Chancery may be the youngest ruler of the Evians, but she won her first battle. Thanks to her success, the powers ruling the rest of the Earth are aligning against her, and her supporters' demands grow with every passing day.
Her days of hiding are over…
A five thousand year old prophecy and a dull black rock ruined the life Chancery planned for herself. As she navigates the roiling waters of ancient prejudice, assassination, war, and refugees, she discovers how deeply unprepared she was to assume this unwanted role.
But standing tall makes you a target.
She isn't alone, but everyone around her is working an angle. Noah's missing, Edam's planning their wedding, and the rulers of the Evian nations watch her every move like hungry panthers ready to pounce. A prophecy may have led her to this point, but the rest is up to her. Can she locate the true threat amid the school of red herrings? And what price is she willing to pay to prevent the threatened catastrophe?
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Who to trust, with the world on the line?
The phrase “weight of the world on her shoulders” is a figure of speech. Usually. For Chancery Alamecha, it’s her life. Only a few weeks have passed since she went from being daughter of Empress Enora, royal but never expected to rule, to becoming the prophesied Queen of Queens. She has to figure out how to fulfill the prophecy while keeping her kingdom running, searching for her kidnapped sister, and solving her mother’s murder. There’s not really time for details like wondering if she’s really in love with her fiancé or what secrets the enigmatic Noah is hiding.
It doesn’t help that her claim to the prophecy isn’t appreciated by the other five rulers of the world. Millennia ago, a single chunk of staridium was broken to form seven stones, set in rings that the rulers wear. Chancery is tasked with recovering and rejoining all of these stones. Amid declarations of war, diplomatic bargaining, and not even knowing whether the seventh stone still exists, it’s a basically impossible task to keep the world from destruction as she continues her quest.
For Chancery, perhaps her greatest struggle is trust. She must make alliances with other leaders and trust that they’ll support her when it matters. As she continues to pursue her mother’s murderer through new layers of mystery, it’s hard to know who is on her side and who may be conspiring against her. And even though she has faith in a small circle of friends and family, she’s not sure she can trust them to support her when she’s ready to risk everything for peace. More importantly, she doesn’t know if she can trust herself to make the right call when the whole world is depending on her. When she’s responsible for the fate of the world, does she have the courage to make the right call, and can she be sure that it IS the right call?
I love watching Chancery’s growth through this series. She didn’t change from shy teen to confident world ruler overnight. She still has growing to do, but she consistently progresses. She struggles between ruling by love (campaigning for equal rights for all regardless of blood or gender) and controlling her people (forcing DNA tests and blood donations), always moving on from her failures and trying again. And as she grows in wisdom and inner strength, she is also growing in power. Each new ring she conquers gives her a new ability that no one else can wield, proving that she is the prophesied queen.
When I start a series, it’s hard to beat the first book, the one where I first fell in love with characters, explored a new world, and lived through the main character as she discovered herself and her purpose. But Disavowed may be my new favorite. The action is fast-paced, just balanced by humor and pathos. The mysteries…there is enough revealed about Noah, the new rings, and the murder investigation to be satisfying while making me more and more intrigued. Watching Chancery succeed AND fail, and deal with the results of both, make me love her more. I rarely see this depth and continuous growth and development in teen fiction. Fair warning: only read this series if you’re prepared for these characters to become part of your life.