My Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Paranormal Romance/ Urban Fantasy
Age Category: Adult
Type of romance: Reverse Harem
Even with three sexy consorts and the power to kill, saving all of shifter-kind is a heck of a job…
Humans have always treated shifters like pets and toys. But a prophecy claims that three shifter queens will bring peace and justice. When the stars align, the queens will find their three fated consorts and save the world, blah blah… Prophecies never get into the useful details, do they?
I, Frankie Flanagan, am perfectly happy to stay in the shadows. I use my house cat charms as a spy, and fight with my trusty knives. My swoon-worthy wolf shifter childhood crush is a man now—and returning my feelings. If I’m a shifter queen, everyone will want a piece of me. Trading my freedom for power? No thanks.
Luckily, only one person has ever witnessed my true power: my rival Waylon Silver, the trouble-making son of a smuggler. I unleashed on him by accident years ago and haven’t used any magic since. Uh, I also might have taken his eyesight and his memories in the process. Well, now Waylon’s back, all grown up. He’s studied magic, his memories are back, and if I don’t do what he says, he’ll expose me to the world and get his revenge. Did I mention he’s gotten really hot? Damnit.
I don’t need nine lives. I’d just like to keep the one I’ve got.
I received a free copy from the author and voluntarily reviewed it.
I’ve been excited to read this series since I first heard about. I love the concept for this series with 3 shifter queens and how each get their point of view told over 9 books. I can’t wait for the rest of the series! This was an excellent start to the series and I really enjoyed it.
Dark Queen Stray mostly is told from the point of view of Frankie, but there are chapters from the point of views of some of the guys as well as Mina too. I liked getting to know Frankie. I felt she acted realistically with how she didn’t want the spotlight that comes with being a queen. She’s used to being in the shadows and while her life isn’t that good, she knows it can go worse. It feels like she gets a certain comfort from knowing what to expect from her life, even though as outsider it’s easy to see how her life really isn’t that good. I liked how she stands up for what she believes in, but is also smart enough to know when hiding and sneaking around works best. She seemed capable and like she knows what she wants.
The world in this book is dark and gritty, but the overall tone doesn’t quite feel that dark most times, although there are definitely darker parts. This book is set in a sort of alternate history type of world, where lots of things are the same as they are now, except shifters exist and are treated as less than humans. In this book we get to see a wide range of bad things that can happen to shifters and how they are treated and it’s appalling. Which is exactly why this prophecy of three shifter queens brings such hope to shifters. I liked the story and where it goes so far, it kept me guessing what would happen and if certain character where as they appear or not. And I am exciting to see where the story goes next.
In a sense this book feels very much as an introduction to the world and some of the characters, but I do mean that in a good way. I liked getting to know the characters and guessing which guys would end up with Frankie. We get a good feel for the world and I feel that the first few pieces for the larger storyline are in place. I am really excited to see where this goes next and I can’t wait for the next book.
The romance is very much a slower burn here. There are guys who show interest in Frankie and I have some guesses who will end up with her and one guy I am fairly certain will end up with Frankie. It’s still very much hints and setting the beginnings of her relationships with them. We also meet Mina, another girl who is probably a queen and I am guessing who might end up with her as well. I am looking forward to see how the relationships develop in future books and excited to learn more about the prophecy and what the queens can do.
I liked learning about the different types of shifters, there are cat, bird and wold shifters so far. As well as humans a half breeds. And there are some scenes where we see them shift as well, which was fun. It is sad to see how they are treated and I was glad to see how Frankie wouldn’t stand for it, even though she isn’t ready to claim her status as queen yet. I am curious to see how this will develop.
To summarize: This was an awesome start to this new series. I liked getting to know the characters and the world. Shifters are treated badly in this world and a prophecy of three shifter queens who will change their fate brings hope. I liked getting to know Frankie and I thought it made sense how she didn’t want to let anyone know she was a queen, she doesn’t have a good life, but that’s what she knows and she realizes how much worse things could be. I liked getting to know some of the side characters and potential love interests. There are hints of who Frankie might end up with, but it’s mostly the starts of possible relationships. I enjoyed the story and it kept me guessing and I am eager to read more books in this series and see how things continue.