- Series: Monkey Queen (Book 4)
- Paperback: 140 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (May 15, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1512170135
- ISBN-13: 978-1512170139
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,035,240 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Tiding Of Magpies: Monkey Queen Book Four (Volume 4) Paperback – May 15, 2015
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
About the Author
Fantasy novelist, all-around wisecracker and penguin aficionado. Lives in California with lots of penguins (no surprise), a tablet stuffed with e-books and works in progress, and a very nice hat. Hopefully working on more Monkey Queen stories as you read this.
Top customer reviews
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Except for Michiko and Beth, the familiar Monkey Queen cast takes a back seat (save for a few scenes at the beginning of the story) as we meet and follow several new characters over the course of this book. Out of those, my favourites are Jiao (I really like it when princesses are also fighters) and Auntie Ting (I love it when older women kick arses). But I also liked Merchant Sheng, Yun and the little I got to see of Jade Crane. I even liked Anneliese, even so she remained a "ghost" rather than a character with an actual presence in the story. Also, I kind of developed a soft spot for the jiang shi. I felt sorry for them, for their situation, although of course I didn't want to see any of them get near the good guys.
The structure of this novel is slightly different from the previous ones. To be more specific, I'm talking about the various flashbacks that got added here and there to clarify some points of the story. I understand that not everyone likes flashbacks, but in this particular book I think they work well.
If you already like the Monkey Queen series, you'll be glad to know that "A Tiding of Magpies" will give you a lot of the nice things you no doubt have got used to by now: action, adventure, humour, fights, magic, loyalty, friendship, heroic acts... That being said, the author wasn't joking when he mentioned the word "drama" in this book's description. I'm under the strong impression that this novel does have more drama and a lot more tears than its predecessors.
Which leads us to the romantic subplot involving Beth and Michiko. Maybe due to the predominantly light-hearted tone of the series, I naively assumed that this part of the story would be sweet and heartwarming. Instead, it was depressing. The confession took place under horrible circumstances, and the aftermath included generous doses of shaming. By the time things started improving again, I was too disappointed to care. And the resolution in the final chapter was rather frustrating, which didn't help.
But please keep in mind that this is just my opinion. I suspect that most readers would actually like the way the aforementioned subplot was handled, or at least wouldn't have any significant issues with that.
[Review cross-posted from Amazon BR, where this book has been originally purchased.]