Review: The Queen’s Choice by Cayla Kluver

March 17, 2014 3 stars, Book Review 13 ★★★

Review: The Queen’s Choice by Cayla KluverThe Queen's Choice by Cayla Kluver
Series: Heirs of Chrior #1
Published by Harlequin Teen Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Source: Publisher
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Magic was seeping out of me, black and agonizing. I could see it drifting away. The magic that would let me pass the Road to reach home again.

When sixteen-year-old Anya learns that her aunt, Queen of the Faerie Kingdom of Chrior, will soon die, her grief is equalled only by her despair for the future of the kingdom. Her young cousin, Illumina, is unfit to rule, and Anya is determined not to take up the queen's mantle herself.

Convinced that the only solution is to find Prince Zabriel, who long ago disappeared into the human realm of Warckum, and persuade him to take up his rightful crown, Anya journeys into the Warckum Territory to bring him home. But her journey is doomed to be more harrowing than she ever could have imagined.

The Queen's Choice was an intriguing fantasy that explores a world where the human and fey races are at odds. Years ago there was such a terrible war that the fey closed themselves off from the world by means of a barrier called The Bloody Road that will kill any creature that attempts to cross unless they are fey.

three-stars

The Queen’s Choice was an intriguing fantasy that explores a world where the human and fey races are at odds.  Years ago there was such a terrible war that the fey closed themselves off from the world by means of a barrier called The Bloody Road that will kill any creature that attempts to cross unless they are fey.

Anya is a young member of the royal family who loves traveling in the human world and her aunt who is the Queen I believed the two races should live I peace. Of course there are many on both sides who don’t agree and there is a lot of hate going both ways. But when Anya is chosen to be the Queen’s heir she rushes back into the human world in attempt to find the Queen’s estranged son so he can take his place as heir instead. Tragedy quickly befalls her and this first book in the Heirs of Chrior series follows Anya’s travels to find her half-human cousin Zabriel.

A bloody eye for a bloody eye!
A particular fey that runs a halfway house for fey who have suffered from hate crimes makes a very insightful comment that I think could apply to anyone that has ever been a victim in life. Essentially that we think that hurting those people that have hurt us will make us feel better, or maybe even fix us, but all it gives is a temporary reprieve. She says it so much more eloquently than I but alas I can’t find the quote right now.

This’ll be the long road then…
While I definitely enjoyed The Queen’s Choice and found the world building intriguing I couldn’t help but wish things were sped up considerably. This might not be the most appealing comparison when I say it read a bit like a slow song record with a disc jokey that would throw in the occasional scratch to make things upbeat for a few pages then things would mellow out again. Also, there were a handful of flashback scenes that really, I could have done without. On a few I liked the info given but ultimately they didn’t serve to connect me any closer to the characters.

She’s definitely got your back!
An excellent showing in this book is the character and relationship development that we get between Anya and Shea. They had some really good friend chemistry. Most young adult books focus so heavily on romance that friendships and anything to do with them always seem shunted to the side to me. Not here at all. If anything the romance aspects aren’t of much importance at all (if almost not there even) and the family and friend ties are what count. Oh yes, you can definitely expect quite a bit of messed up family problems.

While I certainly had some issues with the pacing I still enjoyed the overall reading experience from The Queen’s Choice and thinks its a promising starter to a unique fantasy world.

The Queen’s Choice (Heirs of Chrior #1)

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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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13 Responses to “Review: The Queen’s Choice by Cayla Kluver”

  1. Cait @ Notebook Sisters

    That’s my main issue with reading epic fantasy. I DO love it…buuut, I guess I’m too much of an insta-reader? (I don’t mean to be!) But I do struggle when the world building takes aaages to build up and the book is a bit slow. Still. I do still have my eye on this one. I think I’d nab it at the library if I saw it. 😉
    Cait @ Notebook Sisters recently posted…Book Covers That Hopelessly Confuse MeMy Profile

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      I really don’t think this would really be considered epic fantasy, more like traditional fantasy. I like instant gratification as well but you know when I have read epic fantasy in the past I don’t feel like I’m not getting anywhere and I think there is a lot of stuff going on and it manages to still keep me really engages and reading at a fast clip. On this book though I just wasn’t sucked in as much as I thought I’d be.

      I hope you enjoy it if you end up picking it up.

  2. Jessica @ Rabid Reads

    Oh, I love a book with good friend chemistry. I do love my romance, but sometimes there’ s just no place for it in a particular story, and if you try to shove in anyway . . . well, no good can come from that. And as far as pacing goes, I do prefer perhaps a faster pace than this one, but as long as excitement occurs periodically, I can generally hold my peace. I think I’d nab this one from the library too 🙂
    Jessica @ Rabid Reads recently posted…Review: Brazen by Kelley ArmstrongMy Profile

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      Yes! – that is a tiny bit how I felt here…there is a developing triangle that is weird cause its not a normal triangle seeing as how she’s away from her betrothed and she doesn’t think they’ll really be betrothed anymore since she doesn’t think she can ever go home. It did feel a little bit added on – I could have even done without any of the romance bits.

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      Haha I’m glad you like it – I’m trying to use it whenever a snappy something pops in my head. Sometimes I’m lazy though and I go with bulleted lists of likes/dislikes. It all just depends on my mood and how lazy I’m feeling at the moment. I’m totally not limiting myself to one style of review cause I’m just going to write it how I want!

      I totally don’t mind you don’t even reference the book – cause hey if you very obviously know its not for you (which this one soo isn’t haha) then makes perfect sense!

  3. Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun

    Sounds unique! I like a faster pace than this too – but for the start of a fantasy series I tend to accept that a slower pace if the world building is good enough. I also really love books that focus on friendships, so that’s super cool! I think I’ll wait to see how book two turns out, but I’m intrigued. Great review 🙂
    Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun recently posted…All Hallows Night | BlitzMy Profile

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      You’re right I actually find that often a first book of a series will be very slow for me or it will be like this, a 3 star but then I’ll come to really love it later on. It just depends on how emotionally invested and intrigued I get by the end of the first book. Thanks!

  4. Kristen H.

    I really enjoyed this book, which made me think about it after I read it for a while, since it took me so damn long to finish it. I think you made some excellent points and this is more under the realm of epic fantasy, so is due cause for a bit of a slower pace. I think the next book will pick up as there’s less world and character building and more plot points. I really appreciated the lack of romance (present, but not forefront) and the focus on the two girls’ friendship as they travel together. Definitely looking forward to the next book!
    Kristen H. recently posted…The Monster ReportMy Profile

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      So damn long is right! Normally I can chew through a book of this length in one day and yet this took me a number of days which was to say the least, aggravating and messed with my groove. I don’t necessarily think its epic fantasy but more like traditional fantasy. When I think epic I think tons of pages, very very slow and in depth world building and lots and lots of characters and subplots. This had the world building, not as in depth as a epic but yes slow…and only the one POV.

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      I’ll have to look up a definition now for epic fantasy or see what the general consensus is cause I’m sure we all consider our genres differently =)

  5. Pamela D

    It’s a shame that the pacing was off, because the book’s premise is neat. I’ll be curious to hear how book #2 is. 🙂

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      That’s the thing though – back in the day I would finish any series that I started but no a days sometimes I read the first book and don’t necessarily pick up the next one.