A stunning blend of vivid fantasy and political drama, The Vanished Queen is the timely story of a young resistance fighter working to overthrow a totalitarian ruler’s regime of terror and lies. “[G]ripping…this is the novel the world needs now” (Kate Hearfield, Nebula Award–winning author of Armed in her Fashion).
Long ago, Queen Mirantha vanished. King Karolje claimed she was assassinated by a neighboring ruler, but her people knew the truth: the king had Disappeared her himself.
Now the queen’s disappearance is hardly a memory—merely one among many horrors the king’s reign has wrought. But when Anza, a young student impassioned by her father’s unjust execution, finds the missing queen’s diary, she is inspired by Mirantha’s words—joins the resistance group to overthrow the king.
Price Esvar is the second son to an evil king. Trapped under his thumb and desperate for a way out, a chance meeting with Anza gives him the opportunity to join the resistance. Together, they might have the leverage to move against the king—but if they fail, their deaths could mean a total loss of freedom for generations to follow. In this dangerous game of court politics, one misstep could lead to a fate worse than death.
Set in a world where resistance is as dangerous as it is important, The Vanished Queen is a “big, dark, intricate novel” (Lousia Morgan, author of A Secret History of Witches) about the courage and sacrifice it requires to take on a tyrant.
Campbell skillfully balances action and introspection as rebellion rises against an oppressive regime in this promising epic fantasy debut. The city of Karegg is under the control of the brutal King Karolje. When college student Anza breaks into one of the libraries that Karolje has ordered closed, she discovers the journal of Mirantha, the former queen who Karolje had disappeared. After Anza's father is executed for unknown reasons, Anza joins the resistance movement against Karolje, inspired, in part, by reading Mirantha's tale. Anza is arrested for her involvement with the movement and interrogated by Esvar, one of Karolje's sons, who, along with his brother, Tevin, plots to overthrow his father, but fears a lack of support among the nobility. Anza is released, and she, Esvar, and Sparrow, the mysterious leader of the resistance, come together to put an end to Karolje's tyranny. By situating Anza within a larger resistance movement, Campbell steers refreshingly clear of typical "chosen one" tropes, instead illuminating the collective effort required for revolution while drawing pointed parallels to the current U.S. political climate. This competent, character-driven debut may not be splashy, but it is solid.