Queen of the Warrior Bees review by Racheal Joshua
Age Range - Mature Young Adult
Genre - Animals

LitPick Review

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Age at time of review - 19
Reviewer's Location - Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria
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Jean Gill’s novel titled Queen of the Warrior Bees was an absolute dystopian adventure. The epic fantasy book, which is the first book in the Natural Forces Series, is a must-read for young adult fantasy genre lovers. 

Eighteen-year-old Mielitta is ashamed she has not been forged into an adult yet. In a world called the Citadel, where there are no insects, sun, natural water, or even a wisp of nature, children from the age of 11 are forged into adults. The Citadel is home to brainwashed citizens and higher authorities called Mages who have magical powers. The Mages have created abilities such as controlling elements, mind reading, mind forging, and many more. Just outside the made-up dome of the Citadel, there is the forest, which is forbidden to everyone except the higher authorities. 

Mielitta has always felt like the odd one out in the Citadel, and so when she manages to overhear the password to the forest, she saves it in her memory to satisfy her curiosity. One unfortunate day, she ran into Jannlou and Bastien, who have always bullied her because of her status as an unforged adult. In an act to save herself from her bullies, she flees into the forest, and her life transforms when she approaches a beehive. Out of curiosity, she touches it and is immediately swarmed by thousands of bees, who sting her and make her lose consciousness. She awakens and realizes she as been marked as the chosen one for the bees. Returning to the Citadel as the queen of bees confirmed every suspicion of the Citadel being toxic. She decides to fake a solo forging ceremony to become an adult in order to hide her powers over bees.

Just when Mielitta thought everything was going to be fine, she eavesdropped on a conversation between one of her bullies and his father. There she discovers Drianne, her friend when she was a child, is in danger, and she plots a plan to save her. Things spiral out of control when Mielitta takes the first step towards rescuing Drianne, and between being there for her hive and pretending she was truly forged, she discovers a deeper conspiracy going on with the authorities. 

Will she find out who she is exactly? And can she survive the betrayal headed her way?


Queen of the Warrior Bees will grab the attention and imagination of every young adult mystery or fantasy genre lover. The novel is one of those books that won't hold your attention for the first few pages, but once you get into it, you won't want to put it down. Emotions were not really raised in this novel because the theme was portrayed as one where emotions were present but not the main point. The greatest emotion you can feel about the novel is curiosity and admiration. It was about bravery and how it's okay to be different in society. The novel was an intriguing read. 

The novel slowly builds suspense as we are introduced to the protagonist and told about how she is different from the citizens in the Citadel. The theme of the novel reminds me of books like The Giver by Lois Lowry. The characters are written as people who had unique powers that added to the foundation of the Citadel being separated from the forest. I was most intrigued by the protagonist Mielitta. Her character showed the most emotions in the novel, from basking in fear to accepting who she was and becoming confident. I was particularly impressed with how the author portrayed the characters as they went from being sheltered by the Citadel to fighting back against their rules to find the truth about their world throughout the novel. The author’s writing style stayed true from the start to the end of the novel as there was no sudden character change but slow building character development which assisted in connecting one-on-one with each character and thinking alike with them.

Gill achieved a beautiful statement in her novel when she portrayed the main character as the book title said: Mielitta became queen of the bee colony in her hive, and she also became a queen of sorts in her real world. The characters were simple but fierce in an impressive way. Here your imagination must be hard at work to really join Mielitta on her journey of self-discovery. The book ended on a comfortable cliffhanger, but it pulls you to want to find out what happened with each character in the next books of the series. 

The novel weakness lies in the first few chapters not being as intriguing as the rest of the book. The characters and how they evolve and change in the novel will awaken the reader’s imagination and entice them to want to read the whole Natural Forces Series. Gill made a statement with the novel on being brave even when you don’t want to be. I also learned not to judge a book by reading a few pages because the novel was worth every ounce of my time, and I am curious to see what happens in the next book of The Natural Forces Series. The first book of The Natural Forces Series has a rating of 4 out of 5.

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