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Posted December 22, 2009
Jane Yolen and Midori Snyder team up with a winner
The two Fae sisters, Serana and Meteora accidentally uncover a secret that at a minimum would ruin the reputation and credibility of the Fairy Queen. Before they can react, the pair loses their magical skills and looks, separated and exiled to Earth.
Serana lands in the strangest world she has ever seen, New York City; Meteora likewise feels the same way about Milwaukee. Serana meets a homeless boy who suffers from dark apocalyptic visions; Meteora meets a young girl with an incredible tattoo on her neck that could only mean an artist with magic powers who wants to kill the beholder of his work. Soon all will conjoin as the mortal and Fae realms are threatened with total destruction.
This is a great urban fantasy with an atypical feel to the story line that enhances the otherworldly tale. Fast-paced from the onset, fans will welcome the siblings as each struggles with adjusting to the world of the mortals. The sisters make the thriller work as their adaptation is slow and before they can partially adjust, they are caught up in a save two realms scenario. Jane Yolen and Midori Snyder team up with a winner as fans see New York and Milwaukee through the eyes of "political immigrants".
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Posted May 3, 2010
My, these two play well together! I'm joking of course, anyone who's ever done any knows that writing is hard work and takes dedication, it's just that these two writers really meld their considerable talents together seamlessly in a way that seems like enchanted play. It hit absolutely all the right buttons for me: the faery lore was authentic, it made great use of herb lore & magic, it wove the far different worlds of Faery and contemporary America together in a way that felt like a balm to me, for our cement and iron cities feel like they could never touch the healing green, and yet maybe, just maybe. Also, as a middle aged woman myself, I couldn't help but relate to Meteora and Serana's plight with their new/old and very different bodies, though at least I've had time to grow into the reality of my own! The sisters adjustments to 21st century life added moments of unexpected humor, as the reader gets treated to just how strange our world looks and sounds, and the details we understand without even thinking of them (like the stamps that must be affixed for a letter to be taken by "Eagle mail") made their understanding and learning all the more real.
To me this novel is every bit the equal of the best of Charles deLint, but without any sense of borrowing; their voice and tone in this is very much their own. I think the first thing I ever read by Jane Yolen was a long time ago in a collection of short faery fiction edited by Terri Windling. Yolen's piece was titled _The Thirteenth Fae_ and as I read it, I quickly realized I was in the presence of a master of the genre. She sets a tone with language that makes you swear she must be working with something other than words alone. Such is the case here with _Except the Queen_. The language is fermented in some fae decoction that just took me away. Though I don't know quite how they divided the work, the blending of ideas and tone is flawless. This book is one I will read again, just to perhaps discover how they did it, though I don't think for a minute I will -- it's a faery touched work for sure, and I'll bet I'll only be shown as much as they want me to see.
Overall, quite a treasure for lovers of fae or urban fantasy.
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Posted September 19, 2010
I Also Recommend:
A Must Read!
I absolutely fell in love with this book from the very beginning. Jane Yolen and Midori Snyder give it a skillful and talented hand of Wicca, herbal, and fairy lore knowledge and influence. Thankful that I have read other supernatural books with fairy characters, either main or mentioned, it made reading about the characters in 'Except The Queen' familiar to me, especially the Dark Lord and his Hunt, and Baba Yaga, the Great Witch. Having witnessed the Queen's indiscretion with a low mortal, the twin fey sisters are punished and exiled from Greenwood, by the unquestionable command of the Queen's very own hand. "Dabbling with mortals is frowned upon among the Highborn of the Seelie court, and for these Highborn, purity of the blood matters more than one's name, even more than one's status." The sisters find themselves separated, mortal, stripped of their youth, and without magic. In a world full deadly iron, one will find a young boy whose past and blood is poisoned, and the other will find a young girl who is tattooed and tortured, the once fey sisters begin to work out their place in the puzzle involving the two teens. Perhaps they weren't exiled and separated. Perhaps they were sent by the Queen for a reason. However, once they see the signs mounting all around them, the members of the UnSeelie court hunting mortals with total disregard to the rules and without the guardianship of the Seelie court, they know that far worse is at stake than just bringing to two together. Highborn in service to the Dark Lord are making the way for the Great War and total rule by the UnSeelie court.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 27, 2010
I love science fiction and fantasy books and have enjoyed books by this author before, however, I found this book a little difficult to follow, the plot was divided. It contained adult situations and I felt that it would not be good for children under the age of 17.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 12, 2011
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