Monday, October 19, 2009

Feature Review: "Queene of Light," By Jennifer Armintrout

By Amy Kennedy, RBTB Contributing Editor

I took a facebook quiz recently called, “What paranormal creature are you?” Oh, you take those quizzes too, admit it. My paranormal creature? I was a faery. Anyway, it made my crazy day brighter because someone granted my wish and, poof!, I really was a faery. Even as I vacuumed and dusted, I was a faery, dammit!

Probably a princess too, maybe even a queen.

Ayla, the heroine in Jennifer Armintrout’s moody and improbably romantic “Queene of Lightworld,” is a faery. Unfortunately she’s also half human, and nowhere near a princess. In her world all non-humans live below ground and have formed a new hierarchies: the Lightworld, where faeries, dragons and dwarves live and the Darkworld, where vampires, demons, angels, and werewolves cause trouble.

Ayla, an assassin for the Lightworld, and Malachi, a Death Angel from the Darkworld, meet under bad circumstances, to say the least. As they clash in the sewers of the Darkworld their energies fuse, Malachi’s immortality vanishes, and Ayla, instead of killing him, leaves Malachi to die.

Not exactly love at first sight.

Each wishes they’d killed the other, we’re glad they didn’t, and a bond forms that torments them: Ayla wonders, if she really wants to kill him, why does she also want to run her hands over him? And as Malachi risks his life to find her in Lightworld, he tells her his feelings – all raw wonders to him.

Every meeting between them raises the stakes, and when the Queene’s ruthless brother, Garret, makes Ayla his mate, Ayla’s caught in a web of fae political machinations – and conflicted by her love for Malachi, and for her people.

Armintrout’s prose is a rich music for the eyes. She invites us into her fantastic world, teasing us mercilessly with its mythology – and we’re happy for it. What makes us even happier, is that the second and third in this series, “Child of Darkness” and “Veil of Shadows,” come out in November and December respectively.

You don’t have to be a faery like Ayla –
and me – to make your own wish come true. Just –

Buy the Book.

Is your favorite kind of “Fairytale” light or dark? And if you could be queene of the fairies, who would rule at your side? And it can’t be your husband/boyfriend – this is a fantasy, after all.
TODAY: RBTB Con. Ed. Tracy Montoya lectures on Plot Mapping
Wed @RBTB: Becke Martin w/another fab Feature Review
Tracy Montoya offers up a new read and Feature Review.
Mon 26:
Meet the VampChix/Bite Club team while Michelle lectures at
3 new readers 'n writers join the RBTB team to hang out and entertain you!


Vanessa Kelly said...

Great review, Amy - this sounds like a fascinating book, with very high stakes involved between the h/h.

I don't really read that many faery books, but I do love the Mage series by Angela Knight. The king of the fae in her books is totally swoon-worthy! AK does some fantastic world-building in that series, too.

amy kennedy said...

Hey Vanessa, yeah, I'll have to check out the Mage series -- I've read lots of Angela's shorter stuff in anthologies and really liked them.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tiona said...

Hey Vanessa! Great job! I really want to read this one. I love it when they're supposed to be enemies and just can't seem to hurt the other, hehe. And definate high stakes for the couple! I don't think I've gotten around to really reading a fairy book, at least not like this, but it definately sounds fascinating!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Buongiorno, Bellas, and grazie mille, Amy, for this great column and book rec! She leaves him for dead? Sweet. Most couples are married for years before they experience that kind of intimacy.

So I have a question about Light/DarkWorlds: What're their relationships w/humans? And how does that affect Ayla's status? And, how long did it take you to stop thinking of Clan of the Cave Bear when you started reading this book?

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

And, yes, I would like to be a Faery Queene, thanks. But I need the 2 extra 'e's. No Fairy Queen for me. And I need gossamer clothes, but not necessarily wings. I'm not sure I could allow a man to rule w/me, but perhaps a consort or 2. Or a fey harem. Could I have a harem, Ames?

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Um, and not for nothin', but I want a fey boy harem, for that's my druthers and each may have her own. Or is it fae?

amy kennedy said...

Just so's you know Michelle, it's a matriarchal society and there really is no king -- just the queene's consort (snicker)

There was so much more I wanted to put into this column -- Michelle, said, okay Ames, you're not retelling the whole damn thing.

She didn't really.

But...once the boundaries came down and the humans got a taste of what living with magical and terrifying creatures was really like -- they didn't like it at all.

You see some humans underground and on the "strip" sort of a neutral ground between dark/lightworld.

There's just so much in this book --without you ever feeling like you have to learn or remember so much. It's all organic -- you takes it in and you accepts it.

amy kennedy said...

Princess, you cheeky wench -- you did not say who would rule (or consort) at your side...front...back.

And it can't be your brother's roommate!

Tiona said...

LOL! Ames, you are really breaking my heart, here. Ok, so bro's roommate can come visit? Stay the night?
Ok, I would definately have a consort, hehe! It would have to be someone who would respect my position, yet be strong enough in his own right to not be overshadowed by my queenly powers, hehe. I know! Chester Bennington from Linkin Park. Hubba Hubba!!
Michelle, I'm with you. I want a boy-toy harem..I mean, a group of men who are there exclusively for...the continuence of the line, hehe.

Michele Hauf said...

Just finished this book recently. Loved it as well. Can't wait for the next in the series. And aren't the covers cool? Really neat. I'm already wondering about the seahorse that's featured on the next cover.

I like my faeries dark, because Tinkerbell just doesn't do it for me, so this book really delivered. And if I were queen of the faeries I think I'd have as my closest minion a werewolf. I like to think about the relationship between werewolves and faeries. Hmm...I'm going to go think on it right now. ;-)

Vanessa Kelly said...

Michelle, you can have as many fey harem boys as you want. Me, I want the wings. And lots of bling. Lots of it.

amy kennedy said...

Boy-toy harem...I'd need them to be men, big men...

Michele Hauf -- yeah, I like 'em dark too, and gee, a werewolf as your consort...hmm, I wonder why?

Vanessa wings and bling, that is hilarious. I think that could be a great queenly catch phrase: nothing but wings 'n bling.

I would want one man for each of my needs -- cooking, cleaning, dusting. JK.

Still, a couple of men would be nice...Clive Owen, Daniel Craig...

Rain Maiden said...

I just finished this book.. It is a must read. I couldn't put it down. Looking forward to Child of Darkness.

Becke Davis said...

Where did my post go?? I posted earlier - darn, I must have typed the verification wrong.

Becke Davis said...

I'm trying to remember what I posted. Well, first, great post, Amy -- I read a lot of paranormals, and this one sounds fantastic!

I had to laugh at your comment about those darn, addictive Facebook applications. I knew I'd taken the one you mentioned, but couldn't remember the result. I'm embarrassed to mention how much time I spent trying to find it (they save the results), and ended up taking a couple of other ones while I was at it.

Facebook is the devil.

Jill Kemerer said...

Sounds like an epic faery tale! I would want to be a faery in the quiz. Not a gargoyle. That would ruin my day.

I'm going to have to think about who I'd want ruling next to me...

Helen Brenna said...

Thanks for the review, Amy! I LOVE this cover.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

I'm not sure whether anyone's brought this up, but here's what I find intriguing: Garreth takes Ayla as his mate. That puts a big ol damper on the Ayla/Malachi deal, no? Awesome. I love when this happens, and you can't do that well in romance w/out having big chunk o time go by w/a spouse kicking it or 'the like,' as they say.

This must really add a cool tension.

amy kennedy said...

Rain, (love your name)yeah, can't wait to read the rest.

Becke, you'll just have to take the test again. I'm such a spaz, if I don't like the outcome of the test/quiz, I don't post it.

amy kennedy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
amy kennedy said...

Jill, just think, some people probably were happy with "Gargoyle" as their paranormal creature!

Helen! thanks for stopping by. All the covers are so gossamer like. Beautiful and haunting at the same time.

Gannon Carr said...

Great review, Amy! It certainly sounds like a unique start to a relationship. ;)

I would absolutely love to be the Faery Queene, complete with gossamer wings, lithe body, and fey man harem. My harem would have to include Hugh Jackman, Gerard Butler, and Clive Owen...and that's just the beginning. LOL

It's good to be Queene!

amy kennedy said...

Long live the Queene! Great to see you here Gannon, I like your line-up of consorts.

Becke Davis said...

Amy, I totally agree! I took the What Supernatural Creature Are You test today (while looking for the paranormal one), and refused to post the result because they didn't know how to freaking spell "vampire!" (It said I was a "vampier.")

Plus, I'm so not a vampire. Back to FB, I have to find that darn paranormal creature test.

amy kennedy said...

Becke, maybe a vampier is a female vamp with more va-va-voom than the rest: Vamp-ier, you're a vamp with style.

Tracy Montoya said...

Dark--definitely. Have always wanted to be evil genius. And hmmmm, ruling by my side would be ... Damon from The Vampire Diaries! I know he's young enough to be the kid I once babysat, but this is fantasy.... Sounds like a cool book, Amy!

amy kennedy said...

See, Tracy, you get the whole "fantasy" thing, who cares if he's young -- as long as he's not "call the police" young, it's all good.

The Reading Frenzy said...

Ooh ooh ooh, I was so busy yesterday I didn't get to check here after the am.
Oh definitely my favorite kind of Fairy Tale is dark and I want to be Merry Gentry and have all her fellas rule with me. Delish!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ciao bellas

Anonymous said...

I don't supose I get to rule anything. No wonder I don't read these things.