Review: Queen of Swords by Katee Robert

Posted June 17, 2019 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 18 Comments

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Review: Queen of Swords by Katee Robert
Queen of Swords

One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Series: Sanctify #1
Genres: Sci-Fi Romance
Published by Entangled Select
Released on May 27, 2014
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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The Delight:

While Borders Bookstores still lived, I enjoyed regular visits and perused the clearance shelves each time.  I found some real gems for less than a dollar including this one.  I spotted this one because I recognized the author, saw it was a sci-fi that had whiffs of Firefly to it and I was sold and then it sat.  But, on a whim, I pulled it off the shelf because I was in a sci-fi mood.  The book didn’t hold up to pre-read excitement, but it was a moderately good, spicy hot, sci-fi adventure that I’m glad I picked up.


Queen of Swords is the first book in the Sanctify series, but I learned after I read it that there is a prequel, The High Priestess, and it really shouldn’t be skipped.  Oops!  This one worked pretty good standalone even though I think I’d have picked up on some things easier if I’d read the prequel intro to the Sanctify world.


This one introduces tough gunrunner Ophelia who is a Diviner (she uses tarot card with her psychic ability to see the future and is a whole religious system for her race) privately grieving the loss of her crew because she ignored the cards.  She drowns her sorrows in a one night stand, skips out and then comes home to learn through another reading that she is to marry the Prince of Hansorda, a certain Kristian who plans to rise to the kingship on the blood of others in his path.

Her escort ship comes with none other than her 1NS, Boone, and he has his own plans for her that don’t involve marrying Kristian or letting Kristian gain that much power to be used in the wrong way.  A space adventure ensues involving the villainous Sanctifiers and encounters with many alien races when she ends up seeing how things really are with Kristian’s ambitions to rule not being a good thing and having to go rescue Boone from his half-brother.  All along the pair engage in a sensual love-hate battle full of snark and lots of heat since they are both a strong-willed pair.

I liked this one in many ways and had a good time reading it, but I didn’t thoroughly enjoy it and did a great deal of skimming after awhile and was left needing more when it came to the romance.  This was one where I enjoyed both Ophelia and Boone as individuals and as ‘save the galaxy’ partners, but I was never convinced about their romance.  There was a lot of sizzle in the sack- this is where I skimmed.  So much sexy time that I was actually bored after a while and just wanted to get on with the action.  But, I couldn’t get a read on how they would be when not in a rush to thwart the bad guys or ravishing each other.  I suppose this can be chalked up to preference.  I needed to see the chemistry in action beyond physical attraction particularly since they tended to snarl at each other a lot.

But, that said, there was plenty of other stuff going on to engage me.  The world building was unique.  I enjoyed the use of Tarot to inspire a religious society and it was fun to meet all the alien races.  There were side characters that are getting their stories and I’m glad of that.  The action side was great and I do love that in my sci-fis.

So, I’m glad I finally picked it up.  I haven’t decided if I’ll get the other stories in the series.  Those who like action-packed, sizzling hot sci-fi snarky romance should definitely give this one a go.

Challenges Met

Mt. TBR #53


About Katee Robert

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Katee Robert learned to tell her stories at her grandpa’s knee. She found romance novels at age twelve and it changed her life. When not writing sexy contemporary and speculative fiction romance novels, she spends her time playing imaginary games with her wee ones, driving her husband batty with what-if questions, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Tracy Terry
2 years ago

I’m really not sure what to make of those sequels or those books that .5 fall in between books already published. Sorry this didn’t live up to what you’d hoped. It’s always disappointing when this happens.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Terry

It’s so confusing to know what book to actually read first. 🙂

2 years ago

I heard about this one but I haven’t read it

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Melliane

It’s fun how the Tarot and psychic gifts are woven into a space sci-fi. 🙂

Rachel @Waves of Fiction

I used to wander through the book shelves of Borders, too! Glad to hear you enjoyed this one overall even though the romance wasn’t all that convincing. Sexy times happening when they should be trying to defeat the bad guy or worry about living isn’t all that realistic. Great review, Sophia Rose! 🙂

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

We’ll mourn the loss of Border’s together, Rachel. 🙂

Yeah, some of their moments to stop for some nooky just had me shaking my head. 😉

2 years ago

Interesting that they were more of a duo saving that Universe than more of a romantic couple but that happens sometimes. Great review Sophia 🙂

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Sharonda

Yeah, that part was a blast when they were in action. I was thinking of you when I started this one and the Tarot was such a big part. 🙂 It was kind of cool to see that.

Carole Rae
2 years ago

I wouldn’t blame you for not reading what is next

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

Yeah, it had some fun and exciting moments, but there was a lot that didn’t grab me, too. Maybe another $.99 sale will hook me in on the second book. 😉

Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

Aww! I miss Borders! Great find Sophia! I’m glad you en joyed this story for the most part. I get bored when there is too much sexy time and not enough action or plot. When this happens, I tend to skim too, because the story starts to feel repetitive and monotonous. The action and sci-fi sound good! I’m glad that the story eventually picked up. Awesome Review Sophia 🙂

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

Exactly, Lindy! It just got to be ho-hum when it was so much so often. I wanted to get to how they were going to thwart the evil Kristian and go up against space pirates and all that. 🙂

2 years ago

Sorry to hear the romance was a did. At least you managed to get some enjoyment from the story.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Nadene

Yeah, I wish all the elements could have worked for me, but at least the sci-fi and action parts were cool. 🙂

Debbie Haupt
Debbie Haupt
2 years ago

yes please this is right up my sci-fi alley. Thanks Sophia Rose for the fab review!

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Debbie Haupt

Heh heh, glad to push it into view for you, Debbie. 🙂

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer

I love this author, so bummer this didn’t quite work out. The cover models are ones my author used as well so I did a double take for a moment

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

I’ve only read three of her books and liked the other two, but they were shorter BDSM romances which I thought were good. There was lots about this one that I enjoyed, but yeah, needed them out of the bedroom more. 😉

Ha, yes, this couple of cover models are popular. I think I have at least a half-dozen books with them on the cover.