Book Reviews

The Queen Trials by Penelope Wright

My edition: Kindle Unlimited
Pages: 265
Series: The Queen Trials #1
Genre: Dystopia, YA, Sci-fi
Published: August 20, 2022
Rating: DNF


What happens when The Hunger Games meets The Selection?

I never wanted to join the Queen Trials.

But I’m not a victim and never have been. When a peacekeeper attacks me in a mine shaft, I fight back and win.

Sort of. Because I made a mistake. I let him live.

He knows my name. He’ll come after me and he’ll kill the only person I love, my sweet, clueless brother Shellor. Nobody escapes from Locality Fourteen. There was only one way out that would protect us both: enter the Queen Trials and become a star.

Now, I’m plunged into a competition with dozens of gorgeous women from all over the kingdom. My fame shelters my brother. My beauty protects me. Or is it my luck? Every woman in the arena wants to capture King Ergondy’s attention, but he only has eyes for me. How long will it be before my luck runs out?

I never wanted to join The Queen Trials.

Now, I must win them.


If you want to relive The Hunger Games but also want The Selection vibe, go no further. No, seriously it’s like a splice of the two books plus some other elements from other dystopian novels.

Trigger Warning: Sexual Assult, Slut Shaming, Using the Lord’s name in vain

I have never read The Selection but I know enough of the gist to get where this book got ideas from. Now The Hunger Games is a whole different story. I actually plan to do a reread of this series later in the year. There are many themes and elements from The Hunger Games

1. Come from a mining town
2. Run by a government that lives off those who don’t live in the “Capital” or in this case the Rotunda
3. Volunteers for the trials to save a sibling
4. Surrounded by an electrical fence.
5. Have “peacekeepers” or in this case derigueurs
6. Commentator with flamboyant hair Cartong Fleming or aka Caesar Flickerman

1. Clio has something she calls “luck” which is basically spider senses
2. Only women go into the trials, but a male family member or lover has to speak for them.
3. 98 women volunteered and were chosen.
4. Clio is a miner herself since she was 15
5. The “Gale” character is part of the military.
7. The women also have to be pure in order to be in the trials.
8. Clio is 22

There are more similarities and differences but I’m not going to list them all.

Welcome to Rustonia, where men and women are put in positions that make the gender hate the other. (Don’t know where the author was going with that. It’s hinted at the beginning but never really addressed.) Women from all districts localities volunteer for the Queen trials to marry their old king. (Who is treated like a god but is at the beginning of the book described as an old guy.) Clio volunteers for the trial to save her brother (who is nowhere near the awesome of a character as Prim).

I wasn’t a big fan of this as I continued to read, but my final straw was using the Lord’s name in vain. Also, the medical exam was uncomfortable to read. I’m not a fan when a series does this for the “games”. I’m just going to stick with The Hunger Games.