I received this book for free from the TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Hive Queen by Robin Kirk
Series: The Bond Trilogy #2
Published by Blue Crow Books on August 29, 2020
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Source: TLC Book Tours
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In the second book in the INDIE-award-winning Bond Trilogy, warrior Fir leads his brothers on a quest for salvation that will threaten everything he holds dear.
After the battle that toppled the Weave, warrior Fir leads his brothers east to escape servitude, or worse—death at the hands of rival warriors. They search for the fabled Master of Men who promises freedom for men in the Weave. But their quest leads them to a foe more dangerous than they could have imagined.
When the beautiful Hive Queen, Odide, bespells Fir, he’s compelled to betray his brothers—and risks dooming them all to an unspeakable fate. To survive, Fir must choose between his loyalty to his brothers, his allegiance to the Queen, and his love for Dinitra.
But salvation is not what it seems. When the worlds of the Hive and the Master collide, it triggers a devastating betrayal that leaves Fir with an impossible choice: can he sacrifice his brothers for the love he thought he could never have?
In Robin Kirk’s second installment of the Bond Trilogy, The Hive Queen, we follow warriors Fir and his brothers as they’ve escaped the life of servitude they were born and bred into in the Weave, running to what should be a life as free men as promised by the Master of Men. The journey to find this so-called Master is very dangerous, and not only do rival warriors trail the brothers, but a Queen who needs fresh blood in her lineage also seeks Fir. While Fir’s heart belongs to Dinitra, whom the first book, The Bond, featured, the Hive Queen has the power to coerce and subdue men. Fir will and leadership are tested as his brothers face hardships, battles, as well as betrayals at the hands of those closest to them.
I really loved the scene setting and world building in this book, and having not read the first installment, Robin Kirk did an excellent job of sprinkling in enough details so I could understand the unique nomenclature of this fantasy world. While seventeen-year-old Fir does his best to keep his brothers together under his leadership, his will is tested so many times and he falls down only to get back up again. He doubts that he can be a good leader for his brothers, and he makes mistakes–oh so many mistakes. But he learns from them and he remains loyal. He sometimes has to fight through the coercion of outside forces like the Hive Queen to remember his loyalty, but Fir ultimately remembers who his number one priority is.
I give The Hive Queen a 4.5 out of 5. This book has rich world building, fantastic narration, and a steadily building tension that kept me turning the pages. The ideologies of loyalty, family, love, betrayal, and sacrifice are all covered nicely within The Hive Queen’s pages, and I really enjoyed living in this fantasy world for a while. With a war brewing, what will come next and will Fir, Dinitra, and the brothers make it out alive? I can’t wait to find out in the third installment.
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About Robin Kirk
Robin Kirk is the author of the The Bond Trilogy for young adults, which includes the INDIE Award-Winning The Bond (2018) and The Hive Queen (2020), both with Blue Crow Books.
Her short fiction has been published in Tomorrow, an anthology of speculative fiction from Kayelle Press, in Beyond the Nightlight, an anthology published by A Murder of Storytellers, in The Moon Magazine, and in other venues. She won an honorable mention in the Chicago Reader’s 2014 Pure Fiction contest.
She is also an award-winning non-fiction writer. Her essay on Belfast is included in the Best American Travel Writing of 2012; she won the Glamour magazine non-fiction contest; and she was featured in Oxford American’s “Best of the South” issue. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Mother Jones, The Washington Post, The American Scholar, and Sojourners, among other publications. She writes a regular column for the Durham Herald-Sun. Kirk has also published nonfiction books, including More Terrible Than Death: Massacres, Drugs and America’s War in Colombia (PublicAffairs) and The Monkey’s Paw: New Chronicles from Peru (University of Massachusetts Press). She coedits the The Peru Reader: History, Culture, Politics (Duke University) and is an editor of Duke University Press’s World Readers series.
Kirk is a Faculty Co-Chair of the Duke Human Rights Center and is a founding member of the Pauli Murray Project. She is a lecturer in Duke’s Department of Cultural Anthropology. She is a graduate of the University of Chicago and holds an MFA in Children’s and Young Adult literature from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Visit her website at robinkirk.com.
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