Sunday, June 14, 2020

Spring Reading 2020 The Unready Queen (The Oddmire #2)

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This is the second book in William Ritter's new middle grade series within that world of magic and monsters established in his Jackaby books (for YA and adults). In the first book, Tinn and Cole are brothers raised as human twins, although one of them is actually a goblin changeling. Having found out which is which, now the boys are dealing with the fact that they are actually not identical. The changeling brother is visiting the local goblins and having lessons on the other side of his heritage, while the fully human brother is feeling a bit of jealousy over his brother going off and doing something without him. 

Still, there are bigger problems to worry the entire town. Someone has bought land near the Wild Wood and plans to employ some of the locals with his drilling, but their activities have roused the anger of the inhabitants of the wood. Explosions, destruction of the drilling rig, giants attacking workers...that is only the beginning. Fable, daughter of the Queen of the Deep Dark, is impatient with her mother's lessons on controlling her magic and would rather spend time with the twins exploring the human town. Is the vision of violence and blood proclaiming an unready queen about the present Queen being unready to deal with the conflict between town and the Wood? Or is it a foreshadowing of Fable being forced into her mother's position? Either one is frightening.

As I said of the first book, this story has wonderful fantasy elements with goblins, witches, and spriggans. There is the whole man versus nature (or in this case, the fae creatures who live in nature). But what makes the book such a wonderful read is the relationships (between the two boys, between them and their mother, between Fable and her mother), and the tension and angst of growing up. It hurts to face situations that force one to mature, to see that parents are not perfect, that adults don't have all the answers, and the world is not a safe place. Readers will be rooting for the young protagonists and turning page after page to see how everything is resolved.

Perfect for readers of Fablehaven, Harry Potter, and other fantasy books full of magical creatures and brave youngsters.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley for review purposes.

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