July 3, 2012 | Orbit
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Queen Victoria rules with an immortal fist.
The undead matriarch of a Britain where the Aristocracy is made up of werewolves and vampires, where goblins live underground and mothers know better than to let their children out after dark. A world where being nobility means being infected with the Plague (side-effects include undeath), Hysteria is the popular affliction of the day, and leeches are considered a delicacy. And a world where technology lives side by side with magic. The year is 2012 and Pax Britannia still reigns.
Xandra Vardan is a member of the elite Royal Guard, and it is her duty to protect the Aristocracy. But when her sister goes missing, Xandra will set out on a path that undermines everything she believed in and uncover a conspiracy that threatens to topple the empire. And she is the key-the prize in a very dangerous struggle.
Entertaining debut with interesting worldbuilding and a page-turning mystery.
She's also stubborn and remains in denial for a large part of the story. While this could be an irritating quality in some characters, it felt believable and was easy to understand given Xandra's circumstances and how strongly she felt about her beliefs and the people she loved.
Xandra's devotion to her family is what sets into motion a series of events that leads to the unraveling of an intriguing mystery with a surprising twist. What is seemingly a story about Xandra's search for her missing sister turns into something far more complicated and conspiratorial, challenging her views of the Aristocracy and the role that she plays.
While there are some flaws, they were minor enough not to affect my interest in the story. Xandra's romantic relationship was a little less than satisfying. It wasn't quite insta-love, but felt somewhat similar. And the alpha werewolf wasn't quite alpha enough for my taste, but that's more of a personal preference as opposed to being a reflection of the author's writing.
Overall, I found God Save the Queen to be a fantastic start to a new must-follow series. I wouldn't necessarily say this story is ideal for steampunk fans because those elements are very light compared to others that I've read. But I imagine fans of urban fantasy will happily devour this debut.