Title: Stone Queen
Series: Realm Immortal (#3)
Author: Michelle M Pillow
From: Review Copy
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Release Date: 5th January 2010
With the war between the Blessed and the Unblessed raging on, Queen of the Unblessed Juliana decides to take things into her own hands. Striking a deal with a witch imprisoned in the bowels of the castle, she turns herself to stone, only able to be awakened by the blood of two brothers sitting on the opposing thrones. Beside himself with grief, Merrik, King of the Unblessed, tries everything he can think of to free his wife. But the King of the Damned has other plans in mind for Juliana, and he will stop at nothing to succeed.
Though you can read this series as stand alone books, and enough background is given within them for the books to make sense without having read the previous ones, I would advise against it. The events and the characters all make more sense if you have the background to the story as is provided in King of the Unblessed and Faery Queen.
I was somewhat surprised to not really have a developing romance in Stone Queen and instead have the story focused on one which is already established (Juliana and Merrik’s) but I found that I liked it, particularly as it meant that more page time could be spent with other characters and their plots and beliefs.
I still have a theory about the relationship that William (Juliana’s brother) may end up in, though as of yet I don’t know how it could possibly happen, and as to Thomas (another of Juliana’s brothers) I have no clue yet! It was also good to have an update on Hugh (Juliana’s oldest brother) and his life in the Faery court with his new wife.
One of my favourite characters to follow though was Mia. As mistress to the King of the Damned, Lucien, she is definitely complex. She bartered away her soul (though as of yet haven’t been told why) but still has half of it. She basically enjoys the evilness Lucien brings sometimes but wants to be good, and seeing that struggle makes her an interesting and engaging character. Its also interesting seeing how she manages to help various other characters without anyone actually realising.
Stone Queen was a great third instalment to this series, though I am left with a feeling that there is a lot more still to tell, particularly for Merrik’s brother, Ean, whose ending can only be described as sad in this book.