I received an audiobook ARC from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. It has not affected my opinions.
Genre: Fantasy Age Range: Adult Star Rating: 4 stars Series: yes - first book
Hidden among us is a secret coven of witches. They are Her Majesty’s Royal Coven. They protect crown and country from magical forces and otherworldly evil. But their greatest enemy will come from within.
There are whisperings of a prophecy that will bring the coven to its knees, and five best friends are about to be caught at the centre. Life as a modern witch was never simple … but now it’s about to get apocalyptic.
Blurb taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.
HER MAJESTY’S ROYAL COVEN is my first Juno Dawson book, partly read because of the title and partly because of the stunning publicity campaign (so tongue in cheek and mocking the various government adverts of the last two years!) I think I picked a really good book to try by the author, given I am more of an adult fan than YA these days.
This is a feminist book about sisterhood, womanhood, and motherhood. The POVs are women who have been through one war and are now living very separate lives, trying to juggle jobs, relationships, family, and their own desires for life – as well as being witches hiding from the general world.
I loved their complicated relationships with each other and their various partners/children. It’s so rare to see older protagonists (the four are all in their thirties) and such a variety of lives – some are married with kids, some are in relationships, some are single. It really helps round out the variety of experiences on the page, and the various intersectionalities explored.
There’s a common piece of writing advice “the villain is the hero of their own story” and this book exemplifies that. We get the villain’s POV, following as they have the fall arc into villain, entirely believing she is doing the right thing, for the greater good, at all times. It’s really interesting to get that POV, to understand why everything that is happening happens.
Nicola Coughlan does so so well as the narrator. There are four POVs and there are characters from all over the UK, but she handles the variety of voices and accents like it’s a breeze. She makes it such an engaging read, bringing out the emotions and pulling you into the world.
The ending more or less sums up the main plot, but there’s a lot left over – and some last minute events that really make me want to know what happens next.