Review: Queen of Coin and Whispers by Helen Corcoran

When teenage queen Lia inherits her corrupt uncle’s bankrupt kingdom, she brings a new spymaster into the fold … Xania, who takes the job to avenge her murdered father.

Faced with dangerous plots and hidden enemies, can Lia and Xania learn to rely on each another, as they discover that all is not fair in love and treason?

In a world where the throne means both power and duty, they must decide what to sacrifice for their country – and for each other … 

Rating: 4/5


This was an excellent debut (and an all round great read). I joked after I read this book about how much I wanted a sequel (and I still do). However, Queen of Coin and Whispers did actually work well as a standalone and I hope some other YA authors out there take note: a single, tightly plotted book can be a good thing.

The characters were generally well-rounded and interesting. I enjoyed Xania’s POV more than Lia’s (partly because her being the spymaster gave her more to do, as much as I loved Lia trying to smite everyone with her stare), but both characters had unique personalities and voices. And the romance was chef’s kiss.

Queen of Coin and Whispers grappled strongly with the consequences of making Difficult Choices, not only for yourself but what it means for those trying their best to love you. Not to mention, so much mutual pining and longing looks and hand-holding… the first part of this book was slow-burn at its best.

There were a few small things that meant it wasn’t quite a 5-star book for me. Most notably, I thought the world-building was somewhat thin, and I didn’t have much of a sense of the history of the various kingdoms, but given that this was clearly written as a romance set against a fantasy backdrop, that didn’t bother me as much as it might have in a more clearly fantasy-oriented book.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone looking for a sweet, slow-burn f/f romance.

Note: I received an ARC from The O’Brien Press in exchange for a review. Queen of Coin and Whispers will be released on 1 June 2020.

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