The Queen's Choice

The Queen's Choice - Cayla Kluver

This book was crippled from the start. You know why? Just look at the title: The Queen's Choice. Obviously, a queen in the book has to make a very important decision, right? So if that decision is to, say, appoint the only qualified member of the royal family as an heir, and the new heir decides she would rather flee the kingdom and try to find her long-lost cousin who hasn't been seen in years, is most likely dead, would refuse to accept the throne even if he was found, and also may have cut off his wings (which apparently are the only things that make the Fae magical???) so that he literally cannot enter the Fae Realm ever again, that makes it a bit hard to like the book if this disgustingly selfish and stupid new heir is the main character, doesn't it? Because I found it impossible to side with that despicable MC ever again, and her whining about having her wings cut off by humans fell on deaf ears because she is the idiot who crossed into human territory, with her wings visible to them, just so that she could be free of the responsibilities of being the heir.

 

Anya, the MC, has every right to be my least favorite character, but she is topped by just one person: her new best friend, Shea. The only reason these two girls don't have green skin and pointy hats or ride around on broomsticks is that they're so much more evil and loathsome than the classic witches who boil people alive and eat them for dinner that the poor black-robed old witches refused to be associated with them. Here are a few reasons why: 

 

1) Anya is constantly looking at or thinking about her younger cousin, Ilumina, and pitying her, fearing her, or even being disgusted with her because she's different, while Ilumina is always treating her like treasured family. At one point, Anya even acknowledges that she would be relieved if Ilumina conveniently died. Seriously, how are you supposed so sympathize with a character who treats her family like that?

 

2) Shea decides to leave her parents and her little sisters who rely on her just so that she can see the world and meet some people her age, even though any member of her family will be imprisoned if the guards find them, including her.

 

3) Anya takes Shea with her despite the fact that Shea's father begged her not to, and then proceeded to think of Shea as a burden whenever she needed someone to blame for. . . pretty much everything.

 

4) After Anya and Shea are both imprisoned, they narrowly manage to escape. . . and Shea promptly starts cheating at dice in front of a bunch of nobles who can turn her in. . . and then Shea starts snapping at Anya for warning her to be more careful.

 

5) When they finally, finally manage to find Anya's long-lost cousin, Zabriel, Shea starts kicking him and yelling at him and generally being witchy and cross. Anya follows up by spending the rest of his scenes whining about how much he's changed, and trying to force him to go back the the Fae Realm to be king (when she, the hypocrite, fled from being heir to the throne just a few weeks ago).

 

6) Shea and Anya both seem to hate everyone who (whether they know it or not) is affiliated with Zabriel, even though all of them are obviously the best characters in the book. Honestly, it seems like Shea and Anya are both just jealous that Zabriel and his gang are sooooo much cooler than they are, and decided to take it out on them rather than striving to be better themselves.

 

 

7) At the end of the book Shea, predictably, betrays everyone mwahahaha to pay off her family's debt to the Governor by giving Zabriel to the main villain on a silver platter, and thus reveals that she really is a villain. She then cried. . . and cried. . . and cried. . . and cried some more, before, still crying, she leaves Anya with tears in her eyes.

 

8) Anya, knowing that Shea had betrayed them, lied to her allies and convinced them that Shea was innocent, and then helped Shea escape before anyone changed their minds. So much for all her preaching about caring for Zabriel and the Fae, because apparently she would rather help a traitor she says she'll never forgive than either punish her or leave her to her own devices.

(show spoiler)

 

 

The list goes on, but it would take up way too much space for me to write it all down.

 

Other than the two main girls and Zabriel's gang, every character in the book is either a bland white knight, a bland villain, or (this one's nice) the most useless/pitiful character ever created.

 

Amazingly, Zabriel's gang is fairly cool, and Zabriel himself is awesome. They are the only good things in the book beyond the first twenty or so pages, which were okay, and they are the only reason the book merits half a star.

 

Finally, I would like to warn any fairy-loving readers that this book is not a fairy book. Only the very beginning is about fairies, and the rest of it is about Anya not being a fairy anymore, and being stuck in the human world, with her human friend. And, naturally, evil humans are the villains--because they're not cliché or anything.