I wasn’t much of a fan of the first book in this series (this is book two), but this one took leaps and bounds to draw me and -hold my interest. Enough so that I’m very interested in going back to the first book.
The book opens with Saffron, having returned to Earth from the world known as Kena. She’s bullied and shunned by many of her classmates and her parents believe she needs to be in psychiatric treatment. Saffron believes that she just needs to be left alone, and when not, that she should have the right to stand up for herself. But customs and traditions threaten the girl’s chances for peace or tranquility. She’s going to have to make some difficult choices (welcome to the world!) and either return to Kena – abandoning everything and everyone she knows and loves; or stay in the world that will never let her forget that she’s wounded and maybe even broken psychologically.
You don’t really need to read the first book – author Foz Meadows does a great job of summing up the events in the previous book in a portion of the narrative early on.
Seeing this side of Saffron really connected me to her. I loved her spirit and her unwillingness to bow to the pressure and to stand up for herself. The scenes in the school almost stand out as ‘feminist women’s rights dogma’. Almost. I loved her. I loved her spirit and I wanted nothing more than to see her succeed at whatever she wanted from that point on.
The story(ies) in Kena with some of the other players was less exciting. I think that a large part of it was that there were too many people who blended together and I had a tough time keeping them straight. Each chapter we spent with someone (and there were a few of them), I kept just wanting to know what Saffron was up to.
In a lot of ways this feels like a ‘Mary Sue’ story except that it’s not taking place in a tried-and-true existing universe, but in Meadows’ own world. Still, I can’t help shake the feeling that we’re reading a lot of wishful fantasy on Meadows’ part. I think that’s true with a lot of fantasy fiction, but it wears on the shoulder a bit more here. Perhaps I’m wrong, and I didn’t feel that way with the first book. Even so, I enjoyed this journey more than the previous one.
Looking for a good book? A Tyranny of Queens by Foz Meadows returns us to the Manifold World series with a stronger developing of character than the previous book.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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A Tyranny of Queens
author: Foz Meadows
series: Manifold Worlds #2
publisher: Angry Robot
paperback, 431 pages