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Except the Queen

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  1,023 ratings  ·  193 reviews
From award winning authors Jane Yolen and Midori Snyder comes a tale of two worlds-and one destiny...
Sisters Serena and Meteora were once proud members of the high court of the Fairy Queen- until they played a prank that angered her highness. Separated and banished to the mortal realm of Earth, they must find a way to survive in a strange world in which they have no powe
Hardcover, 371 pages
Published February 2nd 2010 by Roc
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Average rating 3.60  · 
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 ·  1,023 ratings  ·  193 reviews

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Dec 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone that loves the stories of the fae and/or is looking for a darker fantasy story
A wonderfully unique and dark tale, the likes of which I rarely come across.

This book tells the story of two fairy sisters; Meteora and Serana. Meteora sees something she isn't supposed to and also lets the secret slip to fellow fae with looser lips than her own. As punishment, she and her sister are banished from the realm of faery to live with mortals. They've also been stripped of their youth and beauty and forced to live alone and far away from each other. They have to rely on the kindness
Liza Gilbert
Feb 24, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: adult-fiction
I actually read all of this title. For 90 percent of the book there really was not a big reason to put it down, even though I wasn't really jazzed by it.

Basically, two young-looking and pretty sister fairies see the fairy queen romping with a human. When one of them spills the beans, the queen banishes them to New York and Milwaukee. Oh, and the queen curses them into being fat senior citizens with bad clothing. I'm not kidding.

Other odd characters weave in and out of the narrative, which change
Fae sisters Serana and Meteora are banished from Faerie for inadvertently revealing information about the Faerie Queen. In addition to being sent to different cities, New York and Milwaukee, the sisters lose their magical powers and their eternal youth. Each sister finds herself in the body of an overweight "older" woman, clueless about the human world.
This point of view reversal, seeing our world from the persepective of the Fae, as well as their commentaries made this novel unique from other
Feb 14, 2010 marked it as dnf
In Except the Queen, two faerie sisters, Serana and Meteora, accidentally learn a scandalous secret about the faerie queen and let it slip. For their transgression, the two women are separated and banished to mortal Earth to live among humans. They are completely adrift in this new world, and if that weren’t bad enough, their new human bodies are old and overweight.

I think Except the Queen is meant – at least in part – as an exploration of aging. Most of us don’t get magically zapped into older
Nov 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fantasy fans
Two fairies find out that the Queen has had an affair with a mortal. They are banished to live mortal lives in modern times. Or is it a punishment at all? The two sisters are first only charming in their love and loyalty for one another. But by living in the mortal world they learn love, friendship, manners and other delights. At times funny, at times frightening, this is a good read. I don't like the threat of rape, but other than that it is very good. The Queen has had a child with the mortal. ...more
Oct 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I love Yolen's work, so I was eager to read this collaboration. The blurb on the back of my copy said that it was "...a great deal of fun," so I was unprepared for the tone of the book. It is not a humorous book, although there are humorous situations. Sorrow pervades the first third of the story, as the queen suffers through her betrayal, the sisters are banished from their home, and the younger characters deal with the violence of their own lives. It is an incredible vision of how archetypes m ...more
Two Fae sisters, Meteora and Serana, happen upon the Fairy Queen with a mortal man and their child tucked away safe in the grass. They flee the queen's wrath, but when one makes a gossipy mistake, the queen finds them and curses them to live apart in the mortal realm as two old women.

One sister is exiled to Baba Yaga's house in Milwaukee, and the other to New York City. Both meet other fae, whose stories turn out to be entwined in the whole mess of their exile.

I enjoyed the two elderly sisters'
Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
This book is not awful, but it’s a forgettable little urban fairy tale with some significant weaknesses that make it hard for me to recommend.

The two protagonists, Serana and Meteora, are fae sisters exiled to the human world after offending their queen. The premise is a good one, and the book is at its best when dealing with the challenges the sisters face in ordinary life: they lose their eternal youth and are forced to come to terms with suddenly old bodies and drastic changes in the way othe
Jan 25, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2010, abandoned
Yes, I gave up. It wasn't terrible, but there really wasn't anything good about it either. I mean, it was just blah. There was nothing compelling me to continue reading, the characters were strange, the POV of the book continuously changed to random characters, and I could find no real purpose to the story. From what I gathered in the pages I read, two girls from faery piss off the Queen. She then banishes them to be old and ugly. Perhaps I put it down before the point was made, but I was about ...more
Mar 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Perfect book, no, not really -- but perfect reading for me at this time. A lovely story mixed with folklore that works wonderfully. An urban fantasy with all of the charm of the original tales.
Is the opposite of a YA urban fantasy novel, an AK novel? If it is, then this novel is that. (AK is slightly rude Yiddish for ‘alte kacher,’ or old fart.) I wish other fantasists would write more novels for this subcategory of books. (Fledgling by Octavia E. Butler is also one that fits this category.)

Meteora and Serana are members of the high court of the Fairy Queen who are exiled to the human world, where they suddenly look and feel like old women, and they separated, as they have never been
Sep 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Two fairies discover the Fairy Queen's biggest secret but vow to keep their mouths shut in order to avoid the Queen's wrath. Unfortunately, one of them leaks the secret and both are banished from the high court, thrown into the mortal world, one in New York and one in Wisconsin, without their magic, youth or beauty. They soon realize that being an old lady in the human world isn't easy, but they make the most of their situations. That's when they start seeing other fey hiding among the humans; f ...more
In the great scheme of things,each of us have to discover precisely just who we are and what is our purpose in life,and make our ultimate decisions about who we want to be. Only when we come to know and believe in ourselves can we claim the power of our own truth.

Two naughty faeries have been cast out of the realm of fey,banished from the Greemwood to the modern,mortal world. Except the Queen has more complicated motives. Not only are the frivolous sisters separated in their exile,their glamours
Eva Mitnick
Jul 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, ya, grown-ups
Except the Queen by Jane Yolen and Midori Snyder is marketed as an adult fantasy, but this would be a perfect choice for teens, especially fans of Melissa Marr, Cassandra Clare, and Holly Black. Two fairy sisters, blithe and beautiful, are cast out into the mortal world after they witness - and blab about - their Queen's dalliance with a mortal man.

Separated in a strange and sometimes hostile world, no longer glamoured to look young and gorgeous (and so appearing to be old women - or at least m
Apr 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of dark faerie fiction
Finally, a book that I liked! I just gobbled it up :) It was pretty dark for the fae books that have been around lately, but there was some humorous parts as well. It was really interesting seeing how the faerie sisters interacted with humans and how different their world was from the mortal world. Baba Yaga (remember her?!) was my absolute favorite character from the book. I kept reading to my husband things she said and did! The reason I give 4 instead of 5 stars was because it was sometimes c ...more
Sometimes, I read a cowritten book and am amazed at how seamlessly the two authors wove their words together. And sometimes, as here, the seams are all too clear.

There are parts I liked--the beginning, when the sisters are struggling to adapt to the human world, hit a lot of my favorite fish-out-of-water tropes. Baba Yaga is pretty great. There is tea, and gardening, and cats, and found family, and generally all the sorts of things I look for in a comfort read. But the whole story is just so *m
May 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2010
This was really different from all others in the genre. Instead of telling the story from the perspective of the "main" players in the narrative, it tells the story from the perspectives of two fae who are now "fat, old women" who may as well be invisible to society. At first I was all, "ehhh?" but there's a certain charm about the sisters and the prose is persuasive. Soon you find yourself rooting for their happiness as well as the main players. It's sort of a tilted reality but it works surpri ...more
Mar 08, 2010 rated it did not like it
Recommended to Madeleine by: lib journal reviews
"Branching outside of my usual reading tastes," meet FAIL. This book is CREEPY. If you like creepy, and you like fantasy, perhaps you will like it. Myself, I am mostly just creeped out, and I am going to have nightmares about Baba Yaga and "Seelie Things" now. And little goblins. ...more
Feb 19, 2010 rated it did not like it
I didn't finish reading this book. I got through the first few chapters and the plot just didn't interest me. ...more
May 23, 2010 added it
Shelves: fantasy
Believe it or not, I gave up on this book. I really like Yolen, normally, but I just couldn't get involved in, or enjoy, this book. Maybe I'll give another try some other time. ...more
Mar 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Originally reviewed here:

Meteora and Serana enjoy the eternal summer lands of the Greenwood and the magical blessing of glamour that masks them in perpetual youth and beauty. Whatever they desire rests at the whim of their fancy—food, drink, sex, these sisters only need to desire and their wishes are granted. It would seem the only rule they must never break is the one they breach quite unintentionally: spread rumor (whether true or false) against the Que
I sooo needed a light, easy and relatively funny read today. Too many grim and dark books are not good for the soul.😭

Meterora and Serena, young, beautiful but frivolous fey sisters revealed a secret. A secret so deadly that the Queen of the Fae banished them from Greenland, the fae's home to live as humans: magicless, decrepit, fat, aged and alone. They meet a half-feral boy and a troubled girl who may play an unexpected role in the future of the Seelie Courts.

What I Thought
Jointly written by a
Kate Coombs
Feb 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Okay, let me just point out that I'm TOTALLY behind here in Goodreads. My excuse is that I spend my book-talk time writing my own children's book review blog, Book Aunt. But I'm still reading, so I'll try to pop in here every so often, especially to talk about grown-up books, like this one...

I was only a few chapters into Except the Queen when I got the feeling I'd read it before. Turns out it's a reprint, I think from 2005. This is a little frustrating, since I thought I was getting something b
Feb 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
This is very different from what I've been reading in YA literature in terms of the complexity of the writing styles. The authors piece together or weave their story and nothing is a given. You have to continue reading and file each chapter away in your little store of knowledge until enough of the fabric is woven together that you can put the story together. It sounds confusing, but it is quite brilliant. The chapters are written in different voices with some reading like poetry. I found myself ...more
Jan 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
I'll be reviewing this one in full via my blog ASAP.

For now...

The beginning was very engaging, the middle was GREAT. THe end, however, felt tedious. The author's excelled in developing the two fey sisters. The other characters were flat in comparison, but I found that as long as one of the sister's was present to absorb and report back to the reader, I loved the story. The plot isn't too daringly original, but the prose is wonderful. The pace is slow, it meanders much as I imagine the fey sister
Jun 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010
So many things to like about this book!

How great to read a book that recognizes Faerie as a dangerous place with plenty of folks in it who'd like to eat you (or at least bleed you dry). When did people forget this? Even Tinkerbell was a fierce warrior!

This story of two sisters banished from the fey and their journey of discovery in our world is appropriately magical and fun. Think of all the things that are normal for us that would defy description for most other people - mailmen and mailboxes,
Mary Catelli
Once, two fairies came upon the queen of fairy cavorting with a mortal. They laughed and ran off, but some time later, one of them let it slip. The enraged queen sends them packing into mortal lands, transformed into old women, and they have to try to live in the modern world. They get some help, but they also find the fairy is loose in the world, and these are the -- ehem -- Good Folk out of folklore.

It's an interesting point-of-view set-up, with each chapter in its own POV, which is probably w
Jul 25, 2010 rated it it was ok
A huge disappointment. I'm a big Jane Yolen fan but "Except the Queen" must have been something she tossed off while suffering high fevers.

The opening chapters are confusing with multiple narrators including the Faerie Queen who speaks in second person which is always off putting. Serena and Meteora are fey sisters but might as well be one person, so interchangable are they from each other. They're also unlikable, which is pretty much the case for every other character in the book.

Even the world
Sep 01, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
I didn't finish this one. I stopped reading after the use of foul language. It's just unnecessary and I lose respect for a book and author for needless vulgarity. Though, I can't think of a valid reason for vulgarity either.

This is stamped as a YA novel and as such I was disappointed with the completely cavalier portrayal of sex. I can only judge it on the beginning, maybe in the end they all learned a valuable lesson in morals, but I doubt it. Either way it was a put off for someone like me wh
MB (What she read)
This is the way I like my urban fantasy--with a true touch of the Other--and without all the cliched stiletto-heeled, leather-clad, attenuated Angelina Jolie wanna-bes!

I think if you liked Emma Bull's 'War For The Oaks', this might be right down your alley. It was a little slow to start, but after page 47 I was hooked. The shifting POVs add color and richness.
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Jane Yolen is a novelist, poet, fantasist, journalist, songwriter, storyteller, folklorist, and children’s book author who has written more than three hundred books. Her accolades include the Caldecott Medal, two Nebula Awards, the World Fantasy Award, three Mythopoeic Awards, the Kerlan Award, two Christopher Awards, and six honorary doctorate degrees from colleges and universities in Massachuset ...more

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