Review: The Queen (Masterpiece Duet #2) by Skye Warren

TitleThe Queen
Author: Skye Warren
Publisher/Year:  Amber Shah 9/15/17
Length:  294 pages
Series: Masterpiece Duet #2


I have one chance at a new life. A college education. A future outside of Tanglewood’s dark walls. For a breathless moment it seems like I might actually escape.

Then I get a phone call from home.

Damon Scott is my own personal dragon, the fight I’ve always lost, the secret hope of my heart. And he needs my help right now. Only my mind can solve the puzzle. Only my presence can keep him sane as the city fights against him.

Only my heart can unlock a man with such a tragic past.

This is my final gamble, with everything at stake. One last game to win a future for both of us.

And a love strong enough to break the city apart.

My Thoughts

It’s nice to see how this story resolves itself, especially know that the dynamic between Penny and Damon is so intense, and the mystery behind where Jonathan is, is quite compelling. There’s so much fear and worry about what else is going to happen in order for everyone to have a happy ending.

What happens in this book is that there’s a lot of collateral damage. We think that things are moving ahead in their lives, that Penny is able to find her footing, but what happens instead os that she’s being watched, she’s being taunted, and she’s being used as bait. We want to believe the best in the people around her, yet what we know and what we’re seeing makes us second guess everyone, and their motives and their actions.

Penny is living her life at school, trying to live her best Mathematics grounded life, but the attention from her teacher makes us itch, and the fear that Jonathan is still out there and that means that no one is safe makes our skin crawl. What is nice though is the relationship that Penny has developed with Avery. They spend a lot of time together, realizing that their shared experiences with the loves of their lives puts them in a unique space that no one else can understand.

It’s that friendship though that takes this story on a wicked ride – watching Avery go missing, along with Penny’s father and now its a race to see if they can be found before it’s too late. We saw Penny and Damon separate at the end of the first book for her own safety (of course) yet we see that he’s really the one that can help – so back to him she runs.

Penny is protected by Damon in a way that speaks volumes, but he’s still keeping her at a distance, not allowing himself to feel what he does for her, and not allowing Penny to discover what it is to be loved and desired. What happens though is that they work together to solve the puzzles of where everyone is and where Jonathan is, and that takes us to the culmination of things.

The future that we once hoped for is within reach, and the hope that there’s safety and protection is something that we can truly believe in. I think that what’s always nice about books by our author is that we watch a struggle that seems to difficult to overcome, so painful to watch that we really want to hope for the best but would be ok if it’s not sparkly and clean. That’s what we get here, and the epilogue puts things into a new perspective. So on that note, off to find another story to read and i hope you guys enjoy!

Review: The Queen (The Selection #.4) by Kiera Cass


Title:  The Queen
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher/Year: Harper Collins 12/2/14
Length: 72
Series: The Selection #.4


Before America Singer’s story began, another girl came to the palace to compete for the hand of a different prince….

Don’t miss this digital original novella set in the captivating world of Kiera Cass’s #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series. This prequel story takes place before the events of The Selection and is told from the point of view of Prince Maxon’s mother, Amberly. Discover a whole new Selection with this inside look at how Maxon’s parents met—and how an ordinary girl named Amberly became a beloved queen.

My Thoughts

I love when we get novellas from this series since they do a really good job of giving us a new perspective on characters.  I know that i’m not alone in wishing that i knew more about Queen Amberly and her journey through her own Selection and this was a great introduction to that.  The little downside that i’ll add is that it only teased a few things – and didn’t give us the full story – but definitely enough to make the full series make sense.

In this novella installment we meet Amberly after several of the girls have already gone home, with only herself and another Four remaining.  She’s really counting down her days until she’s sent home since it seems like it’s a caste thing at this point.  The background here which is different from America’s Selection is that we learn that Amberly has been ‘in love’ with Clarkson since she was seven, so this is a dream come true for her where as America really was ambivalent for her own Selection.

Similar to what we see in America’s story, there are close friendships that are formed – and i believe that some of those girls even appeared in The Selection.  Amberly is forced to deal with several of the same struggles that we saw prior as well, never knowing where she stands with the Prince, having to fight for her place among those that are more polished and we also get to see that Amberly has to really cope with her own share of health issues -which we learn is a result of where she’s from.

So in this short story – we see the love begin to develop between her and Clarkson, which makes him more human since he’s quite the bull in The Selection.  We also see that the way that he is as a grown man and the King is a direct correlation of how he was raised since his parents have at each other in a harsh way.  It’s like the best intentions aren’t quite met here and that’s something that was passed onto Maxon.

What i miss though is that we dont see Amberly’s journey to the end – we only get close-ish.  We see what Clarkson is willing to do to keep her around and what tests he’s laid out, what secrets he’ll keep – but still, we don’t really get to see that culminate in his choice and ultimately the birth of Maxon.  I’d love that bit of the story.

Nevertheless – i think that it’s great that we got this bit, and it’ll hold me over until we get to read The Heir which will be nice since it’s the continuation of America and Maxon’s story i believe.  Enjoy!