Saturday, March 17, 2012

Except the Queen by Jane Yolen & Midori Snyder

Members of the Seelie Court, sisters Serana and Meteora are banished to the mortal realms for telling the Seelie Queen's secret - that she had a mortal lover. Stripped of their illusions of youth, the majority of their magic, and separated from each other, the two must learn to survive in an unknown environment.
There Meteora, now known as Sophia, finds shelter in Baba Yaga's house. There she also discovers Sparrow, a young woman with deep secrets.
Serana is taken in by the authorities and renames herself Mabel (after a cow). To her is drawn Robin, one of the fey and a hound.
The sisters form alliances - human and fey - to aid their upcoming battle. Because the Unseelie have brought their ageless war into the mortal realm.
Beguiling and fun, this is a reasonably quick read, yet one worth savouring.
Meteora and Serana's confusion upon being confronted with life in the mortal world is amusing, yet bittersweet, as they struggle with money, conventions, and turns of phrase.
Many of the main characters have the chance to show their own points of view in interludes that add to the main story arc, which is carried by the sisters. These interludes also pique the reader's interest as you try to figure out who the characters really are.

If you like this book, then you could also try:
  • Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms series by Mercedes Lackey.
  • The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley.
  • Spindle's end by Robin McKinley.
  • To visit the queen by Diana Duane.
  • Deep secret by Diana Wynne Jones.
  • Tam Lin by Pamela Dean.
  • Any Charles De Lint.
  • Tithe by Holly Black.

Reviewed by Thalia

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