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A Tyranny of Queens

(Manifold Worlds #2)

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  358 ratings  ·  64 reviews
Saffron Coulter has returned from the fantasy kingdom of Kena. Threatened with a stay in psychiatric care, Saffron has to make a choice: to forget about Kena and fit back into the life she’s outgrown, or pit herself against everything she’s ever known and everyone she loves.

Meanwhile in Kena, Gwen is increasingly troubled by the absence of Leoden, cruel ruler of the kingd
Kindle Edition
Published March 7th 2017 by Angry Robot
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Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
[3.5/5 stars] Reading A Tyranny of Queens positively changed some of my overall impressions of An Accident of Stars (book 1). You see, the story arc and general issues with pacing in the first book (where I thought a lot of things were inconsequential) actually came full circle in this second book, completing the story. I’m now looking at it as one full novel separated into two parts and, as a whole, the story ultimately provided me with all the components I felt were missing in reading book one ...more

This review first appeared on The Curious SFF Reader

An Accident of Stars was one of the best books I read last year so I couldn’t wait to read its sequel A Tyranny of Queens.

This book series is a portal fantasy following several characters including Saffron, a seventeen years old girl who stumbles into another world after being harassed by one of her schoolmates. We then discover Kena, a magical world where Saffron encounters wizards, treacherous kings and queens, badass women, dragons and, m
Claudie Arseneault
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
absolutely breathtaking. my only qualm is that any mention of Gwen's aromanticism completely vanished. it *was* well established in the first though ...more
Marita Arvaniti
May 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Good queer representation: ✓
Diversity: ✓
Interesting world building: ✓
Polyamory: ✓

All in all Foz Meadows owns me now
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbt, fantasy
I enjoyed this even more than the first novel in the series. The narrative plummets us directly into the events following "An Accident of Stars" with a tightly-woven and engaging plot. Characters from "An Accident of Stars" return, and many mysteries set up in that book are solved here. If you found "Stars" a bit loose in places, you'll find the plot in "Tyranny" much tighter. I'm so impressed with the way Foz Meadows writes about so many different things: gender, sexuality, bullying, religion, ...more
Apr 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
A book of numerous flaws, but with strengths that, for me, outweighed them.

As with the first book, there's a whole lot of coincidence driving the plot, including separate people in different worlds repeatedly figuring out the same thing at the same time for different reasons. The author goes so far as to lampshade this abundance of helpful coincidence at one point, through the mouth of the central character, who comes very close to being what I call a "spoiled protagonist" - handed what she nee
Apr 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
But what I love most about this novel, though, and which remains the main reason why I love its predecessor so much, is the focus on relationships, and how the quality of those relationships can either make or break a person. Part of the reason why An Accident of Stars was such a pleasure to read is that it showed me what relationships could be: the concept of the mahu’kedet is one I hold close to my heart because it articulates my notion of the ideal family. Throughout the first novel, the read ...more
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a roller coaster and a joy. Sad to get to the end of this one, I hope Foz writes more in the Manifold Worlds even if we don't get to hang out with Saffi and Gwen again. ...more
The sequel to the portal fantasy I read last month. Most of the plot here is fallout from the climax of that book: Saffron has returned back to Earth from the fantasy world of Kena, but can she re-adjust to a 'normal' life? And if not, what choices will she make? Yena's adopted sister died in the final battle, but can Yena reclaim religious rights for her sister's funeral and learn more about her mysterious heritage? The evil king has been overthrown, but escaped – where is he and what caused h ...more
Tsana Dolichva
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
A Tyranny of Queens by Foz Meadows is the sequel to An Accident of Stars, which I reviewed earlier this year, and the concluding volume of the duology. I didn't actually realise it was a duology until I was nearing the end — I had assumed trilogy by default — and I'm still not sure whether I'm ultimately disappointed about that.

This book continues the story of Saffi, Yena, Gwen and friends, following on directly from the events at the end of An Accident of Stars. This is not a book to read if yo
The last 100 pages of this book were a rough ride, not because of the content, but because I had to be dragged kicking and screaming after realising Manifold Worlds is a duology. I am still not ready to leave Kena and Veksh behind, to leave these characters behind. I did not. Want this book. To end.
In the end a train ride made the choice for me, and I took the time to read the last 100 pages.
How grateful I am that this book sent me off with a kiss on the forehead. While the braided path may pa
Nicole Luiken
Jul 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf-fantasy
One of those books where I was far more invested in one storyline than the others--Saffron's traumatic return to Earth. It took me a good quarter or so of the book to get interested in Yena (a character I barely remembered from book one). After that things picked up. I was especially impressed with one particular plot twist of Saffron's, and I enjoyed the mystery of what the villain was up to. New character Naruet was nicely drawn. ...more
Megan Leigh
May 15, 2017 rated it liked it
This review originally appeared on Pop Verse.

The trouble with writing a spectacular opening novel of a series is that every follow-up is held up to a bar already set incredibly high. Of course, writing a smashing first instalment encourages readers to pick up any follow-ups, so it is a bit of a double-edged sword. I really enjoyed An Accident of Stars (read the full review here). It was original and thoroughly intriguing. I liked the worldbuilding, the characters, the culture. A Tyranny of Queen
I am not used to sequels surpassing the first installments - it doesn't happen often - but gods, it did this time. I could not put this down. I swear I inhaled it. In some way I can't define the emotions in this book struck me much harder than in the first one; right from the opening pages, when Saffron is back at school and dealing once again with the disgusting Jared and equally bad, if not even worse, school administration, the emotion was ramped up to 11 and I was there, living every moment. ...more
Sep 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An excellent continuation of the first book, changes so many things and gave me a new perspective on some characters! Meadows, who's quickly becoming one of my favorite authors, does an incredible job of going against the traditional epic fantasy grain with a patriarchal society, and I also love how she turns this matriarchal society of Veksh on its head completely in this book. Even in book one it was clear that this is a harsh society, and while women ruling and being in charge is great, women ...more
Jul 23, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
This review originally published in Looking For a Good Book. Rated 3.25 of 5

I wasn't much of a fan of the first book in this series (this is book two), but this one took leaps and bounds to draw me and -hold my interest. Enough so that I'm very interested in going back to the first book.

The book opens with Saffron, having returned to Earth from the world known as Kena. She's bullied and shunned by many of her classmates and her parents believe she needs to be in psychiatric treatment. Saffron be
May 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
These books are straight-up epic fantasy. No apologies, no twists into unexpected narratives that don't seem to belong to the genre, no redefining the genre (looking at you, Jemisin and Bear, but looking with awe and amazement) - Meadows is writing epic fantasy with all the weird names and weird cultures and magic intact. She does occasionally lapse into the realm of "how many made-up words are you allowed in one book anyway?" Although she never commits the greatest sin, which is biting off more ...more
Ju Transcendancing
An eARC of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This review is presented as part of my contribution to the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2017. I’m also reviewing this book as part of the Read Diverse Books 2017 challenge and it qualifies as both an #ownvoices read as well as having characters who identify under the LGBTIQA+ umbrella. This review was originally published on my blog The Conversationalist

I love Saffron as a character and I really loved the
Picking up where the first book left off, this follows Saffron's reintergration and Kena's political upheaval, but the presence of Leoden and Kadeja linger. This solves all of my problems with An Accident of Stars, which I admired more than I enjoyed: There's more wonder, here, more memorable magics, many dealing specifically with portals/worlds/liminality, and it engages questions core to the portal fantasy trope, particularly re: choosing worlds and choosing destinies--it's an even more satisf ...more
Steven Poore
Foz Meadows' An Accident of Stars was, for my money, hands-down the best portal fantasy this side of the millennium - sharply-drawn characters and relationships, innovative magics, and peril and dire consequences behind every decision. Nobody got away from that book unscathed. So A Tyranny of Queens has a lot to live up to if it's to match or surpass that.

And it nearly does. We join Safi as she struggles to be reintegrated in the Brisbane school system, while across the worlds in Kena and Veksh
Tammy Ulm
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this Series. 5+ stars

I love this series! It's smart, imaginative and surprisingly relevant. I'd classify it as a fantasy/adventure, with a enough romance thrown in to keep things interesting.

The writing is wonderful. For the most part, the story moves quickly and keeps you very engaged. The author weaves together politics, complex relationships and a creative magic system to produce a fantastic story. The major characters are well developed, diverse and easily relatable. I adored the main
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Following on from the events in AN ACCIDENT OF STARS, a kickass sequel that upends the worlds of Veksh/Kena and others and touches on abuse, resilience, and heroism. The ensemble cast is as strong as ever (and I still <3 the social structure of Veksh) and delightfully diverse.
The portal fantasy I wish I'd had as a child (not least of which because of the scenes at school which struck a definite chord. Lita Michaels is the best. Oddly enough, it felt in conversation with Lewis' VOYAGE OF THE DAWN
Barely Sparrow
Mar 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
I quickly read and greatly enjoyed and Accident of Stars, but I think I liked this book even better. The worlds of both stories are sumptuous with detail, and in Tyranny of Queens, our engagement with those worlds deepens and expands. Each of the locales feels alive and full of culture, history, and intrigue that gives the reader some of the same sense of wonder and discovery experienced by the worldwalking characters. I'd definitely welcome a companion novel or series exploring more of the worl ...more
Carol Ryles
I was hooked by Saffron’s thread, but for the first 50% of the novel, found the portal world components difficult to engage with. I applaud the wonderfully complex world-building, character diversity and subversion of gender binaries, but the novel still suffers from some of the same problems as Accident of Stars: large chunks of plodding dialogue, frequent pov changes with a narrative voice that remains unchanged, and in need of a stricter edit. Even so, there were some well-written segments th ...more
Apr 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a fascinating book and a step up from the first in the series, which I also enjoyed. There's some very good discussion of what one owes to oneself versus what one owes to society, and how people will try to change someone's growth after a traumatic experience even if that growth isn't bad or counterproductive just because they want the old person back. There's great examination of sexism in school settings, and whose education is prioritized. And there are dragons--very cool dragons. I l ...more
Amy Aelleah
I don't think I can even explain how much I love this series. Beyond the fact that it's so well written, there is a boatload of diversity. Racial diversity, LGBT+ rep, a strong feminist bent and sex positivity. (Even if no actual sex happens in the story.) In the fantasy world that Meadows created poly marriages are the norm - the royalty has a poly marriage, even - though that doesn't mean that every one in the marriage are sexually active with each other.

I'd like to note also that, as much as
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is the sequel to An Accident of Stars from last week. It picks up within a week of the previous book. The two together make for a cohesive duology. I don't know whether Foz Meadows has plans to write more in this series, but I hope she does.

One of the new characters introduced for this book reads very strongly as autistic (it isn't spelled out because he lives in a world without the DSM) and he's treated very respectfully by the text (as far as I saw) and the other characters around him.

Cat Evans
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
A Tyranny of Queens came achingly close to five stars. I loved every second of it, from the rich setting to the fact that it combines being a Big Ideas Book with having a damn solid plot. Literally the only thing that detracted was the rather trite "hand in hand into new worlds" ending. What I've loved about Foz Meadows' two novels is that they've rarely been predictable... and the conclusion of ATOQ was.

Still eagerly awaiting the next one so I can give it the full five stars, and possibly an e
That was a great follow-up to the first book! There are lots of consequences, but also lots of flirting. I continue to be totally in love with how queer the series is, and there are so many splashes of romance in this one. Where the first book was primarily focused on world-building and character introduction, this one is much more plot-driven, as we get to see the outcomes of earlier events and character development. I liked the way the author brought the story together. This is only a duology, ...more
Sep 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
An excellent sequel to the first book. It continues many of the arcs we saw in the first book, with a slight shift in emphasis on certain characters. It also introduces a new POV character, and several other major characters we had only previously heard about. The plot is strong, and the worldbuilding is excellent. The author also continues her theme of having characters of many different sexualities and genders, a variety of relationships (both platonic and romantic), and various neuro-atypical ...more
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Foz Meadows is a genderqueer fantasy author with a pronounced weakness for Dragon Age, fanfic, webcomics and mornings that are so late as to technically constitute noons. She currently lives in California.

Other books in the series

Manifold Worlds (2 books)
  • An Accident of Stars (Manifold Worlds, #1)

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