Queens – Entered in 2018 Contest
Queens by Patrick Hodges is the second book in The Wielders of Arantha series. This book follows Maeve and her son Davin after their ship lands on the far-off world of Elystra. Maeve and Davin form an alliance with the Ixtrayu, a reclusive tribe of women, as they prepare to play their part in the upcoming conflict. Elsewhere, war is on the horizon as Elzor and his wielding sister Elzaria set their plan for world conquest into motion.
Patrick Hodges has created a fully-realized fantasy world, which he uses to tackle issues that are prevalent in our own society. The characters are well-constructed and believable as real people. One thing that this book could benefit from is spending a bit more time exploring the younger characters, particularly Davin and Nyla. A good section of the book is spent with Vaxi, a delightful young Ixtrayu huntress, exploring her history and her part in the coming war. Spending an equal amount of time with Davin and Nyla would more clearly establish the younger generation as up-and-coming players in this game.
Queens is a well-written, thrilling second chapter in this story of cosmic chess. The characters are all realistically constructed with both strengths and weaknesses. The world of Elystra is fully-envisioned with distinct and varied cultures that have full and complete histories with each other. A lot of time was spent creating the world of Elystra, and it really pays off. Hodges uses this world to explore issues of abandonment, religion, gender relations, and power while always keeping the reader fully immersed in this fantasy world. Queens, and The Wielder of Arantha series, by Patrick Hodges is an excellent choice for any fans of science fiction and fantasy, but especially those who enjoy books that go out of their way to tackle difficult issues.
Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.