• Historical Fiction
  • General Fiction and Women Writers
  • YA Fiction
  • Suspense and Thrillers
  • Memoirs and Non Fiction
  • Classics and Mashups

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

"The Hedgewitch" by Lilith Saintcrow~YA Fantasy/Romance

Courtly, regally cast with fantasy figures closely identifiable with those in the real Aquitane of old, this young adult novel doesn't quite bridge my qualifications of "crossover" into adult fiction.  Lilith Saintcrow is, however, a worthy author with much to offer the teen aged reader who wants to spend time reading quite a long book with characters they may find likable for their devotion and physical beauty if nothing else.
This is a book we discover has a sequel by way of a killer dead ending...surprise!!

Vianne di Rocancheil has been largely content to play the gawky provincial. As lady in waiting at the Court of Arquitaine, she studies her books, watches for intrigue, and shepherds her foolhardy Princesse safely through the glittering whirl. Court is a sometimes-unpleasant waltz, especially for the unwary, but Vianne treads its measured steps well.

Unfortunately, the dance has changed. Treachery is afoot in gilded and velvet halls. A sorcerous conspiracy is unleashed, with blood, death, and warfare close behind. Her Princesse murdered and her own life in jeopardy, Vianne must flee, carrying the fate of her land with her--the Great Seal of Arquitaine, awake after its long sleep. Invasion threatens, civil war looms, and the conspiracy hunts for Vianne di Rocancheil, to kill or to use her against all she holds dear.

A life of dances, intrigues, and fashion has not prepared her for this. Nor has it prepared her for Tristan d'Arcenne, Captain of the King's Guard and player in the most dangerous games conspiracy can devise. Yet to save her country and avenge her Princesse, Vianne will become what she must, say what she should, and do whatever is required.

A Queen can do no less.

Particulars :
Published by:  Hachette Digital
Available:  ebook format~
Pages:  520
For more information on the author:

The Dame's Review:

"The Hedwitch Queen" started out with a courtly, fairytale quality that was captivating.
Introduction of one of the main characters, Vianne, then Duchess of a fantasy land much
modelled on old England/Arquitaine garnered a lot of pleasant interest from me. The story
swiftly moved in the first couple of chapters from the gardens of a palace to an uprising,
the King's pavilion, a darkened secret passageway and the Princesse's inner sanctum. I was
caught up in the story. Sadly, however, in fairly short order, the story began to lag.

On a happier note, I loved the characters on whole that Lilith Saintcrow created. They were
vibrant and well-defined for the world she described and had them play within. Vianne's
hero/consort, the brave and handsome Tristan, Captain of the Guard, was dashing and; well,
heroic! He's a man who couldn't be resisted by Lianne or the reader. And adjunct characters:
bandits, peasants, soldiers, other women and such were also interesting in their places.
They lost something only in that the story was just too drawn out for my tastes.
I would liked to have heard more about Vianne's herbal remedies and magical gifts in that
area. Magic was featured in the story, but it was switched to a medallion which I never
quite understood all the writhing implications of. I understood the implications of it on
the level of representing the royals, but not the writhing, I should say. It's
complicated... I think the story would have been better had the author focused on "the

This is a book that may be best read and enjoyed by a young adult who has an interest in big
and long fantasy books, and has time to be absorbed in them for days and days. There are
such readers. I may have been one in my early teens, I'm not sure...

I didn't find it easy reading for me. It actually made me impatient as I wanted the action
to wrap up at times. I wanted to scream at the two lovers, "Alright already, quit bickering
about nonsense!" It was aggravating. I think I detest whiny characters!  I believe an editor
 with a sharper pen could have helped this book in many ways.

The final disappointment was the way the story then abruptly ended. Sure, this is a series.
But the way the book was ended may have been one of the worst I've ever read. As I've said,
an editor should have given much better advice here. It didn't make the book more enticing,
it didn't help this author at all. It made me angry.

I believe Lilith Saintcrow has many strengths as a writer. She is strong in creating
characters. She can create an enjoyable world with nicely familiar language and scenery,
peopled with interesting folk.  The storyline wasn't a bad one.  It was the execution that
failed her.
I'm generous in giving this one a 3 star rating.
You took time out of your blog hopping to read my review today.  Thank you!



Thanks for the honest review. And thanks for taking the time to read it. I'm reading this book next month as a friend's lending it to me. I just love the cover! It draws me right in!

I look forward to your next post! You know how much I enjoy your reviews. And I just love your blog!

Share your thoughts!

Blogaholic Designs”=