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.
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.
©2009 Richelle Mead; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
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.
Mom who reads
This is a wonderful sequel to book one. Characters are deep and colorful. The reader is great - lots of inflection, believable voices. You'll love it. It does have some pretty intense "adult activities" scenes, so not appropriate for the minivan with kids in the back seat.
I am an avid listener. I listen between 75-100 hours per month on my iPhone: 60% fiction to 40% non-fiction.
This is the second book of the Dark Swan series of Eugenie Markham, a powerful shaman, a carefully crafted continuation of the story told in book one. Mead has carefully moved the plot forward while advancing sub-plots. I admit I did not see what was coming several times during the course of events. There are times in the book where you want to say “no don’t do that” -- that is the essence of storytelling. What I like is that Mead took a plausible real-life circumstance and painted it in a fantasy world. She focuses on right and wrong and making sure you understand the line she draws. Even in this book of fun, there is something to think about.
After a rocky start in book one, Jennifer Van Dyck turns in a solid performance in book two adding to the story’s appeal.
The story stands on its own, but I think it is best to read book one if you want to get the best enjoyment. Mead doesn’t give much preamble to connect book one, she just drops you into the flow. I highly recommend this second book in the series – off to book three.
I LOVE Vampire Diaries (and the Golden Lily Spin-off) and Succubus series and was hoping this one would be as good. It was not!!
No, because all books are different, but if this was the first I'd read it probably wouldn't make me want to go out and find more or try more by the same author which would be a waste!
The sub-plot of all the Thorn Queen books seems to be rape and it gets frankly quite tiring. Not exactaly a good plot to get you wanting to read more and get into it. If it wasn't for all the rapes, kidnappings, and attempted rape's I would probably be interested in listening to more of the series, but I just get so tiring of hearing about how all the men want to get her pregnant and are trying to. Would like to see more things going on and enough on that front.
Amazing book! I love the way the story turned. The only downside was how whiny the heroine got. OMG I don't want this, I don't want that, I never wanted this. UGH I just wanted to smack her. And what strong woman puts up with the ridiculous love triangle between her, Kiyo and Maiwenn. It didn't detract much from the story however. I was riveted.
This entry takes a decidedly darker tone from the previous novel. You really start the actually admire Eugenie now. In the first book I was interested enough in the story to see it through to the end, but Eugenie's reluctance to accept her heritage was tiring. In this book you finally see her come into her own as the queen of her people.
I have to hand it to Richelle Mead, this is one of the few fantasy romance series in which the sex is just an added bonus to the plot and not the other way around. I really felt for the characters and the book's climax took my breath away. I had the next installment purchased before I was even finished with the last chapter.
The love triangle is getting a little old for me but other than that this was a really good book!! I can't wait to listen to the 3 one!!
Eugenie has really grown on me in this book.The other world is becoming a bigger part in Eugenie's life and exploring it is just as enjoyable as the storyline. I love that the character has held true to the person she was in the first book. She cares about the human world, but still does her best to keep the human world safe (and take care of the people in her life).
Kiyo and Dorian are amazing characters, both flawed and strong in their own ways. I really like the flaws in male leads because it keeps you guessing. Who will she end up with? Who is a better choice? What are they hiding? etc.
This series is still a bit sexually explicit for my taste, but the story is so intriguing that i can sit through the uncomfortable parts. This book does have a large chunk of uncomfortable parts involving rape, so i would take that into consideration before buying it.
Narrator: As always Jennifer Van Dyck did an amazing job.
On to book 3, spend that credit!
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