Friday, August 21, 2009

Thorn Queen by Richelle Mead

Eugenie Markham is a shaman for hire, paid to bind and banish creatures from the Otherworld. But after her last battle, she s also become queen of the Thorn Land. It s hardly an envious life, not with her kingdom in tatters, her love life in chaos, and Eugenie eager to avoid the prophecy about her firstborn destroying mankind. And now young girls are disappearing from the Otherworld, and no one--except Eugenie--seems willing to find out why.

Eugenie has spilled plenty of fey blood in her time, but this enemy is shrewd, subtle, and nursing a very personal grudge. And the men in her life aren t making things any easier. Her boyfriend Kiyo is preoccupied with his pregnant ex, and sexy fey king Dorian always poses a dangerous distraction. With or without their help, Eugenie must venture deep into the Otherworld and trust in an unpredictable power she can barely control. Reluctant queen or not, Eugenie has sworn to do her duty--even if it means facing the darkest--and deadliest--side of her nature...

This was an unexpectedly dark, but good, sequel to Storm Born. Eugenie is now the ruler of the Thorn Land and against her own better judgment is intrinsically linked to the Otherworld. No matter what Kiyo or her father Roland might think, Eugenie reveals herself as a person determined to do the best she can for her people - an important characteristic for a fantasy novel heroine. I think what struck me the most reading this novel is that Eugenie is a power hungry person - though I don't mean that in a bad way. She is intrigued and attracted to the legacy she was gifted by the Storm King and while in the beginning she might have been hesitant to learn more, Eugenie quickly realizes that to adequately protect herself and her people she will have to embrace her dark side. I was impressed with that switch - heroines don't get to usually have blood thirsty tendencies (unless you're in a Laurell K. Hamilton novel). I definitely recommend this series but be warned - this is a dark sequel; bad things happen to good people and (maybe it's a new trend in the urban fantasy genre) the heroine doesn't always make the clear cut 'good person' choices.

Overall Feeling - Thumbs up. A darker novel but still a lot of fun - and the most important bit is that it definitely makes you want to read more!

Series - 1) Storm Born 2) Thorn Queen