This is a typical Richelle Mead book. Meaning, it’s fantastic. If you’re not familiar with the author’s writing (Georgina Kincaid or Vampire Academy series) then, to put it simply, the writing is dynamic and sexy. The characters’ motivations, loyalties, and appeal to the reader change from chapter-to-chapter but in a way that’s believable and credible to each character. For example, Eugenie in Storm Born hates the fae, kills them liberally, and is disgusted by non-human men and at the end of Storm Born, her feeling about her own heritage can best be described as self-loathing and fear. In Thorn Queen, these feelings shift. Richelle Mead delves into what it means to be human – the good, the bad, and the ugly. She also discovers what it means to rule, to be responsible for others, and how far she's willing to go to protect them. As always, the sex scenes are phenomenal. Between kinky bondage sex with Dorian and the rough, passionate instinct-driven sex with Kiyo, I enjoyed the emotion that came along with it. It causes a good deal of tension and drama. Here we really see Eugenie’s jealousy of Maiwenn, Kiyo’s ex-girlfriend and another fae queen, whose pregnancy has brought Kiyo so much joy and the insecurity this causes to Eugenie who knows she can never risk getting pregnant because of the prophecy.
Jennifer Van Dyck, who also narrates Rachel Vincent’s Shifters series, has a no-nonsense tone, that works well since Eugenie’s character is supposed to be tough, butt-kicking and over-all intimidating. Her voice for Dorian is proper - slightly British, very aristocratic, bored and self-involved – it is just as the man is described. I also enjoyed how the reading generally reflected the tone of what’s happening in the book. Not to give too much away, but there is a scene in this audiobook that concerns abduction, drugging, and sex assault. Jennifer Van Dyck’s voice slowed and becomes detached, which deepens the experience for the listener.
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