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Scarlett St. Clair’s Queen of Myth and Monsters is the second book in her Adrian x Isolde series. Unlike the first book, we get multiple points of view. I read the first book in this series over a year ago and remember really enjoying it. So I had high expectations for this book. As I share my thoughts, I’ll try not to give too many spoilers, but there may be a few (though I tried to be as vague as possible regarding the plot while still sharing my opinions on things).
Isolde, newly coronated queen, has finally found a king worthy of her in the vampire Adrian. But their love for each other has cost Isolde her father and her homeland. With two opposing goddesses playing mortals and vampires against one another, Isolde is uncertain who her allies are in the vampire stronghold of Revekka.
Now, as politics in the Red Palace grow more underhanded, inexplicable monster attacks plague the villages, and a deadly crimson mist threatens all of Cordova, Isolde must trust in the bond she’s formed with Adrian, even as she learns troubling information about his complicated past.
- Published: December 20, 2022
- Page Count: 388 pages
- Genre: Paranormal Romance, Fantasy
Thoughts on Queen of Myth and Monsters
I had high hopes for this book. I was hoping that now that Isolde has remembered her previous life, we would learn more about the characters. However, she does not recall many details until after they would have been useful. As a result, we spend the entire book behind. Which doesn’t help because there’s a traitor in Adrian’s inner circle, so every interaction makes you wonder if the person is telling the truth. We lose attachment to the characters we interact with because there is no trust. I understand why it was done because that is how Isolde felt. However, when the betrayal occurs, there is no emotional connection. Because we, as readers, have no emotional attachment to those characters and relationships. As a result, Isolde feels off. She gets angry and hurt, even though she had been suspicious of them the whole time. Like, make up your mind. Did you trust them or not?
What is the betrayal?
Someone (not naming to avoid sharing spoilers) is trying to kill Adrian through Isolde by letting people know where she is going and leaving her open to attack. As a result, she transforms into a werewolf, then a vampire.
So, why would someone in his inner circle want to betray him?
Adrian is losing control of himself because the goddess Dis is controlling him more and more. As Dis is enraged at Adrian’s desire for freedom after being reunited with Isolde. He can’t be set free unless someone uses magic against him to break Dis’s hold on him, which doesn’t happen in this book. However, it is something that many people are afraid of. Which is why they go after Isolde, who is his only weakness. Adrian will die if Isolde dies.
Alright, moving on to my biggest issue with this book
Isolde is extremely unlikeable. While Adrian’s point of view is included, the majority of the story is told from Isolde’s perspective. That is, we see everything that happens through her eyes. Not from the perspective of an observer, but from her own mind. So we get her perspective on everything. And, while the author describes her as bitchy, there’s a difference between being confident and refusing to let people push you around and being rude for the sake of being rude. Guess which one Isolde is.
Furthermore, as previously stated, the fact that her memories are missing does not help. She doesn’t remember things until they’re too late to be useful. Which I understand; sometimes trauma blocks memories and requires something to trigger them. However, when revelations occur after the fact and do not advance the plot, they become irrelevant.
Not to mention, her reactions to events become irritating, at least to me. For example:
- Man claims to be a witch hunter and demonstrates his ability to resurrect. People who were about to riot calm down when they saw the scene. Adrian agrees to let him stay as long as he helps their people. Isolde storms out, demanding Adrian murder him. Your people were about to lose faith in you, and you want to kill off the one guy who is slightly helping you? No. It’s a bad idea. Your people will simply turn on you. I understand wanting loyalty over usefulness, but you don’t have loyalty right now.
- People around her are turning against her, and she doesn’t want to do anything to change that. Instead, she wants to go back to Lara and take over her mother’s island nation to free the people there. Then becomes enraged when Adrian points out that they have their own issues that must be addressed before either of those things can be safely accomplished. Does she take his advice? No. She becomes enraged and storms away.
- When Isolde is transformed into a werewolf, instead of adjusting to her new abilities, she freaks out and refers to Adrian as a monster. Then she says she’s not comparing being a werewolf to his condition, despite the fact that several vampires can shapeshift. And likely Adrian can as well as we don’t know what his abilities are.
- Isolde laments not being able to do magic like she used to, despite the fact that she most likely can. Most likely because she suppressed those abilities after remembering being burned alive in a previous life.
- Everyone, including those attempting to assist her, is regarded as beneath her. Then she wonders why people would do such things to her as she thinks, “If they’re going to be like this, I should just save myself and screw everyone else.” Maybe if you weren’t so arrogant, this wouldn’t be happening. Not to mention, you can’t blame people for being afraid of magic when all of their problems are related to magic. A magical plague is literally killing men and children.
- Several people have stated that Adrian has no control over Dis and that she should be afraid of him. Adrian tells her the same thing. Then she acts surprised when he loses control and becomes upset that people may be correct in believing that stopping Adrian is not a bad idea. Adrian even requests that she do so. So, are those people truly betraying you, or are they possibly… I don’t know, trying to avert a bigger problem? Also known as Dis.
That’s just to name a few without giving too much away about who the traitors are and what their motivations were. One, I feel bad for them because they were just trying to put a stop to what was becoming a growing problem. They had stabbed Isolde, but they were distraught over it. I have no sympathy for the other. Given that they are responsible for nearly everything that goes wrong in the series. I understand being angry about past injustices, but I believe the things they did at this point are even worse, especially given that the people responsible are long dead.
This book had the potential to be so much more. The first book in this series was excellent, but this one fell flat for me. I still liked it, but I wasn’t invested in the characters. Even the romance between Adrian and Isolde failed to captivate me. I couldn’t understand how the two could be in love when Isolde and Adrian were constantly fighting. In their brief interactions, Isolde and Killian displayed more heart.
I’m not sure what could have been done to improve the story’s flaws. Isolde would require a personality transplant, which will never happen. And she couldn’t go from one of these four characters betrayed you to trusting any of them until they proved otherwise. That would be stupid of Isolde. So, the only thing that could have made it more powerful was if we had explored that element through Adrian. For over 200 years, those were his closest companions. He trusted those people, and some of them betrayed him. But we got all of those moments from Isolde rather than Adrian. As she experienced the turning point. Because, as previously stated, she is Adrian’s weakness, they were always going to go after her instead of him. So, I’m not sure how that would’ve been accomplished if we had more of Adrian’s point of view. As we would have missed the event.
Overall, I give Queen of Myth and Monsters 3.25 stars out of 5. I plan to read the next book in this series because I believe that now that the revelations have occurred, more can be done with the story. Plus, as a vampire, Isolde will have to relearn how to use her powers/magic. And perhaps, just maybe, Isolde will mature as a character. But if Isolde doesn’t improve as a person in the next book and it’s not the end of the series, I might just give up and DNF the rest. I seriously can’t stand Isolde as she is right now unless she starts caring about people other than herself.
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