By Richelle Mead
Published August 2009, Zebra Books
Paperback, 374 pages
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.I liked this book more than the first in the series, Storm Born, simply because the complaints I had about the first book were answered to in this one. I thought that Dorian was by far a better match for Eugenie than Kiyo, and really, Kiyo just becomes a major wimp in this book. Even his ability in the bedroom is shown up by Eugenie's mere memories of Dorian - and that's just sad.
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. . .
The second complaint I had in the first book is also answered for - but definitely not in a good way, as it was about how Richelle Mead wrote Eugenie's reactions to the multiple rape attempts made on her. This book took things much further and really drew an emotional reaction from me. I really hope that the next two books don't revisit this issue. Moving on.
Dorian is nearly perfect in every way in this book, answering to Eugenie's many sensitivities and internal struggles, as well as exacting justice when Kiyo was too cowardly to do the deed. Honestly, I'm at the point where if Dorian says to do it, Eugenie should do it. After all, I loved that Dorian tricked Eugenie into claiming Aeson's kingdom, as she genuinely cares about and wants to help her people just as much as she would want to in the human world.
Oh yes, and some of the other quirks of this plot were quite enjoyable, such as watching Eugenie gain greater access to her storm abilities, as well as her angsty half-sister Jasmine coming to her aid at the end. I look forward to reading the next installment, Iron Crowned.
The Cover: Honestly, I wanted to see Eugenie in one of the typical gentry gowns, instead of her fighting leathers. Other than that, the desert with the castle is great and helps me to imagine her desert kingdom.
First Line: "Sad fact: lots of kids know how to use knives and guns."
While a strange way to begin a book, it is arresting and pulls me in to the plot.
Favorite Quote: "You have no idea what love is.” “Oh, I do. I know that it’s the best high and the worst hurt all at the same time—not to mention confusing as hell.”
Read For: 101 Fantasy Challenge