Blurb: Eugenie Markham is a shaman for hire. She's paid to bind and banish creatures from the Other world. But something happened after her last battle. She become queen of the Thorn Land. That said, with her kingdom in tatters, her love life in chaos, and Eugenie eager to avoid the prophecy about her firstborn destroying mankind, the job's really not all it's cracked up to be. Now young girls are disappearing from the Otherworld, and no-one seems willing to find out why. Or put an end to it. Not that Eugenie'sfazed by spilling fey blood, but this enemy is shrewd, subtle and dangerous - and nursing a very personal grudge. Eugenie must venture deep into the Otherworld and trust in a power she can barely control. She may be reluctant queen but she vowed to do her duty, even if it means facing the darkest - and deadliest - side of her nature. -(Goodreads)
Where to start? I love Richelle Mead. She is my favourite author to date. I must admit that I picked up Thorn Queen as an impulse buy on a cheap discount table. Admittedly, the cover could use a bit more work but as soon as I saw the author's name I had to have it. And I'm so glad I saw it. I finished it in one night/morning (once I start reading I can't stop) and it was brilliant.
I love Richelle Mead's characters and Eugenie was no exception. Smart, witty, funny, head-strong and the fact that every single male creature in the Otherworld wants to get in her pants, I'd say that Eugenie is rather unique as far as typical YA, female protagonists go. I enjoyed the dialogue and relationships between certain characters - in particular the hate/service relationship between Eugenie and Volusian, her unwilling, deadly serviceman who hates Eugenie though is bound to her for the foreseeable future. Volusian, although not a particularly major character, was one of my favourites. He reminded me actually of a very evil and sinister Dobby and I found his predicament rather entertaining (as sadistic as that sounds!).
Mead was especially good at expressing what she needed to vividly to the reader. The plot, being so original, could have become confusing for the reader. However, this was not the case. Overall , on a hole, just really liked the entire style that Mead used/uses. Onto the main topic of discussion; Dorian vs. Kiyo. Personally, I would prefer Eugenie to end up with Dorian. The entire novel I must admit that I was routing for him. He is dominate and fierce whereas Kiyo is much the same but no as intense and more , for lack of a better word, boyish?... I won't spoil any major details but I must say I much appreciated what Dorian did at the end of the novel to a certain somebody named Leith.
Lastly, on a hole I thought the novel was brilliant - as all of Mead's novels are. I would highly recommend Thorn Queen. However, I do feel the need to warn that in some parts it does get dark and some dark themes such as rape are explored. On a brighter note, minutes after I finished it I was eager to find out what happens in the next instalment. Of course this meant flicking over to Goodreads and doing my research. Five minutes after discovering that there was a third novel in the series I had ordered it, as well as the fourth instalment , Shadow Heir, recently released January 2012. Overall great read, don't miss this one!