Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Review: The Queen is Dead by Kate Locke

Title: The Queen is Dead
Author: Kate Locke
Genre: Fantasy
Series: The Immortal Empire #2

Hardcover, 336 pages
Publication: February 5, 2013 by Orbit

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Source: Publisher 

When her brother Val gets in over his head in an investigation of Half-Blood disappearances and goes missing himself, it's up to Xandra, newly crowned Goblin Queen, to get him back and bring the atrocities to light. Xandra must frequent the seediest parts of London, while also coping with what she is, the political factions vying for her favor, and the all too-close scrutiny of Queen Victoria, who wants her head. Add this to a being a suspect in a murder investigation, a werewolf boyfriend with demands of his own, and a mother hell bent on destroying the monarchy, and Xandra barely knows which way is up. One thing she does know is that she's already lost one sibling, she's not about to lose another.
Xandra Varden is the newly crowned Goblin Queen of England. But her complicated life is by no means over.

There are the political factions vying for her favor, and the all too-close scrutiny of Queen Victoria, who for some reason wants her head. Not to mention her werewolf boyfriend with demands of his own, and a mother hell bent on destroying the monarchy. Now she's the suspect in a murder investigation --- and Xandra barely knows which way is up.

What she does know is that nothing lasts forever---and immortality isn't all its cracked up to be.

In the latest installment of The Immortal Empire series, Xandra is still coming to terms with her sister Dede’s death, death of her mentor Churchill, and finding out she isn’t a havie but an entirely new breed of goblin that’s able to walk in the daytime. Prince William and most of the goblin den have declared their loyalty to Xandra, and hope she agrees to be their official Queen. But before Xandra can even contemplate the matter she finds out her brother Val has been nabbed by a couple of Betties (humans that drink vampire blood). With the DI on her tail about the death of Churchhill, she’ll need to draw as little attention to herself as possible…like that’s going to be easy with her red hair, yellow-green eyes, title of the Goblin Queen, and her boyfriend is the Lord alpha of the werewolves.

This was another great addition to Immortal Empire series narrated by Xandra Vardan, who I absolutely adore! Xandy is a feisty-headstrong female lead that isn’t afraid to speak her mind or protect her friends, family and innocent bystanders. Xandy is viewed as the Goblin Queen (although she hasn’t officially accepted the title yet) but feels like she isn’t ready to step in such a big role/title.  I love that the Plague (goblins) are extremely devoted to Xandy, doing everything to protect their lady. Everyone fears the goblins thinking they’re the worst-lowest group but what readers see is that the goblins are far better than the Aristo, and humans combined. Although Xandy is uncertain whether or not she’ll take the role as queen, or be a ‘goblin’ for that matter; she eventually gets over her fears and embraces her inner goblin. There were a lot of time in the book she’d ‘Gob-out’ where her face re-shifted and fanged out, had crazy spider- like climbing ability, her thirst for blood, and the coolest detail was finding out that goblin blood is toxic to others!

There were a lot of great memorable characters who are unique, and bring something to the ever expanding world of Steampunk-Victorian London. There’s Penny Dreadful, the fabulous trans that works at Freak Show and Val’s maternal sibling, Vex, Xandra’s  boyfriend whose not your typical alpha male, or William the Goblin Prince, a noble leader of his kind…just to name a few. In regards to Xandra’s brother being taken as the main plot line, there were also other interesting subplots, one of which was everyone wanting Xandra to be aligned with their group…the werewolves, her mother, and even Queen V herself.

Overall, this book was a great expansion of the Immortal Empire world, diving deeper into the characters/history and adding to a detail about experiment labs from the first book as well.  Something happens to Xandra near the end of the book, and I’m wondering if this will be a game-changer in the next book. I really enjoyed The Queen is Dead, great world and characters, witty and heart-felt dialogue, and lots of action and blood! I highly recommend this series, starting with the first book, God Save the Queen. The third book in the series, Long Live the Queen is coming out this October…I can’t wait!! 

1 comment:

  1. I really liked the first one, but I did have issues with it towards the end. I can't wait to read the 2nd one!