The Queen of Grass and Tree: B.E. Priest

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This review comes with an apology! It’s one of those books I was sent and read ages ago and never got round to reviewing (yes slapped wrist for Lizzy!) Now for you lovely readers I would suggest reading my review of the first book in this series so if are tempted to read this series go here first: http://mylittlebookblog.wordpress.com/2014/05/02/southwind-knights-b-e-priest! I sometimes worry when authors message me to review their second book that it won’t quite match up to the first book. I don’t know why it happens but often the sequel just doesn’t stand up, which normally leaves me feeling downcast. However, I am happy to stay that here the story is continued with gusto and strength that rivals the brilliance of the first book. It was a real pleasurable reading and I hope you enjoy the review!

Southwind is in uprising,
and Asher is lucky to escape alive.
With an orphaned Finn and the exiled Healer,
he journeys north to the Queendom’s capital.
He goes to find his mother.
He’ll find only death.

I like a short and sweet blurb but this was pretty non-committal, although after reading the first book I knew a little of what to expect. Don’t take it as a negative though, as I think it’s sometimes nicer to have very little idea of how the book will transpire. Once again this book runs along the fantasy line; if you’re looking for goodies, baddies, healings, magic, Queens and Princesses you will not be disappointed. The book leaps straight in where the first book left off. A mob is forming and Galen and Asher decide the only way to go is to leave to stay safe. Through this book we get to experience their journey to the kingdom. Here we get to explore Finn a little more and his want to become a knight, and we get to explore Asher’s ability to heal a little more. The story is an adventure, and due to the very short description above I don’t want to give more than is needed away, you’ll have to read more yourself!

Much like the first I loved the way that the story unfolded so quickly; placed straight into the action from the very first sentence it is extremely easy to get fully involved in the action. By opening the book in such a way it allows the book to immediately create a pace, and there isn’t anything quite as exciting as an angry mob chasing the main character. I must admit it is down to the lack of landscape building and character build up generally that this pace is sustained so if you’re looking for something that rests on rolling descriptions and a strong build up of a landscape this may not be for you. Saying this, it doesn’t affect the substance of the book; the story is set on steady foundations, it’s just not description, instead it rests on the twists and turns incorporated by the author. This author definitely has a touch for delicate prose though and he moves the story on without getting bogged down; this story doesn’t wallow. But it works so well, in a way that I have rarely seen when reviewing books. As in my review of the first book I found it incredibly difficult to describe the style of writing; it’s nimble and quick natured. Yes, odd words to pick but it’s the best I can do! If you really want to get a feel go get a copy is all I can say.

Once again I loved the way that this book didn’t have a dedicated hero or villain; instead each of the characters is motivated by their own needs and the author weaves and intermeshes these in which to express each of the individuals equally. I loved the relationships inter-played between Galen, Asher and I had a soft spot for Finn. I also like that the author is keeping his cards close to his chest in terms of Galen’s character; we still don’t learn everything there is to know about him as a character but I am sure that this will further be explored in the next book! When I reviewed the first book I stated; ‘this book is a fantastical journey, of growing up, learning about life, and taking control. It is written with a beautiful understanding of prose and how to keep pace. If you’re looking for something fresh and a little different but in the fantasy genre, this is definitely worth a read!’ I must admit I was pleasantly surprised that this description could easily have been written, originally, for this book too. The covers is equally as beautiful as the first; it is a simplistic and innocently drawn but it works incredibly well. So onto the final words of the review; strongly written, great pace, and interesting characters that are interlocked to create a blisteringly exciting journey; this is definitely an adventure worth reading about!

5 Comments

  1. July 19, 2014 / 5:46 pm

    Reblogged this on I Wish I Can Fli and commented:
    A lovely review of Book 2 in the Southwind Knights series, from a wonderful review blog.

  2. July 19, 2014 / 7:48 pm

    That’s a very well written review. It covers the things that readers want to know about a book when they are asking themselves, “Should I give it a chance?” The only thing I would have changed (if I had been writing it) is the comment, “we still don’t learn everything there is to know about him as a character but I am sure that this will further be explored in the next book!” but only because I don’t like to second guess an author. I might have concluded after the “but” with something like: “I suspect this author wants to leave a little of the character-building to each reader. What about this character works so well for you? How do you flesh him/her out when you are reading? for me it was ….” or “I imagine him/her as ….”

    Again, really good job on the review, especially for a review that you drafted some time after having “read ages ago”! That tells me that the book stayed with you, and that’s another great thing to know about a book. Thank you!

    • July 19, 2014 / 7:51 pm

      thank you for such a constructive comment! It’s lovely to hear some slight criticism of my reviews it allows me to review how I write and how I help others enjoy books 🙂

  3. July 20, 2014 / 12:13 am

    Sounds good. I will find the first and the cover is brilliant!

  4. July 21, 2014 / 3:30 pm

    Cool review! I like what you said about no dedicated hero or villain, just characters trying to find what’s right for them. It sounds like a very freeing way to write. I’ll keep that in mind.

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