Queen Rat: A Penny Dreadful Review
In a watery future, or perhaps an alternate present, several enormous submarines contain a variety of tribes that were once a united empire. Governed by a series of strange laws and choc full of endearing (or frustrating) idiosyncracies, these tribes require a proper ruler to unite them. This is the strange world of Kim Lakin-Smith’s Queen Rat.
Ratiana, the titular Rat, is the darling princess of the roguish and slightly mad Victoriana tribe. She is a scrappy, piratical thing, preferring cogs and cutlasses to gowns and diplomacy. Simeon, the young prince she is required to marry, hails from the tribe of Aesthetes. His people remind me of Tolkien’s elves, though they prefer an intricate dueling style using swords rather than archery. A bow and arrows would be of little use on a submersive vessel. The two face an array of deadly and puzzling tasks in the Grand Trial preceeding their arranged nuptials. It is a delight to learn about their undersea world as our heroes dodge death and, yes, fall in love.
Queen Rat is a good adventure and a fun, quick read. I give it three and a half gears out of five. It would be an excellent choice for the middle reader ground between picture books and young adult novels. I do hope it is the beginning of a series. It seems to lay the groundwork for a marvelous one!
Your Correspondent From The Bookstore,
Penny J. Merriweather