Within teenage queen Talia lies a darkness that will endanger an entire kingdom. She struggles with her own self-destructive ways, as she tries to be a compassionate and fair ruler in a land of magic, werewolves, and vampires. To protect them, she makes a pact with the vampires in a bid for peace. In the end, the trust she offers may be the very thing that leads to her own demise.
About the author
Christy King is a Fantasy author who writes about supernatural elements and how they impact lives. The characters she creates have power, but pay a heavy price.
Christy King lives in Bastrop, Texas where an unlikely pine forest grows, along with her husband of more than 20 years. She enjoys her pet dogs and cats, as well as traveling, the beach, the mountains, and writing.
By Sarah Jane Avory on 5 Jan. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Take my advice, give this one a try. You won’t be disappointed. Looking forward to the next book now…
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Talia herself is as full of contrasts as the plot. Profoundly depressed and alienated, yet raised to privilege and royal charisma, she presents a picture that is at first confused and muddied, much like her mental state, but comes into sharper focus as the book progresses. I hope the worldbuild comes out more strongly in the sequel, which I am looking forward to reading. The writing is in a straightforward, personable style which fans of YA fiction will appreciate, and though the plot is largely driven by vampires, I feel it is worth a try even for those who, like me, are not vampire lovers. The living dead are beautiful, but traitorous monsters. The content is a little strong, especially sexual content, but older teens and adults should find this a fun read.
TALIA is an invitation to the fantasy world that Christy King has created. Aerie is a small kingdom rich in natural resources wedged between two powerful and ambitious neighbors. Quite unexpectedly, Aerie’s king dies and his teenage daughter Talia inherits both a war and a serious werewolf and vampire problem. The young orphaned queen has her own problems, however. She has self-destructive habits and in her younger years was always trying to slip away from the castle. She surrounds herself with a tight-knit group of advisers, guards, and servants who share a devotion to her and her kingdom.
Where the novel shines is in character development. Each member of Queen Talia’s inner circle has his or her own motives made clear through his or her actions. There is a great deal of palace intrigue, but Talia insists to chart her own course, for good or for bad, in a world where men hold almost all the cards. She plays to her own strengths and takes calculated risks in her dealings with vampires, rival kings, and those seeking her hand.
King does a good job establishing her own world. The vampires, werewolves, and normal humans are portrayed a bit differently than in much of fantasy. Readers will find some things are also rather different from many fantasy worlds based on medieval Europe, which at first can seem anachronistic, but King works these details to her advantage–and Talia’s.
On the downside, the novel is a bit rough when it comes to exploring how Talia feels about certain members of her inner circle, especially early on in the story, but this may have been intentional, to relate to the reader Talia’s on confusion as she dealt simultaneously with the sudden loss of her parents, seeking love on her own terms, and ruling a kingdom beset with problems. Heavy is the head that wears the crown, but she grows into it after facing many trials. It is well worth sharing the journey with her.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Talia is the emotional journey of Queen Talia, a young woman who has assumed the mantle of her family’s throne due to the tragic murders of her mother and her father early on. She rules a realm under constant threat of vampire and werewolf attacks and to appease the vampires, she strikes a reasonable accord with the vampire, but one they soon betray and leave her life in immediate danger. Talia is always on the run and her adventure takes her from thunderous seas filled with treacherous pirates and lonely mountains where dangers lurk in the shadows.
Talia is a very practical character. She doesn’t entirely know what she wants and makes due with what is present. She is not afraid to satisfy her physical needs, which can be considered refreshing. Based on the information she is given, she makes logical choices for the most part, but her plans are rarely executed the way she would have them. However, she is surrounded by a rather weak supporting cast. None of the other characters stand out from the crowd with the exception of Arden, who gets MVP in my eyes. He is the most interesting character due to his lackluster approach to problems and his deviousness. One of the issues I had is everyone has this sort of “cater to Talia” feel about them where they basically love her for no adequately explained reason. This happen more often than not and becomes rather tiresome. In essence, it reduces tension and basically gives Talia a way out of every problem she faces.
The pacing is a bit uneven. The beginning is slow as world building takes places for a few chapters, but the first chapter swiftly ends after the murder of Talia’s mother. After Talia takes the throne, she sets a plan in motion to make peace with her realms vampires, one they soon dissolve in the shadows. This gives plenty of time for Talia to develop relationships with her love interest Boone, at the time. Later, Camon (another love interest) enters and this builds a love triangle of sorts, which soon becomes one-sided. The pacing issues arise from the plot not progressing much and relationships being the center focus of tension. With vampires and werewolves running about, they would seem to be of bigger concern, but they are reduced to the background and give way to Talia’s love for Camon and Boone.
The issue is the lack of an external goal (plot) for Talia to resolve. Aside from not wanting to be murdered, Talia does not seek anything. Her concerns are internal, needing love from one of the men in her life. This creates a pacing issue for non-romantic readers (as I thought this was centered on fantasy not romance, but that could be my mistake). Thus being the case, characters wear their emotions on their sleeves. As a reader, this robbed me of the opportunity to develop my own feelings for most things; instead, emotions are thrown about freely and become a bit distracting and tiresome. Werewolves make an appearance early, but they don’t play much of a role as they only show up a few times.
With this being a romance novel at its core, there is little action (which is good). Action shows up in a few places, but some of the major events (SPOILER) (assassination of Talia’s mother and her father’s death) could have been included, which could have developed the plot further and add some action, but those events happened “off” page.
The prose are okay as well as the dialogue. Aside from Talia, none of the characters (aside from Arden) had a distinctive voice, so picking out their lines is nearly impossible. A few Kindle glitches, such as characters speaking on the same line, made a few parts confusing, but a quick look sorted that out.
This is a bit tricky to consider because most of the tension comes from the relationships being in danger of not working out.
This is a romance novel as the romantic relationship(s) between Talia and her two male suitors are the primary focus. If you are looking for a romance novel set in an interestingly built fantasy world, this may be the one for you.
Dark romantic fantasy 3 Jan. 2014
Talia must grow up suddenly when the burden of leadership is thrust upon her but she holds true to her convictions & refuses to be manipulated by those around her.
This wonderful book by first time author Christy King is full of charming characters & unexpected plot twists.
I look forward to following Talia on her journey, watching her gather strength from the friendships she forges & seeing her grow into the position she was destined for.