Book Review: Scorpica – G. R. McAllister

Book Review: Scorpica – G. R. McAllister

The Five Queendoms #1
Release Date: February 22nd 2022
Publisher: Titan Books
Pages: 464
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4.25/5 stars


A centuries-long peace is shattered in a matriarchal society when a decade passes without a single girl being born in this sweeping epic fantasy that’s perfect for fans of Robin Hobb and Circe.

Five hundred years of peace between queendoms shatters when girls inexplicably stop being born. As the Drought of Girls stretches across a generation, it sets off a cascade of political and personal consequences across all five queendoms of the known world, throwing long-standing alliances into disarray as each queendom begins to turn on each other—and new threats to each nation rise from within.

Uniting the stories of women from across the queendoms, this propulsive, gripping epic fantasy follows a warrior queen who must rise from childbirth bed to fight for her life and her throne, a healer in hiding desperate to protect the secret of her daughter’s explosive power, a queen whose desperation to retain control leads her to risk using the darkest magic, a near-immortal sorcerer demigod powerful enough to remake the world for her own ends—and the generation of lastborn girls, the ones born just before the Drought, who must bear the hopes and traditions of their nations if the queendoms are to survive.


Scorpica is an epic fantasy tale that follows multiple characters across the five Queendoms. The Queendoms have had peace for hundreds of years, but this is soon thrown into uncertainty when no new baby girls are born. As the drought causes tensions to erupt, new alliances are drawn and old scores will be settled.

Scorpica is one of those books that hooks you in right from the very beginning. The plot was instantly gripping and it felt like such a unique story. I also found myself becoming invested in the characters and the fate of the five Queendoms. Scorpica has such an intriguing world and I was fascinated by the magic system, which is powered by sand. I really enjoyed seeing the different abilities and how the characters choose to use them. I feel like I’ve only seen a small part of the world in this book and I can’t wait to see where McAllister takes the story next.

Where I think Scorpica really excels is the well-crafted characters. There are a number of different POV characters and each one has their own motivations and ambitions. I was never sure who to trust, or who was going to survive. There’s tons of political intrigue and there were more than a few moments that had me on the edge of my seat. Tamura was particularly fascinating as she strives to navigate being queen and I really liked Eminel too. Scorpica is an incredible start to a new fantasy series and if you’re looking for a fresh and engaging fantasy read, this one should definitely be on your TBR.

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