Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo
Jessica Thorne is a new author for me, so this book was one I anticipated as maybe being an introduction to an author I can follow for a while - and I was right! With it being a YA romance, I wasn't sure what to expect. I am outside the target audience for those books, so occasionally I find myself too jaded to read them. Teenage angst and drama can become too much for me, and I have to put the book down because I can't adequately identify with the characters. In The Queen's Wing, there is plenty of youthful drama, but with there also being a lot of political intrigue and impending war involved, I tended to forget that the characters I was reading about were young! This, in my opinion, is the sign of a good fantasy YA book.
Bel has grown up without the responsibility that would usually come for a girl of her station. Her father, a prince of Vairian, having married beneath him, has raised their family separately from the royal family. Born to fly, she loves to pilot her own flying machine, and when she's not flying, she's dreaming of her future with her childhood friend, Shae, who doesn't know of her true feelings. But politics are volatile, and when an enemy makes a king of Bel's father, her whole world is turned upside down. Now she is Belengaria, Princess of Vairian, and engaged to Conleath of Anthaeus, a widowed king. Torn from her family and facing a future without love, Bel must navigate the treacherous waters of court life while also deciding where her heart's true loyalties lie.
I really enjoyed the characters of Bel and Con, and while Shae was the third in this love triangle, I found myself not so interested in him over time. I became invested in Bel and Con's relationship fairly quickly, especially when Con's personality is slowly revealed and the reader learns about all his hidden depths. Bel went through a lot of character development in this book, which makes me very excited for the next book in the series, now that she has fully morphed from unexpected princess to queen. While she appeared very juvenile initially in her reactions to things, it didn't last very long. Over time I saw her become stronger and put others before herself, and as she got to know Con better, it became clear that her heart would find love there. Shae was definitely a temptation, and I wanted to see a bit more of him than I did. However, his role needed to go in a different direction for the story, and I liked the drama it created later on.
Definitely excited that this is the first in a series, and I can't wait to follow Bel and Con in their adventures together!
**I received a free copy via NetGalley and this is my honest review.**