Series: Pale Queen #3
Also in this series: Pale Queen Rising, Cold Dream Dawning
Published by 47North on October 25th 2016
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The Summer Kingdom has fallen to the Pale Queen, and it’s Claire’s fault. The Winter Kingdom faces destruction, and it’s her fault. Her mother is dead. Everything is her fault.
Once the designated assassin for Queen Mab, Claire is now nothing more than a humiliated mortal, haunted by her own failures. Abandoned by her former allies and stripped of her magic, Claire is banished to the Immortal Circus.
In place of this once-vibrant show now stands an empty husk. Performers who should be tethered to it for eternity are leaving, negating Winter’s last hold on the Dream. Someone is targeting Winter’s power by weakening its contracts—even Claire’s own. And it’s not hard to guess who’s behind it.
Power or no power, contract or no contract, Claire has an obligation to uphold. And with the fate of the worlds hanging in the balance, she takes on the hit she knows will be her last: the Pale Queen.
I enjoyed The Immortal Circus series, which was the first series I read by A.R. Kahler. It had a little bit of everything, that’s what I like in a book. The Pale Queen Series is a bit different. There are some similarities in terms of characters and some of the setting. But that’s where the similarities end.
I think I would have liked if I was warned about that before I read the series. Don’t get me wrong, now. I did enjoy the series overall, but I think that I would have enjoyed it more if I didn’t expect it to be like The Immortal Circus. Most of the characters you liked [loved] are now on the back-burner. Some are even discarded like left-overs. This was one thing that was hard for me.
As you may know from my review of book two in this series, I was disappointed in how little a role Vivienne plays in this series. I was upset about how her character had evolved since the end of the last series. I think, perhaps, my expectations walking into this story, wasn’t where they needed to be. To better enjoy this story, just don’t expect it to be like the previous one.
Now, let’s talk about the story. The book was very action-packed. There was an interesting twist, which if you read the previous series you could have figured out. I did appreciate that we got a little more page time with some of the beloved characters of the circus, but the story doesn’t end well for them, although it is necessary evils to keep the story going.
I really enjoyed the supporting characters, especially Eli. I like his sense of humour and that he is loyal to Claire, even if he’s under contract to do so. The end is a bit interesting but not really where I wanted it to go, although, the story would have had to continue in order to go differently. It was still a satisfying ending to some extent.
The only thing I would have liked to see gone differently, is having Claire’s transformation be a little deeper. It just felt a little forced. I mean, the whole story takes place over a couple days. Perhaps if the story took place over a few weeks, it would have been a little more believable.
If you like a bad-ass heroine, this one is for you. It’s fast paced and action-packed. It’s purely fantasy with a hint of soul searching and minimal romance – if any.