by Jordan H. Bartlett
Contest of Queens by Jordan H. Bartlett
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publishing Date: January 18, 2022
In a Queendom divided, can one girl unite the realms?
Jacs, an inventor’s apprentice from the Lower Realm, has only ever dreamed of the land among the clouds. That is until she finds a letter from Connor, an Upperite boy who sends a wooden boat into the abyss, 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 impeded by a heavily-guarded bridge and an inescapable prejudice.
Their bond transcends distance and time, but when the royal family visits Jacs’ town of Bridgeport, the illusion of peace between the Realms dissolves, and the old feud is reignited.
Now, to save her people, Jacs must infiltrate the Upper Realm and earn her place to compete in the Contest of Queens. She must learn how to survive against the contests’ grueling tasks and within a political web she could not have imagined. In a story about friendship, love, bravery, and defying gravity, Jacs will strive to prove that a Queendom is strongest when united.
This was an enchanting story that started off with more of a middle grade feel and then slowly morphed into something more. Jacs is one of my favorite female heroines. She is completely relateble, does not make countless mistakes where she needs to be rescued over and over, and she is headstrong and loyal. I loved the female power displayed in this story. It was a stark difference to most male lead guards and knights. The Queen is the one with the power, and she chooses her King.
The writing is very beautiful and the story keeps you invested. I started this book and thought ok I will finish this within a week… 2 days later the book had been devoured and I was also so sad when I realized how the book ended…. CLIFF HANGER!!! This story was so well developed, and the characters were very well-rounded with lots of obviously different peresonalities. I absolutely adored this story.
My one hang up causing the 4 star as opposed to the 5 star would be the reverse sexism displayed at the end. Where men are almost portrayed as being dumb and unable to use their brain. I do not feel like this is what the author intended but it is how it came across slightly.
About the Author:
Jordan H. Bartlett is a New Zealand-born, Canadian Citizen 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.