Thorn Queen by Richelle Mead
or: YES! THANK GOD! THIS IS MUCH MORE LIKE IT
Synopsis: Eugenie Markham is a shaman for hire. She’s paid to bind and banish creatures from the Otherworld. But something happened after her last battle. She became queen of the Thorn Land. With her kingdom in tatters, her love life in chaos, and eager to avoid the prophecy about her firstborn destroying mankind, the job’s really not all it’s cracked up to be. Now young girls are disappearing from the Otherworld, and no one seems willing to find out why. Or to put an end to it. Not that Eugenie’s fazed by spilling fey blood, but this enemy is shrewd, subtle, and dangerous — and nursing a very personal grudge. Eugenie must venture deep into the Otherworld and trust in a power she can barely control. She may be a reluctant queen, but she’s vowed to do her duty, even if it means facing the darkest and deadliest side of her nature.
You know sometimes you read a book you don’t mind but aren’t really enthused by, and then you convince yourself to give the sequel a shot. You aren’t sure what you’re going to get. You are more than likely going to get the same thing you got in the first. But sometimes- very rarely, you strike gold. The sequel is BETTER than the first and the attachment to the series you missed in the first, hits you like a cannon ball in the second
I was growing worried after I had finished the first book in the Dark Swan series- Storm Born – that Richelle Mead had just misfired with this series. But I should have never have feared, the goddess of awesomeness that is Richelle Mead kicked ASS and did not let me down.
This book was awesome
Eugenie pissed me off in the first book. I found her whiny and honestly didn’t really care what happened to her. I’m not sure if Mead re-framed the character in this book and made her less annoying or if it was her plan all along to make you connect with her in the second one. The love triangle was less annoying, and Kiyo for once became a believable character and stepped away from his 2D persona and Dorian was as bomb as ever. Seriously can someone create Dorian in real life for me? Hot damn.
I loved spending more time in Thornland and really getting to understand the otherworld more. In the first book it seemed confusing and felt like Mead was leaving parts out- now, after reading the second book, its sort of becoming clear why this was. I think Mead intentionally left the otherworld as vague as possible in the first one so that we could learn more about it as Eugenie does. Mead’s carefully positioning us to stand beside Eugenie and see what she sees which is quietly brilliant; we haven’t been totally aware of it, but Mead is slowly gaining our trust with Eugenie’s character and making us root for her.
I am DESPERATE to see what happens next.
Mead’s got this fantastic skill of weaving multiple plots and multiple different villains and heroes together seamlessly. She so expertly navigates multiple problems at once and cleverly drops plot twists and cataclysmic action at very precise points. Mead’s grasp of her own world is commendable and I can guarantee whatever she has planned as her end game for this series, I’m not going to see it coming.
Will this series overtake the lofty places of the Bloodlines and Vampire Academy series for me? No. But will this still be a well liked series of mine? Yes.
It’s always interesting reading the less popular and side works of well known and beloved authors, especially when you personally love them and admire your writing styles. Mead’s creativity never ceases to amaze me. Plot lines or conversations never feel recycled or similar and each character is new, and totally fresh as are the relationship chemistry’s and dynamics.
I’m really glad I already have a copy of the third book.
I’m also really glad to see a strong female character very much in touch with her femininity and still bad ass grapple with internal struggles of good and evil. Bloody hell I love Richelle Mead