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. . .
Let me start by saying that I wasn't sure how to rate this book. I really like the way Mead thinks, from her world-building to character development to the surprises she holds in store for Eugenie. But at the same time I'm just kinda like... eh...
Maybe it's because toward the middle of the story I found myself asking..."So what's really happened so far? Hmmm... Not much." It dragged a little, and while it picked up toward the end, getting to that point was a little monotonous. It's because of this monotony that I'm just getting kind of bored with the whole story. Relationships and characters have changed, but as for everything else that's going around them, I feel like Thorn Queen is one of those filler/stepping-stone novels.
I do have to say, though, that I love how Eugenie has evolved and transformed through her experiences. Comparing her to the way she was when we first met, the only thing that's remained unchanged is her strength and sass. Everything else has shifted, and Eugenie is anything but a stagnant and stuffy character.
Her relationship with Kiyo is - and here's that "word" again - eh. Honestly, the guy has never felt right for Eugenie and I could never sense that spark between them no matter how much she said she loved him. Sorry, Eugenie. I'm not convinced.
Dorian, on the other hand... The one guy that Eugenie thought she could never trust seems to be the only one who truly loves and understands her unconditionally. Go figure. You've made me a believer, Dorian, even if Eugenie is too pigheaded to see it herself.
In the way of evil-doers, Mead surprised me with her knack for creating a truly sick and twisted villain - you know the kind who don't even know they are evil? The ones that think they are good and right? I relished at the idea of him getting his ass beat - or worse.
To sum the rambling up, Mead's character development is amazing (even if the one relationship kinda flopped for me). You know these people - they are real within the pages - and you hurt and hope for them (even if you want to clobber them sometimes).
The writing style, as always, is fluid and easy. Eugenie keeps things light even with shit hits the fan and the descriptions do well to build this solid little world that you can see and almost touch with your own two hands.
So while there's a lot of good that I have to say about what gives this book readability, it's just that - "good." Not great or mind-blowing or any of those other adjectives that you'd use with a 4+ star review. I don't really feel that I'll remember much about this story a few months down the road. It's worth reading - don't get me wrong - but, for me, it wasn't anything to glow about.
So, would I recommend? Yeah, sure. If you're looking for some easy reading that'll keep you entertained until your next read. Richelle Mead has definite talent and potential - no argument - I just don't think I'm in a huge hurry to finish the series.