Queen of Coin and Whispers by Helen Corcoran – REVIEW
When teenage queen Lia inherits her corrupt uncle’s bankrupt kingdom, she brings a new spymaster into the fold … Xania, who takes the job to avenge her murdered father.
Faced with dangerous plots and hidden enemies, can Lia and Xania learn to rely on each another, as they discover that all is not fair in love and treason?
In a world where the throne means both power and duty, they must decide what to sacrifice for their country – and for each other …
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the O’Brien Press.
Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
“Now, I was Queen, a wolf in my own right. I held the chess pieces.”
Queen of Coin and Whispers was one of those books that snuck up on me and made me fall in love with it. I requested this book when someone told me it featured a w|w relationship between a queen and her spymaster. My interest piqued, I began reading and became completely absorbed by the delicious political intrigue and machinations of the ruling classes. The plot was gripping and held me in suspense trying to guess what would happen next. Just when I thought I’d worked out the antagonist, the author switched it up and presented a new threat I hadn’t seen coming. The twists and turns combined to create a thrilling tale.
“Vengeance was wonderful and terrible, easy and horrible.”
My favourite aspect of the book was its exploration of powerful women in different spheres of life and how often they are underestimated. Eighteen-year-old Lia is a newly-crowned queen with ambitions to improve her country, a place that divides its citizens into social classes called steps. Corrupting political forces and the pressures of ruling threaten Lia’s innate goodness and idealism, and these elements kept the plot fresh. Appointed to the role of spymaster, seventeen-year-old Xania is from a lower step and was the main character used to explore these societal class issues. The developing relationship between Lia and Xania was beautifully told and I became fully invested in them as a couple, especially when duty threatens their precious happiness.
“She loved me as I loved her, fierce as a bloodied blade.”
The friendship dynamic between Lia, Xania and Matthias was one of my favourite elements and their banter worked so well. Another dynamic I loved was that between Xania and her sister, Zola. I always appreciate a supportive sibling relationship. The one issue I had with the book was that I felt the pacing became too rushed towards the end and lessened the emotional impact of events. I think it would have benefited from a second book, which would have given the story time to breathe and develop more naturally. However, I loved the rest of the book so much that I couldn’t take anything off my rating. Queen of Coin and Whispers is a story of political intrigue and backstabbing, enhanced by a beautiful w|w relationship and supportive friendship group, that you really need to read as soon as it’s released.