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Pale Queen Rising

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As the royal assassin, Claire is used to moving between the mortal world and the Winter Kingdom. When the queen commands her to kill, Claire does the job and doesn’t ask questions. Her deadly skills and loyalty are soon tested when Claire is sent to the Immortal Circus, one of the many places where “Dream” is harvested from the imaginings of mortals. There she must find th As the royal assassin, Claire is used to moving between the mortal world and the Winter Kingdom. When the queen commands her to kill, Claire does the job and doesn’t ask questions. Her deadly skills and loyalty are soon tested when Claire is sent to the Immortal Circus, one of the many places where “Dream” is harvested from the imaginings of mortals. There she must find the culprit who is causing Dream to mysteriously disappear before the Winter Kingdom’s supply is depleted enough to threaten its very survival. But when she meets Roxie, a beautiful mortal singer with a strange link to the Dream thieves, Claire quickly recognizes an odd and unexplained connection that may cloud her judgment. As each new clue unveils another secret, Claire finds herself confronting the riddle of her own buried past—and a dangerous illusion that, as part of the Immortal Circus, is just another act in the show.


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As the royal assassin, Claire is used to moving between the mortal world and the Winter Kingdom. When the queen commands her to kill, Claire does the job and doesn’t ask questions. Her deadly skills and loyalty are soon tested when Claire is sent to the Immortal Circus, one of the many places where “Dream” is harvested from the imaginings of mortals. There she must find th As the royal assassin, Claire is used to moving between the mortal world and the Winter Kingdom. When the queen commands her to kill, Claire does the job and doesn’t ask questions. Her deadly skills and loyalty are soon tested when Claire is sent to the Immortal Circus, one of the many places where “Dream” is harvested from the imaginings of mortals. There she must find the culprit who is causing Dream to mysteriously disappear before the Winter Kingdom’s supply is depleted enough to threaten its very survival. But when she meets Roxie, a beautiful mortal singer with a strange link to the Dream thieves, Claire quickly recognizes an odd and unexplained connection that may cloud her judgment. As each new clue unveils another secret, Claire finds herself confronting the riddle of her own buried past—and a dangerous illusion that, as part of the Immortal Circus, is just another act in the show.

30 review for Pale Queen Rising

  1. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    Two solid mehs. The story was decent but characters were cardboard. The main character in particular was bad. She was very Mary Suey and contrived. Her crush on a damsel in distress felt juvenile and tumblrina and edgy for the sake of being edgy. Meh! Her toughness felt much the same. The only truly tasty tidbit was Kingston and he's a bit character. This is on the far juvenile end of young adult, yet the language and sex make it rather inaccessible to the very young, in my opinion. I'm not sure w Two solid mehs. The story was decent but characters were cardboard. The main character in particular was bad. She was very Mary Suey and contrived. Her crush on a damsel in distress felt juvenile and tumblrina and edgy for the sake of being edgy. Meh! Her toughness felt much the same. The only truly tasty tidbit was Kingston and he's a bit character. This is on the far juvenile end of young adult, yet the language and sex make it rather inaccessible to the very young, in my opinion. I'm not sure where the author was trying to go with this but I think they've missed the mark by a wide margin.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Claire is an assassin for the Faerie Queen, Mab. She's good at killing things, but when the supply of Dream to the winter court is threatened, Mab orders Claire to become an investigator instead. Her detective work leads her to a singer named Roxie who signed a faerie contract with a new player in the Dream market. Claire eventually tracks down this agent who claims that "the Pale Queen" will rise. It seems the series will be focused on what that means. I was out of audiobooks again and picked th Claire is an assassin for the Faerie Queen, Mab. She's good at killing things, but when the supply of Dream to the winter court is threatened, Mab orders Claire to become an investigator instead. Her detective work leads her to a singer named Roxie who signed a faerie contract with a new player in the Dream market. Claire eventually tracks down this agent who claims that "the Pale Queen" will rise. It seems the series will be focused on what that means. I was out of audiobooks again and picked this one up because I thought the cover looked interesting (I know, I know). I didn't really read the synopsis but imagine my delight when I discovered that this is a spin-off series involving the Immortal Circus. In fact, at the end of that series, Vivienne's had pledged her child to Mab as payment for something and Claire is that child! While this is Claire's story, there are several characters from the Immortal Circus that play important roles - sigh, Kingston, sigh! I was so excited to see Kingston again...that is until (view spoiler)[ he sleeps with Claire. Ick, since he was/is? in love with Claire's mother, that just disgusted me a little (and Claire too when she figures it out). (hide spoiler)] Claire has the same sassy/snarky character as Vivienne did, so she is fun to read about. Like Vivienne's story, it seems Claire might be the only one that can save the Faeries, but those tricky faeries will make sure she pays along the way.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Carrie Gulledge

    “It’s funny. Kids in the real world think monsters come from the closet or under the bed. Which I suppose is true. Mostly. But the fact is, monsters can come from anywhere with a flat surface. We just need a door, and if it’s a flat plane, it can be a door. Chew on that the next time you’re reading a book about demonic possession. Pages are flat planes, too.” I received Pale Queen Rising as part of Amazon’s Kindle First program. I was truly excited, because Fantasy novels have been missing from t “It’s funny. Kids in the real world think monsters come from the closet or under the bed. Which I suppose is true. Mostly. But the fact is, monsters can come from anywhere with a flat surface. We just need a door, and if it’s a flat plane, it can be a door. Chew on that the next time you’re reading a book about demonic possession. Pages are flat planes, too.” I received Pale Queen Rising as part of Amazon’s Kindle First program. I was truly excited, because Fantasy novels have been missing from the Kindle First line up the last couple of months. I jumped straight in to reading Pale Queen Rising and I don’t regret that it was my pick for Kindle First this month. I wavered between enjoying the main character, Claire, and finding myself put off by her completely amoral personality. In some ways, it made her a completely open and honest individual, but at other times, it made her completely off-putting (like the scene at the circus). However, by the end of the book, she had developed into more than just the assassin that likes sex with no strings and killing things; by the end of the book, Kahler had built Claire into someone you could feel empathy towards. Also, can I just say that Claire’s propensity for heading straight to the bath tub to soak any time she was mad/sad/frustrated/disappointed/upset/etc was very endearing to someone who does the same thing? It makes it a lot easier to connect with a character in a story when you can see even small bits of yourself in them. Two things that frustrated me about this book; I still don’t really understand the concept of “Dream” very well. As best as I can figure out, they take humans imaginings and feed off of them? But it’s still a concept I struggle with really understanding. Second, I’m not entirely certain what the state of the world is when this story is taking place. Does everyone know about faeries and magic? Or is the world similar to todays, and the magic and fairies and witches happen and you only know about it when your paths intersect? I didn’t get the impression that this was some sort of dystopian world, where the fairies have taken over (I just finished reading Jonathan Moeller’s The Cloak Thief, which is actually a dystopian novel where fairies have taken over and now rule Earth), but I can’t tell for certain because Kahler doesn’t really address much outside of the Fairy world. I did really enjoy this book – Kahler is a phenomenal writer who’s descriptions are vivid and on point, drawing you into the story and leaving you fascinated and wanting more, even in the darkest points of the book. I look forward to reading book 2 and the revelations we know are coming. ***UPDATE 6/14/2016*** Ok, so I finally had a chance to read The Immortal Circus series, which is the series before this one who's existence I was completely unaware of when reading Pale Queen Rising. Suddenly, EVERYTHING makes SO much more sense. Dream is explained in much more depth in The Immortal Circus series, and the world outside of Faerie also makes more sense. Many of the questions/issues that I had with Pale Queen Rising were resolved by reading the first series, as some other readers thankfully pointed out for me. It did change my view of the book slightly, as some of the characters that carried over from The Immortal Circus were a little different in the Pale Queen series. My rating of the book still remains the same, however. For anyone reading this review and contemplating reading the Pale Queen series, while it does somewhat function as a standalone series, it really doesn't. There are a lot of concepts and nuances that won't make any sense without reading The Immortal Circus series first.

  4. 4 out of 5

    A Voracious Reader (a.k.a. Carol)

    *Book source ~ Kindle First Claire is a royal assassin to Mab the Winter Queen of Fairy. While Claire herself is human, she’s been trained by a sadistic Fae, so she’s very good at what she does. When the supply of Dream is interrupted, Mab sends Claire to find out why and take out whoever is doing it. However, Claire is no investigator; she’s a weapon. However, she does her best to figure it all out before Dream runs out and the Pale Queen rises. There’s not a lot of substance to this story. Clair *Book source ~ Kindle First Claire is a royal assassin to Mab the Winter Queen of Fairy. While Claire herself is human, she’s been trained by a sadistic Fae, so she’s very good at what she does. When the supply of Dream is interrupted, Mab sends Claire to find out why and take out whoever is doing it. However, Claire is no investigator; she’s a weapon. However, she does her best to figure it all out before Dream runs out and the Pale Queen rises. There’s not a lot of substance to this story. Claire is kinda unlikeable. And wooden. All she talks about is how badass she is yet I saw very little badassery going on. The plot is shaky, the villains questionable, and the characters flat. The beginning isn’t very forthcoming when it comes to world building so I was lost for a good portion of this tale. I think this could have been a great story, but the writing is just blah. I’m highly underwhelmed and have zero desire to continue with this series.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Bad Cookie

    I received a free copy through Goodreads First Reads giveaways. I just couldn't get into this book. It did seem to get a little more interesting towards the end, but it was too little, too late. Most importantly, I found myself wondering why I should give a damn about the main character Claire. I just wasn't interested in the mystery of who was stealing the Dream, where she came from or whether or not she would reunite with her real mother. She's not a likable character,so why would I care what I received a free copy through Goodreads First Reads giveaways. I just couldn't get into this book. It did seem to get a little more interesting towards the end, but it was too little, too late. Most importantly, I found myself wondering why I should give a damn about the main character Claire. I just wasn't interested in the mystery of who was stealing the Dream, where she came from or whether or not she would reunite with her real mother. She's not a likable character,so why would I care what happens to her? Therefore, I doubt I will read the sequel to this book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Samira

    What a delightfully debauched, booze-soaked, murderous fairy romp. I really (LIKE REALLY) enjoyed PQR, primarily because it's a book I would've liked to write. That said, I understand other reviewers' criticisms. The plot did meander a bit when I really wanted it to heat up (hence four stars, but hopefully the sequel will hit five). But I didn't mind the waffling because every tangent was a glut of magical diversions... Crystalline winter-realm-denizen's bar! Enchanted weapons to the teeth! Snar What a delightfully debauched, booze-soaked, murderous fairy romp. I really (LIKE REALLY) enjoyed PQR, primarily because it's a book I would've liked to write. That said, I understand other reviewers' criticisms. The plot did meander a bit when I really wanted it to heat up (hence four stars, but hopefully the sequel will hit five). But I didn't mind the waffling because every tangent was a glut of magical diversions... Crystalline winter-realm-denizen's bar! Enchanted weapons to the teeth! Snarky demonic companion! (view spoiler)[Circus tent sex party! (hide spoiler)] The only weak point for me was Roxie. Really didn't understand her allure besides the physical to Claire, who was such a wonderfully self-possessed character. Other than that: I love everyone in this bar. Eagerly awaiting book two and reading The Immortal Circus in the meantime to maybe uncover some missing pieces.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    Full review: https://girlswithguns.org/pale-queen-... The heroine has a nicely sarcastic approach to life that is endearing, and Kahler has crafted a world with plenty of potential. However, it feels like a lot of that potential was left dangling. For instance, early on, Claire says, “Monsters can come from anywhere with a flat surface.” At least in this book, that intriguing premise is left unexplored. Most of the time, too, Claire is apparently meandering round in the human world, only popping Full review: https://girlswithguns.org/pale-queen-... The heroine has a nicely sarcastic approach to life that is endearing, and Kahler has crafted a world with plenty of potential. However, it feels like a lot of that potential was left dangling. For instance, early on, Claire says, “Monsters can come from anywhere with a flat surface.” At least in this book, that intriguing premise is left unexplored. Most of the time, too, Claire is apparently meandering round in the human world, only popping back occasionally to the, likely more interesting, faerie realm. It may be the case that this works better if you’ve read the author’s previous series, which focuses on the Immortal Circus. As a standalone, however, this is no more than alright, and ends in the unsatisfactory “buy the second volume” way, which I’m increasingly discovering appears to be a thing with e-books.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Alaine

    7% in, I realized I didn't care. The story of a mortal in the court of Queen Mab seems to be overdone considering I just read it in The Iron Fey. I feel like I should be connecting with the main character and I'm not at all. Meh. 7% in, I realized I didn't care. The story of a mortal in the court of Queen Mab seems to be overdone considering I just read it in The Iron Fey. I feel like I should be connecting with the main character and I'm not at all. Meh.

  9. 5 out of 5

    John

    I moved this to my "Read" folder just to get it out of my "Currently Reading" folder. I created a new folder just for this book, "Not Good Enough To Finish." There, that's my review. I moved this to my "Read" folder just to get it out of my "Currently Reading" folder. I created a new folder just for this book, "Not Good Enough To Finish." There, that's my review.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sendusia

    Let me start off by stating that I have not read anything by A.R. Kahler nor have I heard of him before. I went into Pale Queen Rising with no knowledge of his previous related work, The Immortal Circus: Act One. I have a soft spot for YA targeted books about faeries, magic and "things mortals are too, well mortal, to see." So this book was right up my alley. I got it as a monthly freebie for being an Amazon Prime member, though I would have probably picked it up to read sometime in the future. I Let me start off by stating that I have not read anything by A.R. Kahler nor have I heard of him before. I went into Pale Queen Rising with no knowledge of his previous related work, The Immortal Circus: Act One. I have a soft spot for YA targeted books about faeries, magic and "things mortals are too, well mortal, to see." So this book was right up my alley. I got it as a monthly freebie for being an Amazon Prime member, though I would have probably picked it up to read sometime in the future. I really found myself enjoying the story and the many characters that are constantly being introduced. I wanted to know about Claire's past probably more than she did. I wanted the author to go into more detail about the Winter Palace and Mab. It did take me a while to get into the story but once the author introduced the mysterious "Immortal Circus," I was hooked. The book is a quick weekend read. The story is basic and predictable but it has enough plot twists to keep you interested. It pulls you in enough to warrant a sequel. The characters are as complex as they're trying to be and most of them seem to come off as dicks. But I liked them all the same. I loved Claire. Sure, she can get annoying with her kill and sex attitude but she grows on you. Claire's main objective in life is doing the bidding of the Winter Faerie Queen, which usually consists of killing... seeing as Claire is an assassin. When she is ordered to find and kill whoever is stealing the dreams of humans (the food of the Faeries), Claire begins to reveal more of herself as a mortal and uncover the secrets of her past. She starts to grow and becomes more "human" and likable. It's a daily struggle for her being human and living in a world where humans are considered nothing more than playthings (and food). There are still questions I have as to what dreams are, the mortal world, and the Oracle, but I'm waiting for the next books before I start feeling frustrated about it. Would I recommend it? Most definitely. It's short, quick and sweet. Was it unique and amazing? No, but A.R. Kahler is quite talented in creating a captivating and descriptive world. This is not everyone's type of book. Honestly, if you like supernatural stories with faeries, do yourself a favor and read it. If not, then skip it. It's as simple as that.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Pale Queen Rising is an interesting story, but not very well executed. I had trouble relating to Claire, the sexy assassin, who's narration and dialogue often came across as juvenile. Rather than letting the story unfold naturally through descriptions, the reader is often fed information through Claire's cursory explanations of, "Oh, by the way..." and "Yeah, that..." It felt very blasé and took away from what could have been a well told story. In fact, if it weren't for some of the subject matt Pale Queen Rising is an interesting story, but not very well executed. I had trouble relating to Claire, the sexy assassin, who's narration and dialogue often came across as juvenile. Rather than letting the story unfold naturally through descriptions, the reader is often fed information through Claire's cursory explanations of, "Oh, by the way..." and "Yeah, that..." It felt very blasé and took away from what could have been a well told story. In fact, if it weren't for some of the subject matter, I would have thought the story was written towards a much younger audience. I found the concept of the crossover between fairy and human worlds interesting, but again, I feel that it could have been handled better. The author often gave brief explanations of the mythos of these magical realms without really going in depth about how and why things were a certain way. I learned half way through my reading that this is actually a spin off from another series by the author, so maybe these details can be found in other novels. However, I was left somewhat in the dark, as I'm sure other first time readers of this author were as well. Overall, I thought the story was interesting, but because of the delivery, I was unable to fully connect with the heroine and her motivations.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dianne

    I sit here wondering just how to write a review for this book that won't get me sued! Have you ever read a book that in less than 24 hour's you've forgotten most of it? That about the only thing you can remember is that the main character is an ass-hat -a supposed kick-ass heroine that is anything but kick-ass? For the life of me I can't even remember if she actually ever really raised a hand. I think all she actually did was talk smack, threaten people and be the worse cliched character I have e I sit here wondering just how to write a review for this book that won't get me sued! Have you ever read a book that in less than 24 hour's you've forgotten most of it? That about the only thing you can remember is that the main character is an ass-hat -a supposed kick-ass heroine that is anything but kick-ass? For the life of me I can't even remember if she actually ever really raised a hand. I think all she actually did was talk smack, threaten people and be the worse cliched character I have ever read. The plot wasn't even all that great and it was a tiny bit obvious to this reader (and "tiny" was a wee exaggeration) You want an actual adult read about the Fae? Then read Laurell Hamilton's Merry Gentry series -yes you will want to throw the books against the wall for her usage (over-usage---way way overused !)of the word "spill" in all of its forms! But at least you won't be treated like you are brain-dead. The other thing that I took great issue with, was the fact that this author seemed to have taken a character or the idea of this character from another author. Yes there are a lot of magic wielding, big mouthed, female lead characters lately-but this seemed overly obvious to me. I HATED Claire. Oh well, can't love 'em all!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kris

    Not sure what I thought about this book. I almost dropped it completely at the beginning because of how boring I found the main character, Claire. She was cocky, annoying, and full of fantasy cliches on far too many levels. However, I was stuck in many queued lines today with nothing to do and decided to continue on and actually finished the book.Overall I found it to be a pretty standard urban fantasy with characters that weren't very well fleshed out and plot twists that were pretty obvious. A Not sure what I thought about this book. I almost dropped it completely at the beginning because of how boring I found the main character, Claire. She was cocky, annoying, and full of fantasy cliches on far too many levels. However, I was stuck in many queued lines today with nothing to do and decided to continue on and actually finished the book.Overall I found it to be a pretty standard urban fantasy with characters that weren't very well fleshed out and plot twists that were pretty obvious. As the story moved forward Claire became a little less roll-your-eyes ridiculous and the author seemed to warm up to his voice a bit better. I don't think I'll continue on with this series but I can say it isn't as bad as I originally thought which was a happy surprise. It is a decent, quick read that I would almost put at the YA level for simplistic writing style if not for the whole assassin thing and perhaps toe-dipping into some slightly sexier scenes. Still, I was entertained in the end so I can't complain too much.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Christie

    This was an OK read for me. I felt like the story was a bit disjointed at times, probably because I felt like I was missing something, having not read the the Immortal circus series (will probably go back and try those). The abrupt ending also irritated me (there wasn't any resolution to the story). This was an OK read for me. I felt like the story was a bit disjointed at times, probably because I felt like I was missing something, having not read the the Immortal circus series (will probably go back and try those). The abrupt ending also irritated me (there wasn't any resolution to the story).

  15. 4 out of 5

    Traci

    I got this as a kindle first book forever ago, but decided to read the immortal circus series first (by accident, but I'm glad I did since this book goes with that, kind of) and this one just didn't capture my attention like the first series. It was still good, just not what I expected after the first series. I got this as a kindle first book forever ago, but decided to read the immortal circus series first (by accident, but I'm glad I did since this book goes with that, kind of) and this one just didn't capture my attention like the first series. It was still good, just not what I expected after the first series.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Miramira Endevall

    I got this on KindleFirst through Amazon Prime, which nifty little program has sent me a lot of fun things in the past couple of years. Unfortunately, I just couldn't bring myself to care about this protagonist one teensy-tiny bit, nor did I find the world particularly interesting. I got this on KindleFirst through Amazon Prime, which nifty little program has sent me a lot of fun things in the past couple of years. Unfortunately, I just couldn't bring myself to care about this protagonist one teensy-tiny bit, nor did I find the world particularly interesting.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Reina Lee

    Exciting This is a great page turner...wondering what is going to happen next and where everything leads up to. Glad I took the chance to pick this one up.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Keith Lovell

    A farie tale Weaves common myths about varies into the Modern world with a mystery to resolve.. Interesting characters if a bit light on interaction

  19. 5 out of 5

    Hazel

    I was looking forward to this book, because the premise was really intriguing, but the execution was lacking. That doesn't mean the book was bad, but it wasn't great either. It was just solidly in the middle, so I don't have that much to say about it. It was entertaining enough, though, since I finished it within three days. I didn't love it enough to continue with the series, however. Maybe I would if I were getting it from the library, but I don't want to spend money on another book I'm probab I was looking forward to this book, because the premise was really intriguing, but the execution was lacking. That doesn't mean the book was bad, but it wasn't great either. It was just solidly in the middle, so I don't have that much to say about it. It was entertaining enough, though, since I finished it within three days. I didn't love it enough to continue with the series, however. Maybe I would if I were getting it from the library, but I don't want to spend money on another book I'm probably not going to enjoy. I think this fits more into the adult category based on some situations and language, but I thought the plot was trying to be YA. I was confused as to Claire's age for much of the book because she initially seemed like she was maybe in her 20s, but then in her interactions with Mab she seemed a bit younger than that, maybe 17 or 18. She actually is in her 20s, but I feel like this might have been better as a YA book with the sex and language toned toned down a bit. This book felt like a mash-up of Throne of Glass, A Court of Thorns and Roses, and The Mortal Instruments. I was a bit confused and conflicted about Claire's relationship with Mab. At first, she seems to be afraid of Mab, but then when we see them together, she is talking back to her and says she does so on a regular basis, constantly toeing the line. I was also confused for the first third of the book how Claire could be mortal if Mab is her mom. Then we find out that she is not actually her real mother and that Claire was kidnapped as a child. I felt like this should have been included much earlier in the story. I felt like I needed to know more about Claire for her to feel like a real person. She has been trained as an assassin by Mab and is used by her as a tool, but what was it like for her, making her first kill? What was her relationship with her Mab when she was a child? For years she doesn't seem to question the fact that she was kidnapped as a child, which is strange, even though she has known for a long time that this is the case. I think a lot of the sex could have been toned down or taken out and this could have been YA. One of my problems with Claire was that she seemed to lust after every person she met, and it got annoying after a while. It also left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth when I found out the author is male. Yes, Claire is supposed to be a sexy assassin who grew up in the faerie world where faeries are known for not having a lot of inhibitions, but even so it felt like this was maybe the exploration of a sexual fantasy or something, or the author just didn't really know how to write from the perspective of a young woman. I, as a 22 year old, couldn't relate to Claire on any of this, though of course everyone is different. It just got a little annoying because most of the characters we meet are described based on whether she finds them hot and whether she wants to have sex with them, and it felt very objectifying, The plot was okay, but it did meander a little bit. I have not read any of the author's other books, but this does have connections apparently to the Immortal Circus series. Despite that, I didn't have a problem understanding what was going on or predicting certain things. Spoilers! Claire was an okay character. Most of the time she was okay, and I didn't love her or hate her. I did question what her moral code was, though, because she has no qualms with her partner in crime, Eli, has to be paid in human souls. She does specify no kids in her agreement, but he is allowed to eat innocent people who are not the bad guys Claire is chasing. Claire also didn't really care how other mortals were treated by the fey, despite actually being mortal herself, perhaps with the exception of Roxie. Claire also has never really cared about her mother or potential mortal family, despite knowing she was kidnapped as a child, but as soon as she learns her mother's name, she suddenly becomes obsessed. It didn't really make sense to me how suddenly she learns her mother's name and then she cares, when she never did before. Maybe there is a magical explanation for it, like it was part of the spell that erased her previous memories, but the way it was written made no sense. I was disappointed in the ending as well. I had been hoping for a reveal of who the Pale Queen was, but it was not revealed. Toward the end, I also didn't really feel the tension ramping up above what it had been. Maybe this is a consequence of the meandering plot, but I didn't feel like I was on the edge of my seat for the ending. It didn't grip me and left a lot of questions unanswered. We don't get to see what Claire's mother is like, and even though Oberon is mentioned a ton throughout the book, we don't get to see him either.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Erin Skellerman

    In Pale Queen Rising , Claire, a mortal who has spent most of her life in the world of Faerie, is an assassin for the Queen of Winter. She has one job-- torture and kill anyone that stands in the way of Mab getting all of the Dream she needs to run her kingdom. when a simple hit on a leak in Dream turns into a search for a new Faerie power on the rise, Claire must quickly turn from assassin to detective if Mab's kingdom is to survive. With the help of Eli, a demon from another astral plane, Cla In Pale Queen Rising , Claire, a mortal who has spent most of her life in the world of Faerie, is an assassin for the Queen of Winter. She has one job-- torture and kill anyone that stands in the way of Mab getting all of the Dream she needs to run her kingdom. when a simple hit on a leak in Dream turns into a search for a new Faerie power on the rise, Claire must quickly turn from assassin to detective if Mab's kingdom is to survive. With the help of Eli, a demon from another astral plane, Claire makes several stops, both in the world of Faerie and the mortal world, as she follows the trail to find out who is assisting this new Pale Queen. This book was... fine. Is it a great piece of literature? No. Is it a good example of an urban fantasy novel? Not really. Was it entertaining? It must have been if I actually finished it. The world of this book is probably the most interesting part about it. In this story, there is a world known as Faerie, divided by two Kingdoms-- Winter, which is run by Mab, and Summer, which is run by a king named Oberon (who you never actually meet). This world exist next to the mortal world, and the two can interact in different ways. The main reason the two world need to interact at all is because of Dream. Whenever a human experiences something entertaining-- like a play, or a concert, or a circus-- they release Dream, which representative from each Kingdom gather and return to either side. This is not only the life force, but also the currency of their world. Other than that, the rest of the book was... lacking. All of the characters were cardboard cutouts, lacking depth and drive. Claire is by far the worst of these-- she's a true assassin stereotype, not allowed to feel any kind of emotion... except the desire to have sex with any attractive person. The only description really any character gets is whether they're HOT or not-- if they are, Claire interacts with them. If they aren't, they aren't really important to her. I also have a problem with the way that Claire describes herself (therefore, the way the author describes her). Near the beginning she describes herself as a "bombshell in a leather jacket," and I don't know why that rubbed me the wrong way, but it did. I think part of it is because this is a male author writing about a female character that only ever amounts to brooding sexpot. The way she is written also feels very juvenile-- she feels like what a fourteen-year-old thinks a sexy character should be like. In fact, when I first started reading this book, I actually thought this was a young adult novel-- the tone and writing style felt juvenile and young (not youthful, which is different-- this felt like a young person trying to create a mature world and failing because they've never been part of the mature world). At first I was like "Ok cool, I'm down for some young adult urban fantasy...." Until I got to a part where she starts describing her sex live and sexual encounters, and I was like "Wait... is this actually a YA novel? It's not, but I was still confused throughout because the tone was just off. Overall, this was not some great piece of literature or even a good example of urban fantasy. I want to know more about the world but not about these particular characters.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sissy Lu {Book Savvy Reviews}

    Admittedly, I binge read Immortal Circus a few years back and loved it. Ever since I've stalked A.R. Kahler and have waited for some news reads to grab up. I did, and for a while, these sat in my kindle/audible account until I sat down to craft. Lo! I have finished Pale Queen Rising, the first in a new series and for those familiar or not with Kahler, this series takes place after the Immortal Circus. If you're not familiar with the story you may want to pick up the prior trilogy, why? Because a Admittedly, I binge read Immortal Circus a few years back and loved it. Ever since I've stalked A.R. Kahler and have waited for some news reads to grab up. I did, and for a while, these sat in my kindle/audible account until I sat down to craft. Lo! I have finished Pale Queen Rising, the first in a new series and for those familiar or not with Kahler, this series takes place after the Immortal Circus. If you're not familiar with the story you may want to pick up the prior trilogy, why? Because a lot of questions that may arise are answered in that book. While it isn't absolutely necessary, I do sincerely encourage you to pick up the prior series, because this book doesn't explain [in depth,] the key things you may need to know. Onward! Claire is the Queen's assassin and happens to be her adopted daughter, but for this book, she seems to be more of her P.I. more than anything. Someone is stealing dreams from the winter and summer court and Mab as well as her brother, Oberon, are becoming upset. Mab sends Claire out to investigate and is led to the Immortal Circus, which sparks some interesting interactions. For those of you who ARE familiar with the prior series, we meet Kingston again, the magician and now ringleader of the circus. Melody is back, too. And with the visit to the circus brings back some unbidden memories that are supposed to be locked away. I found Claire to be a touch too abrasive for me which prohibited me from connecting with her and because it mostly focuses on her as the mystery of who is stealing the dream, who the pale queen is or where she resides, I wasn't as invested as I thought I should have been. That coupled with the vague detail in regard to the plot and the happenings, I just wasn't connected with this story as much as I wanted. However, I was interested in the idea. That being said I will definitely be reading the rest of the series because it is fairly intriguing. - Website - Facebook - Instagram -BookTube -

  22. 4 out of 5

    Emerson Jesseler

    Claire is the royal assassin for the Faerie Queen. She is mortal, but lives in a mystical land of perpetual winter. She kills people who threaten the Faerie Queen's domain. Not ordinary people, either. We're talking witches, warlocks, shapeshifters, and the like. Claire is a great character. She's strong and smart-assed. She goes into danger with courage and fights with ferocity -- we're talking about a professional assassin, after all. Her voice is full of sarcasm and modern idioms that makes a Claire is the royal assassin for the Faerie Queen. She is mortal, but lives in a mystical land of perpetual winter. She kills people who threaten the Faerie Queen's domain. Not ordinary people, either. We're talking witches, warlocks, shapeshifters, and the like. Claire is a great character. She's strong and smart-assed. She goes into danger with courage and fights with ferocity -- we're talking about a professional assassin, after all. Her voice is full of sarcasm and modern idioms that makes a great contrast to all the mystical, metaphysical aspects of the story. "I'd hate to have a drunken teenager accidentally summon something. And by hate I mean would hate to miss seeing it." But as strong and prickly as Claire is, at times she seems to barely keep it together. That vulnerability makes her particularly relatable as a character. Her mission in this book leads her toward secrets from her own past and our emotional engagement with Claire helps us engage with the plot that much more. The mythology of this novel is delightful. This world of Faerie Magic is rich and textured. Moreover it is presented to us with enough skill that you never feel like the story is being interrupted for a lecture from Faerie Politics 101. The coin of the realm in Faerie is Dream. The dreams of mortals are a source of power and food and currency all rolled into one. "Dream has this feel to it, almost a scent -- it's like the tingle right before a lightning storm, that scent of rain and electricity." When supplies of Dream run short, Claire is sent out to find who is stealing from the Faerie Queen. And there the story begins. Unfortunately the end of the story is harder to locate. This book is the first in a series and feels very much like the beginning of a story, rather than a story on its own. It does, however, show great promise for exciting adventures to come. Rating: 4.5 stars Length: 90,000 words Violence: Pretty Rough Sex: Discussed. Not Depicted Drugs: Alcohol Abuse and "Dream"

  23. 4 out of 5

    Emily M. McGuirk

    It helps if you read "The Immortal Circus" series first I chose this book a long time ago as a First Read, and as I slowly make my way through those books, I was glad I got to this one. I hadn't read "The Immortal Circus" series when I chose this book, I read it by chance later and then realized the connection after rereading the synopsis. You don't have to read that series first, this book is a pretty good stand alone book one in a new series, but I find that backstory helps tremendously; and af It helps if you read "The Immortal Circus" series first I chose this book a long time ago as a First Read, and as I slowly make my way through those books, I was glad I got to this one. I hadn't read "The Immortal Circus" series when I chose this book, I read it by chance later and then realized the connection after rereading the synopsis. You don't have to read that series first, this book is a pretty good stand alone book one in a new series, but I find that backstory helps tremendously; and after reading some other reviews, I feel like people didn't know there was another series before this one. I know who Claire is from the beginning. I read her differently than someone who doesn't know. While certain reveals might have had more impact if I didn't know, part of me likes knowing something that the main character doesn't know, especially when it's a first person perspective and all you know is what she tells you and experiences. There was a lot good action and the story moved along well, I'd say better than the Immortal Circus, and I am looking forward to finding out what happens next with Claire. I was interested and able to read it pretty quickly, especially the last hundred pages, which is saying a lot for me. There are things that I can't completely remember from the first series, but the important stuff came back as it was mentioned. So I would recommend reading that series first, or before you continue with this one.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa Kiley

    I got this years ago as a free Kindle First Book, many of the reviews recommend reading the related Immortal Circus series first, but this was free so that's where I started. I believe these two facts are the most telling: 1. I read it in roughly 24 hours, and 2. I have spent roughly the past hour trying to decide if I care enough to spend the $3 to buy the second book in the series. It was an interesting premise, I enjoyed the structure of the series' universe, and it was interesting enough thro I got this years ago as a free Kindle First Book, many of the reviews recommend reading the related Immortal Circus series first, but this was free so that's where I started. I believe these two facts are the most telling: 1. I read it in roughly 24 hours, and 2. I have spent roughly the past hour trying to decide if I care enough to spend the $3 to buy the second book in the series. It was an interesting premise, I enjoyed the structure of the series' universe, and it was interesting enough throughout to hold my attention and be a quick read. However, the entire Roxie storyline was annoying and felt forced and problematic for Claire's character. It seemed as though that entire romance line could have been taken out and the plot wouldn't miss it, and neither would Claire's character development. Generally well written, only one description bothered me enough to stop the story. The end just kind of told you that it was finally time to reveal some backstory and then ended. I get it, it's book one of a series and you need to get us to buy the second, that's just how it is. It left me curious but only to the point where if someone just told me the plot points I might not read further.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mewsagi

    I found the story-line rather slow in the beginning. It felt as though I had read this story before but I couldn’t exactly recall from what author. I did not find the main character likable or relatable. I understand she is supposed to be an assassin for the Winter Queen but she seems to be lacking some major common sense and seems to be oblivious for someone whose primary purpose is to hunt people/other worldly creature down and take them out. Just seems a bit odd to me. Also the fact that she I found the story-line rather slow in the beginning. It felt as though I had read this story before but I couldn’t exactly recall from what author. I did not find the main character likable or relatable. I understand she is supposed to be an assassin for the Winter Queen but she seems to be lacking some major common sense and seems to be oblivious for someone whose primary purpose is to hunt people/other worldly creature down and take them out. Just seems a bit odd to me. Also the fact that she doesn’t care about how she was kidnapped as a child, by the Winter Queen, seems bizarre to me. I know I certainly wouldn’t be okay with being kidnapped and forced to kill people. I forced myself to finish the book even though it didn’t really hold my attention. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll be reading any of the other books from this series. It wasn’t terrible but it definitely wasn’t something I want to put myself through again.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Veronica Spaeth

    I actually wanted a lot more from this book. I love the premise, and the small hints of a rich world that holds so much potential, but it doesn’t quite make the mark. The writing is a little messy, I had to re-read some parts a few times to try to understand what was being said. The characters were all a bit flat, even though some of them held a lot of potential and I wish they were fleshed out more. It was a quick, enjoyable read though and I might even pick up the next book in the series when I actually wanted a lot more from this book. I love the premise, and the small hints of a rich world that holds so much potential, but it doesn’t quite make the mark. The writing is a little messy, I had to re-read some parts a few times to try to understand what was being said. The characters were all a bit flat, even though some of them held a lot of potential and I wish they were fleshed out more. It was a quick, enjoyable read though and I might even pick up the next book in the series when I feel like reading something that isn’t too heavy. The basic ideas are interesting, even if you want more from the story overall. So, overall, I wasn’t overly impressed, but I was entertained by it!

  27. 5 out of 5

    N.J.

    Following the story since the immortal circus has been fun and entertaining. Keeping me at the edge of of my seat waiting impatiently for the outcome........ and that the major problem with these books. you have to have serious patience because everything seems to be moving so slow. the repetitiveness of the book makes you feel like you keep going around in circles...... sometimes you just want to tell the main character to get on with it and stop repeating the same detail or to not even bother Following the story since the immortal circus has been fun and entertaining. Keeping me at the edge of of my seat waiting impatiently for the outcome........ and that the major problem with these books. you have to have serious patience because everything seems to be moving so slow. the repetitiveness of the book makes you feel like you keep going around in circles...... sometimes you just want to tell the main character to get on with it and stop repeating the same detail or to not even bother with giving us the detail at all! Over all I love the concept of the book as a whole as well as the characters.

  28. 5 out of 5

    The Drowsy Bookworm

    3.5 stars An original story with fun elements, a no-bullshit MC and a yummy demon sidekick Eli. Not surprisingly the character I never fully trusted from the beginning turned out to have mischief up their sleeve; other than that I liked the twist and turns the story took. I liked everything about this book though (except for that character). I normally can't stand Amy McFadden as a narrator but she did well here and she did a good job giving each character a different voice/accent. Will be contin 3.5 stars An original story with fun elements, a no-bullshit MC and a yummy demon sidekick Eli. Not surprisingly the character I never fully trusted from the beginning turned out to have mischief up their sleeve; other than that I liked the twist and turns the story took. I liked everything about this book though (except for that character). I normally can't stand Amy McFadden as a narrator but she did well here and she did a good job giving each character a different voice/accent. Will be continuing the series via audiobook thanks to Kindle Unlimited.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    Fun book I feel that I just read the first book of a series the author has always thought to write and the the Immortal Circus is this series prequel. Both are great and what's more you don't need to start with the prequel series to read this. In the end, like all good books, everything you need to know it's in this book. I'm very excited to start book 2 of the series. Because now I need to know what happens and how Claire will deal with the knowledge of ... Well, ready the book if you really want Fun book I feel that I just read the first book of a series the author has always thought to write and the the Immortal Circus is this series prequel. Both are great and what's more you don't need to start with the prequel series to read this. In the end, like all good books, everything you need to know it's in this book. I'm very excited to start book 2 of the series. Because now I need to know what happens and how Claire will deal with the knowledge of ... Well, ready the book if you really want to know .I'm not going to spoil it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Erisel

    I honestly can’t tell how I feel At times, the story seemed fascinating. Others, I was constantly going WTF? While the cliffhanger was honestly one of the best I’ve come across the rest of the book completely turned me off. And really, the thing with Roxie and Claire was so much queer baiting, I want to gag. So two stars for the interesting ending and some of the world building but even giving this rating is a reach for me.

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