Book Review: Queen in ExileAuthor: Donna Hatch
Genre: YA Fantasy
The Setting - taken from Goodreads
Rumors of War hang over Princess Jeniah's peaceful country of Arden, a land that shuns both magic and warfare. Following a lifelong dream, Jeniah forms a telepathic bond with a revered creature called a chayim, who is prophesied to save her kingdom. But when a Darborian knight comes upon Jeniah with her chayim, he sees only a vicious monster about to devour a maiden, and he slays the beast.
Devastated by the loss of her chayim, and fearing that her own magic is evil, Jeniah doubts her destiny. When an enemy invades Arden City, they slaughter the people, storm the castle, and execute the entire royal family except the princess. Rescued by the knight who slew her chayim, Jeniah is now heir to the throne of Arden and the only hope for freeing her people from tyranny.
On the run and hunted by enemy soldiers, Jeniah must place her life and the fate of her kingdom in the hands of this trained killer. Torn between embracing her destiny as queen of Arden, and her love for a mere knight, she must ultimately rely on her magic to save herself and her people from death and tyranny.
My Two Cents
I really think my genre of choice is fantasy. I have yet to loose interest, whereas dystopians to me are becoming snooze worthy. To be completely honest, Queen in Exile had all the ingredients to make an epic fantasy feast (oh yes...I did just make that cheesy association!). But somehow I just didn't feel it. Don't get me wrong...it was still an enjoyable read. Just not what I was promised.
First of all, I felt the revered chayim was not described in it's full potential before it was slaughtered, and therefore I did not feel the relationship between Jeniah and her chayim.
This magical creature, and moreover Jeniah's magical talents, could have been explained and utilized way before the chaotic ending. I might not have been so confused during the final battle. Oh and speaking of battle...a slight love triangle had to show it's face in this book. Boo! But Jeniah handled it admirably and I suppose it did help the great battle at the ending come together smoothly. Okay, so overall not a bad read, 4 out of 5 stars. Read this if you crave stories about beautiful damsels in distress with unknown powers who fall in love, against all odds, with rugged, ruthless foreign knights. Queen in Exile was good but not great...and unfortunately forgettable.