(4.5/5 ⭐️) Nameless Queen is a story about getting to choose who you call family.
“I’m as damaged as the things I break, and there’s nothing that can put me together again.” Coin is a “nameless” street urchin, someone without a home, living in Seriden where there are three types of classes: Royals, Legals, and Nameless. The problem is, the nameless have no rights and aren’t considered citizens. Magic is bound to the sovereigns, and when a ruler passes, they pass their magic on to their named heir. When Coin discovers a crown tattoo on her arm, meaning the king has named her as his air—she finds it impossible. The king cannot name a nameless person as heir—but the king is dead now and it seems no one knows the truth. Yet, the impossible has happened, and they call her the “Imppossible Queen.” Coin must fight against those conspiring to keep her from the throne.
This fast-paced story kept me on the edge of my seat, eager to keep reading. It followed a definite character arc, where Coin started the story without caring for the people of her city, and finished the story caring very much. There was obvious personal growth throughout.
I loved the conflict and the themes that were portrayed. The story wasn’t entirely original, but I liked the unique voice McLaughlin gives us, and the spin she placed upon some of the ideas. Coin’s character was a little bit of a “Mary Sue” however, the McLaughlin did a good job of convincing me that the character was as good as she was supposed to be at conning, stealing, and strategizing.
If I’m being honest, this is the first book I’ve enjoyed this much in months. I wanted to give it five stars, but I felt that it fell short in a few areas. Firstly, I really dislike present tense point of view. It always feels awkward and I almost always subtract half a star from any book that does this. Just a personal preference. Second, this was a story where the hero kind of “lucks out” in most situations. I like those kinds of stories, but I definitely felt that there could have been a bit more of a challenge presented to Coin at the end of the story, to create more of a finale. Coin won too easily, in my opinion. Finally, I felt that the world building fell a little short. Maybe this is part of a series and that aspect will be developed later. Overall though, those were the only critiques I found.
I definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes political intrigue, magic, and seeing an underdog rise to the top.
Thank you @netgally and @randomhouse for the opportunity to read this ARC.