Once upon a time, Nora and Søren made a fateful deal—if he gave her everything, she would give him forever.
The time has finally come to keep their promises.
Out of money and out of options after her year-long exile, Eleanor Schreiber agrees to join forces with Kingsley Edge, the king of kink. After her first taste of power as a Dominant, Eleanor buries her old submissive self and transforms into Mistress Nora, the Red Queen. With the help of a mysterious young man with a job even more illicit than her own, Nora squares off against a cunning rival in her quest to become the most respected, the most feared Dominatrix in the Underground.
While new lovers and the sweet taste of freedom intoxicate Nora, she is tempted time and time again by Søren, her only love and the one man who refuses to bow to her. But when Søren accepts a new church assignment in a dangerous country, she must make an agonizing choice—will the queen keep her throne and let her lover go, or trade in her crown for Søren’s collar?
WITH A SHATTERING FINAL CONFESSION, THE LAST LINK IN THE CHAIN IS FORGED IN THE ORIGINAL SINNERS SAGA. IT’ S THE CLOSING CHAPTER IN A STORY OF SALVATION, SACRIFICE AND THE MULTITUDE OF SCARS. (Goodreads)
If you have been following me for a while, you will know that Tiffany Reisz and her Original Sinners Series are always among my top reads. So The Queen is a bit bitter sweet for me. Although it is the next installment in this series, it is also pegged as the last. (At least in the White Years.) So although I have had the book sitting on my shelf since it was first published, I had been resisting reading it as it would be the last time that I met these characters. However, since it was getting to the end of 2015 and I wanted to have a sense of accomplishment by finishing one series, I pulled on my big girl panties and decided to read the book. The big question was Did The Queen go out with a bang or did it fail to meet the high expectations I have for this series and author?
I wish I could say that The Queen was a flawless masterpiece that more than meets the high standards that The Red Year series had set. Although I enjoyed The Queen much more than The Virgin, I still had a few issues that didn’t make it a five star read.
The overall plot of the book was good and watching the evolution of Nora becoming her alter-ego Mistress Nora, The Queen of the scene was enjoyable to watch. The bond between Nora and Kinglsey really does strengthen in this book and it becomes very believable that these two would do anything to protect Soren, even though at that time he is the person on their least liked list.
The two become partners in crime and Kingsley is the maestro behind the Mistress Nora, helping her become the person he has recognised she was all those years ago, when she first entered his and Soren’s life.
What was one of the biggest disappointments, for me at least, was the anticlimactic showdown between Nora and her rival to the scene. Their first meeting was fraught with tension and gave promise to an epic stand-off on the scale of The Viper meeting The Mountain, or at least some very good Cersei style intrigue (to use some Game of Thrones comparisons), but it never really came to anything. The build up never really paid off and I was left with a bit of an “oh, well” feeling, especially since I knew what these two Machiavellian type characters were capable of.
Over the last seven books, we have never seen Kingsley and Nora interacting very much and though we did see a major turning point in their relationship in The King, it was never really enough, at least for me, to build this picture of how these two people became such close co-conspirators. The Queen really does go into much more depth and I believed in this relationship much more. It was so much more fleshed out and I was able to reflect on their relation
As has come to be expected, though Soren is a huge influence in this book, most of his time is spent off-screen. The scenes that he is in, Soren more than makes a lasting impression. His presence is so overpowering that to have a book fully dedicated to him can be seen as too much of a good thing, yet when he isn’t there the world loses a bit its vibrancy. This is clever in itself, as it brought me a sense of empathy towards Nora and Kingsley.
The conclusion of the book brings us back to the present and it is really nice to have one last hurrah with most of the supporting characters we have seen throughout the tale. This gathering was a wonderful way to say goodbye to the world that Reisz has created and though she could have continued in telling the stories of this group of interesting characters, she has chosen to conclude it with this instalment. (at least for now.) It was real closure and though I had a bit of a disappointment with some aspects, it was still a highly enjoyable read.
The Queen really left me with mixed up feelings. On one hand I did enjoy the fact that this was the conlcuding chapter and there was a finality to it. On the other, it just failed to hit the epic heights reached during The Red years.This may be down to the high expectations for the concluding part of this series that I had and in a way they may have been a little bit too high. Never the less I did enjoy it. It was just that it failed to compete with the conclusion to The Mistress, which was the concluding part to the Red Years.
Nora, Soren and Kingsley will always be in the list of my top characters and Reisz was the first author that really challenged my view on the romance genre. Do not let this review put you off of reading her books because Reiz is a gifted author and one that I can’t wait to see where she goes from here.