RELEASE DATE: 3rd July 2012
FORMAT: Paperback, 354 pages
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
London, present day – and Queen Victoria still rules with an immortal fist. She’s the undead matriarch of a Britain where the Aristocracy is made up of werewolves and vampires, where goblins live underground and mothers know better than to let their children out after dark. A world where technology lives side by side with magic, where being nobility means being infected with the Plague (side effects include undeath) and Hysteria is the popular affliction of the day.
Xandra Vardan is a member of the elite Royal Guard, and it’s her duty to protect the Aristocracy. But things get complicated when her sister goes missing. Xandra will not only realise she’s the prize in a dangerous power struggle – but she’ll also uncover a conspiracy that threatens to topple the empire itself. (Goodreads)
As soon as I read the opening author’s note of GOD SAVE THE QUEEN by Kate Locke and saw the words ‘vampires don’t sparkle’, I knew I’d fall in love with this book and I was barely able to put it down.
It begins with half-blood Alexandra Vardan entering the underground den of London’s goblins, desperately seeking news of her sister’s whereabouts. The fact that she has gone to the goblins shows her desperation, as the goblins are the outcasts of Queen Victoria’s society, as they are vicious enough to rip an aristocrat or human to death.
The aristocrats are full-blooded werewolves or vampires, who reign over the humans and use their half-blooded offspring for protection. They are ruled by Queen Victoria, the first vampire monarch who has ruled the British Empire for 175 years. However, the mutated vampire and werewolf genes are unpredictable, with not everyone being able to produce half-bloods despite trying their hardest to reproduce. This makes half-blood gene patterns an interesting scientific study area, which will play an important role later on in the novel.
As for Xandra, her search for her sister leads her to Bedlam Asylum, the only place that scares her as her mother had been sent there before she disappeared. She finds out that her sister has supposedly committed suicide, which the rest of her family are quick to believe but Xandra refuses to believe it and is determined to go to any lengths to find out the truth.
My sister was essentially in hell and goblins felt sorry for me. As far as I was concerned, things couldn’t get much worse.
She confides in her old fighting instructor, Churchill, whom she trusts more than anyone else despite the fact that he obviously treats her more favourably than his other students. Others are doubtful of his preference for her, making the reader doubt how trustworthy he is, willing Xandra not to confide too much in him.
Then there is alpha werewolf Vexation MacLoughlin, who mysteriously turns up on a multitude of occasions before actually interacting with Xandra in a bar. She has always had a crush on him and inevitably ends up going home with him, with Vex then wanting to have a larger role in her life than just a one night stand. Can Vex be trusted, or is he also involved in some kind of conspiracy?
There is no other word that I can accurately use to describe Xandra other than sassy. She was strong, independent, and really knew her own mind. Her confidence exuded from the pages in abundance and I loved reading from her perspective. It was also interesting to see her emotions as the mystery further developed, particularly when her family history was called into question. She is fiercely protective of her siblings, and is very capable in a fight, having been the top student at her training academy.
I will briefly mention Vex as Xandra’s love interest, as he was a very powerful man in the aristocracy and I liked how he wanted to protect her, but at the same time knew when to keep his distance. However, I had a problem with the instantaneous romance that seemed to blossom after their one night stand, as it didn’t feel developed enough for him to take such an interest in her.
GOD SAVE THE QUEEN had a great plotline as the book went on, as I was doubtful about how the disappearance of Xandra’s sister would develop, but the book kept throwing surprises in my direction. There were unexpected plot developments throughout, and I loved how the book ended, as the necessary loose ends were tied up so as not to make the book too much of a cliff-hanger. Needless to say I’m excited for book two!
I absolutely loved this book, and found the author’s writing style to be witty, with humour laced throughout. The heroine was strong and sassy, and really stands up for herself when faced with any adversity. This book had some clever plot twists that kept me hooked and I’m really excited for book two!
BOOKS IN SERIES ORDER
- God Save the Queen
- The Queen is Dead
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