THE MIDNIGHT COURT (House of Arkhangel’sk #2) by Jane Kindred- a review
THE MIDNIGHT COURT is the second storyline (August 2012 release) in Jane Kindred’s House of Arkhangel’sk. The storyline, once again, facilitates between first person POV through a series of memoirs and third person accounting of what happens when Anazakia is not involved. The novel begins several months after the exiled Grand Duchess Anazakia and her demon companions are rescued from the self-proclaimed- Queen of Heaven-Aeval’s dungeons. We continue to travel between Heaven and Earth, and the many different realms in between. The world of the Unseen will play a major role in Anazakia’s hunt for her daughter, but the fae are not considered a friend by everyone who is witness to their aid. But it is Queen Aeval’s hunger for a pure Heaven that will place everyone in the world of Man under her control.
As the only surviving member of the House of Arkhangel’sk, Anazakia is now considered an enemy of the state, as the new Queen has declared her a murderer and charged her with treason. But word spreads of another royal heir, Anazakia and Vasily’s daughter, and Ola is now the target of the mad Queen’s rage. While their small family is slowly beginning to rebuild, they will soon be embroiled in a hunt to chase down the people responsible for the abduction of their 14 month old daughter- but-there is more than one faction of in the Houses of Heaven looking for the rightful heir to the throne- and each one wants the child for a different reason.
The storyline reads like a political history lesson from revolutionary Russia in the times before it became the USSR. Insane monks, long cold winters, even longer train rides and horse drawn carriages: Social Liberation Party vs the Ruling House of Arkhangels’ka are blended with a futuristic storyline in the Urban Fantasy vein. Intrigue, self-proclaimed rulers, missing and imprisoned citizens, and slavery with the addition of elementals, magic, fae, mage, angels, demons and power all add to the mix when Anazakia and her friends willingly risk their lives to recover the missing child.
As the months pass, the animosity between the remaining family members begins to affect the mental health of everyone concerned. Blame is placed for the loss of a child, the loss of companionship, the loss of a relationship and the loss of love. The trio, as committed as they are to finding young Ola, is enmeshed in a triangle where everyone is suffering because of sins of the past. Belphagor and Vasily’s relationship appears to be beyond repair, yet their love for Ola is the one constant in their lives. Jealousy between lovers will be blamed when Ola is abducted. And Anazakia will endeavor, by herself, to find her only daughter when sorrow and pain threaten to tear the family further apart. But Anazakia, Vasily and Belphagor will be reunited again and again, as their paths cross looking for the child who unites them together.
We are witness to prejudice and confinement, abuse and rape, graphic violence and death, in a regime ruled by tyranny, threats and control all wrapped up in a cold Siberian winter. Citizens are labeled, imprisoned and anyone supporting the Grand Duchess Anazakia will be sentenced to die.
A few surprises will reveal when Vasily discovers his true heritage and Anazakia’s refusal to let go of the past will put everyone in harm’s way.
This is a story about a political nightmare and the murderous dealings to ascend to the throne in the Royal House of Arkhangel’sk. Anazakia must fight for what is rightfully hers but when her child becomes a pawn in a political war, her only concern is for the welfare of said child.
THE MIDNIGHT COURT is an amazingly detailed novel. The love between Vasily, Belphagor and Anazakia is so pure and yet so different. By the end of the book I was tired. There is so much energy required to read the fascinating and varied portions of the storyline. I found myself pulled into the battles, the tears and the betrayal. At any one time you never knew who would betray whom in the fight for the throne. And in the end, the rightful Queen of Heaven knows whom she needs at her side to help her find the daughter she loves and claim the House of Arkhangel’sk once again.
And please-get a new cover. The Fallen Queen had an amazing cover, but The Midnight Court doesn’t pay homage to the men in the storyline. Sam Bond’s fake dreads detract the reader. It is not a good representation.
1. The Fallen Queen
2. The Midnight Court
Click HERE for our review of Book #1- THE FALLEN QUEEN
Copy supplied by the publisher.
Reviewed by Sandy