Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Hunters and the Queen Parts 1 and 2 by Virginia Vayna

Resurgence: The Queen Awakens (Part 1)

   The first book in the series is all about Jolan and her life.  She is a swimmer at the local military academy on a scholarship because her parents don't have much money.  Jolan lives at home with her parents and her older brother who also attends the academy.  While she is the swimmer, he is the brains.  Jolan is a rather humble person and doesn't like to speak ill of others.  She has two very close friends: Astrid and Eshe, and they occasionally go out to the local pub for drinks and hanging out.  Jolan is very beautiful and there are always men attracted to her.  However, she likes to debate and this doesn't always go over well.  Like the night she meets Alastair and Aidan, and unfortunately she also meets Aidan's ex, Alisha, who is basically stalking Aidan and happens to be a very jealous person.  Then Jolan meets Colemund.  He is a prince.  They don't run into each other again for a while, but when they do, their love blooms and Jolan has begun to change physically.  Her eyes are getting lighter, her frame is more slender and muscular, and she just looks different.  Even her older brother has noticed it.  When Colemund asks Jolan to go to Turkey with him, some surprising things come to light about who she truly is and why she is changing.  These changes have put Jolan in danger.

   The book was rather slow for the first half of it.  You get a good look at what Jolan's life is like on a day-to-day basis.  But there are so many mundane details it can be easy to get bogged down.  Some of the details bring out a wonderful picture of Jolan and her loving family.  Other details can be just a bit much.  But enduring is worth it in the book.  The end really starts to bring out the meat of the story.  Jolan's history is very necessary to understand this story, however.  Detail can make or break a story, and the strange thing in this book is that it seems to do a little of both.  At the beginning there is too much detail.  Then when you get closer to the end of the book, details are what make this part of the story so good.  I guess you could say it is balanced in that aspect, but precariously close to being almost too much.

Transcendence: The Allure of the Gypsy (Part 2)

   Jolan is still in Istanbul, Turkey with Colemund and has had her brother, Crispus, and her friend, Eshe, to join her.  They, along with a few others, join her as she once again becomes the long dead Queen Constanjii who was killed some 1700 years before.  The Hunters are now in hot pursuit of Jolan so that they can kill her again.  Because she is gaining power, she is also restoring power to the two other elements on the Earth, as well as taking power from the Hunters.  Hadrian is feeling himself lose power and control and wants it back.  The gypsy neighbor to Jolan and her family is in search of her too.  The gypsy doesn't want to hurt her.  She needs Jolan's help to keep from turning into a full hunter.

   This book leaves off right where the first book stopped so to fully understand book 2 in the series you must read book 1.  However, book 2 is a vast improvement and gets straight to the heart of the story.  You dive straight in and it holds your interest fully.  Of particular interest is who killed Queen Constanjii so long ago, as well as whether the gypsy neighbor to Jolan will be saved or not before turning into a full hunter.  There is a small amount of repetition, but only a little.  Book 2 is about half as long as the first one.  That in now way takes away from the story though.  There is a lot more action and watching Jolan's powers begin to grow.  In fact, it was such an improvement I would give this book a solid 4 stars out of five!  

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