The Crimson Queen by Alec Hutson
The Crimson Queen by Alec Hudson is a work of epic fantasy published in 2016, reminiscent of the works of J. R. R. Tolkien, David Eddings and Patrick Rothfuss. It is an entry into the 2018 Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off and the champion of Fantasy Book Critic.
I’ll come straight to the point: This book did not work for me. At first it did but by the time I had made it to half way through I simply no longer wanted to continue, and I will explain my reasons in just a moment. But I want to make it clear from the offset that just because The Crimson Queen was not my cup of tea I still feel that it will be read and enjoyed by many others. The reading experience is subjective and this is why it is important to read as many different reviews as possible.
Before I get to the main body of the review here’s the synopsis, which sets the scene nicely:
Long ago the world fell into twilight, when the great empires of old consumed each other in sorcerous cataclysms. In the south the Star Towers fell, swallowed by the sea, while the black glaciers descended upon the northern holdfasts, entombing the cities of Min-Ceruth in ice and sorcery. Then from the ancient empire of Menekar the paladins of Ama came, putting every surviving sorcerer to the sword and cleansing their taint from the land for the radiant glory of their lord. The pulse of magic slowed, fading like the heartbeat of a dying man.
And so the story begins, and we find ourselves in familiar, comfortable territory. We meet Keilan, a young man out fishing with his father. But Keilan has special powers and adventure awaits...
As I began reading this book I immediately warmed to the author’s writing style, his good use of vocabulary (without being overly flowery) and I was impressed with the pace and descriptiveness of the narrative. I was confident that I had found a book I was going to enjoy. The first chapter did a stirling job of introducing characters, giving them life and a history, opening up the land for further investigation. But its crowning glory was how, as a reader, I warmed to the lead (even his father deserved much empathy) and how, as the chapter nears its end, the author threw the hook which snagged my mind and made we want to read more about these people and discover what exactly it was Keilan had encountered in the deep waters while travelling outside his body. And who exactly was his mother?
So how come, after such a wonderful start, did things go so wrong for me? Well, events transpire and Keilan must leave his home and village. He finds himself within a fellowship on a quest and I was enjoying it all. The first warning bell that rang was when the story path lead to events that closely matched the Mines of Moria from Lord of the Rings, right down to the finding of mithril-type armour. But I’ve read and enjoyed many authors who are influenced by Tolkien and this was not an insurmountable obstacle. But my real issue with the book was that after a while the story stopped moving along and we met character after character who recounted monologue after monologue regarding the world’s history. I don’t mind this in general, The Name of the Wind employs this style often and is one of my favourite books, but I was increasingly finding that I needed the story to move forward again, so I could learn more about the characters I already knew and cared about. As page after page after page told me things I was not ready to be interested in I simply put the book down and decided I no longer wanted to be in that world any more.
I guess a summary of everything above would be to say that I felt the story became bogged down by exposition. For me characterisation is everything and while initially it was good it became lost in the mists of remembrances and legends.
However, as I said at the beginning of this review, my experience is likely different to many others and a look at the Goodreads page shows it has many, many admirers. It’s just a shame that this wasn’t a book for me.
This The Crimson Queen book review was written by Floresiensis
All reviews for: The Raveling
The Crimson Queen
The Raveling #1
Long ago the world fell into twilight, when the great empires of old consumed each other in sorcerous cataclysms. In the south the Star Towers fell, swallowed by the sea, w...
The Silver Sorceress
The Raveling #2
The epic story that began in The Crimson Queen continues . . . Following the deadly assault on the Scholia by the kith'ketan, Keilan and Nel ...
Have you read The Crimson Queen?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
The Crimson Queen reader reviews
5/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
Beren and Luthien
Painstakingly restored from Tolkien’s manuscripts and presented for the first time as a continuous and standalone story, the epic tale of Beren and Lúthien wil...
Baptism of Fire
The Wizards Guild has been shattered by a coup and, in the uproar, Geralt was seriously injured. The Witcher is supposed to be a guardian of the innocent, a protector of th...
The Fall of Gondolin
In the Tale of The Fall of Gondolin are two of the greatest powers in the world. There is Morgoth of the uttermost evil, unseen in this story but ruling over a vast militar...
The Story of Kullervo
The world first publication of a previously unknown work of fantasy by J.R.R. Tolkien, which tells the powerful story of a doomed young man who is sold into slavery and who...
Death Angel's Shadow
Karl Edward Wagner
Kane is battling the prophet of an ancient cult of evil and confronting the demons of darkness on his journeys. He faces death duels in strange swamps, assassin's attac...
Timion the Black has exhausted his options. Reckless, despicable, Timion’s own band of mercenary men turn against him, leaving him for dead in a back alleyway. Fate d...
The Sword of Truth Series
Richard Cypher holds the fate of three nations in his hands, he must learn the Wizard's First Rule to achieve his goals. The heart hounds are stalking the humans, blood...
Karl Edward Wagner
Kane - indestructible swordsman, invincible sorcerer, immortal wanderer through strange worlds. Efrel, Empress of Pellin, seeks vengeance on the King of Thovnos and chooses...
The Siege of Abythos
Lady Iskra and her followers have survived the onslaught of demons, forged powerful alliances, and are finally ready to wreck righteous vengeance on the Ascendant Empire. Y...
Great fantasy books published in 2016
Nevernight is the first in an epic new fantasy series from the New York Times bestselling author, Jay Kristoff.In a land where three suns almost never...
Touch of Iron
Is the Living Blade real or just a legend? With it... Prince Bashan could win back his kingdom. Master Telen Diaz can free himself of the burden from his past. Owen Smith s...
The Wheel of Osheim
All the horrors of Hell stand between Snorri Ver Snagason and the rescue of his family, if indeed the dead can be rescued. For Jalan Kendeth getting back out alive and with...
The Silent Army
James A Moore
The City of Wonders has been saved by nearly miraculous forces and the Silent Army is risen, ready to defend the Fellein Empire and Empress Nachia at any cost. The power th...
Events are coming to a climax in the Banished Lands, as the war reaches new heights. King Nathair has taken control of the fortress at Drassil and three of the Seven Treasu...
The City of Mirrors
In life I was a scientist called Fanning. Then, in a jungle in Bolivia, I died. I died, and then I was brought back to life… Prompted by a voice that lives in her bl...
Hope and Red
In a fracturing empire spread across savage seas, two people find a common cause. Hope, the lone survivor of a village massacred by the emperor's forces, is secretly tr...
What do you do when your life crumbles around you? If you’re Frank Triggaltheron Trigg you climb into a bottle looking for oblivion. Of course he couldn’t even ...
Fellside is a maximum security prison on the edge of the Yorkshire moors. It's not the kind of place you'd want to end up. But it's where Jess Moulson could be ...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: