New York Times bestselling author Richelle Mead takes readers back to the Otherworld, an embattled realm mystically entwined with our world—and ruled by one woman's dangerous choice. . .
Shaman-for-hire Eugenie Markham is the best at banishing entities trespassing in the mortal realm. But as the Thorn Land's queen, she's fast running out of ways to end the brutal war devastating her kingdom. Her only hope: the Iron Crown, a legendary object even the most powerful gentry fear. . .
Who Eugenie can trust is the hardest part. Fairy king Dorian has his own agenda for aiding her search. And Kiyo, her shape-shifter ex-boyfriend, has every reason to betray her along the way. To control the Crown's ever-consuming powers, Eugenie will have to confront an unimaginable temptation—one that will put her soul and the fate of two worlds in mortal peril. . .
Praise for Richelle Mead's Storm Born. . .
"My kind of book—great characters, dark worlds, and just the right touch of humor. A great read."
—Patricia Briggs, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author
Eugenie Markham, the new queen of the Thorn Land (as established in Storm Born and Thorn Queen), likes being the daughter of the Storm King and carrying his powers, but the responsibility is a pain. For example, her offspring is prophesied to conquer humanity. She has to visit the otherworld regularly while keeping the bills paid with her part-time shaman gig in the real world. Her ex-boyfriend, Kiyo, is back in her life, while hunky, kinky King Dorian has designs on her body and her womb. Oh, and war is raging between her land and the land of Queen Katrice. The fabled Iron Crown might end the war, but is Eugenie willing to gamble her life on questing for it? Eugenie's a pretty inept queen, but fans of the series will overlook that amid the kick-butt action and hot sex.
Customer ReviewsSee All
As good as rachel morgan series. So sad I have to wait months for next one.
Doesn't deserve her Crown
This book was what broke the series for me. It started out well in the first book, an intriguing use of shamanism and realistic techniques for confronting the spirit world. I was willing to overlook some of the book's faults for the novelty of it. However, by the end of the first book and all throughout the rest of the books, the spirit world became less an intangible mystical place so much as just… well, Narnia; as Mead mentions herself in the book! That killed a lot of what attracted me in the first place to the story.
But what ultimately killed the Dark Swan series was Eugenie herself. I haven't encountered such an unlikeable protagonist since New Moon! I saw all the signs throughout the second book. Eugenie is ruled by her emotions and us utterly incapable of thinking rationally. She is endlessly selfish and is unable to set aside her sheer incompetence for even a moment despite the fact that there are clearly hundreds if not thousands of innocent lives on the line. As a queen, she never rises to her new responsibility and acts like a child all through the second book and the third. She whines and moans about the petty details of her love life while people are dying all around her. She leans on her staff and her boyfriends to accomplish anything. Her only skill seems to be killing things. Which, probably is fitting.
While the second book redeemed itself enough in my eyes at the climax to warrant buying the third book, the climax for the third rendered Eugenie completely unsalvageable as a protagonist for me. I actually skipped to the end when I was halfway through because I couldn't take anymore of the protagonist's refusal to accept any other reality than her own and her penchant for avoiding any sort of responsibility and just ignoring problems until others solve them for her. I stopped randomly near the end and the few paragraphs I read was enough to make my jar drop with the sheer callousness of the protagonist. An utter rejection of what she'd been saying earlier about not caring about any prophecy and living her own life, Eugenie became completely unrelatable as a character in a heartbeat. No normal person would act like this!! Eugenie, AKA Odile (Oh, and we never see her in her freaking swan spirit form!!!) is sociopathic and is fueled by selfishness and teenage angst. I wouldn't trust her with a dog let alone a child.
Read the first book and pretend that the rest in the series doesn't exist.
I can't wait for the next one.