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Monday, February 2, 2015

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Review: The Queen's Choice by Cayla Kluver (Walking Galore)

The Queen's Choice by Cayla Kluver

The Heirs of Chrior #1
Author:
Cayla Kluver
Publication Date: January 28, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Reviewer: Sophia

Magic was seeping out of me, black and agonizing. I could see it drifting away. The magic that would let me pass the Road to reach home again.

When sixteen-year-old Anya learns that her aunt, Queen of the Faerie Kingdom of Chrior, will soon die, her grief is equalled only by her despair for the future of the kingdom. Her young cousin, Illumina, is unfit to rule, and Anya is determined not to take up the queen's mantle herself.

Convinced that the only solution is to find Prince Zabriel, who long ago disappeared into the human realm of Warckum, and persuade him to take up his rightful crown, Anya journeys into the Warckum Territory to bring him home. But her journey is doomed to be more harrowing than she ever could have imagined.

The Queen's Choice may not be my favorite faery book (it's far from being my favorite, but I didn't actually hate it), but it's definitely about time someone wrote about fairies in an entirely different way other than the usual summer and winter fairies.

Kluver has all the good things to write a fantastic book – the world building is interesting, the characters are complex (for the most part), and her writing style is interesting enough that it somehow managed to keep my attention with the whopping 500 pages it has (for the most part).

On the fabulous elaborations of "for the most part," Anya and her companion (Shea, for the most part) probably spent approximately 300+ pages walking, getting attacked, and avoiding the Constabularies of the Warckum Territory. Then the cycle pretty much repeats itself – no particular pattern. Anya spent approximately 100+ pages being healed before all of that walking, attacking, and avoiding began – perhaps I'll even call it WAA for the fun of it all – does it sound appealing? Probably not.

But somehow, in someway, Kluver managed to keep my attention, despite the fact I don't really "connect" to her writing. Maybe it's the writing style (eh... not really), or perhaps the complexity of her minor characters (Illumina and Shea are certainly complex enough that they're not entirely predictable). Maybe it's just the entire idea behind the book in the first place, though that part is most likely not true.

And then there's Anya. Anya the main character, Anya the Royal Faery of Chrior, and maybe Anya the Hopeless. Anya seems a little stereotypical – or perhaps, more accurately, Anya simply makes quite a few assumptions sometimes that may be hilarious to a little human like me. Certainly not as hilarious as Of Mice and Men, to which I make fun of the book the entire time I'm reading it just so I'm not bored. It's no wonder why I'm called the sarcastic one among my circle of friends.
"Now, how do I get on this thing?" she asked, taking the reins to her mount from me.
"You don't know?"
"Nope. Not the slightest idea."
"I thought all humans knew how to ride horses."
You know, for a nonhuman who seems to visit the human world as often as possible, you would sort of expect them to not assume all humans can ride horses. Really, I'm not terribly sure how one can be born with a talent like riding horses. Though, oddly enough, that's probably possible. The person would then have to nurture it. But really, humans are not centaurs. For one to be a centaur, we're missing a horse's ass. Pardon my language (and the grotesque image coming soon), but no horse – and certainly no human – would appreciate being cut in half and glued together to become a centaur.

Grotesque image and crude comments aside, Kluver puts us at a sort of a cliffhanger with something Anya discovers about Illumina in the last couple pages in the book. Much as I'm interested in the sequel, I'm not terribly sure I want to continue reading about Anya walking and traveling constantly (and avoiding and being attacked).

3.5 Owls

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Sophia

Sophia is the owner and founder of Bookwyrming Thoughts. She also doesn't fit the Asian stereotype (maybe a little). She's a first year Communications major from the St. Louis area, though she sometimes wish she wasn't. Books, chocolate, technology, and music are among some of her favorite things. For more of her work, visit her personal website.

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All reviewed books posted on Bookwyrming Thoughts are purchased/gifted, loaned or provided by the author/publisher for free in exchange for a honest review. There is no compensation in any way or form aside from a complimentary copy of the book, and it does not influence the review.