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Publisher's Summary

"[Narrator Imogen] Church capably meets the challenge of a diverse group of characters, embodying them and pivoting from one point of view to another from chapter to chapter. In doing so, she ensures that listeners remain fully immersed in the story." (AudioFile Magazine) 

Debut author Sarah Kozloff offers a breathtaking and cinematic epic fantasy of a ruler coming of age in A Queen in Hiding first in the quartet of The Nine Realms series.

Four books. Four months. Nine Realms.

Exiled and hunted, Cerulia, Princess of Weirandale, knows she has one destiny.

Her enemies failed to kill her, and no one harboring her is safe. Raised in obscurity, she has no resources, no army, nothing that can help her against her enemies.

Except their gods.  

The Nine Realms series:

  1. A Queen in Hiding January 2020
  2. The Queen of Raiders February 2020
  3. A Broken Queen March 2020
  4. The Cerulean Queen April 2020
©2020 Sarah Kozloff (P)2020 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

“This is a solid beginning to an ambitious saga of magic, intrigue, and heroism.” (Booklist)

“Kozloff sets a solid stage with glimpses into other characters and nations while keeping the book together with a clear, propulsive plot. A new series starts off with a bang.” (Kirkus)

“This series opener is literary, ambitious, and epic in scope.” (Publishers Weekly

What listeners say about A Queen in Hiding

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Riveting

At times the story became slow and certain chapters can be more necessary info than riveting times.

But despite all that. There are amazing parts that kept me entrapped in the audio. The performance by the narrator is absolutely perfect and brought the characters to life.

Excited for the next book and to hear where Cerulia goes from here.

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  • totallysighman
  • 27-04-2020

Polarizing Narrator, Excellent Tale

I've just finished book 2, but before I move onto book 3 I wanted to submit this review.

I cannot give enough praise for this series. The characters are engaging, the world-building intricate and delicious, and while the plot is something we've all seen before (or close enough), the author manages to make it her own. And wow do I want to race to the end. I consider myself unbelievably lucky that I found this series after all the audio books were released.

That said, when I first began listening, I was so frustrated with the narrator, that I was swearing. I almost quit listening. But the story was interesting enough at that point, that I fought through it. Yes, what another reviewer has said is 100% accurate. The narrator has given this audio book a full blown production. She is literally acting out the breaths, sighs, quivering, etc etc. that are written in the text. If a certain individual (who almost made me quit the book, mind you) is described as "taking forever to get his words out" of his mouth, Imogen Church sure as hell makes sure he takes forEVER to say anything. Which. I get frustrated the character he was talking to, and in turn she made sure to pass that frustration onto us, the listener. But jumping Jehoshaphat, I wanted to throttle both the character and her when I was listening to that. Good news, that character is only in, I would say, the first fifth or sixth of the first book (so far...honestly I dread his return for this very reason).

AFTER that point, I would say that aside from some overly dramatic mean-girl type voices, the narration is smooth sailing from there. After that guy was gone, I was able to fully appreciate Ms. Church's ability to breath life into the story. She has an awe-inspiring theatrical talent but sometimes...it get's away from her, per the above. Keep in mind when listening that she's acting out EXACTLY what the author has described, if at times a little over zealously.

Overall, I recommend listening if you can get through the beginning. If you don't think you can, please read it on another platform! This story is too good to miss!! I'm off to start book 3!!

PS. Disclaimer to whom-it-may-concern, this story changes perspective from character to character, usually every chapter. Normally, I'm not a fan of this style of story telling. But it REALLY works for this one. The transitions are smooth, and allow you to get a better understanding of the world in which the story takes place.

25 people found this helpful

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  • Kay
  • 17-04-2020

Terrible Narrator

I really wanted to enjoy this book, but the narrator is awful. She puts emphasis on words that don't call for it. She puts question intonation on statements. Her voice moves up and down in a way that is completely separate from the meaning of the text.

In general, the voices are like something you would use reading a picture book to a five-year old-- some are truly obnoxious. It sapped all the enjoyment from this book for me.

I wish I could get a refund on the audiobook so I could just read it.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Meghan
  • 16-05-2020

Production overdone, pretty good story

I like the story, but I think I would like it better without the narrator overdoing her part. She does have impressive voicing abilities, but so many of her characters sound whiny. Really, really whiny. Every once in awhile it’s appropriate for the situation, but there’s a lot of moments when the voice just doesn’t seem to match the moment. Hopefully she tones it down in the next books. I certainly couldn’t do half as well, so I shouldn’t complain.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Phx17
  • 26-01-2021

Of magic fountains, gems, and hair - lush new epic

How refreshing to find a vivid, sweeping fantasy of adventure, danger, and magic... that for once isn’t dominated in dark grit, torture, and endless training/hazing montages or horrible early years of the young hero/heroine. While I admittedly enjoy dark, edgy fantasy epics (House of Earth, Nevernight, Way of Kings, Grishaverse, Nightwise), I am thrilled that this book instead excels in painting an almost lyrical type of magical world with fountains that flow with the beat of a queen’s heart, magic gemstones permanently attached to those with power, fierce mountain lionish guardians, and hair color to mark lineage and nationality.

This vibrancy may, in part, come from the Julie Andrews narration style of Imogen Church, who gives this book an almost fairytale feel, with a crisp, British narration and at times overacted, cartoonish voicing. (The princess storyline definitely went shades of Snow White, even down to the flight, talking to animals bit ,and the big baddie back at the castle trying to hunt her down) For the most part, I enjoyed the lighter, brighter narration... although it made it a bit odd for the parts involving things like beheadings and dismemberment. I also liked the narration better at 1.3x.

Book 1 starts with a betrayal that sends a queen and her daughter fleeing, and then spends the rest of the book spanning the world through several POVs as various nations maneuver towards war. I like that some of the POVs are from the bad guys.

There’s mostly Tolkien level violence/sex (as opposed to GoT reveling in it), and the battle scenes were a bit abrupt and unwieldy. This book also dragged in the middle, especially as we follow the child princess growing up in exile over the course of a decade. Further, all 5 of the main POV characters proceed on entirely separate paths for nearly the whole book. But, this book is clearly just setting the stage for a larger, world-spanning epic. I for one am invested in seeing how the rest of the series plays out, especially since the entire quartet is out on Audible.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Meikie
  • 25-01-2020

Excellent

I loved this book. The writing was excellent, the storyline was strong and the narrator really brought it to life. I look forward to the next in series which is being released next month, yay!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Kimberley Vinson
  • 10-07-2020

WONDERFUL

Story is great and the narrator is amazing! Characters are engaging and all the voices!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Gina
  • 04-06-2020

Excellent

narrator AMAZING, story intriguing suspenseful and gripping, backdrop stunningly beautiful. 10 stars if I could

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-05-2020

just drags

seems like an effort to prolong the series. I liked the first book a lot but found this one to be hours of listening to nothing much happening. BORED.

2 people found this helpful

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  • steph08
  • 10-05-2020

Great introduction

This book is an amazing introduction to the world and character growth. Narrative took a bit of adjustment but can't see the rest of the book without this narrator.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-05-2020

If your looking for a fun epic fantasy with all the right elements.

If your looking for a fun epic fantasy with all the right elements. This is your book. Not many surprises in the book but the overall world, writing, and performance gives it just the right amount of heart to make you look forward to listening.

1 person found this helpful

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  • A.Smalley
  • 01-02-2020

let down by narration

I found the book to be slightly depressing to start with, but I accept that this is due to laying the foundations for the rest of the series, The story line is enjoyable if somewhat fairly predictable, I thought there was quite a lot of padding in there that didn't bear a lot of relevance but that may be me as I listen while I'm working to may miss the point. But what let it down for me, was the narration it's so slow that I checked to make sure I hadn't set it to 1/2 speed, one character which I presume is an elderly gentleman is so slow it sounds like he's on drugs, a lot of drugs, in the end I set the speed to 1.3x for it to sound "normal". Most of the other voices end up being ridiculous accents or squeaky attempts, all the children sounded like Bonnie Langford in Just William I kept expecting a "I'll squeam and squeam and squeam". Not sure if I'll carry on with the other 3 books.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 29-01-2020

What a book!

I loved this book, both the writing, which is descriptive and enthralling, and the narration which is perfect! I can't wait for the next one.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Paul Lloyd
  • 25-01-2020

A story that warms on you

For about the first 60% of this book I was of two minds about it. The overall plot, while following others of this type (ruler forced into exile by a conniving court with situation exacerbated by a menacing neighbouring realm) was somewhat predictable but its main characters were engaging and I found I wanted to know how they made out. Against this, there seemed to be a cast of many whose stories were hardly related/not related, almost as if they constituted a volume of short stories within the main one. Also, the writing style seemed to be aimed at older children/pre-teen and the narrator's efforts tended to reinforce this impression, but there were definite adult references which I wouldn't like to explain to this type of reader/listener.
The last third, however, was a marked improvement on these criticisms. The pace quickened, the action and tension increased and the language and narration became more "adult". A number of the unrealted stories were tied in, or were left moving in that direction. We are left with a young queen striking out on her own, without a plan but with some grit and determination to right some wrongs. I'm getting the next book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Traceyb
  • 05-05-2020

Breathtaking debut

This is one of the best books I've read so far this year. Sometimes the first book in a series can be slow but not this one, the story grabbed me from the first chapter and did not let go.
The world building was excellent and I loved the characters I can already see who I'm going to love and who I'm going to love to hate.
Although this is a long book it didn't feel like it nothing was unnecessary and it flowed so well.
I listened to the audible version and the narrator was fabulous I will definitely listen to more from her.
I can hardly take the time to write this review because I want to start the next one. I'm so pleased they are all out so no waiting. Can not recommend this enough brilliant book.

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