Rating (out of 5): 4 stars
Note: This review contains no spoilers for The Wood Queen, however it does make reference to events in the first novel The Iron Witch.
If you liked Karen Mahoney’s The Iron Witch, be prepared to love The Wood Queen. While the first novel introduced us to Donna’s world, the latest entry into the world of alchemy, fae and magic brings in heavier complications, more answers (leading to more questions) about the alchemy Orders and a better connection with Donna.
Oh, and Xan is shirtless in most of his scenes. You may not be happy with his behavior — even while shirtless — but like Donna, you won’t be able to avoid appreciating the view.
Much of The Wood Queen focuses on the fallout of Donna’s actions from the first book. Navin isn’t talking to her. She’s been on house arrest, so no Xan either. And the four alchemy Orders have convened for a hearing (and to dole out punishment) for her destruction of the last bits of the elixir of life. The authority figures in her life aren’t the only ones reacting to the change. The Wood Queen, who Donna foiled in the destruction of said potion, now wants a sitdown. She’s ready to leverage Donna’s loved ones to get the meeting — and that’s just the beginning.
Donna is in a difficult situation. Her options are limited, each offering only less favorable outcomes. Sometimes it’s better to work within the system to tear it down. Donna will learn that someday. Until then, enjoy the journey of self-discovery and the lengths one goes to for friendship.
Sexual content: Make-out scene, references to sex