I was given a copy to review via Netgalley and Aconyte Books. My reviews are always honest and all opinions are my own. #QueenofDeception #MarvelLegendsOfAsgard #MarvelEnt #Marvel #AconyteBooks #BookReview
It should be on surprise since my MA was on Renaissance English Literary Studies that when I learnt that Queen of Deception would feature my second favourite marvel Villainess, Hela, in Elizabethan England my inner fangirl nearly exploded with joy. I am glad to say that Anna Stephens did not disappoint in delivering an action packed, fun filled, romp through one of my favourite periods of history with added sword and sorcery to boot. Not to mention everyone’s favourite astrologer and alchemist John Dee (maybe that is just me) and I was sold.
Queen of Deception sees Hela attracted to Midgard after a burst of magic is released. The Queen of Death coverts power to help her ultimate goal of conquering the nine realms and this new blast of magic could be just what she seeks. Set to find and secure this source Hela is mortified to find herself in Elizabethan England in search of the tantalising power. As fate would have it Brunnhilde and Sif are also sent to Midgard from Asgard to investigate the source of power and neither have love for the Queen of the Dead. As if this could not get worse for the people of Midgard and Asgard the Dark Elves see Earth as the first battle in the war of the realms. Forced to team up lest the enemy win the trio must try to put differences aside but how much trust can be put in someone who rules Hel? The fate of the realms rests in the balance but only time will tell.
So we already know I was pretty sure I would love this but I wasn’t prepared for how much. As soon as I saw my favourite astronomer and alchemist John Dee was also taking centre stage and a street savvy young boy called Will (I am not 100% sure but you can guess who I wanted that to be!) I was utterly in love. Add to this the return of the powerful duo Sif and Brunnhilde and I don’t know how it could go wrong.
The characters are all fleshed out and brought to life beautifully by Stephens who manages to make well know characters from history and fiction her own. I adore the banter and sassiness that we get between Sif, Brunnhilde and later Hela. It was, to me, reminiscent of a sort of fantasy buddy cop relationship and I adored every minute of it. On top of this we have the supporting historical characters that are given voice and brought to life through the pages. Coupled with these wonderful characters is the brilliant setting which Stephens sprinkles with facts from the period. Of course there is the added fantasy elements but it was almost like you were transported back in time due to the perfect writing and setting.
Another wonderful feature was the pacing of the novel. You could never doubt this was an action packed fantasy novel. Even when there weren’t battles to be had you were still gripped by the writing and pacing. The Serpent and The Dove was the first ARC I received on Netgalley and I have to say that The Queen of Deception is a worthy follow on from that fantastic novel. I only hope we get more works by Stephens in the Aconyte line up soon.
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