Aw man, y’all. This was so friggin’ adorable.
The True Queen is the sequel, or suppose a kind of sequel, to Sorcerer to the Crown. It still has the utterly wonderful Prunella and Zacharias involved, but this time the focus is on a separate set of characters, Muna, Sakti and Henrietta (who was a minor character in the last book). My favourite person, Mak Genggang, also makes an appearance.
The story really centres on Muna and Sakti, who find themselves on Janda Baik (the island where Mak Genggang is from), but they don’t remember anything about themselves. Eventually, Mak Genggang decides to send them to Prunella’s school for sorceresses to see if they can figure out why they’ve been cursed.
It’s a bit hard to describe what happens next without ruining the story – but it’s basically a bit more complicated than a curse. The mystery slowly unfurls as Henrietta and Muna have to make a daring rescue in the Fairy Realm, another fairy shows up threatening England and all of England’s magicians, and a whole host of other wonderful and magical things.
The characters really make the story once again, with lots of appearances from the characters in the first book. So while there is lots of continuity, the main plot is driven by Henrietta and Muna. I really adored Muna and the way she was determined and selfless in equal measure, absolutely focussed in every way. As well, Henrietta was wonderfully developed as character – wanting to become a magicienne but equally aware of family pressures. AND THE ENDING, EVERYONE. THE MOST ADORABLE.
As well, I very much got the sense of how different people from the Unseen Realm are from humans. They are frightening in almost a forgetful or absentminded way.
The universe is also great, continuing to unfold in a magical regency England. Prunella and the rest of the women who want to practice magic continue their battle against the conventions of a male dominated magical world. I think I like it better than the first book, but that might just be because I’m already familiar with the world. But it’s such a lovely story and you’ll definitely enjoy it if you liked the first novel.