Review: The Summer Queen by Rochelle Hassan

The Summer Queen by Rochelle Hassan shows a boy holding a sword with a girl holding a cat and a boy with one hand on his hip standing behind him

The Summer Queen (The Buried and the Bound #2)
Rochelle Hassan
Roaring Brook Press
Published January 23, 2024

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

About The Summer Queen

This captivating sequel to THE BURIED AND THE BOUND draws readers into the twisted and irresistible world of the Fair Folk—perfect for fans of THE CRUEL PRINCE and THE HAZEL WOOD.

As a new coven, Aziza, Leo, and Tristan faced evil and triumphed. All that’s left is to put their lives back together, a process complicated by the fallout from painful secrets, the emotional and physical scars they now carry, and the mysteries that still haunt them.

But with the approach of the solstice comes the arrival of strange new visitors to Blackthorn: the Summer Court, a nomadic community of Fair Folk from deep in Elphame. They’ve journeyed to the border between the human world and fairyland, far from their usual caravan route, to take back something that belongs to them—something Leo’s not willing to lose.

Refusing to give up without a fight, he makes a risky deal with the Summer Court’s princess and regent. The challenge she proposes sends Coven Blackthorn into the farthest, wildest reaches of Elphame.

But when you play games with the Fair Folk, even winning has a cost.

The Summer Queen on Goodreads

My Review

I fell in love with Rochelle Hassan’s middle grade debut and devoured THE BURIED AND THE BOUND, so it was never a question as to whether I was going to read THE SUMMER QUEEN. I love the magic-alongside-our-world in this series. The characters are so great! It only took me a couple of days to read this book, and I thought about it so much between my reading sessions. I’ve already gone back and reread some of my favorite passages.

Like the first book in the series, THE SUMMER QUEEN follows the points of view of Aziza, Leo, and Tristan. They’re an interesting trio who joined forces in the first book to defeat a powerful hag who had killed Aziza’s parents. All three characters have super distinct personalities and voices, so I never doubted whose perspective I was reading.

The book is packed with adventure and high stakes. Leo joins the Wild Hunt without really understanding what he’s doing, only knowing if he wins the hunt, he can rescue his sister. Of course, joining means that he, as a human, is taking on a powerful, experienced foe from among the Fair Folk. Pretty intense.

There’s also some star-crossed love happening. Leo has been cursed to forget his true love, and he can’t stop trying to find this person… and can’t tell when he’s standing face to face with them. I couldn’t help hoping that a breakthrough was coming with every new chapter of the book.

All in all, this sequel more than lived up to my expectations. If you like THE LUMINARIES by Susan Dennard or Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey series, definitely add this trilogy to your list. (And start with book one, THE BURIED AND THE BOUND.)

The Summer Queen on Bookshop

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 14 up.

Aziza is Pakistani American. Tristan is gay. Leo has been in a romantic relationship with a boy before.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used somewhat frequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
Kissing between two boys. References to sex.

In one scene, Leo discovers that one of the Fairies assaults the servants. He doesn’t witness anything, but overhears a conversation and sees bruises on someone afterward.

Spiritual Content
Some characters have the ability to perform magic. The story contains fairies and magical creatures, such as pookas, nymphs, and others. Two characters are necromancers and have the ability to summon spirits of the dead and control shadow creatures.

Violent Content
Situations of peril.

Drug Content
The fairies try to convince Leo and his allies to drink Lily wine (which makes them very vulnerable to suggestion) or fairy food, which can also enchant them in some way. Aziza remembers a night spent celebrating with her friends with vodka and beer.

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support this blog. I received a free copy of THE SUMMER QUEEN in exchange for my honest review. All opinions my own.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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