Monday, February 1, 2016

The Queen and the Dagger: A Book of Theo Novella ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Book Launch & Review

Synopsis:  In the land of Mankahar, humans have discovered Pacification: a poison whereby speaking animals are rendered mute and docile.

Indigo, a rabbit princess of Alvareth, is on the cusp of inheriting the throne from her aunt, the Regent, who has ruled the northern steppes since Indigo’s mother and sister were killed years ago. When the Order, a society dedicated to fighting Pacification, asks Indigo to join their amassing army, her future seems clear: lead her queendom against the humans, and find the one who killed her mother and sister.

But the day of Indigo’s initiation goes horribly wrong: Pacification has already arrived in Alvareth, and the Regent seizes the opportunity to take the crown.

Threatened with the loss of her throne, Indigo must defeat her one time mentor and aunt if she is to save her queendom--and her future.
Ansley, M. (2016). The Queen and the Dagger." Self-published.

YA / Mature Middle Grade / Fantasy   

I gave this book 5 of 5 Stars
"Burnt grass cannot be made sweet again."

OUTSTANDING story. In this prequel to Theo and the Forbidden Language, readers learn the background of Indigo, a rabbit princess who is destined to become part of the Order. It would work fine for anyone starting the series to read first, but for those readers who have already read Theo, this novella really adds another dimension to the story. Indigo is a strong, independent, and smart young female and knowing her background makes for a better understanding of her attitude and manner in Theo.  

Melanie Ansley is truly a gifted writer, and these pages flowed by with rich details and in Ansley's smooth and eloquent style. The idea that humans and animals were at one time truly equal and equally civilized - all were clothed, could speak, think, and read; all lived in communities with laws, trade and schooling, religion and marriage -- is truly unique and thought provoking. And the idea that the humans figured out how to "pacify" the animals (which makes them lose all the human-like qualities) is completely believable. 

Though this book isn't as violent as Theo, there is some violence and blood and disturbing situations that may be hard for younger audiences to absorb. I still think the series is best suited for mature middle graders and young adults -- and ADULTS because of the themes and the violence to come in Theo.  I HIGHLY recommend this book and will keep recommending it.  It's that good.

Thank you to the author for providing me an eBook in exchange for my honest opinion -- the only kind I give. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Melanie Ansley was born in Windsor, Ontario, then bundled off to China at the age of 5. Her fascination with mythical talking animals started in Shanghai, where she'd buy Chinese comics like "Journey to the West". In the 1980s she spent most of her lunch breaks in her Hong Kong primary school's library, where she developed an insatiable appetite for fantasy and historical fiction. She now splits her time between Beijing and Los Angeles, and has written several produced screenplays. "Theo and the Forbidden Language" is her first novel.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT MELANIE AND HER BOOKS on her WebsiteFacebook page or follow her on Twitter.


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