Once upon a time, when I was still in college, I went through a phase where I was too “grown up” for reading romance. So, I read a ton of fantasy and science fiction. I was also broke as all get out, and living in south-east Texas in the summer with only enough money for either food or air conditioning. Needless to say I spent almost all my waking hours in the university library, and I gravitated towards enormous books that gave me plenty of excuses to stay there for hours on end. And one such set of books were these gigantic hardcover books that I only later realized were trilogy omnibuses and not single books. Openlibrary doesn’t have a copy of Queen’s Own, but they do have the first two books in the trilogy which is more than enough to determine if you are going to want to seek out the third. Or you can just wait until next month, when the complete trilogy will be released altogether in digital form for the very reasonable price of $7.99.
While this isn’t the sort of series I can read regularly, or even annually, I keep coming back to it every few years, and it always hits me just as hard. The very first time I read it, I was sitting in that nice cool library, grateful for air conditioning I could enjoy without cost, and feeling conspicuous for having been in there from opening to closing for the past week or so. It didn’t even matter, within a few pages I was sucked into the story. And on several occasions I sobbed openly in public, unable to help myself. They probably thought I was crazy, but I didn’t care about that either. These books still make me cry, even knowing what is coming, and in some places even more since I do know what is coming.
While this isn’t a romance, it does have a romance element, and a happily ever after, so don’t worry on that score. But what it really is, is the story of the journey of one girl. It sounds simple, just Talia and her life. But there is this whole fantastical, magical world she’s in, a history and a mythology, and of course Talia isn’t so simple. Magic and fantasy, a strong and yet vulnerable heroine, plotting and intrigues. These are not flat or one-dimensional novels. They feel alive. These books were published in the mid 80’s, so before there was Harry Potter, there was Talia. They aren’t for kids, at all, but if you are an adult who has loved Harry Potter, and you haven’t checked these out yet, I think they will be very well worth your while. This is a trilogy that spawned an entire world you can get lost in. But most story arcs are in discrete and manageable trilogies, so it is easy enough to step out and back in again as you please.