I was ensnared by LJ McDonald’s The Battle Sylph; I adored the second novel, The Shattered Sylph but I was absolutely blown away by Queen of the Sylphs.
It was a dream come true. Solie had her own battler, a creature of almost infinite magic who could vaporize legions in the blink of an eye and would willingly suffer a thousand bloody deaths to protect her. She was his love. More simply, she was his queen.
Many others feel the same. The new-built settlement is a haven for all. Erected by sylphs of earth and fire, air and water, the Valley is Solie’s dominion. But, lovers without peer or killers without mercy, the very nature of their battler protectors means peril. It is not in any sylph’s nature to disobey, and while some are hers to command, others are the slaves of Solie’s enemies—the jealous, the cruel. Those who guard her must not fail. Their peasant-born ruler is not yet safe as…
If I had to describe Queen of the Sylphs in just one word it would be heartbreaking. That’s not to say it was a depressing story, it had a roller coaster of emotions but the heartbreaking scenes were more predominant. Solie’s enemies found a way to infiltrate the city and create chaos. Except their chaos came in several parts, spread out over months; a murder here, a destroyed building there, then another murder. While all of that was going on, Solie discovered she was pregnant, which of course caused lots of celebrations.
The beginning of Queen of the Sylphs overlapped with the end of The Shattered Sylph, and while you don’t have to read them in order, certain plot and character developments would make more sense if they were. Some were given brief explanations, like how Leon discovered a weakness in the battle sylphs. As for the character developments, it’s the personal preference of the reader as to whether they read the books in order or not.
It was fairly easy to see/guess where the plot was going in the beginning. After awhile, though, the plot started taking twists that I never would have predicted. Such as, a character who I thought was the villain was actually murdered. The plot jumped around through nearly every character’s point of view, both people and sylphs alike. Each point of view switch tended to be short, some more so than others, but every single character felt real. Each one of them was a unique person that only added to the story without being too much. Honestly, I don’t think Queen of the Sylphs could have been told from just one point of view. There was just so much to the plot and no one person knew everything.
Solie, queen of the sylphs and one of the main characters that Queen of the Sylphs focuses around, has grown up a lot since The Battle Sylph. She started out as a young teenager, suddenly thrust into this position of power with absolutely no knowledge of how to rule. Over the years, and with lots of help from Leon, she has learned what it takes to be a queen. Yet, she was still somewhat naive when it came to her own safety. While she does know that not everyone has her best interest at heart, she refuses to believe that her enemies could possibly get close enough to actually attempt to murder her.
Queen of the Slyphs is one of those books that sits with you, long after you’ve finished reading it. The joy and the heartbreak from each of the characters felt real. It was as if I really was celebrating good times and crying over loss of loved ones with my friends. And that’s when an author has truly succeeded in creating an amazing novel.
The Battle Sylph
The Shattered Sylph
Queen of the Sylphs
Also reviewed by: One Good Book Deserves Another, The Romanceaholic, Books and Things, The Bookpushers, Reading Reality
I absolutely adored The Battle Sylph and I immediately bought The Shattered Sylph, but then it languished on my TBR pile. I’ve really got to dig it out and finally read it. I heard that LJ McDonald had written more in this series, but the books got caught up in the whole Dorchester Publishing debacle. Now that Amazon has bought the rights, maybe the series will continue.