The Queen of All Crows takes us to a modern day free of modern technology, following the story of a woman who will stop at nothing to discover the truth behind a massive government coverup. It’s a brilliant fantasy novel, complete with a compelling alternate history, strange technology teetering between antiquated and modern, and a main character you’ll be eager to keep up with. It’s a book to be loved and devoured quickly.
Now’s the time to catch up on this wonderful read — just in time for the release of book two of The Map of Unknown Things series. The second book drops on January 1, so get to reading!
NOTE: I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest, unbiased review. I only publish reviews of books I enjoy, and this novel meets that criterion.
A Few of My Favorite Things
I love the main character of The Queen of All Crows. She’s a true master of disguise who refuses to let a male-centered culture get in the way of what she wants from life. She switches between male and female presentation with ease, gaining access to any and all secrets to further her goals. She’s witty and brilliant, never compromising and always one step ahead of everyone else. The next bit is a spoiler — you’ve been warned!
I could not get over the epicness of a seabound nation of pirate women who have denounced male-driven society and begun their own system of government. They are all the definition of the word badass.
This world of The Queen of All Crows is epically brilliant, and I wish I had been able to read The Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire series before starting this book. It’s set in the same world, one that has forsaken any technology that could plunge the world into war. While the book’s setting is modern-day (2012-ish), the culture feels distinctly Victorian. The existing technology is hard to fathom, creating this strange mix of modern advances in machinery and old-school methods of power. Think steamships from the early 1900s still being used in modern day. There are no electronics, no cell phones or gadgets we would recognize. People fly around on blimps and communicate using telegraph or good, old-fashioned pen and paper. Imagining what it would be like to still live in that kind of era is half the fun.
Duncan has mastered the art of nautical writing. You get the sense he’s been at sea most of his life, simply recounting his own experiences aboard a ship. The details are meticulous, giving you a realistic view of life on a vessel. The anti-technology of the world adds to the imaginative aspects of the ships and their technologies, allowing you to imagine fantastic crafts that meld together old and new.
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