Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: The Heretic Royal by G. A. Aiken

Posted January 26, 2023 by Jen in Listen Up!, Rating B, Romance, Sci-Fi or Fantasy Fiction Tags: , , , , ,

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Audiobook review: The Heretic Royal by G.A. Aiken

audiobook cover of THE HERETIC ROYAL by G.A. AikenPicking up immediately after the conclusion of the previous title, The Heretic Royal introduces readers to a slew of new yet familiar characters. Joining the story is none other than Queen Annwyl of Aiken’s Dragon Kin series. Several of the dragons (from the same series) accompanied the queen to find out who is enslaving children, with their first stop at Queen Keely’s territory. Luckily the truth is discovered (it’s not Keely but Beatrix) before things get out of hand, and soon the two human queens find a tentative truce.

Like the previous titles in the Scarred Earth series, The Heretic Royal is full of chaos, silly bickering, ranting, and fighting. The story jumps from one POV to another without any transition. The families members and friends are highly dysfunctional, extremely obnoxious, but care about each other deeply. Aiken’s writing style can be difficult to take in, and I find it best just to buckle up and enjoy the ride.

The third title continues the overall story of Queen Keely and her evil sister Queen Beatrix, yet has a romantic focus on Keely’s sister, Ainsley and centaur Gruffyn of the Torn Moon Clan. Ainsley is dedicated to Keely but is often pushed aside by her protective older sisters. She’s an excellent marksman with her arrow and can fight with the biggest of opponents, yet Gemma and Keely often relegate her to cleaning up messes. With Gruffyn’s encouragement, Ainsley discovers how to do what is needed to protect the Queen while balancing her own safety. I enjoyed seeing Ainsley take charge of her own life.

Narration: The Heretic Royal is shared from MANY different, constantly shifting POVs, and Ms. Barron uses the same female narrator regardless of the POV. She is bold, confident, and fitting for the craziness that is Aiken’s storytelling. The narrator uses subtle clues to indicate the quickly moving POV changes. Ms. Barron alters each character’s voice for the dialogue, making adjustments based on gender, age, species, etc. Each character has a unique and identifiable speaking voice, even though their narrator voice is the same as all characters. I enjoyed Ms. Barron’s performance; she keeps the tempo and zaniness intact.

Overall, The Heretic Royal is an enjoyable romance and excellent addition to the series. It is the continuation of the story started in the first book, The Blacksmith Queen, and should not be read as a standalone book. With the stakes getting higher, I look forward to the next Scarred Earth Saga.

My Ratings
Story: B+
Narration: B+

About the Book:

As two sisters battle for a single throne in G.A. Aiken’s newest fantasy, warring factions take up arms, a land is divided, and uncertain allies become very certain lovers . . .

Gods save the queen! 

Ainsley Farmerson has always planned to break free of the family business—and the family drama. But what was once farming, smithworking, and bickering over the dinner table has turned into open warfare between sisters. Sides have been taken, lives are on the line, and Ainsley has no doubt which sister must be queen. She’ll do whatever is necessary to take down the soulless Beatrix. Even if that means joining forces with angry battle nuns, irritating monks, and overbearing centaurs.

Gruffyn of the Torn Moon Clan has no time for human beings. And yet . . . there is something about the uncontrollable princess that he can’t ignore. Maybe it’s the way her eldest sisters underestimate her. Or her bravery facing down dragons and mad queens from distant lands. Whatever the reason, Gruff is willing to fight by this human’s side. Not only for the entertainment value, but because she’s right. Beatrix must never be queen. So whatever he has to do, whoever he has to destroy, Gruff will battle beside Ainsley. Fast. Hard. And with absolutely no mercy . . .

Author: G.A. Aiken
 Mia Barron
 Scarred Earth Saga #3
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Audiobook Release Date: December 27, 2022
Publisher: Recorded Books
Length: 12 hours 37 minutes
Source: Audiobook Publisher
Audio Speed: 1.7x

Purchase info:
Audible/Amazon (affilate link)

Reviews in the Series:
The Blacksmith Queen by G. A. Aiken (Scarred Earth #1) – Audiobook Review
The Princess Knight by G .A. Aiken (Scarred Earth #2) – Audiobook Review