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The Oddmire #2

The Unready Queen

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Human and goblin brothers Cole and Tinn are finding their way back to normal after their journey to the heart of the Oddmire. Normal, unfortunately, wants nothing to do with them. Fable, the daughter of the Queen of the Deep Dark, has her first true friends in the brothers. The Queen allows Fable to visit Tinn and Cole as long as she promises to stay quiet and out of sight—concealing herself and her magic from the townspeople of Endsborough.

But when the trio discovers that humans are destroying the Wild Wood and the lives of its creatures for their own dark purposes, Fable cannot stay quiet. As the unspoken truce between the people of Endsborough and the inhabitants of the Wild Wood crumbles, violence escalates, threatening war and bringing Fable’s mother closer to the fulfillment of a deadly prophecy that could leave Fable a most Unready Queen.

320 pages, Hardcover

First published June 23, 2020

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About the author

William Ritter

19 books1,704 followers
WILLIAM RITTER is an Oregon educator and author of the New York Times bestselling Jackaby series. He is the proud father of the two bravest boys in the Wild Wood, and husband to the indomitable Queen of the Deep Dark.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 90 reviews
Profile Image for Toni.
515 reviews
December 13, 2020
This was a fabulous sequel to the first part of the series where we met Cole and Tinn, human and goblin-changeling twin brothers. The Unready Queen focuses more on feisty, adventurous Fable, daughter of Raina,the Queen of the Deep Dark. Being half-fae, Fable has a much stronger magic, but she still needs to learn how to harness it and this is what Raina is focusing on in their lessons. Tinn is also stuggling with magic control and in particular his transformations. There is a lot of emphasis on character growth, friendship, tolerance and acceptance in this book.
Wonderful adventures, new magical creatures, thought-provoking conflict in the centre of this story, The Unready Queen has so much to offer to young readers!
Thank you to Edelweiss and Algonquin Young Readers for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest opinion.
Profile Image for Amy Imogene Reads.
903 reviews779 followers
June 29, 2020
5 stars!

What a FANTASTIC middle grade series. Wild woods, magical creatures, conflicts, and a girl with the power of a queen inside her - oh my!

Plot: ★★★★★
Character development: ★★★★★
Pacing: ★★★ 1/2
Enjoyment: ★★★★★

The Unready Queen is the sequel to Changeling, the first novel in the Oddmire series. Please read my review on Changeling here to avoid spoilers for the first novel.

So let's start of with a simple "wow," because this was such a great read. The Unready Queen picks up on the threads of the Wild Wood's story left behind at the end of Changeling and expands them in new directions. And not just any new direction, but toward a testy one: the Wild Wood's relationship with humans.

Fable is the daughter of the Queen of the Deep Dark, the protector of the Wild Wood and its magical inhabitants. At the end of the first book, when twins Tinn and Cole restore magic to the magical folk of the woods, they think their problems are over. Magic has returned, Fable can now be friends with humans, and all is well.

Well, not exactly.

There's a new man in town, and his name is Jacob Hill. He's interested in oil drilling—a topic instantly triggering for environmentalists, so I can bet you can see where this is going—and yep, you guessed it, he's decided to start crumbling away at the borders of the Wild Wood for financial gain. What could go wrong? To Hill, the woods are woods and the townsfolk's hesitation to go into the woods is a weakness he can exploit.

Rousing the town against the Wild Wood, Jacob Hill makes one very big, unforgivable mistake: he takes down an ancient magical tree.

Now the folk of the Wild Wood are pissed, and with their magic returned to them it is time for a reckoning—and the half-human Queen of the Deep Dark isn't to be trusted.

But what about Fable?

With the threads of destiny twining Fable, Tinn, Cole, and the usual cast tighter and tighter, it's only a matter of time before Fable has to decide who she's going to be and how that decision will impact those around her.

My thoughts:
As this is a sequel, my initial reading experience was comparing it to the first one, and to answer the obvious, YES, this one was not only just as good, but better. I loved that this novel did not rehash the same messages or tropes—whereas the first novel deal with self-identity and ideas of family, The Unready Queen tackles concepts of responsibility, environmentalism, and finding your voice. This is very much Fable's story.

I will say that this novel is not as laugh-out-loud funny as the first one, but given the subject matter that makes a lot of sense. I appreciated the more somber tones interspersed with small moments of humor, love, and typical pre-teen antics.

My only real complaint is that it took a while for the story to get off the ground. I'm not sure if that was a pacing issue or just a personal thing for me as a reader, but I found the beginning much slower than the first book and extremely slow compared to its second half.

Thrilled to hear there will be a third book in 2021. Can't wait!

Thank you to Algonquin Young Readers for an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review.

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Profile Image for Beth.
1,138 reviews110 followers
August 3, 2021
Not as innovative as the first book, and so not as exciting. Something of a bridge book in feel. Still good - and extremely well-written. I definitely want to read the third book, and it’s not because I’m a completionist!
Profile Image for Christi M.
345 reviews54 followers
June 26, 2020
The Unready Queen starts off soon after the events of the first book. Tinn is receiving Goblin lessons and Fable is receiving magic lessons from her mom. Tinn’s lessons are going well. Fable’s are not. Fable would rather spend time in town with Tinn and Cole and even make new friends, such as Evie. While Fable is spending time in town, odd incidents involving fairy folk/forest creatures begin to manifest in town. Things start to escalate after new townsfolk start cutting down forest trees. As a result, tensions rise between not only the forest creatures and townspeople, but also between the forest inhabitants themselves.

Like the first book, the children’s mothers play a important role. But instead of Annie it is Raina, Fable’s mother, that is more central to this narrative. The story explores the relationship between Raina and Fable and parallels what many mother/daughter relationships struggle with. A mother trying to hold on. A daughter wanting more freedom.

What won me over to this book is how multiple story lines are interwoven together to create an overarching plot about the forest vs townspeople. Instead of a single story like last time, Tinn and Cole begin to have their own separate story lines. Fable begins to spend time outside of the forest and is able to learn more about the world. She is still naive, but the experience can only benefit her personal growth. Then various forest creatures, such as spriggans, take a more prominent role that is sure to continue into the next book.

The story ends with a feeling of foreboding and a cliffhanger that immediately makes you want to grab the next book.

Rating: 4 stars

Thanks to Netgalley and Algonquin Young Readers for the advanced reader copy and opportunity to provide an honest review.
Profile Image for Yub Yub Commander.
369 reviews28 followers
September 2, 2020
I received an eARC from Netgalley for an honest review.

I picked up this book to read a little before bed, and after three hours and multiple pleas from my husband to turn out the lights, I finished it.

This. Was. Phenomenal. If William Ritter never writes another book to this series, I would not be unhappy in the slightest because it was that good. The Changeling was great. It was a romp that set up the characters, and made you love them. The Unready Queen feels like going home. It brought back every memory I had of a child, roaming my own woods, making up worlds ad creatures that lived among the trees, except in Fable's woods, the magical creatures actually exist.

Tinn and Cole share a good bit of page time, but this story is solidly Fable's, and it's a story of her evolving into a truly strong young woman, one who loves her mother dearly, stands up for herself, and accepts everyone. Fable truly shows an admirable heart in this, straddling the human and magical world, wanting to live in both at all times. She's a force of nature, a child who makes mistakes and learns from them, and a loving daughter. I said this in my review for The Changeling, and I'll say it again in this one: strong moms are such a win. The tender relationship shown between Raina and Fable as well as Annie's continued adoration and all-encompassing love of both Tinn and Cole is actual goals. It's wonderful reading a story with such positive parent/children scenes as a strong backbone for the story as this is a story originally written for a younger audience who needs this kind of affirmation for their own parent/child relationship.

If you never pick up a Ritter book, at least pick up The Changeling and then this one. It's so worth it. Wholesome, sweet, with kid jokes/humor, well-written characters, and a great plot, it's a story for all ages.
Profile Image for Melissa Chung.
904 reviews324 followers
June 27, 2020
I want to say first, thank you to Algonquin for sending me the sequel to the Changeling for an honest review. Now on to the review...

If you guys haven't read the first book The Changeling or Oddmire book 1 then let me fill you in a bit. In The Changeling, we meet two boys (twins) Tinn and Cole. These boys are special because they are the only pair of boys that have ever been found after a Changeling has been dropped off at a human's house. For Anne Burton when she entered her sons room one night when he was just a babe, she was expecting to check in on one son. As she crept to the crib she found two. Although shocked...she considered this a goodness and raised both boys as her own. She of course could tell the boys apart being their mom, but she never knew which one was the real changeling (goblin). Over the years the boys were picked on a bit for being different, but Anne loved them both the same. One day the boys are playing in their favorite tree when they came upon a note addressed to The Changeling and urged to return back to the wild wood. The boys don't know who is the changeling so they decide to both go. They get lost they are found and a dark force needs to be slayed. It was a great book that left me on the edge of my seat and crying with happiness for the boys and their mother.

In book 2: The Unready Queen, we shift gears away from the boys a bit (they are still very much a part of the story) and focus on our favorite bear cub, Fable. Fable is a friend that Tinn and Cole met in the Wild Wood when they were lost and walking in circles. Fable was the one that helped them when they were lost in the oddmire and Fable was the one that helped in the end to keep this family together. Fable is the daughter of the Queen of the Deep Dark, The Wild Witch of the forest. Fable has a hard time with her studies and finds the "queen life" a bit boring. She hates having to learn "her mother's magic" and she doesn't want to stop and listen to the trees. There are fights between Fable and her mother that cause Fable to get more comfortable with the Human side of the village. Fable has friends there and doesn't need her mom bossing her around. Cole and Tinn are back at school and happy to have something normal in their lives for a change. But the Un-normal always seems to find the boys. Their friend Evie for instance believes the stories of the forest and when she finds out about the boys and the fact one of them is a changeling she is all the more invested to being their friend. So Fable, Tinn, Cole and Evie set off to help save the forest from an all out war among the fairy folk and the adults of the village. With their belief that they can do anything and Fable getting more confidant in her magic the children charge into battle to save everyone.

That is just a quick synopsis of the story. It's mostly a growing up book. Fable needs to learn that one day she will have queenly duties and will have to protect those that can't protect themselves. The boys have to learn that together with the help from their friends they can do anything and to not be ashamed of who you are. Evie learns that some people can be bad, but there can be forgiveness and redemption. The children help the Wild Wood and the adults see that their can be harmony among both kinds.

This is such a sweet series of love, family and friendship. That all things must change and that is okay. Change happens and it can be different than what we expect, but that is a goodness. Stick up for yourself and what you believe in even though it might be scary.

Thanks again Algonquin for sending me the sequel in the series. 100 stars!!
Profile Image for Toya (the reading chemist).
1,099 reviews95 followers
May 10, 2020
The Unready Queen picks up right where we left off from book one. Cole and Tinn are both adjusting to their lives now that they both know that Tinn is in fact the goblin. Even though their home life hasn’t changed, school has become a bit more interesting for Tinn now that he has moments when he’s unable to control his magic and risks exposing himself. It’s imperative now more than ever that he spends time with the goblins to not only learn his heritage but also how to control his magic.

Cole and Tinn found a friend in Fable, the daughter of the Queen of the Deep Dark when they were in Oddmire. Fable is sick of the strict magical lessons her mother insists upon. She doesn’t care about anything her mother does and doesn’t even want to be queen. The only reprieve Fable gets is when the Queen allows Fable to visit the boys as long as she keeps her identity a secret and stay out of trouble. If you know these three, trouble ALWAYS finds them. And when they uncover the fact that the humans are trying to destroy the Wild Wood, they have to band together to save it as well as to keep Fable from being the prophesized Unready Queen.

Just like in book one, The Unready Queen is packed with wild adventures from the very first pages. Because Tinn and Cole are initially faced with different challenges, we actually see them grow more as individuals rather than the twin set the originally were. It is still evident that will do anything for each other, but I loved watching their individual personalities thrive.

While this story still features Tinn and Cole, this story is really when Fable takes center stage and shows her worth as a character. Fable is fun, honest, adventurous, and very spunky. She just wants to be a kid and the type of magic she’s good at comes so naturally to her, but the kind her mom wants her to learn to control is a chore. It’s the quintessential struggle between parent and child, but it’s really amazing to see her learn the importance of her mother’s lessons once she’s actually faced with danger when she’s with the twins.

Overall, this is a wonderful whimsical read full of adventure and friendship. I definitely recommend this series!

Thank you to Algonquin Young Readers and Edelweiss for providing a review copy. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for C.P. Cabaniss.
Author 4 books95 followers
June 25, 2020
"Don't fret so much about the bad luck that you forget to see the good."

This sequel to Changeling picks up shortly after the events of its predecessor, with our characters learning to navigate their newly found relationships and abilities. While the focus of the story is still pretty evenly distributed between Cole, Tinn, and Fable, it's Fable's story that is being told here.

There's more development of the Wild Wood, Endsborough, and the history of the Witch of the Deep Dark, as well as introduction to new creatures from the woods and the politics of the various peoples within its bounds.

While I did enjoy this read, I'm not sure that this series is one that I will continue reading. I think many people would love these books, though, as they are well written and enjoyable. And who knows, that ending has me wanting answers, so book three may find its way onto my reading list when it hits shelves.

This review is based on an ARC that was provided for an honest review.
Profile Image for Caryn - iam.caryn.
729 reviews85 followers
June 11, 2020
While it’s just as whimsical and original as Changeling, The Unready Queen is even more exciting.

I read somewhere that both of these books can be read as standalones, but I’m going to go ahead and recommend you don’t do that. These stories are completely tied together. They feature the same characters and locales.

Ritter makes it very easy to completely lose yourself while reading his books. They’re quick-witted and oddly charming.

What I hadn’t realized when reading Changeling (even though I had noticed a blink-and-you-miss-it mention of an expert in New Fiddleham), is that this series is kind of a spin-off of the Jackaby series. We met Chief Nudd in that series and now we get to see a bit more of him. Being a massive fan of the Jackaby series, this made me endlessly happy.

And who knew you could create an epic cliffhanger in two sentences?
Profile Image for Brandy Painter.
1,583 reviews218 followers
March 28, 2021
I love this series so much, and this book is even better than the first. I have so many feelings for all of these characters and the themes Ritter is playing with. I was a nervous wreck through this entire book due to the title and the prophecy, but the outcome was so good. It looks like we'll be getting a third book as well.
Profile Image for Julia.
Author 1 book44 followers
January 4, 2020
This was the perfect sequel to the first Oddmire book. The story continues a few months after the first adventure finished, Cole and Tinn go back to school, Fable continues to learn about magic in the woods. Everything seems to be back to normal, but it's not, especially now that people are chopping down the Wild Wood.

The Unready Queen definitely is Fable's book. Although all other characters get some limelight, the story is about Fable's development. Some scenes reminded me of Pippi Longstocking; Fable is just as amazing a character as Pippi.
Profile Image for Carmen (TheReadingTrashQueen).
378 reviews23 followers
January 12, 2023
A huge thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for allowing me an eARC even after not having read the first book, and a huge apology for having taken almost 2,5 years.

But I'm here now, at 2am, and wow.

I enjoyed Changeling a lot, but this sequel? I loved it! We all know sequels are tough, especially in trilogies, but this one blew me out of the water. Fable, who I adore, was present a lot more (which makes sense, since the title is about her) and we got to meet Evie, another character I adore.

This book was a lot heavier and darker than the first one; probably why I loved it so much. It felt so much more real because of it, and the stakes felt a lot higher this time around, now that we're aware of the Wild Wood. Now that we love the Wild Wood. Saving magic in book one felt pretty meh, when you knew so little, but now? Phew! I didn't expect to finish this book in one go due to exhaustion, but here we are again. I couldn't put it down.

I also may or may not have teared up twice at the end of this book from the warm and fuzzies.

I will not take questions at this time.

Bring on book 3!
Profile Image for Lindsi (Do You Dog-ear?).
704 reviews174 followers
November 18, 2021
"Dinna be afraid of a few sparks or a burnout from time to time. That’s na failure. That’s fine-tuning.”

I received a complementary copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

Finally finished reading The Unready Queen with my son! Normally, I'm able to read several chapters to him at night, but we've been having some late evenings, and he kept falling asleep. Not wanting to read without him, I paused wherever we were continued from there the next night. It took us about a month to get through this book, but it had nothing to do with the story, and everything to do with life.

Warning! Potential (small) spoilers if you haven't read the first book. Review for the first book can be found here.

I really love the cast of characters in this series! They're all so unique and interesting. Fable is both fairy and human, her mother is Queen of the Deep Dark (and her grandmother before that), Cole is a human, but Tinn (his twin) is a goblin changeling. They're all trying to figure out how to exist in a world that views them as different, and I enjoyed seeing their individual journeys. I do wish the characters had been developed more over the course of the story, but they seem like the same kids we read about in the first book. More character growth and this book would've been a five-star read for me.

Tinn has started to embrace his goblin side, and I thought his moments with Kull were sweet and endearing. Kull did a bad thing for the right reasons, but he was also hurt in the process. He was willing to give up something precious to him if it meant saving his entire clan, and now he's getting a second chance. Their interactions were some of my favorite parts of the book, especially there at the end.

The first book was mostly about Tinn, the second focused on Fable, and I believe the third will be about Cole and his desire to find his father. I'm sure the others will still be around, but I like that each character is getting their own story of sorts. Evie (another human) joining the group in this book just made things better! I really loved her interactions with the spriggans.

Speaking of spriggans, I like that the author includes mythological creatures we don't often see in stories. Spriggans, hinkypunks, rock trolls (not like the ones depicted in Frozen or Trolls World Tour). Ritter keeps their outline (what's generally known about them), but fills his characters with a uniqueness that makes you want to know more. For example, I would love to visit the spriggans and see their caves and whatever else their guarding on their side of the forest.

If you have a child that loves magic and the mythological, definitely consider giving this book a shot! The characters do talk about bodily functions a lot, but that's something my adult brain can overlook in the grand scheme of things. My son thought those comments and conversations were hilarious, but it's just something that doesn't appeal to me personally. (★★★★☆)

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Profile Image for Dawn Teresa.
387 reviews20 followers
June 23, 2020
“You need to feel the roots beneath you and come to know where you stand.”

“I know where I’m standing. I’m standing in the middle of your vine circle for the millionth time practicing the same spells as always, even though they never work.”

William Ritter’s second installment in The Oddmire series, The Unready Queen, brings readers back into the Wild Wood. Book one, Changeling, was centered around twin brothers Cole and Tinn Burton (one of whom is a goblin changeling who was left behind alongside the human child in a bungled goblin/fairy attempt at a baby switch), and Fable, a secondary character they met in the Wood. This time it’s Fable’s turn to take center stage, and the part–human, part-fairy child is having trouble learning and controlling her magic. Fun-loving Fable is being schooled by her mother, the Queen of the Deep Dark, but Fable’s more interested in having adventures with her friends than being disciplined about practicing her magic.

Outside of the Wild Wood, Tinn and Cole, who formerly believed themselves identical twins, are having growing pains as each navigates his individual identity. The goblin brother is learning about his goblin heritage and having difficulty controlling his magic. His human counterpart deals with a feeling of envy at his brother’s having a goblin father-figure in his life — the twins’ father left their mother soon after the second baby was discovered.

After a funny experience when Fable visits the brothers at school, things become serious as the three get embroiled in an escalating conflict between humans and the creatures of the Wild Wood.

Fable’s story can be enjoyed without first having read book one, but because this is a return to a world and characters previously experienced in that book, I would recommend starting with Changeling. Fable is a lovable character — plucky, funny, and unpredictable. Indeed, all of the characters who live within these pages are endearing. You’ll love spending time with them and sharing their adventures.

William Ritter uses his knowledge of folklore to shape and inform his own modern fantasy, which boasts a strong narrative voice (these books would be great read out loud), quick pacing, and the right balance of spooky/scary/creepy and light-hearted/charming/comedic. Thematically, The Oddmire series explores love and the bonds of family (both inherited and found or chosen), friendship, identity, and coming-of-age. There is also an exploration of the nature of humans and creatures of the wild as being more complex and multifaceted than a simplistic humans-are-good-goblins-and-magical-creatures-are-bad dichotomy. Individual uniqueness, even “otherness” is celebrated, and the dangers inherent in prejudice and racism are addressed. Strong family units with capable, loving, determined single mothers are compassionately portrayed.

Like any good fairy tale, William Ritter’s stories will transport readers to a world that, though it looks very similar to their own, is teeming with magic and mystery. These tales are sure to captivate young readers who appreciate suspense and don’t mind being a bit scared, but who more than anything want to get lost in a story and a world filled with enchantment and wonder. And the next time they take a hike through the woods, they will likely wonder what kind of creatures might be lurking!

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I would like to thank Algonquin Young Readers for providing me with a copy of The Unready Queen.
Profile Image for Dawn Michelle.
2,290 reviews
June 24, 2020
I really enjoy this author - the Jackaby series is one of my top ten favorite series ever [and oh how I wish there were going to be more of those], so when I saw that he was writing a new series, I wanted to dive right into it. After reading [and really enjoying] the first book of this series, I was really ready to dive right in and read this one. This one took a bit longer to read [there is a LOT more to get through and the themes are much more adult], but it was still a very good book and it really sets up the next one without being a cliffhanger [which I despise and are gross and IMO are just lazy writing].

That all said, it must be mentioned that this book is much darker than the first book. MUCH darker. As I said above, there are more "adult" themes in this book and if you have children who are easily frightened, I would suggest that you either read this with them *OR* that you read it first and then be ready for the questions that will come after your child reads it. Not all children will be affected by these theme's [though I was and I am an adult - there are just somethings that never fail to make me so very angry], but if you know your child will be, you can now be prepared.
Some of the themes in this book are:
*Parent's leaving [or being stolen away, or walking away, or dying or almost dying]
*Adults doing B A D things for their own benefit with no regard to others and what they feel
*ANGRY monsters, fairies, goblins, forest folk along with an angry mob of humans
*War [see above], and the use of guns and violence
*"drug" use [but not in the traditional sense]
*Disobedience and defiance [Oh Fable, how I love you, but oh how you need a smack upside the head. Same with Finn and Cole. My GOSH. I had a single parent, and while I was not a changeling, I was still a rather defiant kid at times and my mom did not stand for that garbage. I love the Annie Burton character, but I'd love her to be bit stronger in that area. Even though I do love that she is raising two boys who see the difference between true right and wrong and want to be helpful in making things right].

NONE of these things listed above are meant to be detractors to this book and story. When you are reading it, you will see that they are all needed to move the story along. There are so many people in real life that are like the "bad" people in this story and this is a good way to introduce good and bad to kids in a way that isn't quite as dramatic as the news is these days. This is an excellent book and clearly shows the lines between good and evil and also how sometimes, those lines can get squigged at times.

I highly recommend this series - it is a good one.

Thank you to NetGalley and Algonquin Young Readers for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Alyson Stone.
Author 4 books58 followers
June 2, 2020
Book: The Oddmire: The Unready Queen
Author: William Ritter
Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars

I would like to thank the publisher, Algonquin Young Readers, for providing me with an ARC.

I must say that I did enjoy this second book a little bit more than the first. The descriptions are very rich, making it feel like you are thrown right into the book. I kind of got Fablehaven vibes from this, which if you are a fan of Fablehaven, I encourage you to give this title a try. I love all of the little details that William puts into his writing. It just makes it feel like you are there in the Oddmire with the characters. I could actually picture what the Oddmire should look like in my head without any trouble.

What really made me enjoy this one even more was the character growth. In the first book, Tinn and Cole really seem like one person. Here, we actually get to see them grow and turn into their own person. I really enjoyed this, because it gave us a chance to get to know each boy better. While I did enjoy them in the first book, this change was greatly welcomed. We still see them go on adventures together and have that brotherly bond, but we also see them kind of starting to do their own thing. I can’t wait to see where this goes in later books.

Fable is the scene stealer here. While we go get to spend a lot of time with Tinn and Cole, this is very clearly her book. I really did enjoy her character. She really is a strong character, who isn’t afraid to stand up for what she believes in. She has a very deep and loving bond with her mother, she stands up for herself, and is really accepting. She wants to have the best of both worlds, meaning she wants to be a part of both the magical and human world. What I really like is that we get to see her make mistakes. Rather than allowing herself to wallow in them, we see her learn from them. This is something that I really enjoyed-especially with this being a middle grade book. I teach middle school, so having this in a book really drives home what I have been telling my students. It’s okay to mess up, but you have to grow from it. Having such a great character make mistakes and grow from it is really going to give something that middle schoolers can latch unto.

I really did enjoy all of the adventures. The action bits were really well done. The final battle was great. Now, this is a middle grade book, so it really didn’t go into all of the gory details that fantasy books tend to. I really liked the mix of magical and modern day human weapons, which is something that I don’t see too often in fantasy. It just made for a really nice touch. Again, what really stood out to me was the devotion that the characters shared with each other and the writing. Once again, William has put in so much detail in the adventures and battles that it really does feel like you are there.

Anyway, I had a fun time reading this and I can’t wait to see where the next book goes. This book comes out on June 23, 2020.

Youtube: https://youtu.be/Qy-Mvt3Pyo4
Profile Image for Paige.
1,719 reviews76 followers
June 14, 2020
Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher and netgalley. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: The Unready Queen

Author: William Ritter

Book Series: The Oddmire Book 2

Rating: 5/5

Recommended For...: Middle Graders, adventure

Publication Date: June 23, 2020

Genre: MG Fantasy

Recommended Age: 10+ (adventure, violence, war mention)

Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers

Pages: 320

Synopsis: Human and goblin brothers Cole and Tinn are finding their way back to normal after their journey to the heart of the Oddmire. Normal, unfortunately, wants nothing to do with them. Fable, the daughter of the Queen of the Deep Dark, has her first true friends in the brothers. The Queen allows Fable to visit Tinn and Cole as long as she promises to stay quiet and out of sight—concealing herself and her magic from the townspeople of Endsborough.

But when the trio discovers that humans are destroying the Wild Wood and the lives of its creatures for their own dark purposes, Fable cannot stay quiet. As the unspoken truce between the people of Endsborough and the inhabitants of the Wild Wood crumbles, violence escalates, threatening war and bringing Fable’s mother closer to the fulfillment of a deadly prophecy that could leave Fable a most Unready Queen.

Review: This was such an enjoyable book! I really liked story, even more than I did in the first book, and I thought the character development was much better in this book as well. The book also had a lot of world building and I thought the writing was very well done overall. It’s definitely a series I would recommend to any young child who likes adventure books.

My only complaint about the novel is the pacing in some places and that I thought that some of the minor characters could have been better well developed, but it was a very well done novel.

Verdict: Highly recommend!
Profile Image for Kylie.
753 reviews20 followers
June 23, 2020
4.5 stars!
I absolutely loved this sequel! My favorite thing about the first book was the journey Cole and Tinn take in the Wild Wood. For some reason I just loved all their mishaps trying to follow Kull's map. I loved wanting to find out which one of them was the changeling. I thought this book wouldn't live up to that super fun journey. I was wrong! It started out a little slow and it took me a while to get into it, but I ended up loving it and reading about half of it in an evening.
My favorite thing about this book was Fable. I liked her in the first book, but I absolutely loved her in this book. She was such a good friend to the kids as well as the creatures that lived in her forest. I also really liked Evie. She was a great addition to the cast of characters. She was so accepting of everyone and everything no matter who they were or what they looked like. I also loved Annie, just like in the first book. She has a fierce loyalty to her family and doesn't care that one of her children is a changeling. Without giving anything away, the person who turned out to be the villain was great. He was a villain for all the "right" reasons and his story made sense.
About halfway through, the plot really took off and I couldn't stop reading. All the different types of creatures getting ready to go to war had me really nervous, but what actually happened had me even more nervous. It was so fast paced and exciting.
The ending was really well done. Most everything was wrapped up nicely. There wasn't too much after the big action scene to make the ending boring and drawn out. The epilogue alluded to something I have been waiting for since the beginning of the first book, so I am really excited to see where this story goes!
Profile Image for Stormi (StormReads).
1,761 reviews158 followers
July 27, 2020
n the first book we find out that one of the twins is a goblin (not a spoiler) and they need to go into the forest to meet with some other goblins or things could get through off kelter. So that happens and they make a new friend Fable.

In this one their new friend is getting a little tired of what her mother, Queen of the Deep Dark wants her to do and starts coming more into town. This is good and bad as there is a new face in town who seems to want to get rid of part of the forest for his own gain and Fable is not happy.

When something happens that the man does it sparks a chain reaction and makes the creatures in the forest to do drastic things to defend themselves and their forest. The Queen needs Fable to act more like a future queen but she doesn’t want to be her mothers type of queen.

Also during this the goblin brother is learning more about being a goblin even though he still stays with his mother in town. I feel like if I say much more it could spoil things so I will not say more.

I really like the characters in this series as they are fun. The twins are great but in this one it’s Fable that rules the book and she is a very interesting character and caused me to chuckle frequently. I also like some of the woodland creatures especially Kull.

I think there are a lot of things to learn in this book about loving yourself no matter who or what they are and that messing up isn’t failure it’s just fine-tuning.

Now this could have just been me and my mood of late but I did get a little bored with it in parts but I really liked the ending and I am curious to see what will happen next and how Fable learns more about her magic and how the twin that is a goblin becomes more confident in who he is.
Profile Image for Miss Clark.
2,503 reviews196 followers
November 8, 2020
3.5 stars

The second book in the Oddmire series does not disappoint and builds nicely on the threads from the first one. Namely, the nature of Fable, the half-human and half-fairy daughter of the Queen of the Deep Dark whose powers are far beyond that of any other denizen of the Woods, and the tension between the locals and the inhabitants of the Wood.

Tinn is embracing (0r trying to embrace) his goblin heritage while Cole feels left out with no magic (though he tries very hard not to show it). Evie, a local girl who is fascinated by the magic creatures of the Woods, is drawn into their circle with Fable. Fable, meanwhile, is rebelling against her mum.

Chief Nudd's magic could not bend the forest to his will. He was no Witch of the Wood, after all - he was only a humble goblin. But a goblin could give a small thing a small nudge.

At exactly the right time.

You'll understand...

Looking foward to book three and seeing whatever became of Cole and Tinn's dad.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Toni.
1,327 reviews41 followers
July 14, 2020
4.5 stars

This is the second book in the Oddmire series by William Ritter.

I think this middle grade book appeals to both adults and kids. They didn’t just focus on the kids here. The adults were just as big a part of the plot as they were. This also was easy to get into. I did not read book one and had no problem understanding what was going on.

This is a coming of age story for many of the characters, adults and kids alike. Everyone seemed to learn by the end a great lesson and that is always wonderful in a middle grade book. Learning lessons by reading is a great way to subtly get kids to understand concepts not easily related to them any other way.

Definitely recommend this one.

I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.
Profile Image for WS_BOOKCLUB.
324 reviews18 followers
June 24, 2020
After reading and loving The Oddmire: Changeling, I couldn’t wait to read The Unready Queen. The series continues wonderfully, combining the fantastical with the everyday wonder of childhood.

Cole and Tinn are still a large part of this book, but Fable takes center stage this time. Oh, wow, I love that character! She has a self-confidence and a desire to believe the best of everybody that is refreshing. Each character is nuanced, and Fable is no exception. She doesn’t feel ready to take on the responsibilities her mom is training her for, completely unaware that her unique way of doing things is exactly what the Wild Wood needs.

Of course, Tinn and Cole each have their own obstacles. Tinn is learning how to be a goblin after discovering that he is, in fact, a goblin changeling. More importantly, he’s learning how to be himself, without fading into his brother’s shadow. Cole, on the other hand, is learning that there are places his brother goes where he can’t follow. He is discovering how to be his own person. I really love Tinn in particular. He reminds me of my oldest in many ways.

As with the first book, a lot of attention is paid to relationships. I absolutely love that both the boys’ mom and Fable’s mom are very involved in this book. Not only that, it’s apparent that they are caring and involved, subverting the “hero alone” trope. From an adult standpoint, I love seeing positive relationships between parents and children in literature.

The fantasy aspect of this book is epic. Spriggins, and goblins, and hinkypunks, oh my! I adored the sheer variety of fantasy creatures that show up in these books. It’s not often that I read a book that includes hinkypunks. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The adventure is fabulous, the story moves quickly, and there’s never a dull moment.

This series is so much fun! William Ritter is an excellent author (I highly recommend the Jackaby series to adults) and I can’t wait to see what happens as the Oddmire adventures continue.
Profile Image for Laura Gardner.
1,669 reviews108 followers
March 19, 2020
Hooray for THE ODDMIRE book 2, The Unready Queen! I love this coming of age fantasy MG book—comes out 6/2/20. Thanks to @algonquinyr for the free book.
The enemy this time around is not the Wild Wood, but actually the humans who are destroying the Wild Wood. Can Cole, Tinn, and Fable keep the violence at bay and quiet the escalating rhetoric before it is too late? Recommended for all elementary and middle school libraries, especially where the first book is popular. We put the first book on our 2020-2021 summer reading list. Loads of action and humor!
#middleschoollibrarian #middleschoollibrary #library #librarian #futurereadylibs #iteachlibrary #bookstagrammer #bookstagram #librariesofinstagram #librariansofinstagram #librariesfollowlibraries #librarylife #librarianlife #schoollibrarian #middlegrade #middlegradebooks #iteach #librarylove #booksbooksbooks #amreading #bibliophile #schoollibrariansrock #bookreview #bookrecommendation #igreads #malibrary #msla #mediaspecialist #oddmire #williamritter
Profile Image for Ryan Mishap.
3,335 reviews60 followers
July 31, 2020
Delightfully funny, engaging, and ethically sound fantasy for middle grade readers. I normally don't read books targeted to this demographic, but I loved the Jackaby series and Ritter is a local bloke.

I also like to read fun stories and wish there were so many great ones when I was a wee 'un.

Profile Image for Becky B.
7,387 reviews94 followers
September 29, 2020
Fable is in training to take over as the Queen of the Wild Wood when her mother can no longer carry out her duties. Her mother has received a disturbing prophecy from one of the forest folk that that time will be soon so she doubles up on Fable's lessons. Fable would much rather hang out with her friends Tinn and Cole in town. Their world is so new and exciting to her. But when humans dig up the Old Grandmother Tree at the edge of the wood, Fable, Tinn, Cole, Annie, and the Queen find themselves stuck between the humans and the creatures of the Wild Wood. Lines are drawn and it looks like war is inevitable. Can they find a peaceful solution before something horrible happens?

Another great adventure into the Wild Wood and the nearby town. I continue to love the familial closeness in these stories, great parent/child and sibling interactions. I also love the message that differences can be solved without violence, and that even though there's never been peace between two groups doesn't mean that it isn't possible to live in harmony. The narrator of the audiobook did a surprisingly vast array of distinct voices. Quite impressive. Highly recommended to fantasy fans.

Notes on content: No language issues. No sexual content. There are definitely acts of violence with malicious intent but thanks to magic no one is permanently seriously injured.
Profile Image for Laura.
3,694 reviews95 followers
April 12, 2020
I hadn't read the first book and luckily this is one of those series where that doesn't matter as it's easy to figure out who and what is happening. We focus on a few characters, all human except Tinn (who was raised human so...), trying to go about their daily lives - including school - as normal but, well, when you're dealing with fey and goblins and giants, normal doesn't always work. Very clever and a series I'll be sharing with my students.

ARC provided by publisher.
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