Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Review of The Other Queen by Rebecca Jaycox

At the end of the Other Inheritance, Reggie had finally managed to get to Rhys, a person only ever known to her in the Dream realm, allowing him to take up his rightful place as her guardian. Asher and Brywn are in toe, having escaped Andrius and outed themselves as resistance fighters.  Blissfully unaware that Andrius has her mother and John held captive, Reggie and the others set about their training regime, honing their magical skills whilst trying to fathom how to rescue Reggie’s father and the other Aether mages.

Reggie must learn to harness her powers within the Dream realm, a place where she has found herself to be most vulnerable.  But her training doesn’t prevent her from being pulled into that realm by a mysterious force, a young girl referring to herself as the Black Queen.  Through her Reggie begins to realise the depth and breadth of Andrius’ hold and depravity over his captives, but despite the mind traps he has set, Reggie and the Black Queen form a bond and with the help of Brywn they set about a secret rescue mission.  Their plans are stuck in the starting box however, as Reggie decides to contact her mother in the Dream realm, only to discover her and John’s terrible fate.

The team are forced to play their hand too soon and what seems like an easy win, turns their world upside down and forces the tight knit band to spread themselves to thinly with all of what they need to achieve.  Having spent most of her life being the strong willed one, Reggie simply cannot sit back and allow everything to go on around her, but her will to do the right thing unwittingly causes more danger to both her friends and herself than she could have imagined.

The Other Queen is a really emotional ride.  Early on it fills you with so much hope but little by little the anxiety grows and you feel like you have been chewed up and spat out by the end (but in a good way!)  I was utterly absorbed in the pages, there is always something happening, always a new twist and always another spectacular set piece.   Again, I love the freedom of imagination the realm of The Other grants you, captivating scenery and inspired creativity.  For me a real stand out “wow” moment was when Brwyn and Asher must take a diving trip, their diving suits and breathing apparatus are simply amazing and who doesn’t love a Sea Dragon!

There are plenty of hold your breath moments and moments of genuine sadness are felt throughout.  I especially liked that the author explored the fact that when someone comes back from a terrible ordeal that they will come back perhaps just a little bit wrong, and that years of torment cannot be held back no matter how much of a happy face is painted.   Where the start of the story seems very neatly tied up, the end is very chaotic and almost frantic with the different roads the friends have had to take which gives plenty of scope and direction for book 3.  I actually shouted “No!” at my Kindle when I realised I had reached the last page, I enjoyed this immensely and don’t hesitate to give it 5 stars!

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