The Queen's Choice
(Heirs of Chrior #1)
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.
That blurb, you guys. That. Blurb. Faeries, royalty, harrowing journey- yes, yes, and yessss (Gollum voice optional). I jumped at the chance to read this. Though I haven’t read any of Cayla Kluver’s previous works, I’ve always heard good things about it so this was a gimme. Unfortunately, the only thing The Queen’s Choice ended up giving me was a mad case of boredom.
The book starts off with a giant info dump in the Faerie land of Chrior, which shall henceforth be known as Dullsville. Every character we met in Chrior was so boooring. The fiance, especially. He was around for all of two minutes before I decided he was a no-go as a romantic lead. He was like a little puppy doing whatever it's told. Not knocking puppies, I love puppies, but I sure as hell don’t date them. Her Aunt, the Queen, tells her that she is dying and that unless her wayward son, Zabriel, will come back and rule Anya is going to be the next Queen. She send’s Anya’s cousin, Illumina, to retrieve him so she can at least see him once more before she dies. But Anya doesn’t trust Illumina to find him and convince him to come back so she decides to sneak away on her own to find him. Usually I’d find the set-up of that stupid on Anya’s part and I did but I was so tired of Chrior that I was like “yay! Let’s leave! Great idea!”. She crosses into the human realm and things get really interesting…for about two minutes.
The writing style of this book was beautiful. Cayla Kluver has an almost lyrical way of describing things and I did appreciate that at first but it was so overdone that it lost its charm long before the halfway point. I love long books but this one desperately needed to be trimmed. They could have easily cut out 100 pages, maybe even 200, and not lost anything important. The pacing was slow and tedious.
The characters were where it really failed for me. Anya is quite possibly one of the most boring narrators I’ve ever read. Her thought process was so flat that I spent the majority of the book wondering why anyone wanted to be around her. Her human traveling companion, Shea, I liked…at first. She at least had some personality. Which was cool until she ended up having multiple personalities. Not medically speaking, I could roll with that. This was like ‘we need this to be said/happen in the plot so Shea do a complete 180 for no apparent reason’. I actually did like Zabriel but by the time we meet him it was way too little way too late to redeem this at all for me.
The ending was strong and rather enticing but not enough to get me to read the next book. There are just too many books and too little time to spend that many pages being bored out of my mind.