While there’s no YA label, nor an 18+ only rating, I will just note that there’s a couple of more mature scenes in this story. I only say this for full disclosure, and the individual reader can then determine what they want to do.

Happiness Boost:

My biggest happiness boost was the tangible connection between the three sisters: Tahlia, Tatiana and Tanya. There is nothing they wouldn’t do for each other, and that palpable love glimmers off the pages of Unlikely Queen. I also really enjoyed that there wasn’t a huge fuss made over the prophecy, no shock or panic or any other overpowering emotion. It was just there. And Tanya dealt with it.

Admittedly I also took a great delight in the fact that Death was enchanted with a witch, not for what she could do, but just for who she was. Yes her power had been the first thing to intrigue him, but there’s more to their story than just like calling to like. Tanya has much, much more to give and can’t be solely defined by the magic running through her veins.

There were new creatures in this paranormal story that I hadn’t come across before. And some of the characters are, even now, completely mystifying. I love that I don’t know what to make of some of them, including Bronik, an Angel of Light.


The blurb had me thinking that a certain Angel of Light would have even more of an impact than he did. Don’t get me wrong, he does keep popping up (much like Grim). But honestly if I hadn’t read the blurb, I wouldn’t have thought there were two men in Tanya’s life (irrespective of roles). This could just be down to my interpretation, so feel free to disagree with me when you read it!

Final Thoughts:

Unlikely Queen was a great read, and if you want a paranormal fantasy of a quest to overthrow an evil Queen? This is one you should add to your TBR list. The bond of sisters is the magical thread that runs through this beautiful book, and it was a highlight for me to read of it. And when you add Death into the mix, as well as a bunch of entities vying for their own gain… It’s a melting pot of high energy, big stakes, and emotions that will spill over into your heart.

You can preorder via my Amazon link: Unlikely Queen

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