• STAR RATING:  4 stars
  • PAGE LENGTH: 544 pages
  • DATE PUBLISHED: March 7, 2023
  • PUBLISHER: Saga Press
  • WHAT SERIES? The Five Queendoms
  • HOW MANY BOOKS IN THE SERIES? Unknown, but my guess is 5.
  • CONTENT WARNINGS: Death, Blood, Pregnancy
  • IF YOU LIKED THIS, TRY:  Vaguely, The Stardust Thief, but other than that, I’m not sure

Thank you to Netgalley and Saga Press for providing an ARC copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.


Return to the Five Queendoms in the sequel to Scorpica, a sweeping epic fantasy that Rebecca Roanhorse called “ambitious and engaging,” in which a centuries-long peace is shattered in a matriarchal society when a decade passes without a single girl being born.

The Drought of Girls has ended, but the rift it broke open between the Queendoms is not so easily healed. Political tensions roil the senate of Paxim, where Queen Heliane vows to make her son Paulus the nation’s first ruling King or die trying. Scorpican troops amass on the border of Arca, ready to attack. And within Arca itself, its young, unready queen finds her court a nest of vipers and her dreams besieged by a mysterious figure with unknown intentions.

As iron and magic clash on the battlefield and powerful women scheme behind the scenes, danger and violence abound. Can anyone stop chaos from ripping the Queendoms apart?

Immediately upon finishing Scorpica, I dived into my ARC of Arca. While I enjoyed the first book, there were parts of it that really frustrated me. (Namely, the treatment of men. Yes, men get to be the carriers of most fantasy books and have all the power normally, but STILL. It bothered me that the one male character we got more of did not last long.) Some of those concerns were still present in this book, but overall, I enjoyed Arca much more than the first book in the series.

I thoroughly enjoyed the new POV characters we received in this book. We get two or three new ones, and their voices add a lot to the story. Especially Ama’s — who I was completely wrong about in the first book. I thought that Azur of the Scorpicae was her but apparently I just read something inaccurately. Two totally different characters in actuality.

ANYWAY — Ama was my favorite, and I loved her journey but oh how my heart ached at one particular point. It wasn’t her fault at all, but her heart was broken in two. Just…shattered. Ugh. I also really love that we got more of Eminel, as well. She really comes into her own in this book and that was delightful to watch. Watching her boss other people around knowing she was the most powerful and in the right was just CHEF’S KISS. Azur and Tamura were frustrating characters — they were SUPPOSED TO BE — don’t get me wrong, but I really hated reading their POV sections as I do not vibe with who they are. They are very well written, though, and make sense within the book.

I am definitely interested to know where the story is going, and how many more books we’ll be getting in this series. The world is fascinating and unique, and held my attention well. Not to mention that Macalliter’s writing is top notch. Overall, I’d give Arca a solid four stars.

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