The Councillor

E.J. Beaton

fiction fantasy
adventurous slow-paced

448 pages | first published 2021

This Machiavellian fantasy follows a scholar's quest to choose the next ruler of her kingdom amidst lies, conspiracy, and assassination

When the death of Iron Queen Sarelin Brey fractures the realm of Elira, Lysande Prior, the palace scholar and the queen’s closest friend, is appointed Councillor. Publically, Lysande must choose the next monarch from amongst the city-rulers vying for the throne. Privately, she seeks to discover which ruler murdered the queen, suspecting the use of magic.

Resourceful, analytical, and quiet, Lysande appears to embody the motto she was raised with: everything in its place. Yet while she hides her drug addiction from her new associates, she cannot hide her growing interest in power. She becomes locked in a game of strategy with the city-rulers – especially the erudite prince Luca Fontaine, who seems to shift between ally and rival.

Further from home, an old enemy is stirring: the magic-wielding White Queen is on the move again, and her alliance with a traitor among the royal milieu poses a danger not just to the peace of the realm, but to the survival of everything that Lysande cares about.

In a world where the low-born keep their heads down, Lysande must learn to fight an enemy who wears many guises… even as she wages her own battle between ambition and restraint.

What the community thinks

summary of 14 ratings (see reviews)

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Moods

adventurous 71%
mysterious 71%
challenging 57%
dark 57%
tense 42%
informative 14%
reflective 14%
sad 14%

Pace

slow 71%
medium 14%
fast 14%

Plot- or character-driven?

A mix: 50% | Character: 50%

Strong character development?

Yes: 100%

Loveable characters?

It's complicated: 100%

Diverse cast of characters?

Yes: 80% | It's complicated: 20%

Flaws of characters a main focus?

Yes: 100%

Average rating

4.45