7 September 2012
REVIEW: THE WOOD QUEEN
Author: Karen Mahoney
Series: Yes, #2
UK Publisher: Corgi
UK Release date: February 2012
Genre: YA Faerie
To keep her best friend, Navin, from being killed at the hands of vicious wood elves, Donna Underwood stole the elixir of life. Now she's facing an alchemist tribunal while her mother lies dying, succumbing to the elven curse that shattered her mind. In desperation, Donna seeks an audience with Aliette, the fierce and manipulative Wood Queen, who offers a deal: if Donna can use her strange and burgeoning powers to help the wood elves, Aliette will free her mother from the curse. Along with Navin and Xan, the half-fey guy she's falling for, Donna struggles to unlock the secrets of her iron tattoos in time to save her mother's life. But some secrets are better left untold.
Donna is the kind of girl that tries to do everything herself, but often things end up going awry and not at all according to plan. Having been told faery stories by her father as a child where the heroine never waits to be rescued by the hero, Donna has learnt to charge into a situation and try to handle it herself. But I had to admire Donna for wanting to do help save her Mum and solve her problems with the Wood Queen on her own, even if it didn't always work out for the best. She's got guts and determination and for that I liked Donna, rather than throw my hands up in frustration at her. She also started developing new powers and I can't wait to see how these develop further.
Despite the slow start, the story's plot covered 3 days making it feel well paced and very real as it followed Donna's life and the dilemmas and problems she faced. Although there was plenty of action, excitement and surprises, the book felt to me like it was setting everything up for the final book; asking more questions and presenting more mysteries and clues but never actually resolving anything. For me this book didn't quite follow up The Iron Witch with as much gusto as I expected, but I'm hoping that all the set up will make The Stone Demon that much better.
In this book, there were a lot more questions about the Order and what its true purposes are. Could its leader Simon by trusted? Would Donna's aunt Paige really do the best for Donna? Sure the Order protect people from the Fey but do they actually do good? With the introduction of new characters such as Robert Lee there was even more interest and intrigue surrounding the witches. Robert, a member of the Order of the Crow, was a great new addition - I couldn't figure out at first if he was a good guy or bad guy, but his quick wit and mysterious air made me want to know more about him.
What can I say about Xan - he's gorgeous, irresistible and practically perfect in every way. He helped Donna, fought along side her, and made my knees a bit wobbly. I just hope we see as much if not more of him after the revelation of the trial.
The Wood Queen is an easy enjoyable read that leaves a lot of action and answers for the final installment in the series.