Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Queen is Dead

Xandra Vardan recently discovered she is not only a goblin, but their queen. As a result, her world is thrown into turmoil. Her family has thrown her out and people are terrified of her, humans, halvies, and aristos alike. Various factions try to gain her favor because whoever has the goblins on their side has a distinct advantage over the others. Xandra doesn't even know if she wants to be the goblin's leader or what faction, if any, she wants to align with. The only constants in her life are Vex, her werewolf boyfriend, and the goblin plague, most of them loyal and there to support her. In addition to all the other things complicating her life, her brother Val is nowhere to be found.  Xandra must use all her resources to find out where her brother is before it's too late.

I officially love this series. The first book in the series is good, but the second books in series can really suffer because it's setting up to the final book. Xandra is a fun protagonist. Her observations and unique curses make me laugh and make her very endearing. She is a little annoying with wishy-washiness about whether to accept the goblin queen crown and fully accept who she is. I give her a bit of a pass because she has to relearn everything she knows about herself and her world. The people she relied on and knew in her previous life now regard her as savage and untrustworthy. Every faction both fears her and longs for the power she wields. She's grown a lot since the last book, but she's still growing into her newfound physical and political power despite her reluctance. I enjoyed reading about her journey even if there were a few missteps.

The only people who are true constants in her life are her boyfriend Vex and the goblins. Vex McLaughlin is the alpha of a werewolf pack, but doesn't fall into the stereotypical roles he would usually be put in. He is no way misogynistic, controlling, or dickish, the rare werewolf that is satisfied being strong without belittling those around him. He treats Xandra as an equal and expresses no interest in using her for her power as goblin queen. I love that he is frank about his emotions and intentions. No drama, no bullshit. He supports her unconditionally and doesn't try to force her to do anything. The goblins are known to everyone as savage monsters that eat babies. They are shown to be as varied as any person and just as intelligent. Xandra grows closer to them and finds that she's not so different from them. They come to be her family as she gets used to their odd looks and customs.

 The Queen is Dead is amazing: fast paced, action packed, and chock full of interesting story lines. The alternative England is delightful and explored a little more than the previous book. I can't wait to see what's in store for these characters. The next book can't come fast enough!

My rating: 5/5 fishmuffins

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