Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Review: Except the Queen

Except the Queen by Jane Yolen and Midori Snyder

One of the wonderful things about working at the library, is I occasionally find things that are new and exciting, that I for some reason hadn't heard about before.  This is one of those things, innocently mis-shelved in the New Books section, right where I'd see it on my way out.  Even though I have a ton of other books lying around waiting to be read, I picked this up and stuck my nose in it.

I've read a small sampling of Jane Yolen's work (her website reports that her 300th (yes, three hundredth) book will be published this fall), and I've enjoyed all of it.  I've never read anything by Midori Snyder before.

The premise of the book is that the fey realm does indeed exist, and is ruled by the Seelie and UnSeelie Courts, otherwise following the standard Celtic mythos.  Having sex with humans is taboo for the fey, so when word gets out that the Queen has not only taken a human lover, but had a child with said lover, shit hits the fan, so to speak.  The Queen banishes two sisters, Meteora and Serana to the modern human world, separates them, and strips them off their magic, in retaliation for Meteora letting the secret slip.

In the human world, Meteora is taken in by Baba Yaga while Serana is picked up by social services. In their misadventures, they meet an interesting cast of people, from immigrant shop keepers to exiled changelings.  Among these are Sparrow and Robin, two very lost young people.

This is a fun book, very well written with fun, relatable characters.  There's also a lot of cultural critique on the fey, instead of glorifying them or excusing their action because they're fey and not human, which I found refreshing.  There's a clear path of character development in the sister, which was also very nice to see.  The action is very fast paced, and wraps up very quickly.  I was somewhat disappointed with just how fast this book flew by, and the fact that it is a stand alone.  I would have like to spend a little more time figuring out the villains, and I felt that the plot could easily have been expanded into multiple books.  Overall though, and I excellent book I'd recommend.


Mystique Angel said...

Sounds like a good book. I will have to read it at some point.

Mers said...

You would like it very much, I think.

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