How to Catch a Queen by Alyssa Cole

Avon, 2020


How to Catch a Queen is an arranged marriage romance which is one of THE BEST TROPES EVER if you want to know my humble opinion. But beyond that, this book is an important exploration of what lies at the rotten core of Toxic Masculinity.

So Sanyu is the King of Njaza, a isolationist nation with a ruling class that prizes “strong men”, particularly in its King. Sanyu has been raised to bury his emotions and bear the weight of the throne without flinching. Shanti is commoner from Thesolo who has dreamed of becoming a queen so that she could make a difference in the world. Obviously, she’s everything Sanyu has ever needed.

So to be honest there were moments in this book that were hard to read for me. AC does a fantastic job diving into the heart of the deep, painful insecurity and fear that drive Toxic Masculinity culture. She nails it. But it was difficult to watch Sanyu struggle through those feelings. And sometimes it frustrated me to see Shanti having to guide him out of that mindset. I mean…it’s real. That’s so often how this dynamic plays out. But it really highlights the burden women carry and the way TM produces so many broken men.

Thank you Avon and Netgalley for the opportunity to read an advanced copy. I voluntarily read and reviewed this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.