This fourth installment in the Monkey Queen series takes us to a place we hadn't seen before, the Far Lands. There's some good worldbuilding in this book, expanding the series' universe nicely.
Except for Michiko and Beth, the familiar Monkey Queen cast takes a back seat (save for a few scenes at the beginning of the story) as we meet and follow several new characters over the course of this book. Out of those, my favourites are Jiao (I really like it when princesses are also fighters) and Auntie Ting (I love it when older women kick arses). But I also liked Merchant Sheng, Yun and the little I got to see of Jade Crane. I even liked Anneliese, even so she remained a "ghost" rather than a character with an actual presence in the story. Also, I kind of developed a soft spot for the jiang shi. I felt sorry for them, for their situation, although of course I didn't want to see any of them go near the good guys.
The structure of this novel is slightly different from the previous ones. To be more specific, I'm talking about the various flashbacks that got added here and there to clarify some points of the story. I understand that not everyone likes flashbacks, but in this particular book I think they work well.
If you already like the Monkey Queen series, you'll be glad to know that "A Tiding of Magpies" will give you a lot of the nice things you no doubt have got used to by now: action, adventure, humour, fights, magic, loyalty, friendship, heroic acts... That being said, the author wasn't joking when he mentioned the word "drama" in this book's description. I'm under the strong impression that this novel does have more drama and a lot more tears than its predecessors.
Which leads us to the romantic subplot involving Beth and Michiko. Maybe due to the predominantly light-hearted tone of the series, I naively assumed that this part of the story would be sweet and heartwarming. Instead, it was depressing. The confession took place under horrible circumstances, and the aftermath included generous doses of shaming. By the time things started improving again, I was too disappointed to care. And the resolution in the final chapter was rather frustrating, which didn't help.
But please keep in mind that this is just my opinion. I suspect that most readers would actually like the way the aforementioned subplot was handled, or at least wouldn't have any significant issues with that.
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A Tiding Of Magpies: Monkey Queen Book Four Kindle Edition
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About the Author
Fantasy novelist, all-around wisecracker and penguin aficionado. Lives in California with lots of penguins (no surprise), a tablet stuffed with e-books and works in progress, and a very nice hat. Hopefully working on more Monkey Queen stories as you read this. --This text refers to the paperback edition.
- ASIN : B00XF1FCUO
- Language : English
- File size : 1240 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 140 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 1,617,534 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
4.5 out of 5
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Top reviews from other countries
Adventures in the Far LandsReviewed in Brazil on 14 July 2016
TogetherReviewed in the United States on 20 May 2016
Michiko and Beth grow closer in their relationship. Oh and they also save the world,increase the legend of the Monkey Queen and save their friends! but what else would you expect? A must read!!!