In a Queendom divided, can one girl unite the realms?
Jacs, an inventor’s apprentice from the Lower Realm, has only ever dreamed of what the land among the clouds holds. That is until she finds a letter from Connor, an Upperite boy hoping to learn more about the land below. Little does Jacs know, Connor is actually Prince Cornelius of the Queendom of Frea. With wooden boats and hot air balloons, the two begin a secret correspondence. But their friendship is divided by a heavily-guarded bridge and an inescapable prejudice.
The strength of their bond was thought to transcend distance and time, but when the royal family visits the Lower Realm, the Queendom’s feud is reignited.
To save her people, Jacs must infiltrate the Upper Realm and earn her place to compete in the Contest of Queens. In a story about friendship, love, bravery, and defying gravity, Jacs will strive to prove that a Queendom is strongest when united.
If you’re looking for an amazing book with strong feminism values, this is a must read!
Contest of Queens has a dystopian like feel, “big brother is always watching” along with the Selection vibes (even though I barely remember that book) when it comes to ‘electing’ the next queen.
I’m a huge lover of chapter titles, and Bartlett didn’t let me down! These are fun little heading at the beginning of each chapter, that sort of preface or foreshadow the chapter. I have said it once and I’ll keep saying it, chapter titles are a thing we need to bring back.
And of course, maps. Instant star for maps included with books.
I was a bit hesitant when it came to Contest of Queens… the pace started off super slow for me. However, the authors attention to detail, ALL the details, soon made up for the slower pace. I did not expect to love it as much as I did.
Instead of a Kingdom, we are introduced to a a Queendom, where females are seen as the superior gender and men are regulated to manual labor and just being there, basically. I know a few readers had problems with this “reverse sexism.” I feel like the whole point of this book is to show that there needs to be a balance. Bartlett is careful to object to this reverse sexism. She points out that Jacs father was both gentle and caring.
The only problem with this reverse sexism that I had was the forced birth control of the men. I felt that pushed a bit too far.
Jacs is this smart, strong character who was born on the wrong side of the cliff. She starts off as this inventor, passing notes up a cliff in this unconventional way. I loved watching her character grow for this young girl into an insightful young woman.
The character growth throughout the whole book is amazing. From the Prince growing and aging, to the King, and random friends made throughout.
I loved the romance.
We get this friends to enemies to lovers trope and the whole time it is nothing but sweet. There are no titles/stations getting in the way, no vanity.
As part of watching our two MCs grow, we get to watch their feelings and relationship grow.
The story doesn’t shy away from same sex relations either, and this actually helps drive a point across about “distractions” in the military’s barracks.
The author touches on loss, grief, and acceptance. Those moments are truly beautiful.
Be sure to check back tomorrow for another chance to enter the giveaway and read my review for Queen’s Catacombs.
Friends to Enemies
Enemies to Lovers
Death of a Parent
About Jordan H. Bartlett:
Jordan H. Bartlett is a New Zealand-born Canadian with a love for children’s literature and female empowerment. She grew up reading books about boys for boys and found it hard to find a strong female heroine she could relate to. Bartlett wrote Contest of Queens to give young readers that character she so longed for in a world where gender norms are reversed. Bartlett currently resides in Banff, Alberta where she works as a Speech Language Pathologist and is a certified yoga instructor.
connect with the author: website ~ facebook ~ instagram ~ goodreads
Title: Contest of Queens
Series: The Frean Chronicles #1
Author: Jordan H. Bartlett
Category: YA Fiction (Ages 13-17), 464 pages
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: CamCat Books
Release date: January 17 2023
Content Rating: PG – Very clean, but there is some brief violence.
Three (3) winners will receive a signed hardcover copy of Queen’s Catacombs by Jordan H. Bartlett. (US Only)
Giveaway ends April 17th 2023.
*Click the link to be taken to the giveaway*