Review: Thorn Queen

Richelle Mead
Urban Fantasy
374 pages
Dark Swan #2
Chapter 1
Bantam Books

Eugenie Markham is a shaman for hire, paid to bind and banish creatures from the Otherworld. But after her last battle, she’s also become queen of the Thorn Land. It’s hardly an envious life, not with her kingdom in tatters, her love life in chaos, and Eugenie eager to avoid the prophecy about her firstborn destroying mankind. And now young girls are disappearing from the Otherworld, and no one—except Eugenie—seems willing to find out why.

Eugenie has spilled plenty of fey blood in her time, but this enemy is shrewd, subtle, and nursing a very personal grudge. And the men in her life aren't making things any easier. Her boyfriend, Kiyo, is preoccupied with his pregnant ex, and sexy fey king Dorian always poses a dangerous distraction. With or without their help, Eugenie must venture deep into the Otherworld and trust in an unpredictable power she can barely control. Reluctant queen or not, Eugenie has sworn to do her duty—even if it means facing the darkest—and deadliest—side of her nature…

The Dark Swan saga has hit it's stride.  This book doesn't waste time as an all set-up,transition-style book (even though there are some MAJOR transitions that must be addressed) but instead brings it, with heavy action, complicated decision time, and just the right amount of romance. Enjoy my friends, enjoy. 

Eugenie has been through a lot so far, but you'll watch her transform even further as she must decide her place in the Otherworld, as the newly named Thorn Queen.  Her land literally needs her presence to survive, but she worries that her "self" won't survive without the normalcy of her life in Tuscon, or her easy relationship with Kiyo.  Through watching and empathizing with her plights, readers will find themselves even further attach to Eugenie; I know I was. If it's possible, Eugenie has become even more fearless in this book, and you all know how much I idealize a strong heroine.  She doesn't cower, or whine about it all. She doesn't change who is she is at the core, because her life is being altered, dramatically.  She's easily becoming one of my newest favorite superheroes.

So let's get to what you're all wondering about; the triangle.  So I'm obviously not going to ruin any outcomes for you, but I will say that the developments in the struggle between, Eugenie, Kiyo, and Dorian are down right delicious, but they're natural, and eventually seemed to set a pace of their very own.  I was just so desperate to see what happens I forgot sometimes that there was a very fun and adventurous plot to follow.  {because there IS a great story being told}  Again, I'll just say enjoy.  

So yes, the story.  This book is as much about getting to know Eugenie more, as it is about the mystery that must be solved.  {PS- I was blindsided when it does get "solved", so bonus points for the plot} Most of the book takes place in the Otherworld this time, which is exactly what I wanted. By doing so,it gave me a chance to get to know all the secondary characters in the Thorn Queen's life and resulted in me wanted more involvement from each of them.  Mead also throws in a very dark turn of events, that I'm not sure I agreed with, but later realized that you and Eugenie have to pass through it to continue the series in its new direction; otherwise it would have turned into a series of the same stories with just a different bad guy.  So, when you hit the dark part just remember that it IS purposeful. 

Bottom Line:  This book focuses on Eugenie's balance between the two worlds -and men- she's being pulled against, and the frustration that takes place when one side ultimately gets favored over the other. That's the boring bi-line; I'd rather just say WHOOOO HOOOO

4 stars


  1. Yay!! So glad you liked this one!! this is one of my favorite series, like, evers:)

  2. These books sound good but something just occurred to me... How sci-fi-ish are they? I want to read them, but will I like them? You know what I like oh wise one. What do you think?