Except the Queen

Except the QueenExcept the Queen

By: Jane Yolen & Midori Snyder



(Urban Fairytale/Fantasy/Fairies)

371 pages (Hardcover)

Two fairy sisters are banished from the Greenwood for accidentally revealing the Queen’s secret.

A large portion of this story is a “fish out of water” tale, as the two sisters attempt to survive while separated in the mortal world. Although, their survival isn’t all that difficult since both have plenty of help. There are a lot of interesting bits of confusion and entertaining interpretations of the world around them.

My biggest problem with this story is that it was a bit confusing. There are many points of view over the course of the novel, nearly all of which are first person, so it was a bit difficult knowing who I was following. It took about 100 pages for me to realize that the chapter titles indicated who the chapter was about, so that helped a little. But even with that help, I had the hardest time telling Serana and Meteora apart. They sounded so much alike. Being close sisters you would expect some similarity, but they just seemed identical. It didn’t help that their mortal names were sort of reversed from what you would expect: {Serana = Mabel} {Meteora = Sophia} If they had just made the initials correspond to their real name it would have been far easier to keep track of.

Despite being only 371 pages, it felt a little slow. The writing style was a little fanciful…I don’t know how to describe it. It was richer, and less straight forward. Keep in mind I read this book right after The Doctor and the Dinosaurs, which was extremely quick and straight forward, so it may just be the contrast between the two that bothered me.

There were some redeeming qualities in the form of some interesting characters, Baba Yaga being one of them, along with her helping hand servants. The changeling children, dog boy, Red Cap, Jack, and The Crones were all intriguing elements. It was my interest in these characters that kept me reading.

I liked it but I didn’t love it. There was a point at the beginning when I considered putting it down altogether, but I liked it a lot more toward the end. From the cover, I was expecting fast-paced Urban Fantasy, and this was definitely not that. I like the idea of an Urban Fairytale, but this one just didn’t quite do it for me. Until next time…

Happy Reading!


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