Sarah Kozloff, "The Nine Realms" (Tor, 2020)


Sarah Kozloff does her world building gradually and carefully, introducing you to a few characters you get to know and care for, before moving on to other lands and cultures. The land of Weirandale is ruled by a line of queens with unique magical talents which is granted to them by Nargis, the spirit of the water. We first meet the future queen in hiding when she is a child, granted a menagerie of pets by her fond mother, Cressa, who tries to spend as much time her as she can while ruling Weirandale. Cressa is perhaps not temperamentally suited to be queen. A somewhat retiring and innocent person by nature, she is unprepared for the machinations of her chief counsellor, who wishes power for himself. After an assassination attempt, Cressa conceals her daughter’s identity through magic, sending her to live with a family who is unaware of her true identity. Her daughter, Cérulia, likewise is not ambitious nor does she show much desire to lead. She does however have a kind heart and will fight for her friends, if not for herself. But the world at large has even more serious problems than the fate of Cérulia, who is orphaned halfway through the first book, and must rely on her magical gift to see her through some tight spots. In another country, ruled by eight terrible magi, food shortages have led to their army invading a peaceful democracy, the Free States. Thalen, a student, must use his analytical and curious mind to come up with a plan to rescue his plundered country from the ruthless invaders. How the story of these two, Cérulia, the queen in hiding, and Thalen, the son of a pottery maker, connects, is not yet revealed. But with the four books of the series being released monthly, you won’t have to wait long to find out.
Gabrielle Mathieu is the author of the YA fantasy, Girl of Fire, the first in the Berona’s Quest series, as well as a historical fantasy series set in the 60s. She blogs about travel and her books at You can also follow her on Twitter to get updates about new podcasts and more @GabrielleAuthor.

Related Topics

Your Host

Gabrielle Martin

View Profile