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on 27 November 2012
I really loved The Hedgewitch Queen, book #1 in this series. A bit like Maria V. Snyder's writing it was just charming and fast-paced enough to have your undivided attention till the very end of the book.

However, The Bandit King is written from Tristan's point of view, so there is no Vianne's input only his descriptions of her actions which makes the book pretty dry and emotionally exhausting. He goes through some really deep, painful feelings, gets his heart broken and all his hopes crushed.

Tristan loves Vianne to the point of obsession, he'll die for her, starves for her attention and will kill in her name without any hesitation. There is nothing else for him apart from her. He has loved her from afar for years before conquering her heart, so when she finds out that he is the one who killed the old King, - for her it's a huge betrayal, oath breaking and treason. She doesn't know him anymore, she tries to distance herself and re-evaluate her feelings.

However, she can not afford it. The gods approved of their marriage, the country is at war and the Seal she owns works at its full strength only with Tristan nearby. So this coldness, distrust between them leads to despair from Tris's side and an urgent need to redeem himself in Vianne's eyes.

The one thing that makes an otherwise awkward book a very interesting read is battle sequences and one epic duel. Oh my God, one thing you can't take away from Lily, - she knows her war stuff well. I loved it!

Overall, not Lily's best book, it reads tortuously slow, and I almost gave up on Tris few times, but there are few epic moments in it and the ending is pretty decent.
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on 30 November 2015
I can't quite decide what I think of this one.
I've read the Hedgewitch Queen and while it's not a masterpiece, it's certainly an enjoyable enough read. This book is not light reading the way that one was and could probably do with a trigger warning for abuse on it.

When I read it I gradually started reading it as through I was seeing one man's obsession for a girl fall into insanity, his eventual attempts to escape that madness, and the girl rise above his abuse and not allow his behaviour to control her (and in the course of the story become a person worthy of respect). Some people might disagree with this perspective, but the level of Tristan's obsession with Vianne is quite frankly not healthy and let's not forget that rape scene. Tristan's character over the course of the book appears (or at least appeared to me) to go through a period of deepening madness, which he eventually begins to recognise and then attempt to pull himself out from. Whether or not he succeeds is debatable as the ending is fairly open, though I'd like to think that he does.
I mentioned a possible trigger warning earlier because Tristan's behaviour includes stalkerish tendencies, one rape, at least one instance where I believe he was fantasising about sexually assaulting Vianne (I will have to reread) and throughout the book his internal monologue shows him to be an incredibly violent person OUTSIDE of his job. I would like to add that, refreshingly, these traits were not painted as desirable in a partner, so well done Ms Saintcrow on that one.

Vianne herself is far more likeable in this one and her treatment of Tristan was actually quite nicely handled. She was clearly torn between the feelings of betrayal and mistrust from his actions and his attitude towards her, and the feelings that we saw her develop towards him in the first book. Quite honestly, while Tristan's endless descriptions of her dresses and so on got a little dull (seriously, way too much padding there), she was a far more interesting character in this one to the point where I'd say Hedgewitch Queen was a build up to give us the characters we see here.

Why 3 out of 5 stars, then?
Some padding that got on my nerves, but I think that may be a personal thing rather than the actual quality of the book. Mostly, though, I think the character stuff I got out of it was all unintentional and possibly a result of me reading at 3 in the morning and over thinking it. But as over analysing goes I honestly think this one benefits from it.

SPOILER also a bit sad that Vianne got out of being queen. By the end of it she'd become someone who would be pretty good at it. Never mind.
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on 24 July 2013
I read the first book and found the story dark and interesting. I confess I was expecting a somewhat silly romantic story and was pleasantly surprised. When I read the reviews for this book the one that caught my attention mentioned violence, rape and I was put out thinking maybe the author had gone overboard with it. .. Glad I still read it. Great plot; no more violence than it would be expected from wars and duels... Passionate sex (one time) yeah sure but to call it rape it's a bit ( way... way...) over the top! I recommend this book; the end has a few unexpected twists. Really good read!
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on 9 May 2015
Loved this second book....hope there's another!
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on 23 June 2012
(I should say first I am a fan) I love Lilith's voice her plots and characters in all her books I have read, I think her worlds and characters are detailed and interesting - very easy to read with twists and turns and Arh! moments ( have not read her YA books but I imagine they are the same )- her fist book in this saga The Hedgewitch Queen, as I read on some other review it was her first book she ever wrote? not sure if that is true or not and I felt from that point, that she had finally been persuaded to put it out there and finish the saga with The Bandit King - set in a medieval time with Kings and Courts, good characters and a lovely plot that weaves along - be warned I wanted to get to the end quickly so I knew what was next but also wanted to take my time and make it last - stayed up two night reading for far to late....its that sort of book for me. Ending is clear but does leave it open for a follow on story - there may be another in this world ?
Tentative Love found and then lost and an ending what more could you want? Should add (No graphic how to/ bedroom scenes!)
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on 16 March 2013
The queen and her royal assassin struggle to trust safely among conspiracies and battles. The magic of the land demands a ruler with the royal bloodline, but power demands the sacrifice of personal happiness.
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on 15 March 2013
Like a couple of previous reviewers, I cannot in all conscience recommend this book especially to young girls. I enjoyed The Hedgewitch Queen but wish now that I had never bothered to read either book. Tristan, the protagonist of this book is a creepy, deeply unlikeable stalker turned rapist. Vianne, supposedly a strong female lead ends the book trapped in an abusive marriage with her creepy rapist and this is supposed to be a happy ending? Utterly disgusting. Please, please do not encourage your daughters to read this book. I have felt disturbed by it for days.
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