25 January, 2012

Book Review: The Fallen Queen by Jane Kindred

Published: December 2011, ENTANGLED PUBLISHING

Series: The House of Arkhangel'sk #1 (upcoming series)
Source: Publicist, no other compensation given for an honest review

From Good Reads:
Heaven can go to hell.

Until her cousin slaughtered the supernal family, Anazakia’s father ruled the Heavens, governing noble Host and Fallen peasants alike. Now Anazakia is the last grand duchess of the House of Arkhangel’sk, and all she wants is to stay alive.

Hunted by Seraph assassins, Anazakia flees Heaven with two Fallen thieves—fire demon Vasily and air demon Belphagor, each with their own nefarious agenda—who hide her in the world of Man. The line between vice and virtue soon blurs, and when Belphagor is imprisoned, the unexpected passion of Vasily warms her through the Russian winter.

Heaven seems a distant dream, but when Anazakia learns the truth behind the celestial coup, she will have to return to fight for the throne—even if it means saving the man who murdered everyone she loved.

My Review:
All hail fantasy. My roots in genre fiction started with high fantasy. I love reading it, but I don't do it often enough for some reason. I love the world-building, I love the character development, I love the seemingly impossible quest the protags must go on... And when I finish reading a truly good fantasy book, I realize how much I missed the genre. That's exactly what happened to me during and after my reading of THE FALLEN QUEEN.

Kindred has put a twist on angel lore in a new and captivating way. Angels and Demons are still at odds, but they both reside in Heaven. Fallen refers to those that have step foot upon the human earthly plane. Heaven echoes earth. Or is it the other way around? Kindred's plot and characters were utterly engrossing. They took me on a ride of danger, violence, sex, redemption, mystery, and cultural immersion that I have yet to come down from.

The central plotline revolved around Anazakia and her flight from heaven after her family is murdered. However, this puts her in the hands of Belphagor and Vasily, two demons and complex characters in their own right, whose relationship with each other and their pasts are explored throughout the novel. The earthly setting is in Russia, and Kindred infuses Vasily, Belphagor and Anazakia's interactions with the Russian language and culture of the time. Though there is plenty of strange-looking vocabulary from both the Russian and Arkhangel'sk languages, it lends authenticity and I enjoyed the inclusion.

THE FALLEN QUEEN is not fantasy lite, where a fantasy setting falls to the background of a romance or love triangle. This is fantasy at its best, where the intricacies of the world are spun out amidst angel court intrigue, three people on the run from a mad queen and her bespelled pawn, sacrifice and discovery.

5/5 for plot
4.5/5 for characters
4.5/5 for language

My Rating: 14/15 (4.5 stars)

Must Read, if you liked:

The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima
The Keepers of Sulbreth by Susan Gourley
October Daye (series) by Seanan McGuire

Find the author at:
Website | Blog | Twitter | GoodReads

Purchase book at:
Barnes and Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | Amazon

Available formats: Print (Trade Paperback), Nook Book, Kindle,

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