Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Lost Queen by Mark Miller

Zandria and Olena continue their adventures in the land of Empyrean. Zandria discovers a magical crystal that may be the clue to finding their mother, who has been missing the past six years. Zandria and some new friends set out on a quest to recover the other crystals. The wicked Carnivale Chaotica ringleader, Raymond Shaydaway, wants the crystals for his own evil ends and will stop at nothing to take them from Zandria. Now Zandria must solve the mystery of the Lost Queen if she has any hope of finding her mother.

This is the second book in series about Empyrean, the complex kingdom that Mr. Miller has created. A wonderful sequel, it is infused with the same kind of magic that the first book in the series had, making it a good choice for all ages.

The characters truly shine in this one. They jump off the page, with Zandria leading the way. Among the new characters, we are introduced to the mysterious Skiordan people, who live in the Peckwood forest as well as Raymond Shaydaway, a fantastic villain who seems to steal the scenes he appears in. His Carnivale Chaotica creates a great atmosphere, making the book a bit darker than the previous one.

The writing is clear, well-structured, with very few errors, which makes for a pleasurable reading experience. There is a musical quality to the way Miller writes that makes the reader want to pick up more of his books. Something else that should be considered is that these books have very strong female protagonists, none of the wimpy ones we see too often nowadays, so it’s a great choice for teen girls.

I can easily and happily recommend this book to everyone who likes a well-thought out fairy tale in a truly magical kingdom.

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