One look at the cover of this book, and the creepy illustrations inside and you will know that this is a book that is meant for older grade school andOne look at the cover of this book, and the creepy illustrations inside and you will know that this is a book that is meant for older grade school and middle school readers. Those who enjoy dark, creepy fairy tales will certainly enjoy this tale.
The story takes place in a kitchen, of sorts, that is ruled over by two truly vile witches. After narrowly escaping from being boiled into a potion, Toad is faced with navigating the kitchen. That may not sound so bad, but the kitchen is constantly changing and it is also inhabited by all sorts of terrible creatures such as "beastly starving things hiding in dark corners, a carnivorous fairy and an iron-handed imp. Toad also has no memory of who she is or where she came from. Luckily, there are a few good creatures like Natterjack, the very resourceful iron-handed imp, is willing to help Toad learn to navigate her way. But does he have his own agenda? Will Toad remember where she came from and will she be able to escape the Witches' Kitchen?
Overall the story is rather well done. There are some inconsistencies in the pacing causing the story to be a bit choppy. The descriptions of all the vile creatures and surroundings overtake the storyline in the first part of the book, but as the story progresses this is less noticeable. This is definitely a good choice if you are a reader who likes imaginative, creepy tales. ...more
Cinda Williams Chima has been one of my favorite authors since I read her first book, The Warrior Heir. This story has made me love her all the more!Cinda Williams Chima has been one of my favorite authors since I read her first book, The Warrior Heir. This story has made me love her all the more!
The story of The Exiled Queen, the second book in the Seven Realms quartet, begins by picking up where The Demon King left off. For a variety of reasons, the main characters of the series have travelled to the politically neutral and scholarly community of Oden's Ford. The princess Raisa ana' Marianna is travelling under the protection of Amon Byrne, son of the Captain of the Queen’s Guard. Having narrowly escaped a forced marriage to Micah Bayer, son of the high wizard, Raisa hopes to pass as an ordinary citizen in Oden's Ford while she obtains some military training. Former Ragmarket street lord, Han "Cuffs" Allister, has recently learned of his own wizardly heritage, and is travelling with his friend Dancer to receive instruction in the magical arts. Of course, we cannot forget that Han is being pursued by the Bayer's possessing the magical talisman that was once the property of the Bayer family. Micah and his sister are also in Oden's Ford for their own training. As the story progresses, new alliances develop and new characters are introduced to add to the story already rich with intrigue. Raisa finds herself challenged by her romantic attractions to Amon and Han, and even Micah Bayer; relationships which are forbidden for one reason or another.
If you enjoy fantasy of the highest caliber, then you can't help but enjoy this tale filled with enough intrigue and twists and turns in the plot to have your head spinning. No one but Ms. Chima can better describe this series when she says, "The Seven Realms quartet is, at its heart, a story of love and betrayal, played out against a backdrop of civil war, political intrigue, and magical disasters." With characters that are all too human with their flaws and unpredictability, and plots well thought out and perfectly executed, this is a story that will leave you begging for more. ...more