4 out of 4 stars
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Blood and war splash across the pages of The Undying Queen of Ur. It's eloquently co-authored by Abraham Kawa and Arahom Radjah. This novel tells the tale of Arkhalla, a beautiful and ferocious queen who rules over the kingdom of Ur. As the first blood-drinker in Ur, she has immense power and wields it mercilessly to form vampiric armies which conquer new lands in her name. Her city is also home to hundreds of blood-drinkers and enslaved humans. In the centuries of her reign, no one has dared to oppose her until she encounters Shamath, a slave boy whose startling defiance amuses her. She forces him to become her personal slave, much to the annoyance of the other blood-drinkers in her council. Over time, the young slave softens Arkhalla’s heart by reminding her of human elements like selflessness, love, and mercy. She starts seeing the world from a new perspective. Distracted by a blossoming romance with Shamath, she fails to realize that the royal council’s loyalty to her slowly begins to fade. Her life is suddenly in jeopardy as usurpers threaten to take her place. Will she lose her throne and her life for love?
This book consisted of seven parts. Each part drew me in deeper and deeper into a vampiric realm that boasted of blood, religion, politics, and war. I felt quite similar to Shamath, a mere human, who was thrust into this strange bloodthirsty world and forced to live by its rules. I really liked the setting of this novel and the culture of Ur. The authors did an excellent job to realistically portray this. The traditions in Ur such as blood sacrifices, religious ceremonies, and detailed descriptions of people and places seemed historical rather than fictional. At times, I felt like this kingdom and its bloodthirsty denizens actually existed.
The book’s vampire content and its eloquent writing style reminded me of Anne Rice’s famous vampire novels, but as I read it, the scenarios played out in my head like thrilling episodes of Game of Thrones. The novel did not spare the reader the horrors of war, and the dehumanizing aspects of slavery. This is exactly the sort of blatant disregard for human life that one may see in Game of Thrones. Moreover, the characters themselves seemed to mirror those in this TV series. Arkhalla’s regal character reminded me of Queen Daenerys while another character, Lord Sin, reminded me of Lord Baelish’s manipulative ways. As a Game of Thrones fan, I relished these similarities because I felt like I already knew the characters.
Despite these things, what I loved most was that the characters were given intriguing backstories and distinct personalities. They were all different from one another. Yet, readers can easily see how they evolve as they experienced different things. For instance, Shamath evolved from a defiant slave who hated blood-drinkers to a man who saw the good in the evilest person in the realm. Love was his greatest power.
I hungrily devoured each chapter of this book. It’s not every day that I come across a delicious novel teeming with my favorite bloodthirsty supernatural characters, so I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I found nothing in it which displeased me. The errors that I spotted were insignificant things like typos. As a result, I’m rating it 4 out of 4 stars. Fans of Game of Thrones will enjoy this book. Anyone who enjoys reading about vampires, medieval wars, and paranormal romance will also love this book. However, the violence, gore, and sexual themes may not be suitable for younger teens. Personally, I’d recommend it for readers aged seventeen and older.
The Undying Queen of Ur
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