Author: Jane Kindred
Release Date: Dec. 6, 2011
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
The House of Arkhangel’sk, #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Format(s): e-book, paperback.
Book Source: NetGalley
About the book:
Heaven can go to hell.
Until her cousin slaughtered the supernal family, Anazakia’s father ruled the Heavens, governing noble Host and Fallen peasants alike. Now Anazakia is the last grand duchess of the House of Arkhangel’sk, and all she wants is to stay alive.
Hunted by Seraph assassins, Anazakia flees Heaven with two Fallen thieves—fire demon Vasily and air demon Belphagor, each with their own nefarious agenda—who hide her in the world of Man. The line between vice and virtue soon blurs, and when Belphagor is imprisoned, the unexpected passion of Vasily warms her through the Russian winter.
Heaven seems a distant dream, but when Anazakia learns the truth behind the celestial coup, she will have to return to fight for the throne—even if it means saving the man who murdered everyone she loved.
What VampBard’s talking about:
The Fallen Queen is the first book in Ms. Kindred’s series, of which I can already tell that I’m going to be a HUGE fan. My initial reaction, at 20% of the book read, was: This is like Dune (Herbert) meets Singh’s Guild Hunters! What a win-win for me!
The beginning of The Fallen Queen revealed a bit of history, as well as Anazakia doing her best to ‘test the limits’ regarding the rules of her station, as an heir to the throne of Arkhangel’sk. Kindred did a phenomenal job of setting-up her world. What can only be described as a coup, masterminded by the Evil Queen, as I came to call her, left Anazakia the only surviving heir…and only because she was acting ‘slightly’ outside the expected societal norm. Luckily, Anazakia’s Nurse/confidante/governess (whatever you want to call her…) knew about Anazakia’s penchant for livin’ on the edge, found her with a necessary item, and paid a demon to keep her hidden. Really enjoyed the Russian language, as well.
As we get further into the story, it becomes painfully obvious that Anazakia is someone important, and there are those that are willing to ‘obtain’ her. It seems that it’s not simply her station that creates her importance. Unfortunately, one of her ‘captors’ was injured, although she was able to assist with his rapid healing…to a certain point, and concurrently learned about her own powers in the world of Man. Anazakia also learned a secret from those ‘Unseen’ when she leaves the hotel because Vasily and Belphagor were engaging in act with which she was unfamiliar. MMMmmmhhmmm… a little M/M tossed into the mix. It’s interesting watching the tension between Vasily and Belphagor, as well. But wait! Vasily isn’t only into Belphagor! A twisted (in a good way!) love triangle develops, increasing the already intense tension between our three main characters.
Tensions rise as Belphagor does something totally out of character…he’s selfless. In order to protect Anazakia and Vasily, Belphagor leaves to find a way to get the reigning queen to give him an audience. Long story short, Belphagor gets the audience, and fails to leave for an extended period of time. Hatin’ on the Queen. She’s the resident baddie, and we’re supposed to hate her. We all know someone like her – self-centered and self-serving.
I could tell, at the end of the title, that other titles are planned for this storyline, as there really wasn’t much resolution, nor a concrete HEA. Usually, that bugs me, but it didn’t this time. For me, even a series needs to provide some significant resolution at the conclusion of each title. Personal preference, and the only thing keeping me from giving this title the highest rating.
This was a very nice paranormal romance, light on the romance, heavy on the action in the final third of the story. I enjoyed the way The Fallen Queen was written. The languages used were quite appropriate, and added a lot to the story for me. Ms. Kindred surely has created a beautiful world, and I look forward to reading future installments of her House of Arkhangel’sk series.
Loved it – enthusiastically recommend (A)