Iron Crowned (Dark Swan Series #3)

Iron Crowned (Dark Swan Series #3)

by Richelle Mead

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New York Times bestselling author Richelle Mead takes readers back to the Otherworld, an embattled realm mystically entwined with our world—and ruled by one woman's dangerous choice. . .

Shaman-for-hire Eugenie Markham is the best at banishing entities trespassing in the mortal realm. But as the Thorn Land's queen, she's fast running out of ways to end the brutal war devastating her kingdom. Her only hope: the Iron Crown, a legendary object even the most powerful gentry fear. . .

Who Eugenie can trust is the hardest part. Fairy king Dorian has his own agenda for aiding her search. And Kiyo, her shape-shifter ex-boyfriend, has every reason to betray her along the way. To control the Crown's ever-consuming powers, Eugenie will have to confront an unimaginable temptation—one that will put her soul and the fate of two worlds in mortal peril. . .

Praise for Richelle Mead's Storm Born. . .

"My kind of book—great characters, dark worlds, and just the right touch of humor. A great read." —Patricia Briggs, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781420111798
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 03/01/2011
Series: Dark Swan Series , #3
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 225,275
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Richelle Mead is an international bestselling author of fantasy books for both adults and teens. Her Georgina Kincaid series follows a reluctant succubus, while her Dark Swan series features a shamanic mercenary caught up in fairy affairs. Over on the young adult side, Richelle writes the much-acclaimed Vampire Academy series and its spin-off, Bloodlines, about a secret society keeping the vampire world hidden from humans.

Richelle's books have been on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists and received honors from the American Library Association. Her books have been translated into over two dozen languages, as well as transformed into graphic novels. A lifelong reader, Richelle loves mythology and wacky humor. When not writing, she can be found spending time with her family, buying dresses, and watching bad reality TV. More at:

Read an Excerpt


A Dark Swan Novel
By Richelle Mead


Copyright © 2011 Richelle Mead
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4201-1179-8

Chapter One

Don't confuse fairy queens with fairy princesses.

Where I come from, girls who want to be fairy princesses usually dream about gossamer wings and frilly dresses. Pink dresses, at that. I'm pretty sure rhinestones are part of being a fairy princess too, as are cute wands with stars on top that grant wishes. Fairy princesses expect lovely lives of luxury and lounging, ones that involve small woodland creatures waiting on their every need.

As a fairy queen, I can admit that there is a bit more involvement with woodland creatures than one might expect. But the rest? A total joke. Fairies—the kind I deal with, at least—rarely have wings. My wand is made of rough gemstones bound together, and I use it to blast Otherworldly creatures out of existence. I've also whacked a few people in the head with it. My life is dirty, harsh, and deadly, the kind of life no frilly dress could withstand. I wear jeans. Most important, I look horrible in pink.

I'm also pretty sure that fairy princesses don't have to deal with this kind of shit first thing in the morning.

"I have killed ... Eugenie Markham."

The words rang out loud and clear through a dining room filled with about thirty people eating at round wooden tables. The ceilings were vaulted, and the rough stone walls made it look like part of a medieval castle because ... well, it kind of was. Most of the morning diners were soldiers and guards, but a few were officials and high-ranking servants who lived and worked within the castle.

Dorian, King of the Oak Land and my bondage-loving Otherworldly boyfriend, sat at the head table and looked up from his breakfast to see who had made such a bold statement. "I'm sorry, did you say something?"

The speaker, standing on the other side of the table, turned as red as the uniform he wore. He looked about twenty-something in human years, meaning he was probably a hundred or so in fairy—or gentry, the name I preferred—years. The guy bit his lip and straightened his posture, making another attempt at dignity as he glared at Dorian.

"I said I killed Eugenie Markham." The man—a soldier, it appeared—looked around at the faces, no doubt hoping his message would inspire horrified reactions. Mostly his words brought about good-natured confusion, largely because half of the people gathered in the room could see me standing in the hall outside. "I have killed your queen, and now your armies will crumble. Surrender immediately, and Her Royal Majesty, Queen Katrice of the Rowan Land, will be merciful."

Dorian didn't answer right away and didn't look very concerned. He delicately patted his mouth with a brocade napkin and then returned it to his lap. "Dead? Are you sure?" He glanced over at a dark-haired woman sitting beside him. "Shaya, didn't we just see her yesterday?"

"Yes, sire," replied Shaya, pouring cream into her tea.

Dorian brushed autumn-red hair out of his face and returned to cutting up the sugary, almond-coated pastry that was serving as his most important meal of the day. "Well, there you have it. She can't be dead."

The Rowan soldier stared in disbelief, growing more and more incredulous as people continued to either regard him curiously or simply ignore him altogether. The only person who seemed mildly concerned was an elderly gentry woman sitting on the other side of Dorian. Her name was Ranelle, and she was an ambassador from the Linden Land. She'd only arrived yesterday and clearly wasn't used to the wacky mishaps around here.

The soldier turned his attention back to Dorian. "Are you as insane as they say you are? I killed the Thorn Queen! Look." He threw down a silver and moonstone necklace. It clattered against the hard, tiled floor, and the pale, iridescent stones just barely picked up some of the morning light. "I cut this off of her corpse. Now do you believe me?"

That brought some silence to the room, and even Dorian paused. It was indeed my necklace, and seeing it made me absentmindedly touch the bare spot on my throat. Dorian wore his perpetually bored expression, but I knew him well enough to guess at the maelstrom of thoughts swirling behind his green eyes.

"If that's true," Dorian replied at last, "then why didn't you actually bring us her corpse?"

"It's with my queen," said the soldier smugly, thinking he'd finally gained ground. "She kept it as a trophy. If you cooperate, she might release it to you."

"I don't believe it." Dorian peered down the table. "Rurik, will you pass the salt? Ah, thank you."

"King Dorian," said Ranelle uneasily, "perhaps you should pay more attention to what this man has to say. If the queen is dead—"

"She's not," said Dorian bluntly. "And this sauce is delicious."

"Why don't you believe me?" exclaimed the soldier, sounding oddly childlike. "Did you think she was invincible? Did you think no one could kill her?"

"No," admitted Dorian. "I just don't think you could kill her."

Ranelle tried again. "My lord, how do you know that the queen isn't—"

"Because she's standing right there. Will you all shut up now so I can eat in peace?"

The interruption—and end to this farce—came from Jasmine, my teenage sister. Like me, she was half human. Unlike me, she was totally unstable and was consequently eating her breakfast while wearing loose but magic-stunting handcuffs. She also had headphones on, and the breakfast debate must have been overpowering her current playlist.

Thirty faces turned toward where I stood near the doorway, and there was a mad scramble as almost everyone shoved back their chairs and tried to rise for a hasty bow. I sighed. I'd been comfortable leaning against the wall, resting from a hard night's journey as I watched this absurdity unfolding in my Otherworldly home. The gig was up now. I threw back my shoulders and strode into the dining room, putting on all the queenly airs I could.

"The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated," I announced. I had a feeling I'd messed up the Mark Twain quote, but in this crowd, nobody knew the reference anyway. Most thought I was simply stating the facts. Which, really, I was.

The Rowan soldier's flushed face suddenly turned white, his eyes bugging out. He took a few steps backward and glanced uneasily around. There was really nowhere else he could go.

I gestured for those who were standing and bowing to sit down as I walked up to my necklace. Picking it up from the floor, I eyed it critically. "You broke the clasp." I studied it for a few more moments and then turned my glare on him. "You broke it when you ripped it off my neck while we were fighting—not when you killed me. Obviously." I just barely recalled grappling with this guy last night. He'd been one among many. I'd lost him in the midst of the chaos, but apparently, Katrice had decided to send him here with a story after he'd captured this "evidence."

"You look amazing for being dead, my dear," called Dorian. "You should really come join us and try this sauce that Ranelle brought."

I ignored Dorian, both because he expected me to and because I knew I didn't look so amazing. My clothes were ripped and dirty, and I'd accrued a few cuts in last night's battle. Judging from the haze of red I kept seeing out of the corners of my eyes, I had a feeling my hair was frizzy and sticking up in about a hundred different directions. It was already turning into a hot day, and my stuffy castle was making me sweat profusely.

"No," gasped the Rowan soldier. "You can't be alive. Balor swore he saw you fall—he told the queen—"

"Will you guys stop this already?" I demanded, leaning in close to his face. This made a few of my own guards step nearer, but I wasn't worried. This loser wouldn't try anything, and besides, I could defend myself. "When is your fucking queen going to stop turning every rumor about Dorian or me dying into some huge proclamation? Haven't you ever heard of habeas corpus? Never mind. Of course you haven't."

"Actually," piped in Dorian. "I know Latin."

"It won't work anyway," I growled to the Rowan guy. "Even if I were dead, it's not going to stop our kingdoms from trampling yours."

That pulled him out of his stupefied state. Fury lit his features—fury spiked with a little bit of insane zeal. "You half-breed bitch! You're the one who's going to be blighted from existence! You, the Oak King, and everyone else who lives in your cursed lands. Our queen is mighty and great! Already she's in negotiations with the Aspen and Willow Lands to unite against you! She will grind you with her foot and take this land, take it and—"

"Can I kill him? Please?" This was Jasmine. Her gray eyes looked at me pleadingly, and she'd taken the headphones off. What should have been teenage sarcasm was actually deadly seriousness. It was days like these I regretted keeping her in the Otherworld, rather than sending her back to live with humans. Surely it wasn't too late for reform school. "I haven't killed any of your people, Eugenie. You know I haven't. Let me do something to him. Please."

"He's under a truce flag," replied Shaya automatically. Protocol was her specialty.

Dorian turned toward her. "Blast it, woman! I've told you to stop letting them in with immunity. Wartime rules be damned." Shaya only smiled, unconcerned by his mock outrage.

"But he is protected," I said, suddenly feeling exhausted. Last's night battle—more of a skirmish, really—had ended in a draw between my armies and Katrice's. It was incredibly frustrating, making the loss of life on both sides seem totally pointless. I beckoned some of my guards forward. "Get him out of here. Put him on a horse, and don't send him with any water. Let's hope the roads are kind to him today."

The guards bowed obediently, and I turned back to Katrice's man.

"And you can let Katrice know that she's wasting her time, no matter how often she wants to claim she's killed me—or even if she manages it. We're still going to see this war through, and she's the one who's going to lose. She's outnumbered and out-resourced. She started this over a personal fight, and no one else is going to help her with it. Tell her that if she surrenders immediately, then maybe we'll be merciful."

The Rowan soldier glared at me, his malice palpable, but offered no response. The best he could manage was to spit on the ground before the guards dragged him off. With another sigh, I turned away and looked at the breakfast table. They'd already brought up a chair for me.

"Is there any toast?" I asked, sitting down wearily.

Toast was not a common item on the gentry menu, but the servants here had gotten used to my human preferences. They still couldn't make decent tequila, and Pop-Tarts were totally out of the question. But toast? Toast was within their skill set. Someone handed a basket of it to me, and everyone continued eating peacefully. Well, almost everyone. Ranelle was staring at all of us like we were crazy, which I could understand.

"How can you be so calm?" she exclaimed. "After that man just—just—and you ..." She looked me over in amazement. "Forgive me, Your Majesty, but your attire ... You've clearly been in battle. Yet, here you are, sitting as though this is all perfectly ordinary."

I gave her a cheerful look, not wanting to offend our guest or project a weak image. I'd just arrogantly told the Rowan soldier that his queen would never gain any allies, but his comment about her negotiating with the Aspen and Willow Lands hadn't been lost on me. Katrice and I were both scrambling for allies in this war. Dorian was mine, giving me the edge in numbers right now, and I didn't want to risk any chance of that changing.

Dorian caught my eye and gave me one of his small, laconic smiles. It warmed me up, easing a little of the frustration I felt. Some days, it seemed like he was all that was going to get me through this war I'd inadvertently stumbled into. I'd never wanted it. I'd never wanted to be queen of a fey kingdom either, forcing me to split my time between here and my human life in Tucson. I certainly hadn't wanted to be at the center of a prophecy that claimed I'd give birth to humanity's conqueror, a prophecy that had driven Katrice's son to rape me. Dorian had killed him for it, something I still didn't regret, even though I hated every day of the war that had followed in the killing's wake.

I couldn't tell Ranelle any of that, of course. I wanted to send her back to her land with an image of confidence and power, so that her king would think allying with us was a smart move. A brilliant move, even. I couldn't tell Ranelle my fears. I couldn't tell her how much it hurt me to see refugees showing up at my castle, poor petitioners whose homes had been destroyed by the war. I couldn't tell her that Dorian and I took turns visiting the armies and fighting with them—and how on those nights, the one who wasn't fighting never got any sleep. Despite his flippancy, I knew Dorian had felt a spark of fear at the Rowan soldier's initial claim. Katrice was always trying to demoralize us. Both Dorian and I feared that someday, one of her heralds would show up telling the truth. It made me want to run away with him right now, run away from all of this and just wrap myself up in his arms.

But again, I reminded myself that I had to brush those thoughts away. Leaning over, I gave Dorian a soft kiss on his cheek. The smile I offered Ranelle was as winning and upbeat as one he might produce. "Actually," I told her. "This is a pretty ordinary day for us."

The sad part? It was true.

Chapter Two

I retreated to my bedroom as soon as etiquette allowed, collapsing onto the bed the moment I entered. Dorian had followed me in, and I tossed an arm over my eyes, groaning.

"Do you think that display helped win us over with Ranelle or scared her off?"

I felt Dorian sit on the bed beside me. "Hard to say. At the very least, I don't think it'll turn her king against us. We're too terrifying and unstable."

I smiled and uncovered my face, looking into those green and gold eyes. "If only that reputation would spread to everyone else. I heard a rumor the Honeysuckle Land might join with Katrice. Honestly, how anyone could call their kingdom that and keep a straight face is beyond me."

Dorian leaned over me, lightly brushing hair from my face and trailing his fingers along my cheekbone. "It's quite lovely, actually. Almost tropical. I mean, it's no barren wasteland of a desert kingdom, but it's not half bad."

I was so used to his jibes about my kingdom that there was almost something comforting about them. His fingers ran down to my neck and were soon replaced by his lips. "Honestly, I'm not worried about this Honeysuckle place. It's other potential allies worrying me. Hey, stop." His lips had moved down to my collarbone, and his hand was starting to lift my shirt. I wriggled away. "I don't have time."

He lifted his head, arching an eyebrow in surprise. "You have some place to be?"

"Yeah, actually." I sighed. "I have a job back in Tucson. Besides, I'm filthy."

Dorian was undeterred and returned to trying to get my shirt off. "I'll help bathe you."

I swatted his hand away but then pulled him over so that I could put my arms around him and hold him against me. I knew he wanted more than cuddling, but I didn't have the energy. Considering his fastidious nature, I was surprised he consented to resting his head on my chest, seeing as how dirty and ragged the shirt was.

"No offense, but I'll take human showers any day over some servant lugging water up to a tub."

"You can't leave without talking to Ranelle," he pointed out. "And you can't see her like this."

I grimaced and ran my hand over his brilliant hair. "Damn it." He was right. I was still bad at this queen thing, but I knew enough about gentry customs to know that if I really did want the Linden King's help, I would need to look and sound good. So much to do. Never enough time. All so wearying.

Dorian lifted his head and looked back down at me. "Was it bad?"

He was referring to last night's battle. "It's always bad. I'm still not okay with people fighting and dying for me. Especially over one insult." The living suffered from this war too. I often had refugees coming to me for food and shelter.


Excerpted from IRON CROWNED by Richelle Mead Copyright © 2011 by Richelle Mead. Excerpted by permission of ZEBRA BOOKS. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Iron Crowned 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 326 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Being the Queen of Thorn Land should ease making a living but it does not as in reality it adds debts, which Eugenie Markham has learned since sitting on the throne (see Storm Born and Thorn Queen). Instead the Storm King's offspring loves her powers including that of her sire, but loathes the responsibility and accountability that comes with the non-paying gig. In fact she pays the bills by doing mercury work as a shaman to the highest bidder. The biggest issue, besides the fact that her child is foretold to conquer mankind, is the ruthless lethal war with Queen Katrice that Eugenie wants ended. She also has male issues as her former lover Kiyo the shapeshifter wants back in her life and Fairy King Dorian wants to sire that prophesized offspring with her. Eugenie considers obtaining the mystical Iron Crown to end the combat but fears what she knows of the artifact. The two men offer to help her, but she distrusts both of them. The key to the entertaining Dark Swan fantasy series (see Thorn Queen) is Eugenie may be an adept shaman for hire to the highest bidder, but the ruler is also a terrible leader. Her incompetence makes her ironically seem human. Loaded with action, the road to hell is filled with misadventures as Queenie Eugenie seeks the legendary Iron Crown with two males sniffing at her legendary uterus. Harriet Klausner
PanolaJD More than 1 year ago
Shaman-for-hire Eugenie Markham is the best at banishing entities trespassing in the mortal realm. But as the Thorn Land’s queen, she’s fast running out of ways to end the brutal war devastating her kingdom. Her only hope: the Iron Crown, a legendary object even the most powerful gentry fear… Who Eugenie can trust is the hardest part. Fairy king Dorian has his own agenda for aiding her search. And Kiyo, her shape-shifter ex-boyfriend, has every reason to betray her along the way. To control the Crown’s ever-consuming powers, Eugenie will have to confront an unimaginable temptation--one that will put her soul and the fate of two worlds in mortal peril… Eugenie is in a Fae war and doesn't want to be. She doesn't like the loses, destruction, and death that war brings and wishes there was another way out - something her current male squeeze Dorian doesn't believe in. Yet, when the story of the Iron Crown is brought to Eugenie's attention, she jumps at the chance of claiming something that could lead to a peaceful end. Knowing its the struggle of claiming the crown itself that creates the fear within surrounding kingdoms, Eugenie invites her previously male squeeze, Kiyo, along on the dangerous journey. Thus, not all is as it seems when the crown is finally obtained and nature decides to play a nasty/surprising trick on Eugenie - something that will change her life and future from here on out. I'm a big fan of Richelle Mead and adore her writing style. Her stories are easy to read, enjoyable to get lost in, and always keep me up way past my bed time. Thus, I finished this book in less that two days, but I think really liking the Dark Swan series overall added to that reading speed. Eugenie can really get under my skin though, since there are times when I highly enjoy her and others when all I wish to do is smack her. She has such a quick and abrupt attitude of changing her mind that it can give the reader whip-lash if not use to it. Also, she's so stubborn that I'm not sure if I should admire that about her or feel sorry since she usually ends up regretting her actions in the end, but her hard-headed character adds greatly to the story's intensity. The romantic juggle between her two male counterparts is great, every book adds to that battle and I will always hold out for Dorian in the end (since I'm such a sucker for the bad boy!) But Kiyo sure did add a nice twist to the story near the end of Iron Crowned that it's really intriguing to see just how Eugenie and his relationship will lead Book # 4 on. Dorian himself is just a cocky and adorable in this tale, but the reader is also really beginning to see more emotion from him as well - which is nice for once and I hope to see more of in the series's future. All in all, highly liked the book and cannot wait for more, but I need a break from Eugenie and her stubbornness first. Likes: I enjoy that Eugine can admit her sex life with Dorian is kinky, because some of their scenes had me blushing! ;) Dislikes: The "ghost" part of the plot feel flat for me and didn't really add much to the story. I felt like it was only created to add a connection between certain characters, but honestly - it was boring!
Unwasted_Words More than 1 year ago
War. Mystical quests to leave the gentry shaking in their shining ones boots. Love. Betrayal. Infidelity... and antibiotics? Oh what deliciously intriguing story lines are weaved, yet all in a days work for the Dark Swan. Eugenie Markham is kicking butt and forgetting names in the third thrilling edition of the Dark Swan series Iron Crowned. Nothing much has changed for the Thorn Queen. Katrice aka the Rowan Queen is making life difficult waging war against her and the thorn people. Eug is allied with the Oak King both in bed and on the battle field. But an end to the blood shed could be near with the acquisition of the Iron Crown. And Eug is the probably the only one capable of the task, but she's going to have to enlist help from some unusual places, namely Kiyo and a ghost with a request of her own. Surprisingly the Iron Crown is only half of the story. Relationships are heating up as well. Eug's family life is fractured, but her sisterly bond with Jasmine is on the mend. Eugenie will find herself between her two very opposite leading men Kiyo and Dorian. While both Kiyo and Dorian haven't changed their personalities seem to have become amplified. Markham can't help but be pulled in two directions, this world and the other. Eugenie's quest will strain her relationship with Dorian adding tension to their increasingly difficult alliance. Katrice is making moves that could cost her her kingdom. And Kiyo is nudging Eug to spend more time in the human world. Events will arise to cause him to make the ultimate sacrifice. Eug will have some difficult choices to make. Loyalties and motives will be questioned. Betrayals abundant. And it seems like the only people Eug can truly trust are family. Oh did I mention the cliffhanger at the end? Eugenie will have us all diving over that edge with us screaming for details on the next installment. Richelle Mead shows there's more to the literary world than the tried and true standards of vampires and weres. Fairytales can be sexy too. I'm not really into shamans or fairies, but Mead puts her own unique spin on traditional folklore. This series is a real treat. She's truly built a complex world and characters, while not being shy about the storyline. There is quite a bit happening in Iron Crowned and Mead handles it like the seasoned writer she's become. Read this book. You'll want more.
Stephanie Kellner More than 1 year ago
Gods be damned i hate that kitsune with a passion he just makes me so mad. And the fact that she actully play the toss up game with him and dorian just makes me so truly agrivated that i have a hard time reading the books. E amd thenway she is suposed yo be so stong? Snce when is a two timeing want to be BA women strong as a hero? Never thats when! I love the series but the book .... leaves me wanting some thing better for dorian and E she just... idk
lizard_698959 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
WOW too much yo-yoing between love interests in this series. Dorian is still my favorite character in the whole book. To me this book started off great and then Mead just had to get in one last switch of love in before she knocked her up for real. And seriously antibiotics really it would have been more empowering if she had just decided that it was what she wanted as opposed to it just happening. How many times can one person switch who they love before they decide that maybe they shouldn¿t be with either? HUM Lets see. Kiyo ¿ Dorian ¿ Kiyo ¿ Dorian ¿ Kiyo ¿ Dorian save me please seriously *sigh* she really should have known better. Oh well I can¿t wait to see how she ends the series truthfully I¿m hoping for some more action with Dorian that would totally make this whole series worth my time.
HCross9820 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Eugenie Markham is a girl torn between two worlds, two men, and the two halves of herself. While she has stepped up in her duties as the Thorn Lands queen, she is beginning to neglect her shaman duties in the mortal realm. War is brewing, and Eugenie is smack dab in the middle of it. Who can she trust? Who has will have her back? And will it be the King or the Kitsune, to fully capture her heart?The Dark Swan series and I have a iffy relationship in the past. I love Richelle Mead and her Vampire Academy and Georgina Kincaid series, so I picked-up this series. I¿ve enjoyed this series, but not I didn¿t fall in-love like I did with her other two series. I am very fond of Eugenie, Kiyo, and Dorian in their best moments, but sometimes I just want to chuck the book at the wall.This book is the best in this series so far. It¿s the obligatory book #3 in the series, so I knew it would be an emotional roller-coaster. I love how Dorian has stepped up to back Eugenie and the Thorn Land. I love how easy things can be between Eugenie and Kiyo in the real world. This series is fast paced and keeps me thinking three steps ahead of myself. I was so happy that Eugenie and her sister were finally able to come to understanding. It¿s like Jasmine is being able to claim what little childhood she has left.This story does have some small issue for me. I didn¿t like that Eugenie was able to jump from Dorian to Kiyo so quickly. Eugenie gets angry at Dorian for doing exactly what you expect him to do. She was shocked and appalled at his behavior. Come on Eugenie, use the brain I know Richelle Mead gave you. I also saw the pregnancy coming a mile away!!! I mean what self-respecting 20-something female, doesn¿t know antibiotics and birth control do not mix. That along with not having `actual sex¿ with Dorian the last time they were together. I kind-of expect more of Richelle Mead¿s writing.One thing I find very interesting about this series, is that I am never sure whether Eugenie should pick Dorian or Kiyo. Usually, I gravitate to one romantic lead, and don¿t change teams. As soon as I think I have absolutely mind made up that she should be with Dorian, he does something to screw it up and vise-versa. I can¿t say that I have ever felt this strongly about a love triangle. I mean previous to this book I felt that both characters filled a part in Eugenie¿s life: Dorian filled the fey part of her heart and Kiyo filled the human part of her heart. That being said, I was never sure either character could make her completely happy. I think that with Eugenie¿s choice to embrace more of one side of herself, she may be drawing closer to one guy more then the other.This is the first book in the Dark Swan series that can be help up the same emotional caliber, as her two other series. This book kept me on my toes all the time. You never knew who Eugenie should really trust, and who would end up stabbing her in the back.
Harrod on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Mead keeps Eugenie and the reader moving fast through this one. It has the usual sexual tension, fight scenes and power struggles, however, I didn't expect the end-nice!
dearheart on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It¿s tough having responsibilities in two different worlds and spending the appropriate amount of time and energy in each place. In the human realm Eugenie has a physically difficult job expelling things that have crossed over from Otherworld and she¿s taking fewer jobs. This causes Lara to wonder how much longer her boss will be able to pay her, and Tim fears losing his place to live. But with Kiyo out of her life and her stepfather looking at her as the enemy, there¿s no emotional support system in this realm.But being the queen of a kingdom at war in the Otherworld realm is both physically and mentally draining. Not just the fighting, but the casualties and destruction of villages on both sides has Eugenie upset. So when a peaceful option presents itself in the form of a fabled Iron Crown that causes others to fear the one able to obtain it on a quest, it seems like the perfect solution. She can¿t take anyone with full fey blood with her as the region is loaded with iron, so she¿s somewhat surprised when Dorian suggests taking Kiyo.Eugenie is torn both with her responsibilities and finding that her trust is misplaced as motives become clearer. This aspect of the story drags on somewhat, but the author appears to be making the character as realistic as possible. Eugenie is definitely not perfect and there are times I¿d live to give her a swift kick in the butt. She¿s got a lot of responsibility and it¿s time for her to step up to the plate. However we do get a great deal of action and there are plenty of surprises to keep the story interesting in this long awaited third book in the Dark Swan series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful world and characters
BlkosinerBookBlog More than 1 year ago
        I wanted to read Thorn Queen because I love Richelle Mead, as well as the first in this series. Eugenie is charismatic, and I love her passion and energy. She is now the queen of a kingdom in the other world since she defeated its king. She is gaining experience with both magic and leadership, but she still has a long way to go. I love the cast of characters, they are flawed, complex and they all bring something to the table and to Eugenie's character.       The romance is definitely into triangle mode (spoilers follow if you haven't read the 2nd). Except for now, her and Kiyo are broken up because of the pressure her magic, and ruling as well as him being the father of queen Maiwenn's baby. Dorian has given her favor after favor, helping her with trade and he really seems to understand her. Kiyo fought about her learning the magic of her father the dreaded Storm King, who ruled ruthlessly, and even though deceased, his name is like voldemort in the Otherworld where the Fae live. While I like Dorian, I am fearful that he is just going to ultimately be put on back burner since Kiyo and Eugenie were together first. But I can't help but admire Dorian for all he is doing to help Eugenie and his sincerity and understanding.      So, I just wrote that paragraph and about halfway through, and sure enough, as much as Eugenie has grown and changed, she is still kind of a mess, especially with the two men warring for her heart. She goes back and forth, and she is expecting perfection from Kiyo and Dorian while wanting them to accept the things about her that she is struggling with. Given, she does have reason to have been angry with Kiyo in the last, and Dorian does do some manipulation, but he has done that all along. His quest for power, wanting to rule with her, and conquer more lands was always what he desired, along with fathering a child with her. And she has honestly cheated on them both and that is a little hard for me to handle, but never the less, I still love her character and can't stop reading.     There is much more to the story going on than her love life as well, there are things she is learning about the Otherworld, and she is still trying to balance her two lives, and the demands that each put on her. She has great staff to help her, and I love the way they have stepped up but still managed to respect Eugenie and work for the good of the kingdom. But they are in war, and Eugenie is looking for peace. There are no easy answers, and even the quest for the crown that seems like an ultimate bargaining for peace turns out to be more than she ever expected.     Some things that she feared start to take place in this one and Eugenie has impossible choices to make. It is even harder on her because of the falling out she had with Rolland, and therefore she isn't in close contact with him who understands the shaman part of her, and she is also not in close of touch with her mom because she doesn't want to come between them.      The things that happen both shocked me and I also saw it coming. But some of the extremes really surprised me as well as what drives her back and forth between the worlds and men after her heart.      Loved it and absolutely can't wait for the last one.  Bottom Line: Eugenie's indecisiveness with some things is frustrating but I still loved the book. 
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Great story.. recommend to sci/fi and paranormal lovers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another great addition to the series. The only thing I can complain about is how fickle Eugenie seems to be when it comes to Kiyo and Dorian, but I guess if you love two people..... I love this series, and hate that the next book is the last in it. This one left me craving for more.
tara_jo_tx More than 1 year ago
This series of books will help you get lost in another world and make you fall in love with it.
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