Review: The Fallen Queen (The House of Arkhangel’sk #1) by Jane Kindred
Escaping the slaughter of her ruling family on a random chance, Anazakia flees Heaven with two demons who have agendas of their own. Hunted by the highest level of assassins, they seek refuge in the world of man, where the three of them try to figure out how to get out of the mess they’re in. Realizing how bad things really are, they return to Heaven to fight for their lives. The Fallen Queen is a Recommended Read!
- Title: The Fallen Queen
- Series: The House of Arkhangel’sk Book #1
- Author: Jane Kindred
- Prominent Characters: Anazakia, Vasily, and Belphagor
- Recommended Reader Age: 18+
- Sexual Content Level: Moderate
*** This review is SPOILER-FREE! Read on with confidence! ***
When I read the blurb for this book, I was expecting a classic Good vs. Evil and Heaven vs. Hell scenario. Well, there’s the Good vs. Evil, but they’re not quite in the usual places, nor is the romance quite your typical relationship either. Before the story even starts, we’re provided with a long detailed cheat sheet about the hierarchy of the Heavens, which is nice and all, but it’s a bunch of information that’s hard to keep referring to from the middle of the book (especially on an ereader). Thankfully it’s fairly easy to get the gist of things from context.
The first chapter jumps around in the timeline, almost to the point that you’re disoriented, but that stops once Anazakia is informed about her family and needs to escape those that would hunt her. She runs with the aid of two demons, Vasily and Belphagor, and from the moment they arrive in the world of man, they all begin to realize how hard it would be to hide, but it’s not until their pursuers find them that they realize the severity of the deep shit they’re in. Things go from bad to worse as they get into trouble way over their heads. The ending isn’t quite what I expected, and I think the word “complicated” is the best term to describe the final status of the characters’ romantic relationships.
There are time throughout the book when things are explained in painful detail, and others that are explained, but still left me confused. Last names and some of the places are so hard to pronounce I stopped trying to keep track because I couldn’t remember who was what anymore. Some of the jumps between languages (spending most of their Earth time in Russia, they jumped between demonic, angelic, Russian, and English throughout the book, among others I believe) was a little dizzying.
Regarding this next segment, I will say right now that I have enjoyed some dark fantasy before, and there are some books with tortured heroes that I love, and I like the tortured hero (and heroine) here too, but this book had some really dark moments. That was the worst part for me. Some of the violence, and humiliation for that matter, in this story is graphic. It’s detailed and bloody, and there were times I almost couldn’t take it. There is another series I’m in the middle of at the moment that I’ve decided to put off indefinitely because of how dark it can sometimes get, so I guess my capacity for dark fantasy just isn’t what it used to be. That being said, the overall ending was gratifying and made me smile, making having thankfully made it through the rough spots worth it.
If you liked The Fallen Queen…
All I kept thinking about as I read this book was how much it reminded me of Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series. If you like this book, you should absolutely check out Wizard’s First Rule. It’s a dark fantasy about a man and woman from different worlds who embark on a journey to defeat a truly evil ruler. They develop a bond, only to discover they can’t be together because of magic and circumstance.
Rating: The Fallen Queen