We’ve come to the end of the Immortal Empire series by Kate Locke with the third book in the series – where Xandra gets all the answers, we get a happy ending, and everything becomes clearer in this plague-ridden alternate universe story with
Long Live the Queen
Things are hotting up for Xandra, and she’s got plenty of decisions to make. Trying to discover the “WHO” behind the laboratories, who is in charge, who (beyond her stepmother – now deceased) is experimenting with cells stolen from the captives – who created her shifting-ultra-strong yet childlike daughter. Tensions with Xandra and the Queen have been fraught with dual-purpose, and William’s (the Goblin Prince) dislike of the “leech’ with a basic understanding of the fact that Victoria isn’t stupid (along with revelations of who he was BEFORE the plague are momentary blips as Xandra puzzles out the answers she needs and makes decisions that will affect the remainder of her (as now uncertain) long life.
I’m going to admit that many of the twists and answers I received here were unexpected, and we have the inclusion of Bertie, Victoria’s son and heir to the throne a bit of an enigma – saying the right things and always being in the mix, with plenty of ‘one step ahead’ of our heroes here. When Xandra takes the time to speak to her father – a man known as absent and rather distant, after his second wife’s death – he’s suddenly attacked by her ‘doppelganger’ and left for dead. With a note – so everyone knows that things aren’t quite as they seem. When her mother is found in flagrante delicto with Bertie just before he has her arrested – with Fiona and Xandra witnessing the episodes – things are starting to show… the cracks are revealing, and it is only for Xandra’s coronation as The Queen of the Goblin Plague and take her rightful place for things to end.
It will take an epic fight, plenty of subterfuge and a turncoat from the Werewolves to spin again after finding his own moral compass to sort things out and bring a reasoned and reasonable peace to the Empire on which the sun never sets, and we have time for Xandra to find a new normal and happiness in her life. With several twists, the end comes satisfactorily – the Goblins, the Aristos and even the Humans and Weres have a new set of rules, opportunities and chance for happiness in this oddly constructed peace that nods to the past and future for the good of all concerned. There are still new threats to be honest – and could leave the door open for more to come, but this series as it stands is complete, fun and totally obsession worthy. Narration for the conclusion is provided by Moira Quirk and she did a marvelous job with the storytelling – being clear and concise when needed, giving clear voice and accent to characters and giving us a Xandra that felt as complete in her voice and inflections as she did on the page – even with all of her complicated new-additions. I am wholly obsessed with this fun, twisty and clever story that, while not perfect in construct, provided hours of enjoyment and fun during the listen – exactly what I want an audio book series to deliver.
Stars: Overall 5 Narration 5 Story 5
Title: Long Live the Queen
Author: Kate Locke
Series: The Immortal Empire #3
Also in this series: God Save the Queen, The Queen is Dead
Genre: Fantasy / Alternate Universe, Goblins, Action / Adventure, British, Family Saga, Friendship, Historic Elements, Murder, Mystery Elements, Paranormal, Romantic Elements, Second Chance, Setting: Britain, Suspense Elements, Time Travel / Alternate Universe, Vampires, Victorian, Werewolves, Urban Fantasy
Narrator: Moira Quirk
Published by: Hachette Audio, Orbit
Published on: 11 November, 2013
Source: Hachette Audio
Audio Length: 10 Hours: 19 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Direct from Publisher
The fantastic conclusion to the Immortal Empire series that started with the spectacular God Save the Queen.
Xandra Vardan thought life would be simpler when she accepted the goblin crown and became their queen, but life has only become more complicated. Everyone — vampires, werewolves, and humans — wants the goblins on their side, because whoever has the goblins — wins.
With human zealots intent on ridding the world of anyone with plagued blood and supernatural politics taking Britain to the verge of civil war, Xandra’s finding out that being queen isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and if she doesn’t do something fast, hers will be the shortest reign in history.
A copy of this title was provided via Hachette Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.