The Crimson Queen

Write on: Thu, 07 Sep 2017 by  in Guests Reviews 1 comment Read 2435

Ink and Insights Competition - Judge's Favorite

Also currently moving on to Round 2 in Lawrence's SPFBO 2017 via Fantasy Book Critic.

Even though Hutson is an indie writer, I feel that The Crimson Queen should've at least earned a small time publisher. There are so many indie authors out there who won't or can't cut it in writing, and it is unfortunate; but writers like Hutson deserve to be looked at again. And we need to stop acting as if indie authors are on a different level than those that are traditionally published. There are tons of indies out there killing it and they do not need to be overlooked, though quite a few could spend some money hiring a decent copy-editor or proof-reader. 

The Crimson Queen has all the makings of epic fantasy: dungeons full of venomous spiders, holy paladins, immortals, a magic system, and a coming of age story. 

I mean, lets be honest, most fantasy novels are coming of age tales, but at least the trope isn't exactly the same each time. 

A young boy grows up in a fishing village, aware that he has a power hidden deep within, and is wanted by two (2) differing powers in the land. A mysterious queen in the western realm is bringing magic back to the lands while the immortals begin to question why they age once again. As these powers clash, the boy's true power begins to unfold and he starts to understand his purpose. 

Hutson's writing is well-paced and vividly detailed. His descriptions of the characters and environments are eye-opening and his storytelling ability is immersive. There are several different POVs along the story, allowing the reader to see the vantage points of all the characters throughout the realm (and yes, similar to GOT, like everything else gets compared to) and it just adds to the overall story arc. The beautiful world he has created is full of monsters, demons, shapeshifters, ancient deities; you name it, but it feels like the reader is just scratching the surface of what is to come and what lands we are awaiting to explore. Also, I listened to the audiobook for this one (thanks to Alec for the cred) and enjoyed Guy Williams narration. It's funny, most of the way through the book, I thought I was listening to a Star Wars novel as Williams voice inflections are similar to those of Marc Thompson. But laughing aside, he did a great job differing each character, making them his, and acting the parts rather than just reading a script.

All in all, if you enjoy epic fantasy and don't mind a few of the more popular tropes, grab The Crimson Queen. It is tough making it as an indie but I feel that Hutson has big things in store for him once this series is finished and I cannot wait to see what comes next.

Last modified on Thursday, 07 September 2017 16:54

David Walters is a real estate agent in Birmingham, AL. When not showing houses or writing up contracts, he spends his time reading and listening to books or spending time with his wife and 2 dogs.

David now writes for

1 comment

  • Adam Weller Adam Weller commented on Sep 07, 2017 Comment Link

    Nice review - I read this in January and I've been anxiously awaiting the next entry. I've been reading mostly indie titles in 2017 and this remains one of my favorites. Tropes aside, Alec's writing kept me engaged and I enjoyed the pacing and the historical explanation, and it never felt like it was an exposition dump.

    Now that the world and its religions and landscapes have been established, I'm looking forward to going a little deeper into some of these characters and unseen continents. I'm pretty sure we'll be visiting the oft-mentioned southern continent in the second book. Alec recently published a book of short stories "The Manticore's Soiree" which include a couple of tales from this world.

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