I dove eagerly into Thorn Queen as soon as I finished reading Storm Born. Richelle Mead is a straight-forward writer and an excellent story-teller. Her descriptions of the other world and supporting characters made it incredibly easy to relate to Eugenie Markham, the main character. (Yes, that’s the main character’s name. I hated it at first, and I still cringe sometimes when I read it.)
So much happened around the main plot in Thorn Queen that it wasn’t until I was halfway through the apex of the storyline that I realized that that was what the book was about. The relationship and internal character angst distracted me from seeing that there was an ever larger conflict and mystery to be solved by the main character.
The last quarter of the book sped by quickly because everything was so tense that I couldn’t put it down till things were resolved. There was action scene after action scene, and then after that, it was a bedroom action scene. I literally finished the book while waiting for a light to change on the street because I was walking while reading. That’s how hard it is to put down.
Even though when I started this series, I thought I’d have trouble believing a story about a woman who spends half her time in the real world and half her time in some other dimension fairy world, it actually works. Towards the end of this book, I started thinking of the fairy world as more permanent and real than the human world that Eugenie also inhabited.
Thorn Queen has enough lead up into the story for people who never read the first book in the series, but I highly suggest reading the first book to just get the emotional baggage and background of all the characters. It makes the interactions in this book all the more worthwhile. Although the plot was decent and the mystery not bad, what I really liked about Thorn Queen was the way characters related and hated each other. It was like fast-paced, magical, soap opera.
SPOILERS AFTER THE JUMP
One of the best things about the book was that Eugenie finally dumped Kiyo for Dorian. In the first book, Kiyo seemed like a decent guy, but as soon as the baby thing got revealed, I was ready for her to get over him. That would have been a deal-breaker if it had been me, and since Eugenie is generally such an easy character to relate to, I couldn’t imagine why she would want to hang on to Kiyo. I could deal with the turning into a fox *ahem* I mean kitsune thing despite my initial fear that there was going to be some weird furry sex going on, but the whole having a baby with another woman thing was the last straw.
In this second book, even though it was obvious that Mead was hinting at the Eugenie-Kiyo relationship not working out, I couldn’t rest easy until I read the words in the book. He just came on as too logical, uncompromising, and not right. When the “Dorian to the rescue” scene played out, I was so happy I could have clapped if I weren’t holding my book. I had been rooting for him through this whole book even though like Eugenie, there was a nagging part of me that wondered if he really had some evil ulterior motive that is yet to be revealed.
The ending in the book, like the first one tied up some loose ends, but still felt like a cliffhanger. I really hope the Dorian thing works out in the third book, but then, that wouldn’t make the story very thrilling in the romance department. I just hope he doesn’t turn totally evil, or get killed of, or get passed up for Kiyo once again.
The character of Dorian reminded me a lot of Eric in the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlene Harris. He came on as evil, ambitious, and selfish at first, but eventually it was revealed he could easily balance that with love for the main character. Like the case with Dorian, I started rooting for the Sookie-Eric team instead of the conventional Sookie-Bill team.