There are some days in life that change the way you are, forever. That One Day Where All Things Are Undone. For Hazel Leigh Mac Tíre, that day was the day she found the mound in her backyard. It began as small as a mole’s hill, growing and growing as the hours ticked by, until a hole that spanned three feet wide sat against an open mouth of dirt.
The stories always warned to stay away from Faerie mounds. Leigh did not always listen.
What waited inside? A sadistic, renegade Queen with a stolen crown. A tortured Prince. An entire Faerie world in need of saving. And, thanks to the Fae fires that marked her, Leigh was their new and rightful Queen. She must separate fact and fairy tale in order to survive the realm of El'Anret. Can she save a world she wasn't made for?
QUEEN OF DIAMONDS is the first novella in the TALES OF EL'ANRET trilogy, the newest series by Young Adult author Melody Klink.
While pretending to be a human, Melody Klink likes to write down words. Lots and lots of them. All to gain the admiration and trust of the human masses.
Wait. I mean… Melody Klink is a lovable little scamp with a sweet tooth for all things coffee. When she's not collecting superstitions about the American South, she can be found scribbling out stories on just about anything, which explains her odd assortment of used napkins, pictures of skin, and copious number of notebooks.
While her first foray into publishing was Bad Mood Boogaloo, a picture book for toddlers, she also enjoys writing novels, and has several titles in the works. Her debut novel, Godeater: The Second World, released on February 29th, 2016. She currently resides in the Mid-South with her husband, daughters, and one annoying cat.
In less talented hands the set-up, especially the first chapter where natural disasters turn out to have more fantastical causes, could have put me off. I’ve lost count of how many tales I’ve read where magic and fairee intrudes on the hum drum mortal world and into a seemingly very average mortal’s life, and also where a protagonist (very often a young female as is the case here) has some form of greatness thrust upon them, but Queen of Diamonds (in which Hazel Leigh Mac Tíre is marked by the Searing Eyes” proclaiming her Queen over El’anret only to be usurped and challenged by the sociopathic/psychopathic/ narcissistic Alexandria) pulls it off. The fast- paced editing, quality of writing and regular beats (of action and reveals) kept me reading throughout. It’s also a tale which always knows where it’s heading and never meanders.
As well as fair folk, there are several other familiar types, such as orcs, goblins and even a giant by the name of R’haetgan of the Mount, the guardian of the elements and their offspring. I must say of all the characters I found him to be the most original. I could even imagine him with his own set of short stories, the wise figure and guiding hand behind a series of adventures he would set in motion.
Taken as whole, what I felt the author did best in this work was the way she convincingly portrayed a less than idealised world of family intrigue and power politics, of moral ambiguity, ambition and Machiavellian scheming. “The fair folk are not always fair” it’s made clear quite early on by Prince Gideon, himself someone who has done terrible things. There is a backstory also between a transformed Titania (I’m sure Shakespeare won’t sue), her sister, the former queen and also Alexandria/Lex, which makes it evident this is far from being a fairy tale world.
And amidst it all there is a mortal, someone who possesses no real powers or magic who must gather allies if she is to fight, for if she doesn’t she will lose everything.
This is a good start to a series. I love the journey of the main character Leigh along with the fair people who were not so fair. I think the author has done a good job here and I look forward to learning more about the world and the political intrigue around Leigh in further books in the series. The characters are interesting enough for me to care, the plot is wonderfully paced to keep me turning the pages and the writing quality is brilliant. Overall, its a quick, enjoyable read that young readers of fantasy would love.
Release day review to let everyone know the novella is officially OUT!
Queen of Diamonds, and the Tale of El'Anret series as a whole, is a horse of a different color for me. Its writing was, shall I say, accidental? I don't generally write romance- it's just not my thing. But this... this story sprouted through its own turf, demanding I be true to its roots. And so I did.
A lot of Faerie tales, fantasy, adventure. Some blurry, confusing romance. Two whole worlds at stake. Will you join the fight to save both the world as we know it, and the one on the other side?