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Except the Queen by Jane Yolen
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Except the Queen (edition 2012)

by Jane Yolen (Author)

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2921570,216 (3.65)22
Cast from the high court of the Fairy Queen, sisters Serena and Meteora must find a way to survive in the mortal realm of Earth. But when signs point to a rising power that threatens to tear asunder both fairy and human worlds, they realize that they were chosen to fight the menace because they were the only ones who could do what must be done.… (more)
Member:UnicornBeka
Title:Except the Queen
Authors:Jane Yolen (Author)
Info:Ace (2012), Edition: Reprint, 384 pages
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Except the Queen by Jane Yolen

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» See also 22 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
Sometimes books written by dual authors can be terrible due to clashing writing styles, but this one was actually quite readable. I presume that Yolen and Snyder wrote this by each taking the perspective of one of the protagonist sisters (who end up getting separated quite quickly in the plotline), so each sister could have a unique voice, but still have a unified story.

I also quite liked how full they packed the story with many different mythologies, often to quite comical effect. Baba Yaga (or Baba Yaga-type characters) is one of my favourites, so I found the her reinvention quite entertaining. This Baba Yaga occupies a world of her own between the Seelie and Unseelie courts so she holds a unique type of power that moderates intense situations. I was less fond of the graphic descriptions of her gnashing up a horse with her iron teeth, but the iron teeth serve their purpose as a signal that she is more of the mortal realm than the traditional Faerie courts. Some African or Native American power characters are also introduced as power players, but we didn't really get enough information about them to make a final decision. They're physically described as black-skinned women, but their crow alter-egos could belong to either set of myths. Regardless, they're pretty awesome! ( )
  JaimieRiella | Feb 25, 2021 |
Charming. ( )
  Jon_Hansen | Jul 6, 2020 |
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; fey without the best intentions.

Except the Queen wasn't a page-turner, yet I wasn't bored, but I also wasn't engrossed. It was fun to read from each sister's perspective, a banished fairy living in the human world, namely as they navigated mundane tasks like buying groceries or mailing a letter or eating "special" brownies. I loved when Serana was walking down the streets of NYC, singing, and the reaction from the passersby like she was a nutcase because she was singing. Yet how many of them cross busy streets yapping into the cellphone glued to their ear completely unaware of their surroundings?! The humor was used effectively to balance the darker elements as well as bring attention to realities that maybe humans shouldn't just accept as "normal."

The heart of the story, for me, was the examination of women and aging, that a woman can age and still be beautiful, that "old" doesn't automatically mean useless. So yeah, my favorite thing about this book was that the two sisters, the heroines, were old, weren't skinny, weren't even beautiful (by societal standards), didn't have fairy magic (for the most part), and they still saved the day.

3 stars

Disclaimer: sex (R-rated but not graphic when compared to typical urban fantasy nowadays), profanity (lots of f-bombs), drug use, a few bloody scenes (but again not overly graphic), mentions an attempted rape of a teenage girl. I'd recommend this to mature readers, say, 14+ ( )
1 vote flying_monkeys | Sep 29, 2016 |
I think I'm quitting this book.
It's boring, it's confusing and I can't get into it. I have yet to care about one character, and since they all have 2 or 3 names (human, fairy and "secret") I'm not sure I even have them straight.
You shouldn't have to work this hard for a book unless it's a classic. ( )
  imahorcrux | Jun 22, 2016 |
This book was not normally what I read, but since I've read so many of the author's books to my son, this one caught my eye on the new fiction shelf, and I got a thorough introduction to the interesting, magical world of fae. I loved the complete story and seeing the world through these two sisters eyes also gave me a renewed sense of appreciation for nature, even the most common in my own backyard. ( )
  sgcastellini | Feb 6, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jane Yolenprimary authorall editionscalculated
Snyder, Midorimain authorall editionsconfirmed
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For Terri Windling, Ellen Datlow, Isak Dinesen, Angela Carter, Alice Hoffman, Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman, Pamela Dean, Patricia Wrede, Holly Black, Emma Bull, Patricia A. McKillip, Ellen Klages, Kelly Link, Diana Wynne Jones, Robin McKinley, Shannon Hale, and all the other sisters of fantasy. —JY
For my mother, Jeanette Snyder, who made sure I knew how to swim in the river of myth and fairy tale. —MS
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You are in the forest that is not your own.
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Cast from the high court of the Fairy Queen, sisters Serena and Meteora must find a way to survive in the mortal realm of Earth. But when signs point to a rising power that threatens to tear asunder both fairy and human worlds, they realize that they were chosen to fight the menace because they were the only ones who could do what must be done.

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