4 out of 4 stars
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Breann Thorne Stanzell's The High Queen is a YA Fantasy novel that takes the reader to the realm of Ternaro, a parallel world in which many of the inhabitants have magical abilities. Ternaro is governed by queens, who use their powers to maintain peace and harmony among the people. The highest office in Ternaro is that of the High Queen, whose duties are shrouded in mystery, but are nevertheless vital to maintaining the order of this world.
Anna-Sophia is a princess from a powerful royal family, one that many believe could produce the next High Queen. This makes her a target for the Malnum Noctis, a dark force that wishes to fundamentally change the world order, led by the fallen prince Mortrano. When tragedy strikes Anna-Sophia's home, she is sent into hiding and forced to conceal both her identity and extraordinary magical abilities. What will become of Anna-Sophia, and will she be able to withstand the challenges that lie ahead?
The High Queen is well written book with an endearing protagonist and smoothly flowing plot. The writing itself is of high quality and the errors are few, which leads me to believe that the book was professionally edited. The story is well-suited for tweens and teens, although I believe that fantasy lovers of all ages could enjoy it. The author does an excellent job of creating a tangible fantasy world that provides an immersive experience for the reader. The world of Ternaro is both unique and comfortably familiar, balancing the mundane with the fantastical in a believable manner.
My favorite part of the book was the ending itself, and for obvious reasons I cannot divulge the specifics without including spoilers. But for the purpose of this review, I will focus upon another aspect that I greatly enjoyed: the characters. As a mother, I appreciated reading a book in which the young protagonist and her friends are decent, respectable people who wish to do the right thing. Modern culture tends to downplay traits such as discipline, respect, and kindness, but in this story they are placed upon a pedestal. In a world that is overrun with selfishness, it was refreshing to come across a story that encourages young people to be considerate and to strive beyond their own self-interests.
In conclusion, I am happy to report that there was nothing about this book that I disliked. I enjoyed reading The High Queen, and I award it 4 out of 4 stars. This is a wonderful fantasy story that will appeal greatly to tween and teens girls especially, but can also be enjoyed by fans of the genre as a whole.
The High Queem
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