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Displaying 1 - 30 of 192 reviews
Profile Image for Bethany (Beautifully Bookish Bethany).
2,203 reviews3,682 followers
February 19, 2021
Actual Rating: 2.5 stars rounded up

*sigh* This was disappointing because I LOVED the first book and high hopes for A Queen of Gilded Horns, but while it has a lot going for it (love the world, the characters, the ideas...) the middle of the book moved at a glacial pace and the ending felt really rushed and underdeveloped with a few things that didn't totally make sense. I think it's such an interesting world, there's all this political intrigue, characters with complicated relationships who possibly want to murder each other, hidden secrets...all of which should be great! But there was so much buildup to have things resolved in just a few pages. The stakes seem high, but then basically nothing really goes very wrong for the MC other than getting severely injured at one point. I was hoping for a more satisfying conclusion, but others might enjoy this more than I did. I think the high point is the arc of the sister relationship- that was lovely and handled really well. I received an advance copy of this for review via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Lois .
1,868 reviews479 followers
June 26, 2021
3.5 stars rounded up.
I did not like this as well as the first novel. I found it slow in places but was always invested in the story.
I truly enjoyed the world building and liked the characters but the storyline just didn't flow as well for me as with the first novel.
I do look forward to more from this author.
Profile Image for Stella ☆Paper Wings☆.
538 reviews46 followers
Shelved as 'unfinished_'
July 11, 2021
I hate when covers change mid-series but I can't even be mad at this because it's so gorgeous.

DNF at 27%
I usually rate even DNfed books once I've finished more than 25 percent, but I really don't feel like I read enough of this to decide.
I just really couldn't get into this one as much as I did the first book, and I have a stack of library books I have to hurry up and finish. So I'll take a little break and maybe come back to it at some point.
It might have just suffered from not enough planning for the sequel in the first book, but I'm definitely going to look out for Amanda Joy's work in the future.
Profile Image for Monte Price.
673 reviews1,844 followers
July 23, 2021
While Penguin did send me an arc of this months ago, I listened to the audiobook from my library. Just wanted to toss that in there in the interest of full transparency.

Also in the interest of full transparency it's hard for me to say how much of a let down this was. It's mostly why it's getting the two stars though objectively you could make a case for rounding up to the three.

For me the book definitely falls apart in the third act. The narrative spent a lot of the page time skipping through time, but the third act does this even more aggressively, to the point where chapters started to feel more like the outlines and rough ideas of passages than they did actual finished text. I can appreciate the themes that Joy wanted to bring into the world, and I think that they're integrated well, but the plot cannot support the runtime. Even when this installment seeks to introduce new elements and perspectives, both of which find themselves getting short changed as the story also seeks to wrap itself up in the span of two books. What this duology ultimately feels like is a story and a half; something that should have been fully expanded to fill the two book runtime or perhaps edited more and Frankenstein-ed into a single installment where a reader could follow Eva's journey and not feel let down in the ways that I did.

I still enjoyed Joy's writings and the characters that she breathed life into, and it's really for those reasons that I have to give this rating that I do. I don't know if I would recommend this, or if I'd recommend the first book as much as I have in the past knowing now how the conclusions plays out.
Profile Image for Marta the Booktrovert.
432 reviews35 followers
June 26, 2021
What happened?
I gave 5 stars to the first book so I'm so sad this was another disappointing sequel.
It was very slow, boring and nothing really happened... The plot wasn't going anywhere I even thought there was going to be a third book. Nope. Surprise, you have everything sort it in few pages and that's it, story over.
Also... Not enough Baccha, so much expectations about this character and what he would represent but he was massively underdeveloped.
I'm so sad, I loved Eva, I loved the world but I didn't feel her relationship with Aketo or didn't feel for Isa...
Profile Image for Bertie (LuminosityLibrary).
477 reviews112 followers
July 24, 2021
I didn't enjoy this one quite as much as the first one, mostly because the middle felt a bit slow, and the ending was rushed, but I'd still recommend this series. I loved all of the different fantasy races, and the sister dynamic was interesting and nuanced

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Profile Image for cassberrie.
414 reviews14 followers
March 24, 2021
2.5 stars?

After really enjoying the first book, A River of Royal Blood, I was eager to pick up on where Eva and Isa's journeys left off! Sadly, this book fell short of my expectations and ended up being somewhat disappointing in where the plot went and how the story unfolded.

First, the plot itself was somewhat meandering. A lot of it was spent doing... nothing, really. People having conversations and debating stuff without much actual action. I was hoping to see Eva confront the responsibilities of being a queen candidate and what it means to rule, and how systems of government are specifically set up to prevent change that would improve the lives of the oppressed. The first book had a much clearer direction and purpose, with the characters working toward unlocking Eva's powers so that she might survive the duel with her sister.

Unfortunately, this 2nd book ended up spending a lot of time focusing on things that felt almost trivial in the grand scheme of things, with too many side characters and different POVs that didn't do much to add to the overall story, imo. Ysbai had the potential to be an interesting foil to Eva, one who might challenge Eva's thoughts on governing and her conviction to be queen, but Ysbai ended up not really mattering. Baccha was my favorite character in the first book, and I was eager to learn more about his history as such an influential immortal, but he was under-utilized by the plot, kept relatively nerf-ed throughout the whole thing.

The central relationship is the tense sisterhood between Eva and Isa, and it was fun to watch that unfurl. All of the other relationships are pretty bland, though, from the Eva/Aketo romance to the flirtation between Isa and her LI that could have been interesting if it'd been given time to the relatively straightforward dynamic that Eva had with her extended family.

All in all, this book was meandering and oddly paced, with much of the action that I was actually interested in happening in the last... 7% of the book?? What saved this book was my interest in the lore and residual affection for the first book, plus maybe some love for Isa's POV, but for the most part, I was disappointed with how things got hashed out. I think this book might have benefited from getting the trilogy treatment so that Amanda Joy could have fully fleshed out her many ideas that were teased at in the first book but under-developed in this 2nd.
Profile Image for Amber.
2,420 reviews321 followers
July 17, 2021
Overall, I liked our growth in story and characterization (aka I felt less at arms length with our characters than in book one). Plus that ending and the magik system! I can not wait to see what Amanda Joy comes up with in the future.

Spoiler-free Series Review:

I received an ecopy of this through netgalley; however, all opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Halie.
257 reviews2 followers
December 30, 2022
DNF at 10%. Idk what happened. I may come back to this but it put me in such a reading slump and I have so many other books piling up its just time to move on. I may come back when I have less to read but idk.
Profile Image for Tigerlillysbooks.
132 reviews14 followers
April 28, 2023
Königin. Monster. Biest.
Geborgen aus Träumen und Alpträumen

Schwesternlüge. Schwesternliebe. Schwesterntot.
Erben. Rivalinnen.
Zwei Seelen, verbunden.
Nur eine von Ihnen wird den Thron für sich beanspruchen können.
Eine muss Sterben wenn die andere Leben will.
Doch der Thron muss verdient werden.

Auf Eva und Isa lastet einen Fluch.
Als Töchter der Königin ist es ihnen bestimmt den Thron zu erben.
Doch der Fluch verlangt dass die eine die andere tötet um rechtmäßig zu herrschen. Während Isa mit ihrer Magika der Illusion, den Hof für sich beansprucht und über Leichen geht, versucht Eva ihre eigene Magika und ihren Wurzeln auf den Grund zu gehen. Als Khimaerin und zusätzlich mit einer Macht gesegnet die Angst als auch Hoffnung bringen kann, versucht sie den Fluch zwischen sich und ihrer Schwester zu brechen und die Völker Myres wieder zu vereinen. Nach den Ereignissen aus Band 1 muss sich Isa, kurzzeitig geschlagen geben und entwickelt als Gefangene ihrer Schwester und weit entfernt von den manipulativen Fängen ihrer Mutter, ihre eigene Strategie.

Fazit :
Amanda Joy hat hier eine wundervolle Welt mit einem sehr interessanten Magiesystem entwickelt. Menschen mit Magie durch Tätowierungen, Fae und ihre Magie der Illusion, Blutsvettern die weit entfernt an Vampire erinnern. Und Khimaer, von Chimären die alle auf ihre eigene Art einzigartig sind. Für mich ein Genre welches in der Buchwelt viel mehr vertreten sein könnte.
Was für ein Potenzial!
Auch diese Geschichte, diese Welt hat viel Potenzial. Welches im Band 1 mehr als greifbar war und mir da die Handlung sowie die Komplexität der Welt sehr gut gefallen hat. Während in Band 1 sehr viel passierte und es durchgehend spannend war, habe ich mich in diesem Band etwas verloren. Ich hatte leider das Gefühl, dass sehr wenig passierte. Dazu kam, dass das Ende für mich zu schnell abgefertigt wurde und die Dilogie somit auch zu Ende ist. Dieses Ende lies mich etwas unbefriedigend zurück für so einen vielversprechenden Start.
Was mir aber gut gefallen hat, war die sich entwickelnde Beziehung zwischen den Schwestern, die absolut im Vordergrund stehen( Nicht jedes Buch braucht eine Lovestory) und die verschiedenen Erzählperspektiven die trotz der dünnen Handlung in Band 2 das Lesen angenehme gestaltet haben.

Für mich also eine tolle Reihe mit viel Potenzial, einem grandiosen Start und einem zu schnellen Ende.
Komplex und interessant.
Ich hab es gerne gelesen und hätte auch gerne noch mehr Seiten in dieser Welt verbracht.

Trotzdem spreche ich eine klare Leseempfehlung aus!
Profile Image for Dawn.
361 reviews62 followers
July 25, 2021
This pains me to say, but I was highly disappointed by this sequel. I was bored throughout and had to continuously talk myself into finishing it. Even when I only had 10% to go, it was hard not to DNF it.

The first installment was brilliant, I found it difficult to put down. It was so fun, unique interesting and I loved the world Eva and Isa were a part of. This book however meandered at a snails pace with very little actually happening. There were good parts, of course, but it took too long with too much unnecessary dialogue to get there. It didn’t feel important to me.

I didn’t hate it, and I’m glad I now know what happened to Eva, but getting through it was a struggle. I had to sleep on it before writing my review because I wasn’t sure how to rate it. I’ll leave it at 3 stars, but I would also warn others that this one might not have nearly the same effect on you as the first one may have. It’s good for the sake of completing a story, but the fireworks I expected to feel were barely a sizzle for me.
Profile Image for Brandie Shanae Bridges.
197 reviews137 followers
April 29, 2021
This book was one of my highly anticipated reads and I was so excited to know and read the final conclusion of this book. Well................... I was really disappointed in the conclusion and felt like the ending of the book was rushed with no creativity. I immediately fell in love with the first book and was eager to learn more about Eva (who is the main character) and find out more about her father and his family. The beginning of book was amazing it started from where we left off in the first book, which was amazing. Though as you get closer to the end of the book it seemed to drag a little bit and so as I reached the finish line the ending was not what I was expecting. I really wished that there was more to the ending. Now these are my own opinions and as I am writing this review I have literally just finished the book after reading the ending multiple times to try to give it another chance. To me with how it ended I wished there was a third book.
Profile Image for Nneoma.
84 reviews12 followers
August 1, 2021
With the anticipation buildup from the first book, I’m dissatisfied that the second book didn’t quite hit the mark for me. The plot and writing were seamless as always but many aspects of the book fell flat for me. It was slow with a LOT of filler and the plot twist was disappointingly predictable. The large battle that was the whole buildup of the second book was only one and a half pages if even, and then there was a random time jump immediately which largely upset me. And the ending felt a bit rushed. I was honestly surprised that the author managed to wrap up the book in the last 30 pages, whereas I feel it should’ve been longer. This book just wasn’t what I needed it to be. I needed more and it didn’t deliver.
Profile Image for living1000lives.
855 reviews7 followers
October 29, 2021
notes to remember story:
Eva & Isa have been put under a spell they can only kill each other in order to take the throne and get married
Eva takes Isa as prisoner
Eva wants truce with Isa and wants a different method of claiming the throne
their mother wants them to fight to the death as the law dictates
they travel to their father King Lei
village attacked.. father killed by their mother
Eva pretends to kill Isa
mom angry, she doesn’t want Eva to take throne
mom has been trying to kill them this whole time so she can take the throne herself
mother is arrested & soon to be exiled for her treason and murder of the king & attempted murder of her daughters
Eva Will be crowned queen and she will be marrying Aketo
with Iva supportively by her side
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Andreea Zelenyak.
362 reviews18 followers
July 9, 2021
I was so excited to read this book….so so excited…I can’t believe that the writer that wrote the first book, wrote this one :( The book was so slow and uninteresting, I wanted to DNF it after 100 pages. Still, I decided to listen to the audiobook on audible. I guess I was hoping that it will get better….it didn’t! So ‘happy’ that I spent money on the book and the audiobook:))) Oh, well..
Very disappointed! It wasn’t my cup of tea but this is just my opinion…..some of you might like it!
Don’t get me wrong, the book was ok….slow but ok…until the end. The ending …WTF?
I was gonna give it 2 stars but, I’m a sucker for beautiful covers! 😅
Profile Image for Alicia.
1,479 reviews62 followers
September 13, 2021
This was even better than the first book. It's got very strong Daughter of Smoke & Bone vibes to it.
The end resolves a little too quickly: there's a whole lot crammed into the last fifteen pages that really deserved more page time, and a little more explanation would be appreciated. Some of the story threads were left somewhat neglected, but overall it was an enjoyable read.
Profile Image for Kristi Leverington.
182 reviews6 followers
October 7, 2021
Although I enjoyed this sequel as much as the first, it felt very rushed at the end. I feel like there could have been a whole 3rd book had the author kept going the way the first 90% of the book went. I didn’t care for that. Still love the world and characters tho
Profile Image for Mere.
1,051 reviews30 followers
May 12, 2021
3.5 stars

So do you all remember how much I loved the first book? It was one of my favorite books that I read last year. Five stars. Suffice to say I couldn’t wait until I got my hands on the sequel. I love duologies because it means things get wrapped up in two books – so I had high high hopes for this one. While I wish I could say that this book was five stars as well, it wasn’t. For me it landed at a solid 3.5/4 stars. There are a few reasons I didn’t love it as much as the first one.

To summarize: I wanted more Baccha! Okay, yes, I wanted more Baccha, but it wasn’t the only thing.

I felt that the pace of this book didn’t work. As the second book in a duology I should feel that the stakes are higher or that I’m going to get a conclusion. It felt very slow all the way until probably the last 100 pages or so. And there’s nothing wrong with a book being slow or being more political machinations based, but I felt that it didn’t work here. I felt those aspects were trying to be there, but instead they ended up being slightly…boring. There was a lot of talking, but most of it felt rather pointless. Which is so unfortunate.

Honestly, because of that, I felt the plot wasn’t nearly as strong as the first book, but there were some aspects that I really enjoyed as well. First, I loved that we had different POVs in this one. We had Eva, Aketo, Baccha AND Isa. It was great. I especially loved Isa’s POV. The only one I didn’t enjoy was Ysai’s. I felt that whole part of the book was just…I’m not sure how I felt I didn’t love it. Again, that was related to the plot issues and pacing issues I had.

Things that I also loved were the lore and the world building. I still think it was really strong and well done. I loved the aspects of all the magic and culture that felt imbued in this book. That was really well done.

The relationships between characters was also still strong. Despite the fact that I wanted more Baccha I liked all the characters. I especially liked Isa in this one, and I think her POV helped immensely. Eva as always I enjoyed reading, and her POV was the biggest one. The relationship between the sisters was also excellent. I like how we get to see a different side to them in this book than in the first one. It made for interesting reading.

I also liked the romance in this book, it was cute and played a small part, but I don’t think that it was overly saturated. As book that is supposed to be about overcoming odds, outsiders and sisterhood, the romance was well balanced with the rest.

Honestly, character development is definitely a strength for Joy and we see it most in Isa and her development.

I just wish overall the action hadn’t happened just in the last 100 pages and that instead it had flowed through the entire book. I feel that it ramped up really suddenly and ended too quickly. It wasn’t as cohesive as I would have liked it to be.

In some ways I feel that we were left hanging and had all this build up for like…three pages of tension and resolution.

I did like Joy’s writing, and I think it actually got better in this book – which helped even with the parts that I found slower.

Overall, I am satisfied with this as a conclusion to the series, but I wish I had liked it just a bit more! Still, a solid book that I enjoyed.
March 20, 2021
The book was a decent sequel until the end. There were slow parts the shade the page count higher and then everything was rushed in the end. It felt like all the major conflicts were resolved in 2 pages.
Profile Image for M.
213 reviews
December 12, 2021
Trigger warning: self harm (for blood magic, happens on page, described briefly), parental abuse (discussed, doesn’t happen on page)

This book had major issues. The pacing was awful, as they spent 200 pages planning with nothing happening and then by the end of the book, they still had no resolution at 10 pages before the book ended. As a result, there were so many plot threads that dropped.

None of the characters were likeable (except one) and there was virtually no character development across the book.

The worldbuilding was advertised as North African and it wasn’t that. There were four races coexisting, which was super cool, but all of the races were human lite, and Joy changed the worldbuilding as she wanted to to fit whatever was happening on the page at the moment.

Two stars solely for Isa’s potential.
Profile Image for Ele.
351 reviews33 followers
Shelved as 'to-read-ya'
June 23, 2020

(just wonder - what's up with all this incontinuity with the covers of sequels recently...?)
Profile Image for Kristi.
844 reviews202 followers
March 10, 2021
A Queen of Gilded Horns is the last book of A River of Royal Blood duology and it’s the perfect ending to this magical royal fantasy.

The narrative in A River of Royal Blood came only from Eva but in AQoGH we hear from a variety of characters, including Isa who I was so curious to get to know through her perspective. I enjoyed the variety of different perspectives and gathering insight in to the other characters.

The world building is phenomenal! There’s political intrigue that is so tangled and corrupt and a host of unique magical beings which combined makes for a complex atmosphere where no one can be trusted. Family pitted against family, friend against friend, there were times I wasn’t quite sure what the underlying motivation of each character was but it’s wrapped up tightly at the end, much to my satisfaction!

Eva is a character that I can get behind and root for; she is an underdog who has fought for her beliefs despite being met with a harsh and unloving mother, a talented beautiful sister – who could possibly murder her for the crown, and feelings of inadequacy based on classism throughout the country she lives in.

This is a duology I’d recommend to any fan of fantasy with compelling world building and an intricate plot that carries a strong message!

My thanks to Penguin Teen for gifting me a DRC of A Queen of Gilded Horns for review.
Profile Image for Letanna.
1,580 reviews44 followers
September 4, 2023
Bei diesem Buch handelt es sich um den 2. Teil der Reihe und gleichzeitig um das Finale. Teil 1 war für mich letztes Jahr ein richtig Highlight, deshalb war ich sehr gespannt auf das Finale.

Der Einstieg fiel mir doch recht schwer. Es gibt keine Zusammenfassung oder ähnliches und auch kein Glossar. Ich kann jedem nur empfehlen, die Bücher kurz hintereinander zu lesen.

Die Geschichte wird wieder aus verschiedenen Perspektiven erzählt und geht nahtlos weiter. Eva ist mit ihren Verbünden auf den Weg Richtung Norden. Sie hat ihre Schwester Isa nicht getötet, aber stattdessen hat sie Isa entführt.

Es gibt viele interessante Entwicklungen und Enthüllungen. Wir erfahren mehr über die beiden Schwestern und über die Welt, in der sie leben. Insgesamt ist die Geschichte etwas ruhiger, aber immer noch sehr gut. Tatsächlich denke ich, mir hätte das Buch deutlich besser gefallen, wenn ich mich besser an Teil 1 erinnern könnte.

Das Ende war für meinen Geschmack leider viel zu schnell abgehandelt. Da bereitet die Autorin dieses Ende die ganze Zeit vor und in wenigen Seiten hat sie alles erzählt. Das fand ich etwas schade.

Von mir bekommt der 2. Teil 4 von 5 Punkte.
Profile Image for Leandra.
115 reviews
July 29, 2021
Cute, but my judgment won't go much higher than that.
I hoped this second book would go deeper into some aspects that I felt a bit superficial in the first one, developing characters and relationships. Not only it didn't do that, since the background stories that emerged didn't add much motivation to each character's personality, but (if possible) it felt even more superficial than the first one.
It also felt like a second book of a trilogy: nothing actually happens until the last twenty pages, which is waaaaay to little time to settle all the elements that were dropped down earlier. In fact, even how certain events developed isn't as clear as it could have been if the author had taken more time for the narrative. The ending felt rushed and incomplete.
I'm quite disappointed because the first book had quite a potential for a good story, but it turned out to be quite anticlimactic.
Profile Image for Beth.
93 reviews
May 12, 2021
I truly loved the first 75% of this book and thought that it was going to be a high five star read, but the ending let it down completely. The main premise of this duology was wrapped up in the last twenty pages of the book and the amazing, complex characters that had been created throughout this series just fell flat. I'd still recommend this series, it is by no means bad, but the ending definitely left much to be desired.
That being said, I truly hope that more books are written in this world and I can't wait to read more of Amanda Joy's writing.
Profile Image for Grace.
977 reviews77 followers
April 1, 2022
Dang. I really loved the first book, but I just didn’t care about this one? I’m not quite sure what it was. I didn’t care for the extra third person POV chapters from everyone and much preferred it all being first person for Eva in the first book, but that can’t have been the entire reason this one didn’t work for me. I think maybe they just assumed readers would automatically be invested because we liked the first book, and then forgot to give us a reason to actually be invested in this one… I still love the first book, but definitely didn’t care for its sequel.
Profile Image for Permanently_Booked.
861 reviews56 followers
March 16, 2021
I am really starting to get on the duology bandwagon. I love how stories like this can bring so much together like they do. I think I am adjusting to this author's writing style as well. She tends to be more of a slow burn writer who brings the vivid world building and characters into shape before the racing ending comes sliding in to seal the deal. I am not one who is huge on political intrigue but I love how she ties this into her plot without it feeling overbearing. My favorite part that separates this from book one the most is the sisters. Having a few more portions of Isa and not just Eva really made their dynamic more complex and intriguing the deeper I got.

The themes in this second book were related to things like classism and prejudices and weaves the topics beautifully into a well delivered message for the readers. I loved the growth of the characters and have a loving fascination for the magic system Joy has built in this world. I would have preferred less of the multiple POVs and think that a focus on just the sisters POVs really would've been a great touch. The pacing is slower than I typically like and the ending did feel a smidge rushed to me. I feel that the ending lacked something. I am not sure if it is because the conflict wasn't really large enough or because it comes together fairly quickly. I just feel a sense of too perfect in sense.

I am excited to see what Joy comes up with next in her future endeavors. I have found a lot of traits that I enjoyed in her books and look forward to more of her work. I want to thank Penguin Teen for this gifted ARC in exchange for an honest review and bringing this author to my shelves.

True rating 3.5/5.
Profile Image for Abby Stopka.
565 reviews13 followers
June 29, 2021
Overall I think this was a well written book. However I could've done with a bit more expansion on the conversations between Isadore and Eva and things like that period there was this a lot of things I had to imagine for myself that would have been nice to be filled in period otherwise the writing of this book was phenomenal and definitely kept me hooked from start to finish.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 192 reviews