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The Wood Bee Queen

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4.10  ·  Rating details ·  21 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Somewhere in England, in a small town called Strange Ground by the Skea, Ebbie Wren is the last librarian and he's about to lose his job. Estranged from his parents, unable to make connections with anyone except the old homeless lady who lives near the library, Ebbie isn't quite sure what he's supposed to do next. His only escape from reality is his deep interest in local ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published June 10th 2021 by Gollancz
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Average rating 4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  21 ratings  ·  17 reviews


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Nils | nilsreviewsit
Jun 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is such an enchanting, cleverly written, tale. One which is full of stories, adventures, conflicting gods, and characters which feel so real they leap from the page and fall straight into your hearts.

Full review to come.
William Gwynne
Jun 15, 2021 marked it as to-read
I'm really looking forward to diving into this "feel-good" fantasy. Awesome cover with a plot and tone that really sounds interesting and unique. I'll be getting to The Wood Bee Queen hopefully in July. ...more
Quiraang
Mar 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
I was lucky enough to get a ARC from the publisher.

The author Edward Cox has invented truly remarkable worlds. Separate, but joined, through a history where magic, and powerful beings, once caused a cataclysmic war.
After centuries of relative peace, once more, this peace is now threatened by the malevolent whims of some these beings.
Unlikely, and unwilling Heroes from both worlds, must try and help each other, to stop the encroaching darkness.
A great tale of myth and magic, juxtaposed with a mod
...more
Mark
Jun 12, 2021 rated it liked it
Edward’s last novels (The Relic Guild trilogy and The Song of the Sycamore) have tended to be on the dark and grim side, so this latest novel in some ways seems like a bit of light relief by comparison.

The story begins in what seems like Neil Gaiman territory. Strange Ground by the Skea seems like a quiet urban backwater of England. Ebbie Wren lives and works there as a librarian, although the library is about to close. Ebbie comes across as the stereotypical loser, unlucky in his job, in love a
...more
Anushka Sierra
Find my reviews at Feminist Quill

The Wood Bee Queen is a difficult book to review. It has a very interesting plot and set of characters. Ebbie and Bek are easy to root for, and have a comical chemistry.

But the set up is a long time coming, which makes it difficult to really get into the book right off the bat. The dialogue feels laborious, and overall the book gives the impression of trying to tell a story larger than it is. It is full to bursting with sub plots and side arcs that spill over and
...more
Graculus
Apr 24, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The Wood Bee Queen is a standalone fantasy novel from a writer, I have to be honest, whose books I haven't got on with in the past - I've bounced off two of his previous books partway through (though I didn't remember this at the time of requesting). I admit I probably wouldn't have pushed on to the end of this book either, had I not been reviewing it for Netgalley, so not a massively auspicious start.

In a lot of ways, The Wood Bee Queen feels like quite an old-fashioned book - it has royalty f
...more
Louise Page
Feb 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Being this was from one of my favourite Authors, I expected much. But I was wrong. Edward Cox surpassed much and went onto deliver something that seems to have surpassed his previous works. The stories (primary) setting is both unique and yet twists some myths on their heads in the most delightful way. The heroes are delightfully flawed as all good heroes should be at the start of any tale. And the villains, well, who doesn't like a good villain?

The story is not the type to ease you in slowly, b
...more
Ariana
May 24, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘They say that in the Realm, the sea is in the sky…’

So starts The Wood Be Queen, a story spanning the Earth and the Realm, where the sea really is in the sky! I was delighted by this, and by the description of rolling waves high above, the sun shining through them. I love the idea of there being a town called Strange Ground by the Skea on earth and one called Strange Ground Beneath the Skea in the Realm. And I absolutely love the fact that in the Realm the messenger birds of choice are seagulls.
...more
LilyJames
If Stardust and Strange the Dreamer had a love child with more straightforward prose, I imagine you’d get something similar to The Wood Bee Queen.

The book caught my eye because of its clever, quirky title and beautiful, just as quirky cover, although even after having read it, the royal bloodline’s connection to bees, besides being their last name, still elludes me... Almost as if the whimsical fairytale name were deliberately chosen just for the sake of being whimsical and quirky witho
...more
Susanna
Jun 16, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wood Bee Queen is the kind of timeless fantasy that could come from any era. The narrative is lingering, the point of view is slightly distant, and the language is beautiful. It’s set in an imaginary English seaside town with a connection to—and mythical knowledge of—a faery world beneath the sea, the Realm. It’s probably always summer.

Ebbie is a twenty-something librarian whose carefully organised life is at crossroads, because his library has been closed. He doesn’t want to look for a new job,
...more
Fabienne Schwizer
Jun 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
I think the best way to describe The Wood Bee Queen is to say that it’s a children’s fantasy adventure for adults. This does not mean that it’s a childish book or a story without depth, but that its form as a portal fantasy, coupled with a fairy-tale style world and its use of a deus ex machina plot device is most often found in that area. As I love both adult fantasy and children’s books, I thought this was a really cool concept and I really enjoyed my reading experience.

The Wood Bee Queen is h
...more
Mark Redman
Jun 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
The Wood Bee Queen by Edward Cox

The Wood Bee Queen feels like a good old-fashioned portal fantasy. Ebbie, our protagonist is working as a Librarian of a soon-to-be-closed library in a place called 'Strange Ground by the Skea.' Throughout his time working in the library, he befriends Mai, a homeless woman. Mai tells him stories of the realm or, a mythical world called 'Strange Ground Beneath the Skea.' This realm is connected by a magical bridge, there are loads of parallels between the two plac
...more
Amy Burt
May 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Wood Bee Queen is one of those homages to classic story telling that reminds me why I love picking up a book and going anywhere with infinite possibilities on each page.
Yandira is a delicious villain, Ebbie a true hero, brave and charming and a librarian, the hero is a librarian!!!!! The parallels between the 2, both sides written so richly, it was a joy to read. I wasn’t as keen on Bek, the majority of the characters in this book have terrible things happen to them but Bek is the only one r
...more
Annarella
Jun 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Edward Cox is a very talented creators of fascinating universe and his story never disappoints or fails to keep you hooked.
The Wood Bee Queen is another well written, gripping and entertaining story. A standalone book that I loved and I was sad when it ended.
It's a slow burning story and we met the unlikely heroes: Ebbie and Bek. Both are interesting even if I prefer Ebbie the shy and skeptic librarian.
The character development is excellent and all the characters are fleshed out.
I loved the wor
...more
Hannah
Jun 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
I kindly received a copy for review from Netgalley.

The Wood Bee Queen was an enjoyable read. The main character, Ebbie, finds himself transported into a story. Underneath his own town there's another and in this town there's magic. The world is like ye olde England and it was certainly charming to read about. The second lead, Bek Rana, had a fascinating back story that's revealed throughout the book. She unwillingly helps Ebbie on his quest.

The magic system was good and the world was convincing
...more
Chris Palfreyman
May 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
I very much liked the description of this book. All in all it was an enjoyable and interesting read.
I struggled sligthly to get into it at first : the reader is (voluntarily) left in the dark about some of the history surrounding the story. But once you are into it and have understood the powers in play and the way the world works the story is interesting and well paced.
If you are looking for an easy to read, stand-alone fantasy novel with strong female characters and you enjoy fantasy based in
...more
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Author of THE RELIC GUILD trilogy (The Relic Guild, The Cathedral of Known Things, The Watcher of Dead Time) published by Gollancz. Represented by Howard Morhaim Literary Agency. Daddy, husband, reader.

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