Chris's Reviews > The Oracle's Queen

The Oracle's Queen by Lynn Flewelling
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Feb 16, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: fantasy

I must point out that overall I would give the whole series 4-5 stars. I just find this book to be weak.

Let me start with what I didn't like. I found it strange that a book that is, in part, about a woman's strength, only has one young woman. While the two older woman, who had larger parts in the first two books, are well protrayed, Tamir is surronded by men and boys in this last book. This makes sense because she used to "be" a boy. Flewelling, however, brings back Una, but gives her such a small part and so little development that it is pointless to have her there. Una is the second least developed companion; the first would be Una's squire, who gets mentioned by name only twice. There is one female character of Tamir's age who gets some development and that is Tamir's opposing female blood claim rival. This girl is simply the girl in the tower. It's an interesting contrast, but it falls flat because the only girl who we see doing anything is Tamir, so it makes all the other girls look weak and idiotic. (It is also a little uncertain why Tamir will make a better ruler outside of the fact that she is a girl and a better general).

What I also had problems with was the simple good/evil sectioning of the sides in the Civil War. While Tamir's confusion is wonderfully protrayed, if I were a lord, I don't know if I would believe the whole "now he's a she" story. In many ways, this idea of doubt was brushed aside so quickly that it left me slightly uncomfortable. (Though, if you see this series as YA, then it can be forgiven this flaw). Additionally, there is one plot point that does not get the full development it needs (and no, I'm not talking about the bowl), and magic plays too much of a solving role.

Despite these flaws, Flewelling does a masterful job with her two central characters of Tamir and Ki. Their confusion about what has happened is believable and well done. One gets the sense that Flewelling found thier relationship more interesting than the battle for the kingdom. The relationship between the two makes up for the flaws in the novel and drives the novel onward.
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11/25/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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Hazel I was quite taken by the first book, Chris, and felt rather let down by the time I read this one. I wondered if Flewelling had run out of steam, and if the story might have been better shaped as one large volume.


While Tamir's confusion is wonderfully protrayed, if I were a lord, I don't know if I would believe the whole "now he's a she" story. In many ways, this idea of doubt was brushed aside so quickly that it left me slightly uncomfortable. (Though, if you see this series as YA, then it can be forgiven this flaw).


I'm not very knowledgeable about fantasy, and hadn't even heard the term YA when I read The Bone Doll's Twin. Do you mean that for the teenage market there would be less exploration of the issues of sexual identity?


Chris YA = young adult, so yes teenage market. I tend to cut YA and children's books breaks in that I don't except a detail analysis or presentation of issues like loyalty or sexuality. Some authors do it extremely well, but some don't.

I'm not sure if this book is YA because of the sexuality aspects.

I do agree, though, I think it would have been better as a one volume.


Hazel I imagine US books are marketed differently here. Certainly the YA label has only recently reached my local library, and I've only wandered briefly through that section out of curiosity. I would not have read Flewelling if she had been designated thus. I wonder what else I might be missing???


message 5: by Hazel (last edited Feb 20, 2010 12:32PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Hazel Thank you, Chris. I liked McKinley's Sunshine very much. Which of Yolen's would you recommend?


Hazel Duly added: to-read!


Gina Ivy This bookactually not labeled as a YA book but an adult book


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