Wednesday, August 1, 2018

The Thorn Queen by Elise Holland

The Thorn Queen: A NovelMy name is Meylyne, and I've been forced to break the first commandment, again, and reenter the Above-World. My only hope of avoiding life in the Shadow Cellars is to find a cure for the prince's aging disease. The Old Well of M'Yhr has said I must travel to the Valley of Half-Light where the soul-eating sphers live. Hope has been a loyal companion, and we've been joined by Blue, a tiny warrior. I never would have imagined an ogre named Grimorex would become such a valuable ally. However, something is seriously amiss in the Above-World. Conflicts have war looming in Glendoch, the Great Oaken Mother has been poisoned, and sphers are spreading discord. The Great Oaken Mother said she was poisoned by the Thorn Queen, but why would Queen Emery want to start a war? I'm embarrassed that my terrible alchemy skills are no help. My mother is the most powerful alchemist around, but I can't ask her for assistance. What can I do?

I enjoyed the plot and the complications to Meylyne's quest. She needed to discover many secrets about her past and her abilities that became keys to resolving the conflict. I kept wondering about the "allergy pills" she religiously took, because they were concealing something important. Blue was a great character, as he lived up to the hype of being a brave warrior. Despite his lack of height (thanks to Meylyne's flawed spell) he stepped up to defend his new friends against all kinds of creatures and dangers. His past was a mystery, but the truth was actually anticlimactic. I wish I could tell you about more intriguing secrets, but they would be spoilers. I enjoy stories that keep me guessing, and this book kept me going until the final pages. The antagonist's true identity was unknown until a critical moment, Meylyne's mother revealed a devastating secret at an important time, and the plot's resolution revealed a final surprise. The ending sounded like it was leading into a sequel, but I haven't seen any indication that one is coming. Overall, The Thorn Queen was a fantastic book, and I recommend you add it to your reading list. 

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