One’s character is, truly, the single most important thing in all honesty that you need to defend. It says who you are, what you believe in, and, more importantly, it speaks to your own wishes, dreams and hopes.
There are, always, forces that try to bend you from that. To tear apart that which you hold dear. Sometimes they do things that are unspeakable. More often than not in doing so one’s own strengths change. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. But, even in the darkest times there is a promise never forgotten.
- Title: The Queen
- Author: Christina Barr
- Length: 305 Pages
- ASIN: B00JU28W6I
- Publishing Date: March 9, 2014
- This work at Amazon.com
It tells the story of:
In a secluded society of inhuman beings, Rose is selected to be the queen of her colony and raised for one purpose: to breed. When she reaches maturity, The Elders murder her mother and awaken a dark power in Rose that she does not understand. Rose begins a war for control, but agrees to replenish their population on the condition of finding love on her own terms.
Rose moves to California to explore the humans that she has fantasized about, yet may one day be forced to conquer. She finds two prospects. Noah is a sweet boy struggling with charm, but a complete gentleman. Austin is an attractive adventurer that challenges her authority at every turn. Rose’s goal is to create a real family and find a king to help overthrow The Elders, but she has taken very horrific measures in order to retain her purity. While trying to save her soul, she may have dammed us all.
There are some stories which are emotionally telling on a reader, and in all honestly this, for me, was one of those works. The main character’s name we never learn until well into the story, she being a nameless Queen until she makes a choice and calls herself Rose. Before that point, her life, the world around her, is some of the most tragically told moments in a character’s life that I have read for some time.
Perhaps the worst part of the opening chapters is how Rose is treated by those around her that wish to control and force her to do things that she does not wish to do. Her reactions are completely understandable, and when Rose’s mother is killed… That’s heartbreaking in so many ways. It’s worse still when the Elders attempt to make Rose do something she does not wish to do and in a way that was… wrong. I can’t explain it any better than that, otherwise I will spoil things, but it is… unsettling in the extreme.
Eventually Rose is allowed to visit the world of humanity and in doing so she meets two brothers… and she falls in love with both of them for different reasons. The story from this point forwards revolves around her becoming involved with them, finding herself and what she truly wants, and the implications of those decisions.
There’s a twist in the story with regards to the brothers. That reveal and what happens as a result brought tears to my eyes. I was, I have to admit, hoping for one brother to be the one chosen in the end by Rose. But the story puts a turn into things and when it comes, and what Rose does… It’s just… so sad… so very very sad for everyone.
Rose herself is, in a way, kind of a Succubus, all of the hints are there in the story about what she can do, but she isn’t actually called one, only that she and her kind are not quite human. The interesting thing is that in a world of beings that are not human, Rose herself becomes the most human of them all.
There is a lot of universe building in this work, Rose’s world is told in great detail and it’s interesting to see how that all works. There are a lot of mysteries of course, many of which are not answered by the end of the work, but they open many interesting thoughts and paths going forwards should the author continue to tell this story.
The work ends on a cliff hanger, but it isn’t a poor one. The focus of this story is wrapped up nicely, things happen in good ways that make sense and don’t detract from the work as a whole. In truth there is a lot of hope, but there is also a lot of possibilities to end the work on.
The writing is very well done, Rose is wonderful, so are the two brothers and as well someone that Rose calls her Sister in the work. There is one, single, small error in the text on the second to last page that was bothersome: “move one” instead of “move on”, which really hurt what otherwise was a really well told cliff-hanger.
The only thing that I had some issues with was how Rose’s dialog was a bit… Formal. Now, that has a lot to do with her upbringing and so on, but after a while her whining over being called “princess” by another character and demanding to be called “queen” became slightly repetitive.
But setting that aside, and it is a small nit honestly, the work is so emotionally draining that I felt that it should have been split into two works if for no other reason than to allow a breather from all of the unfair things that the characters have to deal with throughout the work. I know that makes the reader care about them more… But it also hurts very much when they aren’t there anymore…
Four out of five pitchforks.
A truly emotionally wringing story, one that I couldn’t put down. I hope there will be more written in this universe, there are lots of questions left unanswered and a cliff-hanger to solve. It would be nice to see that happen sometime soon.