Sunday, January 28, 2018

"Journey of the Fourth Queen" by Mark Miller

This book is what I would consider a variation of a twisted fairytale. The fairytale queens of the four kingdoms are all gathering for the first time in a very great while. An evil is threatening their realms; one that is strong enough that it will need all four of them to defeat it. Isis (Queen of the Southern Valley), Snow White (Queen of the Northern Wood), and Cinderella (Queen of the Western Sun) have all made it to the castle at Empyrean. Unfortunately, the Queen of the Eastern Sky was killed before she could arrive. Without the magical power of all four of the Queens, they cannot defeat the returning evil.

With the death of one of the four queens, a new queen has already been magically called to come to the castle at Empyrean to take on the duties and responsibilities of lost Eastern Queen. No one, however, knows exactly who this fourth queen will be, and all they can do is to defend the castle and await her arrival. The three remaining queens have sent out messengers to their kingdoms to gather people to come and fight to defend the four kingdoms. One other was sent out to the Eastern Kingdom to seek out and help the new Queen to reach Empyrean safely. The evil beings attacking the kingdoms will also be seeking to find her and prevent her arrival, for without all four queens working together evil will once again take over control of the four kingdoms.

Two sisters, Zandria and Olena manage to survive and escape an attack on their small village. They have long been given attention by the Eastern Queen and other visitors to their village, and it is assumed that one of them will likely be chosen to become the new Queen of the Eastern Sky one day, if the need should arise during their lifetime. The two girls are aided in their escape by a creature known as a quzzak who helps them flee towards Castle Empyrean. It is a long and dangerous journey that they must survive if there is to be any hope for the four kingdoms. They are also being stalked by evil beings who will do anything to prevent them from reaching Empyrean.

I have always enjoyed reading twisted fairytales, and this was a very unique story, that included a number of both well-known and lesser-known fairytales with very different endings than the usual versions. This book was very well-written and I really enjoyed reading it. The ending of the book sets us up for a second book in the series, and I am definitely looking forward to picking up a copy of that one to read as well. If you like unique twists on familiar fairytales, I would very much recommend giving this one a chance. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

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