Today I hand over the blog to my 14 year old daughter Daisy. It would appear I have two budding bloggers on my hands. So here it is #WhatDaisySays!
The Midnight Queen by Sylvia Hunter
In the hallowed halls of Oxford’s Merlin College, the most talented – and highest born – sons of the kingdom are taught the intricacies of magickal theory. But what dazzles can also destroy, as Gray Marshall is about to discover . . .
Gray’s Britain is a fragmented kingdom of many tongues, many gods and many magicks. But all that concerns Gray right now is returning as soon as possible to his studies and setting right the nightmare that has seen him disgraced and banished to his tutor’s home – without a trace of his powers. And it is there, toiling away on a summer afternoon, that he meets the professor’s daughter.
Although she has no talent of her own and has been forbidden by her father to pursue it, Sophie Callender longs for a magickal education. But she started a bookish rebellion in her father’s library long ago, and her sheltered upbringing conceals a mysterious past and what may prove a catastrophic future. Her meeting with Gray sets off a series of events that will lead them to uncover a conspiracy at the heart of the kingdom and into the legend of the Midnight Queen, who vanished without a trace years before.
The Midnight Queen by Sylvia Hunter is an intriguingly written fantasy book based around a world of magick. This is due to be a trilogy and I am honestly excited to see where the writer takes the plot. Our two main characters are introduced within the first chapter. Gray (Graham Marshall), has been forced to stay at his professor’s house for the summer for reasons unbeknown to the reader for a while into the book. Gray’s character is a very intelligent, caring, young man. The visible hatred between Gray and the professor is brought to the reader’s attention by our other main character, Sophie. Sophie was by far my favourite character. I think the themes in this book were really relatable and current. For instance, in the setting of the book Sophie is discouraged by her father from reading and learning about magick like the men in story do. I feel this was an exceptionally relevant theme, considering the modern feminist movements. Sophie’s character was also very bubbly and talkative which combats Grays initial moodiness.
Within the first chapter I noticed that the writing style was very unusual. Whilst reading, the informal, friendly tone made it feel as if it was written in first person by Sophie, when in fact it’s written in the third person. Sylvia Hunter has a very unique writing style that makes the book very easy to read. However, the book was very slow to get to the plot. This was the only downfall I found the book had. On one hand, I can see that because it took a while to get to the plot we got to get to know Gray and Sophie really well but on the other hand it does make the first 100 pages or so hard to power through.
Throughout the book the plot takes lots of unexpected twists and turns that I personally thought were quite clever. I enjoyed learning all about magick which was obviously one of the main themes in the book. Despite knowing magick obviously isn’t real I still find it incredibly interesting to read different authors inventions of magickal worlds. I think Sylvia Hunter’s magickal world went in depth enough to catch your interest but at the same time it doesn’t feel like your reading one of Gray’s study books from Oxford’s Merlin College.
Three other characters that I thought were written very interestingly were: Amelia, Joanna and the professor. Firstly, Amelia was the character I loved to hate. You could tell that she was designed to be written in a very mean girl fashion. She’s one of those girls whose pretty and she knows she can get anything with her looks- very manipulative. Joanna, who is one of the three sisters (Joanna, Amelia and Sophie) born to the professor is very outspoken and sassy. I enjoyed reading her character’s dialogue and I thought it bought a funny, light hearted tone to the book. Joanna was very passionately against her father’s views. Her father, the professor is written in a very old fashioned manner with very controversial and prejudice views against women. You find out early on that the girl’s mother (whom died when they were fairly young) was very upset to find that Joanna (the youngest) was a girl because the professor had wanted at least one boy. You also find out that Amelia believes it’s her father’s job to ‘pick’ her a ‘suitable’ man. This dynamic makes very thought provoking, interesting reading.
What would a book be without romance? Sophie and Gray’s romance develops very slowly from a place of trust, care and friendship. This like the plot develops very slowly but makes for very chilled out reading. There personalities are written to be very compatible and you see throughout the book how much they help each other.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book once the plot got going. The plot is full of very exciting twists and turns that I think almost any reader would enjoy and I personally thoroughly enjoyed the way the characters are written. I did also really enjoy the theme of female empowerment.