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Publisher's Summary

From a ferociously talented writer, praised as "the fire, in my opinion. And the light" by Junot Diaz, comes a blazing portrait of one woman's rise from courtesan to world-renowned diva.

Lilliet Berne is a sensation of the Paris Opera, a legendary soprano with every accolade except an original role, every singer's chance at immortality. When one is finally offered to her, she realizes with alarm that the libretto is based on a hidden piece of her past. Only four could have betrayed her: one is dead, one loves her, one wants to own her. And one, she hopes, never thinks of her at all. As she mines her memories for clues, she recalls her life as an orphan who left the American frontier for Europe and was swept up into the glitzy, gritty world of Second Empire Paris. To survive, she transformed herself from hippodrome rider to courtesan, from empress' maid to debut singer, all the while weaving a complicated web of romance, obligation, and political intrigue.

Featuring a cast of characters drawn from history, The Queen of the Night follows Lilliet as she moves closer to the truth behind the mysterious opera and the role that could secure her reputation - or destroy her with the secrets it reveals.

©2016 Alexander Chee (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    122
  • 4 Stars
    134
  • 3 Stars
    106
  • 2 Stars
    35
  • 1 Stars
    18

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    172
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    120
  • 3 Stars
    64
  • 2 Stars
    13
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    11

Story

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    113
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    105
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    98
  • 2 Stars
    37
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    25
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting but detached and long

Would you try another book from Alexander Chee and/or Lisa Flanagan?

not sure

Do you think The Queen of the Night needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

no

Any additional comments?

The story was interesting but too long. I never felt truly connected to the main character.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Not my typical choice

Excellent listen. Great narrator and kept me listening. Clueless as to most of the historical figures represented, but this did not take away from my enjoyment.

13 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Drudgery

What would have made The Queen of the Night better?

I'm not sure, as a fan of historical fiction and complex stories I felt sure I would love this. For me the story lacked depth, and didn't evoke any emotion. It also felt strangely repetitive.

What didn’t you like about Lisa Flanagan’s performance?

I didn't really have a problem with the narration, but perhaps it contributed to the lack of emotion.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I found the history interesting and learned new things about opera.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

missed the singing

Great story. I do wish the performance had included singing of some of the arias

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

An epic for opera aficionados

What did you love best about The Queen of the Night?

I most enjoyed the historical aspects of the book. The book does not shy away from history and gives vivid detail about the Franco-Prussian war.

Would you recommend The Queen of the Night to your friends? Why or why not?

I would hesitantly recommend this book. It is a good story but the listener/reader must be willing to commit quite a bit of time and brain power to enjoying this book.

Which scene was your favorite?

When she sings and rides horses at the circus.

If you could rename The Queen of the Night, what would you call it?

The unbreakable falcon.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

The Queen Of The Frost

I thought this book would never end, and I adore historical dramas. Told by the title character as a passive narrator, we never get a chance to care about Liliette. The author is determined to fit in as many real-life characters as possible, but none of them are drawn to life with much passion. If you love opera, huge chunks of chapters are devoted to recounting the plots of different operas in great detail, but they never truly tie in to Liliet's life in a meaningful or profound way. I was shocked at how dispassionately this tale was told, because it looked so exciting on paper. But it's as cold as ice, and the ending was far too calculated and pat to be satisfying. The lead is loosely based on the life of Jenny Lind, and I think that if you like this type of novel, skip this one and just go straight to a bio of Lind or the Countess De Castiglione instead.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Thought it would never end<br />

It was just way too drawn out and the ending was very anticlimactic. .unsympathetic characters

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Poor reading, pretty good story

What did you like best about The Queen of the Night? What did you like least?

Those who enjoy opera and historical fiction generally will find much to interest them. The reading, however, is a problem. This is a first-person narrative by a woman who is, to say the least, "dramatic." She's an adventurer, courtesan and opera singer. Yet the narrator does no voices or accents, lending almost no personality to her main character or any other. I'd call it a perfunctory performance and a strange choice.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Great book until ending.

Loved all 19 hours but the last 7 minutes were disappointing. Still would recommend book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Riveting

From the story line to the compelling characters to the beautiful operas and the fierce chaos of the era, this is a riveting book. The story moves like bolts of lighting from one illumination to the next. Each scenario is brought to vibrancy by the main character 's brilliance as poured into twists of fare and sheer daring. Don't miss this ride.