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The Queen and the Dagger (A Book of Theo novella)

4.48  ·  Rating details ·  29 ratings  ·  21 reviews
In the land of Mankahar, humans have discovered Pacification: a poison whereby speaking animals are rendered mute and docile.

Indigo, a rabbit princess of Alvareth, is on the cusp of inheriting the throne from her aunt, the Regent, who has ruled the northern steppes since Indigo’s mother and sister were killed years ago. When the Order, a society dedicated to fighting Paci
ebook, 66 pages
Published February 1st 2016
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Robin Morgan
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-own-books
A while back my inner-child desired to read a fantasy which would also deal with young girl's transition from being a child to being an adult woman, when I found and bought this enchanting book by Melanie Ansley.

In the land of Mankahar where this story takes place, animals have been endowed with the power of speech, the humans are determined to render all animals passive as well as being speechless, by a process known as Pacification which involves the use of a poison.

The protagonist of this sto
Feb 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Melainie Anseley’s "The Queen and The Dagger" is an engaging novella of a young woman’s coming of age in trying times and in a palace thick with familial intrigue (no surprise, given the title), albeit a family of rabbits. It is an engaging cast of characters, each with unique aspects and motivations. Together they provide variety and surprises as the main character, Indigo, struggles to navigate the hand she is dealt as she hopes to ascend to the throne.

I found the ebook well formatted and the
K.A. Krisko
Mar 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent, richly-imagined short book for older children/younger teens, combining elements of fantasy, myth, and storytelling tradition. The reader remains fully immersed in the world from the first sentence. Editing is impeccable. There’s nothing to distract you from the well-paced storyline.

The characters are unique and carefully drawn. No one is perfect, but each has her own merits. The plot is true epic fantasy, a great introduction to swordplay, quest, and chosen-one themes that
Mar 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Queen and the Dagger is an excellently written novella about a young rabbit princess named Indigo on her journey to becoming Queen. A frightening thing is happening to the Blackmoon wolfpack, their neighbors; an incurable, dreaded disease called Pacification. But that isn’t her only trouble. Her aunt, regent since the death of Indigo’s mother, is reluctant to give her the rule of the queendom, and Indigo's aunt has gone and married the young rabbit princess' father, as well! How Indigo deals ...more
Lynn Sheridan
Mar 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
A lot of thought has clearly gone into creating the world in which this book lives. There are a great number of rich characters and places each with their own fascinating histories. It is very well written and flowed at a good pace. I particularly enjoyed the way the pace picked up towards the end. At times I struggled to decide whether they were normal sized animals with people traits or people sized animals. There were times when it felt like Watership Down, the wolf run at the beginning, and ...more
Neven Carr
Feb 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A Fantasy Lover’s Delight.

This novella has it all.

A fantasy world so plausibly thought out, so vividly described, I could sense myself actually being there.
Protagonists and antagonists, clearly defined in their roles, where they [although animals] appear human-like in their behaviours, in their personal endeavours and in the way they combat their weaknesses.
A plot that is strong, emotional but succinct enough to move the story along, to the point that I [not a fantasy reader] am compelled to
Louise White
Leave all preconceptions at the door with Melanie Ansley's inspired introduction to the Books of Theo. With wonderfully written animal characters, this is a wild ride for adventure lovers of all ages.
Indigo is a royal who finds more than she bargained for as her initiation goes horribly wrong.
 I loved this novella with its lively characters and suspenseful plot. If you're looking for a flavour of what the series is about, The Queen and the Dagger will definitely leave you hungry for more.
Brendan le Grange
Mar 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
A great teaser for the next book, hint, hint...

This story is written in the same beautiful style as Theo, and captures much of the same magic, though the shorter format means it doesn't quite reach the same overall highs; and as a prequel to the first book, if you've read that you have an idea of how it will turn out. That said, I am more excited than ever for the next full book in the series.
Joy Lo-Bamijoko
Jun 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book took me on a journey into the fantasy world of the rabbits, the world known as Alvareth. They have their god named Aktu, and their warriors always at war with the wolves with whom they share their world.

Indigo is the Crown princess of this world. She became the crown princess after the death of her mother, queen Delamar. She had to challenge her aunt Kalmara who became the regent to become queen. In her complicated world of intrigues, will she be able to prove herself worthy of becomin
Ruthie Jones
May 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle-book
I suggest reading this novella before reading Theo and the Forbidden Language. It's not necessary, of course, but this short prequel does provide Indigo's backstory and her motive for seeking vengeance and fighting for her right to be Queen. You won't get this level of detail on Indigo in Book 1, so take advantage of the opportunity to know this rabbit a bit better before you dive into the adventure!

"A wolf without a pack was simply a wild dog. No clan, no kin, no purpose."
Karen Ingalls
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
An enjoyable short read about rabbits, wolves, and humans. Indigo is the primary character who shows skill with a sword to win the title as the new ruler. It is a well-written novella and even though I knew it was a fairy tale, I had trouble imagining rabbits with swords, friends of a bear, and outsmarting wolves.
Mar 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
A good introduction to a great new fantasy series for older children. If it had been more than an intro it would have rated a 5, but it just needed more to it for that. It does make you want to continue to the next book.
Jane Blythe
Apr 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Indigo is a young rabbit princess who is supposed to complete her rite of passage into adulthood and then become queen, only something gets in the way. Well more accurately someone gets in the way. I thought this was a beautifully told story of fighting for what you believe in, growing up, and self-understanding.

I really liked the character of Indigo, I thought, even in this short novella, that she grew as a character, understanding that perhaps she wasn't as ready to fulfil her dreams and aspi
Apr 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Because this novella is only one installment in a saga, the reader has only a short sojourn in the alternate reality that it chronicles. The fantasy world of Mankahar is beautifully detailed and richly textured, as are its animal denizens. Indigo, crown princess of the matriarchal rabbit nation of Alvereth, from whose point of view the story is narrated, is an engaging character, easy for the reader to identify with. We become familiar with her family, her feelings and the formidable challenges ...more
Lora Shouse
Oct 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This story is the prequel to Theo and the Forbidden Language, the first book in the Book of Theo series.

In the land of Mankahar, the animals can talk. But the king of the animals who call themselves Men has used the written word to discover how to Pacify the other animals and rob them of speech so that his kind might control and rule over them. So the animals banned writing and termed those who knew how to read and write “omatjes” or sorcerers who should be put to death.

Crown Princess Indigo of
Scott Spotson
Apr 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
What an elegant book! Carefully crafted, this story of a complex anthropomorphic rabbit society holds the reader in spellbound wonder. The character of Kalmara, who is too likeable, deft, and intelligent to be a villain, is particularly well done and the relationship between Kalmara -- aunt -- and the main character, Indigo -- niece -- defines this book.

My only reason for not giving this full ranking was the gentle foray into the proposition that the written word was the historic downfall of th
Lizbeth Gabriel
Aug 06, 2018 rated it liked it
This is an unusual book. It's one of those fence-sitting books for young readers that adults can read and vice versa. A younger reader won't get the subtle nuances while an older reader might find some characters and notions overly familiar, yet both will enjoy it for different reasons. Personally, it reminded me of Le Guin. Definitely worth a try, effortless, flowing prose, well written dialogues, no mistakes, crisp descriptions... Overall a page turner and very professional. I don't know why i ...more
Mar 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Rabbits with swords! Loved it! First, I would like to say that I am not a person who generally likes animals as characters. It's just not my thing. But these rabbits are so relatable! And the premise is so cool. Indigo, the main character is well developed and seems very real. I loved the conflict in the story with the regent. Awesome, unexpected ending! And come on, it's rabbits with swords, people! What could be better than that? Go click that buy button if it sounds at all interesting to you! ...more
Kerry Reis
Dec 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle-version
In this short novella, the back story of Princess Indigo, the royal rabbit warrior from the Alvareth queendom and one of the twelve selected apprentices of the Order, is presented, telling how Indigo’s mother, the warren’s queen, was killed and the conflict that developed between Indigo and her aunt, the queen regent. Even though the tale stands very well on its own, its value as a backstory to “Theo and the Forbidden Language” is strong and works even better being read after the main novel.
Jack Anderson
Jul 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
There are so many great things to say about this book. Ms. Ansley has the unique ability to attract readers who don't normally like animals as main characters. Her elegant writing style and crisp attention to detail allow the characters to jump off the page with human qualities and emotions. The story has enough action and suspense to keep the reader thoroughly engaged and wanting more. I did not want to put it down.
Kristine Hall
OUTSTANDING. Melanie Ansley is truly a gifted writer, and these pages flowed by richly, smoothly, and eloquently. This novella really adds another dimension to Theo and the Forbidden Language. Full review on Hall Ways Blog ...more
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Melanie Ansley is the author of the animal fantasy "Book of Theo" series. She was born in Windsor, Ontario, then bundled off to China at the age of five. Her fascination with mythical talking animals started in Shanghai, where she'd buy Chinese comics like "Journey to the West". In the 1980s she spent most of her lunch breaks in her Hong Kong primary school's library, where she developed an insati ...more

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