Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Review: The Born Queen by Greg Keyes

Anne Dare now sits on the throne of Crotheny. Using her growing powers she sets about driving the Church out of her kingdom, an action that leads to open warfare with Hansa. Queen Muriele leads an embassy, along with her bodyguard Alis Berrye and knight Neil MeqVren, hoping to preserve peace. Though Anne may have other ideas for the embassy. Aspar White is slowly mending from his injuries unsure of his next move. The decision is quickly taken out of his hands when Fend's creatures find him and he is reminded by the Sandlewood witch that he still owes her a favour. Stephen Darige has hit a standstill as he searches for Virgenya Dare's journal and the arc, though events may overtake him soon enough.

In my review of the Blood Knight I mentioned how I enjoyed the way Keyes hinted that things might not be as cut and dried with the characters morality as they first appeared. He takes this several steps further in this volume, giving hints that Stephen, Anne, Muriale among a few others might not be the heroes we believe them to be and that Robert, the church and Fend may have the right of it.

I really love the way Neil, Stephen and especially Anne have grown up throughout this series and Anne really steps up in this one. Pacing worked well here and the hectic pace of the finale was brilliant.

There were a few slight disappointments for me in this conclusion. Firstly I wanted the Church's position to take a more original turn and had every reason to believe that they would. Sadly by the end of this volume that is clearly not the case. After all the effort Robert spent in tricking Leoff into writing the death inducing song I found his plan for it to be rather redundant. I think his character as a whole was a bit of a waste of potential and felt his ending was too rushed.

Overall a strong ending to an enjoyable series, despite the missed oppurtunties in a few areas. 8/10.

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