Book Review: Nameless Queen

This book was given to me by Random House Children’s Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I first heard about it on NetGalley and the title intrigued me.

I could not put the book down. Once I started reading, I immediately thought of Red Queen. I was worried that this was a knock off novel, but was pleasantly surprised to find it was not. Yes, it is about a low class member of caste system society who becomes queen. She does have special powers. But that is where the similarities end. I enjoyed this book much better than Red Queen.

Nameless Queen


by Rebecca McLaughlin
Release Date: Jan 7, 2020

Coin is a Nameless. The Nameless are born without a name, without family, without money, without food, and without rights. They can’t get jobs and if they are caught stealing, they get jailed or more likely, executed. It is a tough way to live, but Coin is good at surviving and taking care of herself.

That is, until one morning when she wakes up with a tattoo. The tattoo means that she is the new queen, but that is impossible because she doesn’t even have a name.

This is certain to be a death sentence for her.

To make matters worse, someone she feels responsible for is in terrible danger of being executed. So she has to figure out how to save not only herself, but her friend Hat as well. Perhaps in the process, she can do something that might help the Nameless.

It’s a story about survival, justice, and family.

The Writing

I thought Nameless Queen was well written. I love the author’s tone. Here is one example from the book:

I try not to be impressed. I try really, really hard.

Nameless Queen, Rebecca McLaughlin

I found the main character to be very relatable and she has a wry humor. The book had me in near stitches when Coin was arrested.

“I’m assuming my cell doesn’t have pillows?”… “I mean, that’s all right. I’d prefer having some, and proper blankets wouldn’t hurt either–but I’m not going to complain when you’re being so hospitable and giving me a place to sleep tonight.”

Nameless Queen , Rebecca McLaughlin

I found Coin to be a highly competent character, which I enjoy immensely. Coin was one of many highly competent female characters in this book, which was refreshing.

Coin has an excellent character arc. A few other characters in this story go through their own arc as well. One arc was a little abrupt in its about-face, but I forgave that because it kept the pace of the book quick. Plus it seemed minor, since this story is not really about them. I would have liked a little more about that character though to help the reader understand the change in position. (I want to say more here about it but…. read to the bottom of this post for an exciting announcement.)

Who will like this book?

If you liked Red Queen you are likely to enjoy this book. Unless you like Red Queen for the romance plot line. If that is the case, you’ll be disappointed. This book does not have a romance plot line, which suits me just fine.

Some books are very harsh… as in Game of Thrones, where every other page has a character killed off. Some are soft and fluffy. I prefer the more fluffy kind of story. I’m not saying that this story is all fluffy, but it leans a little softer than I could have, given the topics and themes in this book. If you like GOT or Young Elites (by Marie Lu) because of it’s darkness, you might find this book a bit on the soft side. Living on the streets, dealing with courtly politics, and assassins is very risky. Coin does suffer and loses much, but I kept fearing it would take a terribly dark turn and it never did go really dark. I like that about it.

If you like books about power struggles, politics, magic, strong women, survival, and daring plots, then you’ll love Nameless Queen.

I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

Something NEW!

This book release date is January 7, 2020. I want to try something new by having a Book Club Discussion. So, a week or so after the release date, I’m going to post some discussion questions. I’ll include my own responses to the questions, but feel free to take the questions to your own group and see what your friends say. I would also LOVE to hear your opinions as well. Comment or email me!

These book club posts will contain spoilers if you haven’t read it, so I’ll put a BIG image at the top with a spoiler warning.

Once I post the Book Club Discussion post for this story, I’ll add a link here. Or sign up for emails, so you won’t miss it!

Happy Reading

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