Pisces19's Reviews > Queen of Kings

Queen of Kings by Maria Dahvana Headley
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's review
Jun 23, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: vampire-horror, best-vampire-books

Queen of Kings was an unexpected and pleasant surprise. While not a work of literary genius, this book wove together histories of Rome and Egypt with myth and magic and monsters into a fascinating story! This book was the definition of action packed, and while it made for a fascinating and fun story that kept me surprised by each turn of events, it also in some ways was hindered by its nature. The two ends of this book (beginning and ending) were a bit difficult to read as the book fell prey to one of the problems that is all too common with pop fiction authors, and that is that the author seemed to attempt to infuse every sentence with poetry and profundity and it was at the detriment of the story in some ways. Sometimes simpler is better. If each sentence is written with strong words (words like: desperation, horror, terrible, everything, and forever, for example) that makes the overall effect on the story weakened rather than strengthened. SHOW US the desperation and horror, don't tell us, but this is a common mistake with authors, and I found that once the story got rolling, this lessened. The only other negative thing I had to say about the book was that the main characters (the historical characters in particular) were never quite fully fleshed out for me. I understood the motivations of the characters, and in some instances (Octavian/Augustus in particular) the characters were pretty dynamic and had some shades of grey, but in most cases they had one goal and agenda and never wavered in that, even when it was obviously at the expense of so much more and in the face of so much evil and destruction, and often, it was a very petty and personal reason, and that made the characters weak to me. I found it hard to relate to some of the characters because of this and in the end, while the overall book was thrilling and really entertaining, creative, and surprising, it didn't really leave a lasting impression on my heart. In some ways, it was a victim of its own premise, the author's strongest characters and moments were the ones that came from myth and from her imagination, written with eloquence and beauty and brilliantly so, but the historical characters often came across as weak and it was at the expense of the book overall. While I understand the draw and interest in rooting a fantasy story in a historical time and setting it amongst familiar historical figures, it would be wonderful to see what Maria Dahvana Headley would do with a book of all fictional characters and monsters. Certainly she would excel at it. All this being said, however, it would be unfair to call this book anything less than EPIC (as this is practically the definition of the word) and certainly one of the best vampire books I have read.

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Reading Progress

June 23, 2011 – Shelved
June 23, 2011 – Shelved as: vampire-horror
May 14, 2012 – Started Reading
May 14, 2012 –
page 52
May 15, 2012 –
page 102
May 15, 2012 –
page 130
May 15, 2012 – Shelved as: best-vampire-books
May 16, 2012 –
page 197
May 17, 2012 –
page 257
May 17, 2012 –
page 300
May 19, 2012 – Finished Reading

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