Review: “Queen of the Conquered” by Kacen Callender

Release Date: November 12, 2019
Series: Islands of Blood and Storm #1
Publisher: Orbit
Genre: Fantasy


“Sigourney Rose is the only surviving daughter of a noble lineage on the islands of Hans Lollik. When she was a child, her family was murdered by the islands’ colonizers, who have massacred and enslaved generations of her people—and now, Sigourney is ready to exact her revenge.

When the childless king of the islands declares that he will choose his successor from amongst eligible noble families, Sigourney uses her ability to read and control minds to manipulate her way onto the royal island and into the ranks of the ruling colonizers. But when she arrives, prepared to fight for control of all the islands, Sigourney finds herself the target of a dangerous, unknown magic.

Someone is killing off the ruling families to clear a path to the throne. As the bodies pile up and all eyes regard her with suspicion, Sigourney must find allies among her prey and the murderer among her peers… lest she become the next victim.”

My Review

Queen of the Conquered isn’t a direct retelling of Dano-Norwegian violence in the Danish West Indies, although it is heavily influenced by it; for example, the kingdom of Hans Lollik is named after two islands in the US Virgin Islands, the country where author Kacen Callender was born. They take the experiences of Indigenous Carbbean islanders and enslaved Africans and merge them together, creating the Black islanders (we never learn their pre-colonial name) who were colonized and then enslaved on sugar plantations by the white Fjern (Danish for “remote” or “distant”). Callender’s fantasy world is unique but familiar, with kingdoms to the north, west, and east, each with varying degrees of slavery, abolition, and culpability…

To read the rest of my review, head over to

Buy it at (affiliate link).

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a review copy.

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