The Phantom Queen


298 pages
ISBN 1-55050-200-X
DDC jC813'.54





Reviewed by Laura M. Robinson

Laura M. Robinson is assistant professor of English, specializing in
children’s literature, at Nipissing University in North Bay, Ontario.


Seemingly rooted in the medieval Eastern European tradition, this
fantasy novel is a tale within a tale. A traveling blind minstrel comes
to court and recounts the story of an apprentice and a kingdom. It is a
tale rife with the supernatural, wise fools, abandoned daughters,
talking animals, and superstitious peasants. The protagonist ends up
marrying the little girl he raised, and this problematic incestuous
relationship is regarded as the purest kind of love.

This novel takes itself too seriously and is not particularly engaging.
The writing is stilted, as exemplified in the final sentence, “Of what
use is wisdom without love?” Not a first-choice purchase.


Begamudré, Ven., “The Phantom Queen,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 13, 2024,