When Lia, an idealistic queen, falls for Xania, her new spymaster--who took the job to avenge her murdered father--they realise all isn't fair in love and treason.
Lia won’t mourn her uncle: he's left her a bankrupt kingdom considered easy pickings by its neighbours. She’s sworn to be a better ruler, but if she wants to push through her reforms, she needs to beat the Court at its own games. For years, Xania's been determined to uncover her father's murderer. She finally gets a chance when Lia gives her a choice: become her new spymaster, or take a one way trip to the executioner’s axe. It’s an easy decision.
When they fall for each other, their love complicates Lia’s responsibilities and Xania’s plans for vengeance. As they're drawn together amid royal suitors and new diplomats, they uncover treason that could not only end Lia’s reign, but ruin their weakened country. They must decide not only what to sacrifice for duty, but also for each other.
*STARRED REVIEW* "In this novel marked with twists and betrayals, it is not safe to trust anyone until the final page." ~Foreword Reviews
"Elegant and clever, Queen of Coin and Whispers is a treasure chest of a fantasy debut, as rich in well-drawn characters as it is in treachery, secrets and desire. Corcoran has crafted an intricate and convincing world – I couldn’t stop reading." ~Samantha Shannon
"Such a great year for Irish YA debuts. Helen's Queen of Coin and Whispers and Ciara's The Falling in Love Montage are gorgeous books, as different as dark chocolate with flecks of gold and pink lemonade but the French kind in the pretty bottle" ~Deidre Sullivan
"Richly immersive debut YA novel … the scenes between the two young women crackle with passion and intensity … written with confidence and flair … Corcoran is one to watch." ~Irish Independent
"This is a book for everyone (the complexity will satisfy adult readers, too) but I think it will find a particular place in the hearts of young LGBTQ readers for being a love story that involves obstacles other than coming-out, and ends (spoilers!) hopefully ever after." ~Irish Times
"Though the story is awash with intrigue, plots, and counter plots, its strength is the fascinating relationship between two admirable young women." ~Irish Examiner
"A fantastic fast-paced novel that manages to be both full of mystery and a joyful coming of age love story … Corcoran writes with a vividness that draws the reader in and makes them feel like they are watching the story play out in front of them … she masterfully weaves the intrigue in the story … a wonderful new voice." ~Inis Magazine
"With writing that is both incisive and emotive, Corcoran has created a fantasy kingdom that is rich in detail and texture, full of intrigue and thoroughly believable. Clearly well-researched, it harkens back to tales from the Tudor realms and such classics as The Three Musketeers. But far from being purely historical, it holds that ineffable 'something' that makes it feel so contemporary. Expert, perfectly rounded characterisation gives a nuanced and complete understanding of each characters' personality. The reader actually feels the deep impact of their love, loss and, in many cases, deviousness. The sense of duty, responsibility and honour are not simply concepts, but sincerely felt and believed. The complex machinations of the workings of society are laid bare; the prejudices, the assumptions, the reality of living in this world. And beyond this, there is an authentic, sensitive and heartfelt story of young love; it's burgeoning and powerful influence and the conflicts it brings when living a life less ordinary. Beautifully written, marvellous storytelling, intriguing and all in all, exceptional in every way. It took my breath away." ~Fallen Star Stories
"I’m nearly certain that this is the first queer fantasy with a love story featuring young women to be published from a traditional outfit here, and I have just enough local pride to want the best for it … Part coming of age, part romance, part mannered fantasy of politics, Queen of Coin and Whispers is a novel I greatly enjoyed. I look forward with interest to seeing what Corcoran does next." ~Tor.com
"Political Intrigue, Slow burn romance, an emotional rollercoaster you just won’t want to miss! … Just finished Queen of Coin and Whispers again, fuck.... this book has my heart dammit... everyone needs this book is so blooming clever!!" ~Books With Ben
"There has rarely been a book that I’ve heard as much buzz about from authors whose judgement I trust as there has been for Queen of Coin and Whispers by Helen Corcoran … could not put it down until I finished. All the praise is warranted, and I hope Helen gets all the success that she deserves … Lia, Xania and Matthias are amazing lead characters for a novel and damn, I need more! The world-building is strong with this one, and while I was worried that I went into Queen of Coin and Whispers with expectations, too many expectations, they were entirely warranted… the writing is great. It does not let you escape the lavishly built world until the very end. In short, I need more. And you need this book in your life." ~FLSchwizer
"Atmospheric and packed with details that bring the vividly realised world of Edar to life, even the secondary characters in Queen of Coin and Whispers are fully formed. The primary focus, though, is on the slow burn romance between Lia and Xania as they struggle to survive the deadly undercurrents of court life and forge their own destinies. One of the joys of this book is that being queer in this world is not a big issue. Also, women can and do hold powerful positions in Edar and are just as likely to be adversaries as allies. A tautly paced, yet lushly written, book that heralds Helen Corcoran as a great new voice in Irish writing." ~Paper Lanterns
"A tightly plotted story of a young queen coming into her power, and the spymaster sworn to protect her. From the outset, the stakes are high and you're completely invested in the story. Corcoran's writing style is electrified, elegant, and concise as she takes us through all the twists and turns that make up this story. I loved the amount of scheming, political intrigue, and betrayal that occurs in this book. I was enraptured by it from start to end. QOCAW is about the women claiming their power, and the choices they must make in order to maintain that power … a very impressive debut." ~@simplybeccamee
"One of my favourite reads of this year and I absolutely loved it… In the world of Queen of Coin and Whispers, same sex marriages and relationships are commonplace, and a number of the main characters are involved with those of their own gender, none of which is commented on in a negative manner or set to be out of the ordinary, which was lovely to see and I wish we had more books that treat same sex marriage in the same way... One of the things I loved most about this book was Xania’s family. Her sister, Zola, is a strong presence in the story, as is her mother, both of whom support her in her work. Her step-father, a role all too often one that is a negative force in YA fiction, very clearly cares for her and wishes for her to be happy, his treatment of her protective, kind, and respectful of the memory of her late father. Though her family do voice concerns about her relationship with Lia, it isn’t because she’s a woman, but because they are worried about their differences in power and status – their main concern being that Lia could cast her aside and therefore prevent her from making any meaningful connection or marriage. In all other respects, they are supportive of her choice and relationship, and actively encourage her love of Lia, and Lia’s intent to prove her own love. Queen of Coin and Whispers is an excellent and nuanced read that that I couldn’t put down." ~Pythia Reads
"I loved this book. It’s got everything I could ever want and need in a book. This YA fantasy is packed full, with royalty, politics, love, betrayals and intrigue. It really pulls you in from the very beginning … Helen Corcoran has written a wonderfully creative read, I really loved it. From the get go I fell in love with the story and the characters. Helen is putting Ireland on the map for having such talented YA authors. FIVE STARS’." ~Kristina's Shelves
"Engaging characters ... Corcoran sets her stage in great detail, and creates several kingdoms whose policies, societal conventions and expectations reflect many facets of twenty-first-century cultures. Edara, the country of which Lia becomes Queen, has a rigid class system but within that promotes men and women equally to high office. Here same-sex marriage is common and entirely approved, while other countries discriminate by misogyny, racism and homophobia … In her debut novel Corcoran engages readers and celebrates women, equality and love." ~Armadillo Magazine
"Top 5 F/F Reads! .. An incredibly crafted fantasy novel of political intrigue with an epic romance between a queen and her spymaster thrust into the novel’s epicentre. I adored both Lia and Xania in this amazing novel and of course I had to champion some Irish talent. Not a book to be missed!" ~Royal Bookshelf
"Get ready for some F/F fantasy romance! In-between the royal suitors and covert intelligence meetings, Lia and Xania fall for each other. Lia can't afford to fall in love with her tenuous grip on the throne, but sometimes love is worth risking it all." - YA author Zoraida Cordova ~SyFy Fan Girls