Queen and Conqueror (The Queen's Red Guard Book 1)
Rating: 3 out of 5
"Men will never be ready for women like us, and it is not our job to ready them."
"Yet women in power stood on a precipice. One small mistake and she plunged to her death, willingly pushed by those who eagerly stood by to see if she would ever be worthy of power."
How do you conquer a kingdom without spilling blood? Offer your hand in marriage to the king who killed your husband. Almira's father raised her in political cunning. Since childhood, she's prepared for this moment. She lays out the players one by one like pieces on a board. One. King Alton, the brother-killer. The spare heir who killed his brother for the throne. Two. The perfect seamstress. The people must admire a queen and welcome her with open arms even when she arrives with an armada behind her. Three. The Queen's Red Guard. These warrior women have one purpose; to protect the Queen at all costs.
I would recommend checking out the trigger warnings on this one before you read it because it has a number of them. So what can I say about this book. It was 507 pages and I feel like not much happened in those pages. The idea of a strong female character protected by a guard of fierce and determined women was a major selling point for this novel for me. I was intrigued by the idea, but I kept finding myself wanting more action in the story. I felt like everything major and page turning was crammed into the last 100 pages. I would have liked for more of the book to have been that way.
However, the book had some amazingly strong female characters. Almira who will do anything in the name of duty. Each woman who makes up her Red Guard is ferocious and deadly! We get a little bit of a romance in the story, but it felt a little convenient to the plot for me. The author does an amazing job at world building and character development. I felt like a lot was unresolved in this book, which clearly is because it was the first book, but a few answers would have been nice for me. Overall, it was a well written story with strong female characters.