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Queene of an Underworld

  • Aug 30, 2011

Jennifer Armintrout’s Queene of Light is the first in the Lightworld/Darkworld trilogy.  Combining Irish and Christian mythology, Armintrout brings together the magic of both in order to create a rich and unique story.

Set in an underground world home to angels, faeries, vampires, elves, and other immortal kind driven underground by humans during “The Great War,” the Underground “Lightworld” and “Darkworld” are at odds with each other even as they face threats from within.  The mortals that live underground with the Fae and other immortals are mostly the ostracized humans from the “Above World” where the rest of humanity lives.  The political and social negotiations that occur between these mortal and immortal are so complex and fueled by misunderstanding, disdain and fear that suspicion and violence are constant companions of those who live in these two underground worlds.

Ayla, a half feary, half human  of the Lightworld, works as an assassin for Faery Queene Mabb’s Assassin’s Guild.  Her mentor and would be lover, Garret, is Mabb’s brother and seeks to manipulate Ayla so that she becomes his mate.  Yet Mabb’s obsessive desire to retain power and Ayla’s hesitancy to assume intimacy with Garret, thwart his plans for an easy courtship and the political machinists that he hopes to employ through Ayla.  Ayla complicates the issue further when she causes the fall of Malachi, a Dark Angel, charged with the responsibility of collecting departed mortal souls for his One God.  Their forbidden relationship spurs a series of violent encounters that alters the entire course of the Fae races’ future.

Armintrout does a lot of interesting things with this novel—the first of which is combining Irish/Gaelic and Christian myth.  The way she brings together the immortal Death Angels and the immortal Faeries creates an very believable story of how a people can become wholly subservient to their God/gods or to themselves.  The manipulative and conniving attitudes of the men and women around Ayla and Malachi gradually begin to infect them, until Ayla and Malachi too are using the same cunning in order to save themselves and the people who depend upon them.

Armintrout creates complex characters that are relatable and sympathetic. As half human and half faery, Ayla proves to be a memorable character.  The hotheaded, impetus nature of human is tempered by the cool, calculated behavior of faery, and these traits aid her as she finds herself at the center of intense political scheming.  Though she can be sometimes frustrating and her actions can sometimes be difficult to understand, Ayla is still likable.  It's easy to root for her.

Malachi is much more complex, as he begins to shed the distant, unfeeling nature of the Dark Angel and tries to deal with the newness of humanity.  The basics of walking and hygiene and the difficulties of creating friendships and a romance.

Armintrout also does a lot with the setting.   The Underground almost becomes a character in and of itself.  The dark, dankness and the threat of sinister creatures lurking in the dark make for a tense and unusual atmosphere.  The creatures that Armintrout creates are familiar, but within this unusual setting, they become much more threatening.

While faeries, vampires and elves have engaged the modern readers fascination, Armintrout truly manages to create a much different world and character set than the reader is probably familiar with.  She tinkers with the myth/legend to create an entirely new set of immortal creatures, that resemble the common interpretation of them only on the surface.  This interesting read is so engaging that it is easily finished in one sitting. 

Queene of an Underworld

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More Queene of Light (Lightworld/Da... reviews
review by . February 16, 2010
Jennifer Armintrout has written a very fine introductory novel to a fantasy trilogy dealing primarily with an Earth where the worlds of supernatural creatures such as faeries, trolls, and dragons has directly collided with than of humankind. There has been a rift and a war and in consequence, the Faeries now reside in a "world" of their own called Lightworld which coexists with a Darkworld underneath the human dominated world of the surface. Angels, including Death Angels, are also grafted onto …
review by . December 08, 2009
Regarding the book Queene of Light, I'm not going to bore you with intricate details on this book. Too many times I find myself rambling with long explanations - that boils down to one thing. Yeah I liked the book. Well, for Queene of Light, yes I did like it. But, I also had some major problems with it. First off, let me tell you why I liked it. For one, the concept was interesting and original. Secondly, it was well written and the plotlines were tight. Thirdly, the tone of the book was consistent.  &nb …
review by . September 28, 2009
I don't really read this genre as a rule, however, I received a copy of this book and I have to say that I was immediately intrigued.    This book has far more to offer than just a novel take on the "paranormal" world.    Author Jennifer Armintrout has created a world, without a world in this new novel and I thought it was imaginative. It actually made me sit back and think about how our own world was created and if there is, in fact, always a need for a dark …
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I recently graduated with a Master's degree in English. I love reading, writing and researching so much that I hope to make it my life's work! I've taught first year composition and have worked … more
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This series rocks in every way! ----Gena Showalter, New York Times bestselling author of the Lords of the Underworld series

Armintrout skillfully characterizes each character, and her use of description varies between chilling, beautiful, and disturbing. ----The Romance Readers Connection on Bloodties Book One: The Turning

The relationships between the characters are complicated and layered in ways that many authors don t bother with. ----Vampire Genre on Bloodties Book Two: Possession
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ISBN-10: 0778326624
ISBN-13: 978-0778326625
Author: Jennifer Armintrout
Publisher: Mira Books

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