Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Review for "Song of the Fairy Queen" by Valerie Douglas

Our first review is in...

Story Overview:

Set in a fictional fantasy world, this story tells the story of a King deposed by his brother and his attempt to regain his crown with the help of his loyal General; Morgan and his Marshalls and the mysterious and beautiful Queen of the Fairies. As can be expected from such a book, there is battle scenes, lives lost, magic, mythical creatures and romance.

Cover Page: 19/20

A striking and bold statement on the front cover that when I look at it draws me in. The character on the front of the book surely is someone that I wouldn't expect to be a fairy and that adds to the appeal of the book - there is a new twist to a well known mythical creature. My only nitpicking (and it is nitpicking) is that with the wings and the arrow holder visible, it is evident that they aren't connected, but that is really being nitpicking.

Character (and their development): 18/20

The depth and the development of the characters have been excellent shown within the writing and as you read the story you do feel that they are changing with the events which are unfolding. My original concern with the book was that there were too many characters introduced too quickly and at the beginning I was checking on who was who. However by chapter three or four I had gotten use to all the characters and felt that I knew them well. The emotion felt by all the characters is especially done well and is not easily resolved by any of them. For instance; you can really feel the emotional pain that King suffers as he loses his wife and his journey to cope the sadness. There are also no two dimensional characters, even the most minor of character has his or her own distinct character.

Storyline: 18/20

The start of the story is strikingly good. As the attack of the castle commences there is the sense of the confusion and panic which is often associated with battle, adding to an excellent atmosphere. As the battle continues there are many questions asked but very answers at the time, left for the reader to get the information in little pieces as the book progresses, just as if you were a defender in the castle from the surprise attack. I loved reading about the fairies, having only really touched upon fairies from Peter Pan, I can honestly say I didn't know what to expect and I was pleasantly happy with the way the author has taken a mythical creature and made it her own. She has also done the same with another mythical creature, but I'll leave that for you to discover in the book. The fact that the back story to the universe has been well established in the book makes you feel as if this isn't just a made up story but a tale of a real work.

The only disappointments in the storyline was the fact that it was a brother who overthrew the King, which I tend to think is too obvious (however an Uncle would certainly have been worse) and the fact that the passage of time sometimes seems too quick.  I wonder if there was a chance for several books here or a longer novel exploring what happened in the weeks between chapters.

Style: 18/20

By delving straight into the action you immediately get hooked onto the story and immediate loss of a character that seems so promising is an excellent way for the ready to keep on guessing who is safe and who is not. The actual writing is very descriptive to the point where I could almost draw images of what was around the main characters or try for a good picture of the characters themselves. Yet the author doesn't describe too much in the battle, instead keeps the action moving and speed fast, forcing the reader to read at the pace of the battle, adding to the sense of chaos and blurriness that battle can bring. However I found the change in perspective every couple of paragraphs at time a little confusing and sometimes frustrating as I had little indication as when the change was made and who it was changed to.

Spelling and Grammar: 17/20

If search for other books by Valerie Douglas and her works, you will find reviews commenting on her poor spelling and grammar. You'll also find those who say it is great and there is nothing to worry about. To be honest, there are a few mistakes, but if you look at some of the great works out there, there is a lot of mistakes too. I tend to look at mistakes as if I am driving down a road and a mistake is a pot hole. If my car goes over the pot hole and I don't notice anything but a little bump then what is the problem, after all we are all human. However if it can break my car, then I am worried. In the case of this novel there is nothing here that would destroy the car. The mistakes, which are all word misplacement (rather than spelling), are few and far between, and often it is obvious what was supposed to be there that the reader could easily read over them without noticing.

Conclusion: 90/100

A highly enjoyable book, which if I am honest I couldn't put down despite not being on my usual reading pile. I enjoyed the battle scenes, the romance scenes and the friendships that grew from the book. If this review was on Amazon, this would get five stars and I truly hope that more people give this book a try and the recognition that it so deserves.

Buy Song of the Fairy Queen at Amazon.co.uk Buy Song of the Fairy Queen from Amazon.com

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