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Review – Nameless Queen by Rebecca McLaughlin

Nameless Queen

Book Title: Nameless Queen

Book Description: “One girl must make a name for herself--or die trying --in this royal fantasy where an unknown peasant becomes the ultimate ruler. But how long can she keep the crown if everyone wants her dead? Perfect for fans of Furyborn, Red Queen, and Everless. Everyone expected the king's daughter would inherit the throne. No one expected me. It shouldn't even be possible. I'm Nameless, a class of citizens so disrespected, we don't even get names. Heck, dozens of us have been going missing for months and no one seems to care. But there's no denying the tattoo emblazoned on my arm. I am queen. In a palace where the corridors are more dangerous the streets, though, how could I possibly rule? And what will become of the Nameless if I don't?”

Book Author: Rebecca McLaughlin

Book Format: Hardcover

Publisher - Orgnization: Crown Books for Young Readers

Publisher Logo:

Date published: 2020-01-07

Number Of Pages: 352

Overall
7.5/10
7.5/10
  • Writing - 8/10
    8/10
  • Development - 7/10
    7/10
  • Overall - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
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Summary

Nameless Queen is Rebecca McLaughlin’s debut novel, and it is a powerful tale. Merging magic and politics into one, this is the tale of how magic can directly impact and alter the perception of classes.

 

A Tale of Castes and Classism in Nameless Queen

Nameless Queen is the debut novel of Rebecca McLaughlin, and it is a tale of magic and politics. In a world where magic exists—but isn’t accessible by all—the differences in classes and castes have been made all the worse.

The Nameless are exactly that. They are people with no true names. They cannot use magic. Nor can magic affect them. They are treated like dirt, or worse. So imagine the city’s surprise when a Nameless woke up one day with the royal crown tattooed on her skin. The crown that signified that she was to be the next queen.

Rebecca McLaughlin - Nameless Queen
Rebecca McLaughlin – Nameless Queen

This novel takes a different look at magic and uses it to have a conversation with the reader about morality, classes, and status. It’s as fascinating as it is magical, and it is well worth the read. Also worth noting, this book has been favorably compared to other series like Red Queen and Everless (having read them I can understand the comparison).

Writing

Rebecca McLaughlin’s debut novel was an ambitious one. She chose to take magic and politics and merge them into a story full of so much heart and emotion. Nameless Queen was, in many ways, an empowering tale.

The world created here is a fascinating one – even if it is dark and foreboding. This is not a world in which you’d want to be Nameless. But still, it’s an intriguing world. And one that I hope McLaughlin’s future novels take more time to explore.

Coin’s character (the Nameless who became Queen) was an interesting balance. She was quick-witted, determined, and just a little bit sassy. But she was also extremely passionate and caring while being afraid to really let anyone get to close to her. Reading her story was an interesting experience, as she simultaneously pulled the readers closer, even as she tried to push us away.

The sheer amount of emotion that McLaughlin was able to weave into this novel was borderline overwhelming at times. That made for a very powerful—and moving—read. Even as Coin pushed us away, it was impossible not to feel for her and her people. That talent right there is something that’s going to take McLaughlin far in her career.

Development

Nameless Queen was a heavily emotional novel, with Coin’s reactions and planning carrying us from one series of events to the next. She was the driving force behind this novel, even as she responded to those around her.

This was a fast-paced read, thanks to Coin’s very nature. She’s not the type of person to stay still, especially when one she loves is in danger. Honestly, I wouldn’t have complained had the pace been slowed just a little bit—giving us more time to get to know (and care for) the secondary characters.

On the whole, Nameless Queen was a quick and interesting read. The politics were harrowing, but even so, I don’t think any of us would have complained about more insight into that side of the world. There’s just something so compelling about this combination.

Conclusion

Nameless Queen was an emotionally powerful and compelling read. The merger of classism and magic into one story is not new, but McLaughlin made her own spin out of it. It’s a world I would gladly revisit, given even half the chance to do so.

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About the author

Cat Wyatt

Cat Wyatt is an avid comic book reader, as well as a reader of novels. Her favorite genres are science fiction and fantasy, though she's usually willing to try other genres as well. Cat collects Funko Pop figures, Harry Potter books (different editions), and has more bookshelves than she's willing to admit.

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