Magic and Adventure: Review of Queen of Roses (Blood of a Fae #1)

by Samy
6 minutes read
queen of roses
Magic and Adventure: Review of Queen of Roses (Blood of a Fae #1)Queen of Roses by Briar Boleyn
Series: Blood of a Fae #1
on April 15, 2023
Genres: Fae Fantasy, Fantasy, New Adult, Retelling
Pages: 320
Format: Digital
four-stars

Queen of Roses is the first in the action-packed Blood of a Fae, brimming with magic, danger, and spellbinding slow-burn romance. Queen of Roses is perfect for fans of Holly Black, Jennifer L. Armentrout, and Sarah J. Maas, of the Retelling, Fae Fantasy, and New Adult by Briar Boleyn.

Queen of Roses (Blood of a Fae #1) Book Review

Queen of Roses is the first book in author Briar Boleyn’s Blood of a Fae series, a loose retelling of the Arthurian legend. When Morgan Pendragon was 5 years old, her mother, Ygraine, was murdered by her father. 15 years later, Morgan, the eldest of the Pendragons who was expected to become Queen of Camelot, has been brushed aside for her younger brother Arthur. Morgan is a half-blooded Fae who knows very little about her Fae heritage as her powers got suppressed for her whole life.

Characters

Not sure about the character development. Morgan seemed a bit too naive at first through the whole book. And she still acts a bit too naive when it comes to it. But I think she learns and does better.
Morgan is none of those badass fighters. She can fight, but scenes with her and a good fight are rare. She’s headstrong, kind, and courageous, which I like about her.
She’s a well-written character whose backstory gets unrevealed as the book continues.

Draven is all right. I liked him through the first book. He’s a great companion, and I appreciate his support rather than showing her he knows better.

They don’t act immature; they are only a bit dramatic, but that’s fine. I couldn’t hardly put it away to catch sleep, which is a good sign.
And besides some exceptions, most men in this book are just awful. Arthur goes beyond the gray of gray-ish lines to not have her sister know about her true lineage.

Writing Style

Worldbuilding is super detailed; I can’t complain about that. Its pages about nature, landscape, and whatever they discover are more detailed.
I felt like it took forever to read those 320ish pages. Slow burn is super real.

Pacing

As it feels a bit dragging, there’s still a lot going on at almost the same time. As I mentioned somewhere, I could hardly put the book away.

It’s a loose retelling of the Arthurian legend with some new elements and twists. For example, some original male figures are females – both Merlin, High Priestess of the Three Sisters, and Lancelot.

Emotional Impact

Morgan got me with her as I rooted for her and Draven. I think I liked Draven from the beginning, as I haven’t seen him particularly arrogant, and he appears to be rather supportive as the book progresses.

Strengths

The worldbuilding is super detailed, which is great.
Characters have their backstory and are not just there.
The plot twist at the end of the book was super surprising.

Weaknesses

It felt like the author only got started as the primary focus was on worldbuilding, introducing characters and their development through the book. As I wouldn’t call it a weakness, it felt like dragging the book a bit.

Recommendation

I’m not sure if I know the original Arthurian legend or if I’ve read about it, but I still liked the book. So, I think it’s recommended for both. If you know or don’t know, it might not matter.
Rather, be open to changes compared to the original.
Also, it’s a Fae story, so if you like Fantasy with Fae and some other creatures, you might enjoy it.

I could compare it with ACOTAR #1 because both are retellings, or even when I include Institute of Shadow Fae #1 – I’d very much root for Queen of Roses, but tastes are different.

Conclusion:

Queen of Roses is a fun and engaging read I very much enjoyed. The slow burn is visible, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. There’s still a lot going on, and it was enjoyable, which got me to the second book.
It could be quite the book for you if you like the Arthurian legend, Fae, or Fantasy. There are spicy scenes to enjoy and also some trigger warnings. If needed, I can go into more detail on those.
I wouldn’t put it on my list of most favorite reads of 2024, but it is a good start!

POV’s: Single -1st person (Morgan)

Tropes included
– Spicy Fantasy Romance
– Enemies to Lovers
– Only One Bed
– Forced Proximity
– Who did this to you?
– Broken, stabby heroine
– Training Scenes
– Touch her and…
– Found Family/ Ride or Die BFFs
– Villains You’ll love to hate


Do you know of the Queen of Roses or the Arthurian legend? Have you read any of those books? Share your thoughts!


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