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Thorn Queen

by Richelle Mead

Series: Dark Swan (2)

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9522422,229 (3.9)15
Fantasy. Fiction. HTML:Eugenie Markham is a shaman for hire, paid to bind and banish creatures from the Otherworld. But after her last battle, she's also become queen of the Thorn Land. It's hardly an envious life, not with her kingdom in tatters, her love life in chaos, and Eugenie eager to avoid the prophecy about her firstborn destroying mankind. And now young girls are disappearing from the Otherworld, and no one--except Eugenie--seems willing to find out why.

Eugenie has spilled plenty of fey blood in her time, but this enemy is shrewd, subtle, and nursing a very personal grudge. And the men in her life aren't making things any easier. Her boyfriend Kiyo is preoccupied with his pregnant ex, and sexy fey king Dorian always poses a dangerous distraction. With or without their help, Eugenie must venture deep into the Otherworld and trust in an unpredictable power she can barely control. Reluctant queen or not, Eugenie has sworn to do her duty--even if it means facing the darkest--and deadliest--side of her nature. . .

Praise for Richelle Mead's Storm Born. . .

"My kind of book--great characters, dark worlds, and just the right touch of humor. A great read." --Patricia Briggs, New York Times Bestselling Author.
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» See also 15 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
It was a good book, honestly I'm glad Eugie & kiyo brokeup, especially after the way he reacted after herr rape... OMG! But Dorian did exactly what I would have wished my boyfriend to have done, which was avenge my honor. Interested to see what happens in the next book deems to be action packed for sure. ( )
  hixxup79 | Feb 23, 2020 |
Better than the first. ( )
  Nany.Diaz | Feb 18, 2020 |
I can't wait to see what happens in the rest of the series. Richelle Mead may be my one of my favorite authors. There's so much that goes on, and it's never quite what you expect. Some para rom books I've read where you get the gist that the romance is the key part of the story, but in her books, the story is better than the romance, and the romance is indeed phenomenal. Loved this series so far. ( )
  RozzieReads | Jun 5, 2018 |
Thorn Queen
3.5 Stars

Whether it is Eugenie trying to decide between Dorian and Kiyo, or Kiyo’s relationship with Maiwen or Dorian and Ysabel’s dysfunctional issues, the romance quintet (?) reads more like a bad soap opera than well-written urban fantasy.

Eugenie is a strong and resilient heroine despite her lack of common sense when it comes to men. She is also conflicted by her role as the Thorn Queen, but it is entertaining to see her changing her pre-conceptions about the Shining Ones, learning about her abilities and realizing her role in the Otherworld.

Speaking of Eugenie’s love interests, Dorian is as manipulative and machiavellian as always, but at least he is honest and forthright. He is also there for Eugenie when she needs him the most, which is more than can be said for Kiyo. Eugenie’s attraction to the Kitsune is completely incomprehensible. Yes, he’s a stud but he also lies when it suits him, is overly judgmental and is constantly shoving his relationship with Maiwen in Eugenie’s face.

The mystery subplot involving the disappearance of Gentry girls from the Otherworld is interesting but takes far too long to get going although the climax and resolution are exciting. The rape trope is also unnecessary. Surely Mead could have found a way to advance the story arc without resorting to undermining her heroine. At least, the descriptions are not too excessive and detailed - that would have been an immediate DNF for me.

Despite its problems, the Dark Swan series has potential and I’m interested enough in the new direction the story is going in to continue with it. ( )
  Lauren2013 | May 24, 2018 |
I wanted to read Thorn Queen because I love Richelle Mead, as well as the first in this series. Eugenie is charismatic, and I love her passion and energy. She is now the queen of a kingdom in the other world since she defeated its king. She is totally inexperienced and didn't have much interest in it, but as the story goes on and she meets some of the subjects, she can't help but feel responsible and want to help.

She begins splitting her time between the worlds, and trying to figure out her new place in things. She is still with Kiyo, and I like them together, but they aren't without their issues. Kiyo of course is expecting a baby with one of the queens of the Fae world, Maiwenn. When he isn't doing that, or busy with his veterinarian job, Eugenie is balancing her shaman work with her obligations in the Thorn land.

Things get pretty complicated with known issues, and other new characters, ones that are still wanting to rape her, another who is in love with her and trying to win her hand, and having to deal with gentry girls going missing and coming back traumatized, and of course, her sister running around. Dorian is helping her be established as a queen and get her kingdom running by helping her to get staff in place, making trade negotiations, and sending someone to help her learn to work with air magic. There is still the sexual tension between the two, and I have to wonder like Eugenie does what his motivations are at times.

I love the funnies that Richelle writes in her books. It helps keep things from being too heavy, and I love her sense of humor. For example:
“I had a few other things on my mind. Like if it was going to rain every time I got aroused. That was not cool. I guessed I could handle it so long as it rained other times as well. I didn’t want the connection to be so obvious. Hey, it’s raining! The queen must have gotten laid. Ooh…is that hail? Must have been into some kinky shit today.”
But even with the humor and the steam, she doesn't shy away from the complexities of character. Eugenie had so many layers, and she had to deal with lots. She was torn between the worlds. Her and her stepdad Roland fight about how much she's been going to the Otherworld. It is also an argument between her and Kiyo, and they begin having issues that are bigger than him being the father to another woman's baby. Kiyo also encourages her to stay out of the politics and doesn't want her to keep learning and practicing magic. It's sad but inevitable with the way the story was going. Dorian has a play in it, and he has to have his moment to shine, and Richelle may even go with him rather than Kiyo.

Some of her inner monologue really sums up her character struggles and growth in this one.
I'd realized just before my capture that I loved both him and Kiyo, loved them just as my blood and soul were also split in two. The two halves of my nature would always war with each other.
The ending was good, and I liked the wrap up but the huge issues yet to be resolved, and Eugenie on a thin line balancing her control and desire for magic. I will definitely be continuing this series.

Bottom Line: Great second book. Funny, hot, and emotional. ( )
  brandileigh2003 | Jun 10, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
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For Jen and Chad, who understand the value of a good monster
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Sad fact: lots of kids know how to use knives and guns.
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Fantasy. Fiction. HTML:Eugenie Markham is a shaman for hire, paid to bind and banish creatures from the Otherworld. But after her last battle, she's also become queen of the Thorn Land. It's hardly an envious life, not with her kingdom in tatters, her love life in chaos, and Eugenie eager to avoid the prophecy about her firstborn destroying mankind. And now young girls are disappearing from the Otherworld, and no one--except Eugenie--seems willing to find out why.

Eugenie has spilled plenty of fey blood in her time, but this enemy is shrewd, subtle, and nursing a very personal grudge. And the men in her life aren't making things any easier. Her boyfriend Kiyo is preoccupied with his pregnant ex, and sexy fey king Dorian always poses a dangerous distraction. With or without their help, Eugenie must venture deep into the Otherworld and trust in an unpredictable power she can barely control. Reluctant queen or not, Eugenie has sworn to do her duty--even if it means facing the darkest--and deadliest--side of her nature. . .

Praise for Richelle Mead's Storm Born. . .

"My kind of book--great characters, dark worlds, and just the right touch of humor. A great read." --Patricia Briggs, New York Times Bestselling Author.

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Eugenie Markham is a shaman for hire, paid to bind and banish creatures from the Otherworld. But after her last battle, she s also become queen of the Thorn Land. It's hardly an envious life, not with her kingdom in tatters, her love life in chaos, and Eugenie eager to avoid the prophecy about her firstborn destroying mankind. And now young girls are disappearing from the Otherworld, and no one - except Eugenie - seems willing to find out why.

Eugenie has spilled plenty of fey blood in her time, but this enemy is shrewd, subtle, and nursing a very personal grudge. And the men in her life aren t making things any easier. Her boyfriend Kiyo is preoccupied with his pregnant ex, and sexy fey king Dorian always poses a dangerous distraction. With or without their help, Eugenie must venture deep into the Otherworld and trust in an unpredictable power she can barely control. Reluctant queen or not, Eugenie has sworn to do her duty - even if it means facing the darkest - and deadliest - side of her nature.

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