Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Book 6: The Midnight Queen (Uncorrected Proof)

Title and Author: The Midnight Queen, by Sylvia Izzo Hunter

Illustrator: Unknown
Publisher: The Berkley Publishing Group, part of Penguin Publishing Company
Expected Publication Date: September 2, 2014
Genre: Fantasy
Target Audience/Age Group: Children
Part of a Series? Probably
Will the Reviewer Keep It In His/Her Library? No

This book will look different in its final version. There are place holder pages for maps and it will probably have illustrations.

I liked it, but not enough to read it from cover to cover.  There's this thing I do that drives my son crazy–if a book begins to drag, I turn to the end and read the last couple of chapters. If it's pretty obvious what happened between where I stopped reading and the end of the book, the book flunks the MMWR test and I don't go back and read the middle. About a third of the books I read get tested. Not many books pass, I'm sorry to say. This one flunked.

That doesn't mean it isn't an interesting book. It is. I liked the characters. Graham Marshall is a scholarship student at a college for magicians who should have been expelled for his part in rule breaking. Instead he has to spend his long vacation (like our summer, I guess) at a professor's house in the country. The prof has three daughters; the middle daughter is trying to teach herself magic.

It seems to take place in a version of England where kings and queens still rule, not just reign. There's political plots revolving around a missing princess, the king's daughter by his first wife. I didn't follow it all because I skipped the middle. The details weren't important for understanding the end.

The society seems to acknowledge all the ancient gods, Greek, Roman, Celtic, Breton, etc. I found all that confusing.

I did like Graham Marshall and the Callender daughters. Ms Hunter does a good job bringing characters to life. I cared about them, which is why I turned to the end instead of just quitting it. 

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