- Publication date:1 May 2008
- Format:B format paperback
- Genre: fantasy
- Age guide: Middle Readers, 12+
For The Equen Queen
The Equen Queen
By Alyssa Brugman
Book 2 in Quentaris: Quest of the Lost City
The Equen Queen is the second book in the highly successful series: Quentaris: Quest of the Lost City and is the sequel to The Spell of Undoing by Paul Collins.
While moored to a new world Quentaris is approached by another sky-city. The traders on board seem friendly and generous, offering the Quentarans food and gems, but are they setting a trap for Quentaris? What are the equens and can they really heal the sick? Despite losing her special powers Tab Vidler must find some answers fast, before all is lost.
Jenny Mounfield –
In book 1, The Spell of Undoing, readers met Tab Vidler, a mind-melding orphan who discovered the perpetrator of a misguided spell that uprooted the city of Quentaris, sending it hurtling through a vortex.
Now safe from its enemy and tethered to a new world, Quentaris is approached by another sky-city. The Quentarans don’t have the resources for another fight so soon after fending off Tolrush, so are relieved to discover the occupants of this city want nothing more than to trade. The Quentarans are given two Equens, horse-like animals that can apparently heal the sick, and showered with pretty gems in exchange for games to keep the sky-traders occupied on their never-ending journey. Tab soon learns, however, that not only are the sky-traders lying about the Equens, but the gems aren’t theirs to give. The gems’ true owners are coming, and they want their stones back.
The insectile horde that descends on Quentaris is like nothing they’ve ever encountered before. Effortlessly, the creatures paralyse the city and set about retrieving their property. Quentaris’s fate appears to be sealed, until Tab has an idea that just might save them all.
Like its predecessor, this book is visually appealing. The text is easy to read and broken up by many detailed line drawings.
Having written a number of books for young people – several of which have attracted awards – Brugman handles her first foray into fantasy with style and aplomb. The plot is well-structured and engages the reader from the first sentence. Although not of her own creation, the characters are all Brugman’s as she leads readers at a cracking pace from one crisis to another.
Fans of fantasy and adventure are sure to love this series.
George Ivanoff –
Quentaris: Quest of the Lost City is a series of shared-world, standalone novels for kids, all set in the magical city of Quentaris — it is, in fact, the second series of Quentaris novels, in which the city has been magically uprooted and is now flying through the uncharted rift-maze with the aid of giant sails. Book One in this new series, The Spell of Undoing by Paul Collins, introduced us to a number of characters — Tab Vidler, the orphan who can enter the minds of animals; her best friends, Philmon and Amelia; Fontagu Wizroth III, actor and scoundrel; Torby, the young boy rescued from the prisons of the rival city, Tolrush; as well as numerous others. The Equen Queen now continues their adventures. So although it is a standalone novel, it does have some dependence on its predecessor. The cover, by Jeremy Maitland-Smith, does not have the same impact as his cover for Book One, and the interior illustrations by Louise Prout are not as good as those of Fernando Molinari for Book One. But it’s the writing that’s important. In this book, Quentaris encounters two other flying cities; firstly, the smaller city of the Skytraders. The Skytraders appear to be generous and friendly. They trade with the Quentarins, giving them Loraskian mood stones and two pony-like animals, called Equens, with supposedly magical healing powers. But all is not as it appears. The Skytraders are not as friendly as they seem, the Loraskian mood stones are not mere jewels and the Equens are more than ordinary animals. Tab and her friends soon find themselves trying to return the Equens to where they really belong and well as having to deal with the arrival of a larger and seemingly more dangerous city. Add a dragon’s egg and a hidden treasure to the mix, and you have a very lively and entertaining read. It takes a couple of chapters to really get going, but once it hits its stride there’s no stopping it. I like the fact that Brugman does not meticulously explain everything, leaving some things open… such as the exact nature and importance of the mood stones. I also really like the way Brugman portrays the inhabitants of the second, larger city (I really can’t explain why in this review, as I don’t want to give away important plot points). Brugman handles the characters introduced by Collins rather well. And she adds interesting new characters. This book, perhaps, lacks the epic quality of the first, but there is much to enjoy in the detail of this story. All up, The Equen Queen is a very satisfying and enjoyable read.