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Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Warrior Queen by Tasarla Romaney

The Warrior Queen by Tasarla Romaney
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing
Genre: Fantasy, Action/Adventure, Romance
Length: Short Story (103 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 16+
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Poinsettia

Finally, the Warrior Queen yields the Specter of Hope. Will she blanket all of humankind in darkness destroying the world of magic? Or free the humans of creatures from nightmares and restore the world of magic to its splendor? She must see through trickery, trust in what she fears the most, and rely on those closest to her to succeed.

Crenshaw, Taraly, Sancha, Jalie, and Taigo continue their quest through the land of the dead, the barren salt plains, fight endless battles for what they believe in. Only have they placed their belief in the correct Warrior Queen?

There are two sides to the mirror, light and dark. Who will represent each side?

Ms. Romaney wastes no time getting the action started in this exciting installment of the Night of the Gryphon series. The Warrior Queen picks up right at the moment The Hollow King ended. Readers wanting to enjoy The Warrior Queen to it's fullest should read The Hollow King first.

As Taraly, Taigo, Crenshaw, Sancha, and Jalie continue on the quest for the Scepter of Hope, it becomes apparent the five individuals are still not working as a unit. Taraly is still unsure of her feelings for Taigo. Sancha loves Jalie, but knows that she isn’t good for him or the quest. Even more troubling, Jalie and Taigo have some skeletons in their closets that seriously call their motivations and loyalty into question. I had hoped to watch these budding romances continue to bloom in this story. Unfortunately, I have a feeling these fragile romances might not stand the test of time. However, the romantic in me is still holding out hope for some sort of happy ending.

Ms. Romaney is very good at filling her stories with twists and turns to me on my toes. When the first book ended, I at least thought I knew who was going to be on the side of light and who was going to be on the side of dark. As this story progressed, it became increasingly clear not everything is so easily divided. Ms. Romaney reveals two warrior queens and two hollow kings, each representing the light or the dark. Also, several new minor characters were introduced. Each of those characters were working to ensure their candidate for warrior queen or hollow king succeeded. The meddling of these other characters is a bit much at times, but they do move the plot along as well as reveal some interesting background information concerning the main characters.

I must mention that I have one small issue with the story. There are several typos sprinkled throughout the book. For example "pass" was used instead of "past", etc. As I said, this was a minor issue in an otherwise excellent story.

As much as I like the twists and turns of the plot, the characters are what really make this book special. What sets Ms. Romaney’s characters apart and gives them great depth is the fact that very few of them are purely good or evil. They all have the capacity to choose the light or the dark. This is especially apparent in the character of Ovezara, an evil sorceress. Her entire childhood was spent being abused and groomed to do evil, but every now and then a little light shines in her. This causes her a great deal of distress because she isn’t sure what to do with the light. Will she nurture it or crush it?

Crenshaw is another character who really came into his own in this book. When I first encountered him in The Hollow King, Crenshaw had one thing on his mind, killing Ovezara. He also had a pretty low self esteem and didn’t believe that he was capable of much. As the story progresses, Crenshaw slowly begins to realize the strength of the light within him. Crenshaw is also a great source of humor in the book. I especially enjoy his interactions with his mother. His sense of humor is certainly a bit dark at times, but it is always entertaining and never failed to make me smile.

I absolutely enjoyed reading The Warrior Queen, but I must warn readers, like the first book, The Warrior Queen ends at a crucial moment sure to leave readers wanting more. The Warrior Queen is an excellent addition to the Night of the Gryphon series, and I’m already looking forward to the next book. Readers looking for a great fantasy laced with romance should certainly give this book a try.

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