Series: Pale Queen #2
Also in this series: Pale Queen Rising
Published by 47North on May 3rd 2016
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Though trained as a ruthless and efficient killer, Claire barely survived her last assignment. Still reeling from the summoning of the deadly Pale Queen and Roxie’s betrayal, she’s unprepared for Queen Mab’s next demand: to help uncover a new threat to the kingdom, Claire must hunt down the mortal mother she’s never known.
But Claire’s divided loyalties may be the least of her worries: her mother, the former star of the Immortal Circus, has other enemies—including the Summer King. To save the Winter Kingdom from the Pale Queen’s dark designs, Claire must attempt to awaken her mother’s hidden magic. But even if she succeeds, is there magic potent enough to protect her from the dangers lurking in the treacherous forests of the Wildness—or from the shadows in her own heart?
Contains Spoilers for Book One, Pale Queen Rising. Contains some spoilers for the current book as well, nothing major.
As usual, I think A R Kahler does a wonderful job at storytelling. He manages to introduce you to his rendition of other parts of the Faery Kingdom and we get to meet the mysterious Pale Queen. whose actual name we don’t know. In this book we find out where Claire gets her magic from [being a mortal and all]. And we even get a reunion, of sorts, between Kingston and Vivienne and Claire and Vivienne. More on these later.
We didn’t get much page-time with a certain demon, but the fact that he isn’t completely heartless is a rather unique thing that Kahler brings to this story. I’m also glad that there wasn’t anymore weird Kingston and Claire hook ups. View Spoiler »Nor were there any Kingston and Viv hook ups. « Hide Spoiler
In this book, the battle is mostly between Claire and herself. Her need to be accepted and loved, and her need to have a mother who is proud of what she has become battles with her desire to get her job done. Now that she had signed her contract the mere thought of defying Mab bring her to her knees in pain. In order to discover the Pale Queen’s location and figure out how to get rid of her, Claire must get her mother to manifest as the Oracle. However, she’s told that this will kill her mother and the Oracle will die and be reborn in another human.
She will try to get Kingston to remove the magic he placed on Vivienne but this is not as simple as it seems.
Oberon is out to get Vivienne for himself, since she had promised her future incarnation to him, and also he wants to exploit her power as the Oracle to gain advantage in the fight against the Pale Queen. Why is everyone afraid of the Pale Queen? Because she wants to destroy Summer and Winter and with it order to the faery kingdom and to the human world. She claims that it is best for everyone but there are still some faeries that remember how everything was before order was created, and they want none of it.
I am a bit disappointed that Vivienne is brought back only as a side thought. She is not herself and barely even present in the book. I know that it is really in answer to everyone wanting to know, “what happens to Viv?”. But seeing her the way she is left after the Immortal Circus is so depressing, View Spoiler »and there is just no redemption from this « Hide Spoiler.
I don’t personally think that Claire is as strong a character as Vivienne was. I definitely feel more love for Viv and Kingston than I do for Claire and Eli [who are not romantically involved].
I’m hoping that Claire finds herself in this last book, because she is rather broken by then end of the story. I hope than in that there can be some redemption for her character’s weakness and indecisiveness.
As for Mab and Oberon, something will happen that you never thought was possible and I am dying to know how this will affect the story, and the ending.
Overall, the story telling was amazing, the plot was rather interesting and although the end was a bit unsatisfying, I know that’s only because the author wants us to read the final book. Well it worked. I’ve already pre-order Black Ice Burning, the third book in the trilogy.