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A Tyranny of Queens (Manifold Worlds) Mass Market Paperback – May 2, 2017
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“A superlative portal fantasy with a memorable cast, an inventive setting and magic system, and a plot that always goes for the unexpected. Sheer delight.”
– Aliette de Bodard, Nebula Award-winning author of The House of Shattered Wings
“Foz Meadows knows how to write a great fight, tension, and solitary pain like no one else. Meadows’ warriors of choice in this sequel to An Accident of Stars are young women who battle in multiple worlds against betrayal on one side and bullying on the other. A Tyranny of Queens is resonant and resounding. An excellent and worthy sequel.”
– Fran Wilde, Award-winning author of Updraft, Cloudbound, and Horizon
“A Tyranny of Queens has stronger pacing than An Accident of Stars, and plays the developing strands of its narrative off against each other in ways that heighten tension and highlight the differences – and the similarities – between the characters’ concerns. The characterisation is fantastic. The conclusion is nerve-biting and explosive – and has dragons… I really really love it”
– Liz Bourke for Tor.com
“Reading A Tyranny of Queens is like riding a roller coaster while never leaving the comfort of your home. I can’t recall the last book that gave me the same feels, and it is all thanks to Meadow’s nuanced, richly-developed characters. I found myself both crying and laughing out loud at various moments, my connection to the story so strong because of the depth of the characters, and the richnesses of the world they inhabit… I really loved this book. It is more than a simple portal fantasy, it is a masterful touchstone by which I will compare future books in the subgenre.”
– Shana DuBois for the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog
“As well as a fully diverse cast of characters, there’s beautiful examples of love in all stripes – including royal polyamory. Saffron is an imminently relateable character both for her teenage experience as well as her honest shock at being dumped into strange new worlds. Wonderful series, and one I’ll definitely be following.”
– Pop Culture Beast
“4 of 5 stars.”
– The Review Curmudgeon
“A Tyranny of Queens is an amazing, five-star continuation of the story started in An Accident of Stars.”
– Fangirl Nation
“The world building of this series remains awesome. It starts to get into the multiple worlds aspect more, and it couldn’t be better! There’s just a hint of science fiction to it that makes for a really great genre combination.”
– The Illustrated Page
“Full of political intrigue, magic, dragons, and worldwalking, it’s a fun and easy to read series. I look forward to reading more by this author – Meadows seems to be getting better with more practice and has a lot of potential in my mind. I recommend this for anyone who loves portal fantasy and who enjoys knowing about up-and-coming fantasy authors first.”
– The Bibliotaph
“I love it all the more because it is the metaphorical axe that broke some very deep, very old ice in my internal sea.”
– Occasionally Random Book Reviews
“This is a worthy successor, a clever and innovative piece.”
– Sci-Fi and Fantasy Reviews
“I adore this book, I loved every minute of reading it. I bought it when I found it on Saturday, and would have finished it faster if it weren’t for work in the way of doing so. If you like books that have: worldwalking, dragons, polyamory, queerness, trans characters who are people, horrible people who have motivations that you can see, heart wrenching moments, happy gays, female-led societies, aliens, and so many more, or just want a great book, read An Accident of Stars which is the first book, and then read A Tyranny of Queens.”
– On the Hunt for Books
“A ‘more realistic’ take on the real-world implications of portal fantasy.”
– Thought Stream
“Reading this book just made me extremely happy, it’s not perfect but damn I love it. It’s so original and it deals with issues I can 100% relate to. It is rare to see books dealing so well with a lot of themes that are important to me like casual sexism, bullying and queer relationships. It’s a great example of diversity and queer normality: in this world you can be whoever you want to be and nobody is going to judge you for that. All the characters are layered and I could even relate to the ‘bad guys’ which is not always an easy feat. So would I recommend this? Absolutely: it’s not perfect but damn I wish I could have read it when I was younger and if a sequel is coming, I will devour it.”
– The Curious SFF Reader
“The world-building is epic, the politics are intricate and layered with meaning and consequences… I can’t say enough good things about it, one of my favourite books of 2017.”
– The Conversationalist
“This book was not here for me when I was fourteen. It is here for me now, and when my goddaughter is fourteen it will be here for her. And dammit, we will still need it.”
– Marissa Lingen
PRAISE FOR AN ACCIDENT OF STARS
“A portal fantasy for grownups, with grit and realism, and characters I loved from the first page.”
– Trudi Canavan, author of the Black Magician trilogy
“Fantasy readers who appreciate strong characters and excellent worldbuilding will immerse themselves in this tale.”
– Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Reminiscent of Ursula K. LeGuin, An Accident of Stars will take you to a lush, magical new world.”
– Laura Lam
“I very much enjoyed this. The main character falls out of our world into a life-changing adventure, with compelling characters and a fascinating world. I can’t wait to read the next book.”
– Martha Wells, author of The Books of Raksura
“An Accident of Stars is anchored in dozens of complex women, driven by the rooted, deep relationships they have with each other. It’s a wonderful, rich, feminist book, and I loved it.”
– B. R. Sanders, author of Ariah
“This fabulous story bowled me over with a compelling blend of intimacy, danger, twisty politics, believably imperfect characters, and a fascinatingly complex universe.”
– Kate Elliott, author of Black Wolves and Cold Magic
“Richly imaginative world building with delightfully complex and diverse characters; a joy to read!”
– Ann Lemay, videogame writer
“This is the portal fantasy I’ve spent my whole life waiting for.”
– Liz Bourke for Tor.com
“So this was basically all the things I’d enjoyed about portal fantasies as a younger reader, with the dubious gifts the suck fairy might have bestowed either questioned or removed.”
– Ann Leckie
“Beautiful storytelling, a stunning world and concept.”
– Shelf Inflicted
“An exquisite fantasy novel that you can’t afford to miss! 5/5 stars!”
“An Accident of Stars is one of the most promising starts to any series right now, and I can’t wait to see where it goes.”
– The Illustrated Page
“I loved this book. It had great representation all around, the world building was spectacular, and the characters were distinct, diverse, and interesting.”
“Fantasy readers will all find something to like in the wonderful tale. Book 2 better arrive really soon!”
– Bull Spec
“Sometimes I see books described as portal fantasy, and it just seems… insufficient. Not inaccurate, but in cases like this one, it’s like trying to describe a beach by using adjectives that only apply to a couple of pebbles in the sand. An Accident of Stars is a lot more than a magic wardrobe.”
– Fat Robot
“This books is great. I loved it.”
– Properly Lex
“If you enjoy well-written, character driven fantasy with strong women featuring throughout, a cracking plot and beautifully constructed plot, then go looking for this book. I will be eagerly awaiting the sequel.”
“I could say that the above is a delightful breath of fresh air, but “delightful breath of fresh air” seems far too tame a phrase to describe the utter joy I felt reading about this world.”
– FanGirl Nation
“An Accident of Stars is the portal fantasy for the 21st Century.”
– Strange Charm
“It truly brings epic and portal fantasy to life.”
– The Conversationalist
“This story did so many things that ticked all of my boxes!”
– Starship Library
“An Accident of Stars is a joy to read, and manages to be exciting, thought provoking and intensely moving all at once.”
– Fantasy Faction
“An Accident Of Stars stands head and fabulous shoulders above most fantasy books I’ve read, not just this year but in recent years.”
– Over The Effing Rainbow
“This book is such great fun you’ll want to take a sick day to finish it in one sitting.”
– Pop Verse
“Words can’t begin to properly express how awesome Meadows is at creating complex and realistic fantasy worlds and the cultures and people that dwell within.”
– Bibliotropic – Top Eleven Outstanding Books of 2016
“One of my favorite books I read in 2016. The book was super women and femme focused, and I loved that.”
– Odd Leopards, Strange Cats
About the Author
Foz Meadows is a genderqueer author, blogger, essayist, reviewer and poet. In 2014, she was nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer for her blog, Shattersnipe. She is a contributing writer for The Huffington Post and Black Gate, and a contributing reviewer for Strange Horizons and Tor.com.
Author hometown: Adelaide, Australia
Top customer reviews
In Kena, Gwen is trying to sort things out in the absence of Leoden and figure out why he was imprisoning worldwalkers. Over in Veksh, Yena is trying to get the queens to actually do something about Kadeja, but the forces of bureaucracy and politics are against her. Meanwhile, Saffron is dealing with the readjustment to her own world, and it’s not going so well.
I think Saffron’s narrative is one of my favorite parts of A Tyranny of Queens. It probably ties in with why I loved Every Heart a Doorway so much. I’ve rarely read stories that address what it’s like to try and resume a “normal” life in our world after having been on a fantasy adventure. Most skip over it entirely or avoid lots of the difficulties by having no one (i.e. parents) know they were gone. Saffron doesn’t get such an easy treatment. Her parents and friends are treating her like she’s made of glass and at the same time don’t seem to accept that she may be different now. It’s painful and raw and honest. And as much sympathy as I feel for Saffron, I also feel bad for her parents and sister. If one of my family members disappeared for weeks on end I would be terrified. So as frustrated as Saffron is, I can totally understand some of her family’s reactions.
A Tyranny of Queens actually expands the POV cast beyond Saffron, Gwen, and Yena, and let me tell you, this book is so gloriously diverse. Practically everyone in this book is queer and most are POC as well. New characters include an autistic trans boy POV character (Naruet) and a genderfluid supporting character. Naruet managed to make himself one of my favorite characters in the series. He’s just sort of doing his own thing and as no idea about most of the events of last book.
I’ve been seeing some criticism of this series for how its diversity is a “checklist” because the identities aren’t being “explored.” I’m just so tired of this. Queer people have lives outside of being queer, and frankly I’d rather read a fun fantasy adventure than yet another angsty coming out story. Queer characters can exist without five different subplots about their identity, especially in a fantasy world that’s not heteronormative. Like, you know, when you read a book about a straight character and there’s not an entire subplot about them grappling with their heterosexual identity.
The world building of this series remains awesome. It starts to get into the multiple worlds aspect more, and it couldn’t be better! There’s just a hint of science fiction to it that makes for a really great genre combination.
In my review of the first book, I complained that Leoden felt one note. However, A Tyranny of Queens delves more into his character, with excellent results. He actually ended up being one of the most fascinating characters in the series.
A Tyranny of Queens ends the narrative arc established by An Accident of Stars. The ending is solid enough that it could be the end of a duology. But I think there’s going to be more books? I seriously hope so. I would love to read more with these worlds and characters. Regardless, I’ll be sure to read whatever Foz Meadows writes next.
I received an ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for a free and honest review.
I love Saffron as a character and I really loved the way this middle book unfolded, and also rarely for a second book, the story is self contained and I was really satisfied with where it ended – no cliffhanger. You could read this, be satisfied and not *have* to read the third book if you weren’t interested. That’s really unusual for a second book in a trilogy and it’s well worth appreciating.
Also, while I found the first book An Accident of Stars slightly clunky in the writing and every so often I’d be thrown out of the story, this time, Meadows’ writing was much cleaner in style and I could just sink into the story without any struggle. Not only was I not thrown out, I found it very hard to put the book down because of things like sleep, an excellent recommendation to a book as far as I’m concerned. It’s worth noting that this is the second book in a the trilogy and I don’t think it can be read without the first one. I do think that you could read the first and second book though and be content with that as an ending and not *need* to read book 3, but if you’ve read the first two and liked them, there’s no reason not to jump in. I certainly can’t wait for the third book, it will be one of my most anticipated releases, that’s for sure.
In Tyranny of Queens I found myself more compelled by the characters and their plot, and I felt that all of the characters who featured as protagonists demonstrated growth and new awareness of themselves, their world(s), their relationships and in relation to the overall plot. I especially thought that we got to see more of a relevant and connected side to Gwen this time, we found out previously that she was in a group marriage situation with a son, but this happened mostly off screen. While we don’t meet her partners, the warm relationship she experiences with her son is one of my favourite relationships in the book.
I also loved watching how Saffron’s relationship with Yena grows – although for most of the book this happens separately and somehow I could always feel them connected. It’s a tiny thing but I really loved it. I appreciated how Yena was responsible for being a Sister and a Daughter in both chosen and forced ways and that this was complicated by her feelings about her self, her experiences and the time she has spent away from the culture she was trying to embed herself back into. Another aspect of characterisation and plotting I appreciated was the way both Kadeja and Leodan as villains and victims were both portrayed in sympathetic ways, ultimately responsible for their actions but very human in how their actions had come about. Leodan is perhaps the more forgivable of the two having been manipulated by Kadeja, but her own pain and compulsion are engaging as well.
I love the various voices in this book, like the first book, Tyranny of Queens there’s a lot of diversity to go around, different cultures, different relationship patterns, sexualities, genders, showing engaging characters who also have mental health and disabilities to consider, older and younger characters, lots of different power dynamics. I love all of this, and feel like the inclusion and sharing of these aspects was a lot more organic than in the first book. For those who are looking for a place where they may find their experience represented this is a good place to look, and for those who shy away from reading about their experiences centred it’s worth noting that it’s central to this entire book. It’s worth noting that in the beginning of the book it took me a little to remember who everyone was, what they were doing and what they were about but this did give way to enjoyment very quickly.
Lastly, I’m not always someone who enjoys portal fantasy but lately there’s been some excellent examples and both An Accident of Stars and Tyranny of Queens both count. The world-building is epic, the politics are intricate and layered with meaning and consequences. The relationships are complex and compelling as are many of the characters in their own right. The plot arc had me wondering how it would be solved one way or another and I’m curious to see how that plays out in the next book given how neatly this book ended. I can’t say enough good things about it, one of my favourite books of 2017.