Books · Reviews

The Hundredth Queen – Book Review (Spoiler-Free)

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I was provided with a copy by NetGalley for an honest review. Thank you to Skyscape and Two Lions for the opportunity.

Hey everyone! I hope you’re all having a great week πŸ˜€

It took me the longest time to read this one but I finally did it! I’m so proud of myself, because I almost DNFed it. Eh.

Anyway, on to the review!


This review is completely spoiler-free.

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synopsis

Eighteen-year-old Kalinda is an orphan at the Sisterhood, destined to become a rich man’s servant, courtesan or wife. The day finally comes when Rajah Tarek chooses her as his hundredth rani and Kalinda has no choice but to face a tournament where she’ll have to compete to secure her position. All the while, battling her own feelings.

 

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Kalinda and Jaya’s friendship was so sweet and heartwarming. I honestly could not get enough of these two! But since there was so little interaction between them throughout the book, it left me very unsatisfied.

There were some nice revelations here and there, which helped make it a bit more interesting. Some of the loose threads left behind were finally addressed and made me go “hell yeah!” towards the end. Also, most of the things that didn’t make sense to me before were clarified.

I really enjoyed the female strength/companionship moments, and how pretty much every character revealed to be a bit more than expected. However, this side of them should have been further explored. Kalinda, especially, only got to her full potential in the last few chapters, which was a bit underwhelming.

I only started to enjoy this book at around 60%. The plot was moving along (at last) and things were starting to become way more interesting. But the first half of the book? Yeah, I practically had to force myself through it. All the action took place almost at the end, so anything before that was pretty forgettable and boring.

 

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Kalinda should have been more naive and innocent regarding the outside world, no matter how much eavesdropping she did. She was way too aware for someone who’d been living a sheltered life at the Sisterhood almost since she was born. It was one of the reasons why her tale never really spoke to me: she felt unrealistic and out of my reach.

The way she kept complaining about her body and comparing herself to all the other girls in the Sisterhood got annoying pretty fast. I can take a little self-deprecation here and there but when it’s constantly brought up, it becomes tiring.

The choices made by the characters and the reasoning behind them left me completely astonished and questioning both their intelligence and their sanity. Granted, Kalinda is only eighteen years old but some of her decisions were just inconceivable. Not to mention her inability to connect the dots even when they’re practically spelled out for her.

This book is quite predictable, for the most part. I’d say I figured out most of the minor twists as soon as they were mentioned and the major twist at around the 43% mark. I’m going to let you guess how long it took for Kalinda to figure it out.

I felt like there were literally chunks of text missing from this book. For instance, sometimes a character would be sitting somewhere in one moment and standing right across the room in the next, as though the author had forgotten their original position. Or a character that was never mentioned during the description of a room and its occupants, suddenly spoke up and I was like “where did you come from?” It was very weird and made for some very awkward transitions.

There was no build up or even a climax to speak of during the most crucial scenes. Thus, my emotional involvement was close to null. This type of scenes requires a certain expectation, a certain tension to make the reader as fearful and on edge as the characters themselves. Yet, The Hundredth Queen was unable to set the mood.

Most of the scenes were really rushed and gave no time for the reader to connect with the characters’ own feelings. It felt like a list of facts was being thrown in to be digested in a few seconds and forgotten soon after. It was very disappointing and frustrating because these moments could actually have been really good! I simply never cared enough about any of the characters or what happened to them.

It wasn’t just me, though. They felt emotionally distant, like what was playing before them had nothing to do them. Where was the rage? The sadness? The frustration? Sometimes it felt like they were accepting everything without batting an eye and it was maddening. I’m not even talking about showing their feelings on the outside – that’s understandable – I’m talking about their thoughts, their inner feelings. Those felt absolutely dead. Especially Kalinda, whose mind we literally had access to.

The romance… What was that about? The two characters involved had as much chemistry as a sack of potatoes and, well, potatoes. I didn’t understand how the relationship even came to be (instalove) or why it developed. I didn’t understand why they were professing their love for one another or risking their lives for the other.

Most of their conversations were super awkward. Not to mention one of them kept getting hot and cold and hot and cold again way too many times for me to take it seriously. It felt more like a passing fling than anything else.Β 

The villain(s). The main one was just… Well, meh. He was mean and awful, yes, but it felt more like a spoiled child throwing a tantrum than a cruel ruler ready to cut off someone’s head. Thankfully, he got better by the end but still. I would have liked to see more viciousness from the very start. The other minor villains were frankly much more developed and believable.

Also, the big scene at the end? The moment we had all been holding our breaths for? Forgettable. Rushed. Didn’t stir an ounce of emotion. It was over before I could blink and find myself caring enough. Sigh.

Finally, I got a major Grisha vibe from this, which didn’t feel very original. You’ll get it if you read it.

 

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The Hundredth Queen was incredibly disappointing. It had a good enough premise, a good enough story to tell, yet no spark.

In between the choppy writing, awkward dialogue, uneven narrative, undeveloped characters, a soulless romance, silly decisions and the characters that made them, lack of build up and tension during major scenes, inability to convey the characters’ emotions and make the reader feel anything, there wasn’t a lot that I could salvage from my reading experience.

I enjoyed a few moments here and there and appreciated the complexity the author injected into the plot, revealing little twists along the way until the final big one. However, I guessed about half of them beforehand so it wasn’t as exciting. Also, when a story fails to pull me in until about 60% of the way, there is obviously something very wrong.

Overall, The Hundredth Queen wasn’t a dreadful read and it did pick up towards the end. But I felt no actual connection to it and have no desire to find out what happens next. A book I, unfortunately, will not be recommending any time soon. But, as always, feel free to read it for yourself and form your own opinion.

Story & Plot:Β 3choco

Writing & Style:Β 2choco

Characters:Β 2choco

Pacing:Β 1halfchoco-

Enjoyment:Β 2choco

Final Rating:

2choco

***

Get The Hundredth Queen at your local bookstore, BookDepository, Amazon and B&N.

Follow Emily R. King on Twitter, Goodreads and her official website.

***

Thank you so much for reading and until next time!

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What did you think of my review? Do you plan to read The Hundredth Queen? οΌˆβ‹†οΌΎοΌοΌΎβ‹†οΌ‰

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80 thoughts on “The Hundredth Queen – Book Review (Spoiler-Free)

        1. I haven’t read that one yet. Another book that got tons of mixed reviews! So I wasn’t sure what to think.
          I remember reading your review and thinking “hmm maybe I’ll postpone this one”. Still, three stars are better than two!
          There are just way too many YA fantasies nowadays and it’s hard to keep up ^^’ Blood Rose Rebellion, Frostblood, Wintersong… They all end up sounding the same and feeling the same.
          I’ll continue my quest for the best YA books. But it’s a treacherous journey and we’ll have to stumble through a lot of average before finding the gems.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. It had some good points and it is worth a read, but I wanted so much more from it since it is the only Phantom of The Opera retelling I have heard of.

            I LOVED Blood Rose Rebellion, though it is getting mixed reviews. I have Frostblood and Wintersong on my TBR, but they do all seem to blur at some point.

            I’m with ya on that quest. And you never know what we will find. One person’s ordinary may be another person’s gem! ❀

            Like

  1. Oh it’s a shame you didn’t enjoy this book Sophie. I’ve only seen one other review for The Hundredth Queen and it was a positive one so it’s interesting to see another side of the story. I’m glad there were still things you enjoyed about this one, and it’s good you didn’t end up DNF-ing it as well. Hopefully the next book you pick up will be a better read.
    Great review. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I’ve seen many mixed reviews of this one so I wasn’t too surprised… Still, when some of your blogger friends love it, you kind of feel bad for not joining in. But that’s life! And absolutely, different perspectives are always welcome πŸ™‚
      I rarely DNF but I’ve come close many times, and this was one of them. It took me almost a month to finish it, simply because I never felt like picking it up. It was that uninteresting. I’m glad it *almost* proved me wrong at the end, though. I’d hate to leave an even lower rating for it!
      There are some nice things about it, they just weren’t enough (or sufficiently developed, I guess).
      Thank you, and I hope so too! Were you planning to read this one?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We can’t all like the same books. There have been ones I’ve loved my blogging friends haven’t and vise versa. I kind of enjoy reading all the different opinions people can have on one book you know?
        I rarely DNF as well. I keep thinking eventually it may be worth it, like was the case with you and this book.
        That’s all right, and honestly I’m not that sure. Despite the good reviews I’ve seen the blurb doesn’t really grab me.

        Like

        1. Yeah, I know πŸ™‚ And definitely! I always learn something new or find out about something I might have missed.
          My thoughts exactly! I keep thinking “what if it gets awesome and I totally miss on it?” So I always end up finishing it, unless it’s absolutely horrid. And even then, I kind of skim a bit until the end.
          Actually I’d totally forgotten what it was about when I started reading it. So it was a bit of a surprise. Not a good one, but still hahaha

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I’m glad someone shares my opinion! I’ve seen mixed reviews, of course, but only on Goodreads. Other fellow bloggers seemed to have enjoyed it for the most part, which made me feel even more disappointed.
      It really didn’t click with me, at all! Like you, I was expecting just a bit more, just at the right moment. But it never delivered. There was some great potential that was very simply wasted.
      Did you write a review on it, by chance? I almost didn’t bother with mine, but then I thought: “No, I’ve made it this far and finished it, might as well get my opinion out!”
      Thank you so much πŸ™‚ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh I will! Maybe I already did and don’t remember (sorry, it’s just a lot of reviews by a lot of people ^^’)
          Yeah, I think the biggest issue was that it just didn’t make me feel anything much… Not even during the worst scenes. And that’s just something I can’t ignore.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, me too!! T_T I was so excited to try it since Krysti and some others enjoyed it so much but it really wasn’t for me… Not to say it’s a bad book, it just needed some work. Some serious work, that is.
      You might still like it, though! I would just try and keep my expectations low.
      I sure hope so! I almost feel like when you first started your DNF streak and I’m so scared… Mandy, please send some great bookish vibes my way! I don’t want to be cursed with 2-star books from now on!! X’D

      Like

  2. awww i’m sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy this book. i haven’t read it or heard of it at all (oops ahah) but i totally get it. like those books that you only start enjoying when you’re almost near the end, but then you also don’t want to just ditch it πŸ˜₯

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh that’s okay, this one isn’t really famous but I’d seen a lot of bloggers talking about it so I decided to give it a go πŸ™‚ Unfortunately, it didn’t work out so well for me!
      Yeah, I just hate DNFing and I probably did it only once or twice my whole life. Besides, it was an ARC from NG so I really wanted to finish it so I could get a proper review out. In the end, I didn’t actually regret reading the whole thing because it did get better, and that was awesome, but I definitely won’t continue the series.
      Which books disappointed you the most so far?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. hmmmm i don’t usually find a lot of books disappointing, but “Every Exquisite Thing” and “Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit” were huge letdowns for me. i was in the mood for a lot of YAs a while ago, but these two didn’t work out for me.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I was sad I’d managed to find so many things wrong with it… 😦 Kalinda as a character didn’t click with me at all (or any of the other characters, to be honest) so it was really hard to be invested in the story when she kept being so infuriating. I try my best to find ways to give characters a break, especially when they’re teenagers, but there was no possible excuse for her at times. She was, simply put, stupid.
      I found it odd too! It was an ARC (though technically I only got approved after the release date) so it might have been revised since then, but it hindered my reading experience so much I had to point it out… I’d love to know whether or not it’s been fixed.
      Thank you so, so much Dani! ❀ I'm hoping my next one will make up for it. Wish me luck! ^^

      Like

  3. I don’t think I can remember a review from you about a book that had so many negative points in it. It was cool to see, but am sorry for you that you haven’t been able to enjoy this one. As my to read list is already way too big, I’m actually glad that I don’t have to add another book. Great post as always πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You and me both! Hahaha well, as a reviewer you know you’ll have to deal with these not so great experiences eventually so might as well start already xD
      I’m glad you could still enjoy reading it, though! Makes my day ^^ I find negative reviews can sometimes be more interesting than positive ones, even though it sucks for the person who read the book, of course.
      Hahaha that’s awesome! I’d hate to add too many books to your ever growing list πŸ˜› I’m sure you already have plenty to last you a lifetime xD
      Thank you so much! ❀ Always great to get a comment from you ^^

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lol, I do too. It’s somehow nice to see a movie or book getting trashed (as long as it is done in objective way 😊). But you are right, I do feel sorry for the person who read the book/ watched the movie in question 😊

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, thanks Sydney! ❀ Yeah, I'd really not make it a priority for now but who knows, maybe you'll enjoy it one day. I'm not sure if the sequel's better, either. I'm curious but not enough to try it myself ^^'
      Thank you so much for reading!

      Like

  4. Boy, have you been on streak of stinky books. Don’t tell me that’s why you’ve been absent!! Come back with some of them love-filled reviews, Sophie!! πŸ˜› Sorry to hear about all the problems this one had. I couldn’t even count them on my fingers… I did love the bit about potatoes though!! I wonder how them potatoes feel about such a comment! πŸ˜€ Fantastic review as always though. Love reading your thoughts on these nasty books hahahah

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I don’t know… Maybe I’m on a dreaded reading slump?? D: It’s been hard to find the time to blog to my heart’s content so I get less and less posts out. Sorry T_T I also don’t have a lot of time to check everyone’s blogs either, which is even worse… *cries harder*
      But I will try to get back on track soon πŸ™‚ Your words of encouragement sure make me want to! Hahaha
      I’m glad you enjoyed the potatoes bit. Fortunately or unfortunately, it’s very much true and I don’t think there’s a better comparison that could have been made XD
      It’s not that I enjoy reviewing bad books but they kind of seem to fall into my lap lately LOL I hope it’s a temporary thing because I really need better reads and I don’t want to pepper you guys with negative reviews all month long xD
      Thank you so much for reading and liking my review, Lashaan! ❀ I'm glad you don't mind my thoughts on nasty books πŸ˜›

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Don’t worry about it 😁 Whether you post once a month or once a year don’t matter as long as you keep on showing sign of life at some point!!! 😏 Oh, and I’ll gladly read nasty book reviews if they keep on being as entertaining as they always are πŸ˜‚ I just hope YOU find a good book to rave about for your own sanity hahahah Take care Sophie!! 😊

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hahaha oh I will, for sure xD It’s just been hard to be consistent with my blogging schedule, which I’m a bit OCD about… (not nearly as much as I should be, though, clearly LOL )
          I’m glad you think so! Some people just hate negative reviews, so I was a bit cautious. But still, I think they’re important and will continue to write them, if the book calls for one.
          Oh you’re so right!! I need an awesome book to make me see the light again πŸ˜‚
          Thank you, my friend, you too! πŸ˜€ ❀

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I mean, many people liked it so I’m guessing you might too πŸ™‚ It was just not for me, personally, I guess.
      Thank you so much, Daniella! I’m glad you find it so ❀ (a lot of people "complain" it makes them hungry so I hope it's not the case πŸ˜› )

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I know!! 😦 I got it off NG so that’s why I was adamant to finish it anyway. Otherwise, I might have given up altogether.
      But you might enjoy it, who knows? Many people have, after all. I would definitely keep my expectations low, though. I hope it works for you once you read it!

      Like

      1. I’ve seen such mixed reviews. Some have been awful and most have been bad, lol. I may not read it lol. It wasn’t from NetGalley so it doesn’t matter. I realized last night it was my free book I get each month from Amazon for being a Prime Member, so I picked it haha. I might try it one day….eventually…πŸ˜‚

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hahahaha well then, you’re not really missing much, to be honest xD
          I kept seeing positive reviews prior to its release, and then the negative ones came around. I’m still not sure how there could have been such glowing reviews for it but hey, to each their own πŸ™‚

          Like

          1. I hate when that happens, lol!! And I think that’s why I picked the book to be honest. I remember looking on Goodreads 1st and it had better reviews than the other freebies for the month. Oh well! Glad I didn’t have to review it, lol.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. Damn this one really doesn’t sound so great!! I really hate when books drag on and then have the only action at the end. Like, some books can do that and still be interesting, but others (like this one) can be such a drag! Good job for finishing it!! Great review!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Me too! It’s like, all those pages and you chose to condense everything in the last chapter or so? Why?
      It’s like they didn’t really know what to do with the story up until that point… Talk about lack of planning and organization.
      Thank you so much, Steff! ❀ ❀ It was a tough one hahaha But I did it πŸ˜€

      Like

    1. Yes it reminded me of that one too! I haven’t read it yet but heard amazing things about it so I thought this one would cause a similar response. No such luck, unfortunately… πŸ˜•
      I’m glad you loved TWatD! I’ll definitely read it soon 😊
      Thank you for reading! ❀️

      Like

  6. wow it sounds like it took ages to get going. It sounds ridiculously flawed and like it was impossible to relate to :/ hehehe and the romance having about as much chemistry as a sack of potatoes… LOL!! Dear dear dear- sounds like this one was a struggle!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, that pretty much sums it up! Hahaha
      Ugh, the romance… “What romance??” is more like it xD I just didn’t get it. And didn’t care about them at all. It was such a drag.
      It definitely felt like one. Especially when I didn’t feel like picking it up at all for most of the time. Although I did like some stuff, most of it was just meh. I just wanted to finish it so I could review it properly, that’s it xD
      Thank you so much for reading! ❀

      Like

  7. One of the things I really can’t handle in a book is characters making stupid/illogical decisions and not seeing the obvious – that situation you described where you can figure out what’s going to happen 43% of the way in and the character remains oblivious would drive me crazy! Also lack of emotional connection is never a good sign. This book has such a pretty cover – I’ve seen it several times and been intrigued, so that’s a shame it was disappointing. Anyway, I’m glad you finished it because I enjoyed reading your review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I mean I’m not a genius or anything xD I usually take a long time to figure plot twists and stuff like that (which is actually not that bad, because I get to stay in the dark and appreciate the story more!), so when I do figure them out I just KNOW it’s a bad one LOL
      It just felt like reading an instructions manual, really. It was that trivial. Well, no – I did get some feels here and there but they were so fleeting, I don’t think they’re even worth mentioning when it comes to the bigger picture.
      I know! The cover is so pretty!! But, as usual, it deceived me completely. Ugh.
      Thanks so much, Nicola! ❀ I do find that's the only silver lining in the middle of all of this… That I was actually able to finish this so I could both save my honor and let others know how this book is actually like before they get their hopes up too hahaha

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha I am exactly the same with taking a long time to figure stuff out!! I sometimes even actively try to stay in the dark/not do too much guessing… which is probably why I get so annoyed if I do figure it out (I feel like saying “hey, something’s wrong here, even I can see this one coming!” πŸ™‚ )

        Yeah, a few fleeting feels is sadly not enough. But I appreciate your silver lining – I’ve been lured and then disappointed by pretty covers often enough now that I wait for thorough, honest reviews like yours to set my expectations more realistically!

        Like

  8. All I can say is, thank goodness I was rejected for the ARC hahaha.. Congrats for finishing the book though!! I don’t get the hype for this book all over Twitter.. Insecurities is tiring for me to read too.. do you think it’s okay for ARCs to have errors in their narrative? Because they will fix it before they publish right? Have you read a finished copy to an ARC before? I haven’t so I can’t compare πŸ™‚ Love your review by the way. Thanks for pointing out the pros and cons to the book. It helps a lot!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know! I saw it too, and on some blogs as well, so I was really excited for it. Ugh.
      Hahaha thanks! It was a tough journey… I literally could not muster the will to read the book, even when I literally had nothing else to do.
      I might have read both ARCs and finished copies… I’m not sure. I think it’s alright to have an error here and there (no one’s perfect), but if there are too many and they interfere with the story/your experience, then you’re just going to discourage everyone from reading it.
      Thank you so much, Jasmine! I’m glad it helps πŸ™‚ I’m assuming you’re also skipping this one?

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Great review. I am incredibly happy I read this review before picking this one up. I actually just took it out from the library to give it a read, considering the interesting storyline. But the majority of the bitter stuff you brought up- from pacing, to…slow to connect the dots characters, to *instalove*- are things I absolutely cannot stand. I like the sweet points, but unfortunately would have dropped this soon after I started regardless. I usually at least try to give stories a try despite low ratings, but will have to pass on this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! πŸ™‚
      Oh, I wouldn’t want to discourage anyone from reading this, especially if they already have it… But if you’ve read my review and realized it wasn’t for you, well, then you’re well informed and have made a decision based on that knowledge. Which is absolutely fine.
      I’m glad I was able to help! Sometimes books just aren’t that worthy of our time… Nothing against the author, of course. But yeah.
      I hope you find something better to read soon! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. For sure. If the same author came out with another book I thought was interesting I wouldn’t hesitate to give it a try. And I’d still recommend it to people I know would probably like it in spite of why I don’t want to read it, so no worries there.
        Thanks! I’m reading an interesting one now ☺ I figure Before I Fall was the better read for you ☺

        Like

  10. Oh no! I’m so sorry this one didn’t live up to its potential. I actually haven’t heard of this one, but I don’t think it’s something I’d like to pick up if your review is something to go by 😦 There’s nothing worse than a cool concept being let down by execution of character development. For fantasy, I usually read for the world-building and an engaging plot, as well as the characters. If one or more of those things aren’t done well, then the book usually always disappoints in some fashion. This books sounds like it failed on several occasions but still had some things going for it. Anyways, amazing review as always, Sophie! Hope your next read is much better and you don’t have to push through it like this one haha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Azia! ❀
      Yeah, I was actually expecting a lot from it so maybe if I'd kept my expectations low I'd have had a different experience… But it was just so meh! I rarely read any meh books (they're either good or bad) so this one really threw me off :/ Especially because of the whole pOtEnTiAl~ Ugh. I hate potential that lets me down so much xD It's the bane of any reader's existence!
      And thank you, I think I did get at least one pleasant surprise since then πŸ™‚ (because yeah, I've been on a super huge hiatus but I've managed to read a bit ^^' Not much but eh.)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Agreed. A book with wasted potential is one of the worst things for readers. It’s just so DISAPPOINTING lol.
        And a little reading is better than none, I always say πŸ˜‰ I’ve kind of been on blogging hiatus or rather, have just cut back on how much time I spend on blogging. Not sure if it’s a permanent or temporary thing just yet haha. Hopefully we can find our groove again some day soon πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Yeah, I get you. I’m so busy now, I rarely have time to do any blogging. But I found some time today, so I’ll try to make the most of it while I can! πŸ˜€

            Like

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