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Little Honey (Mielitta) and Her Bees Against the World
What an unusual fantasy book! As the title might suggest, this book is about bees and so much more. Mielitta is an outcast in her city when the story begins. She was a foundling, not born in the Citadel like the others in her community. She is subject to bullying and ridicule. The Forest just beyond the Citadel is off limits and not even talked about (as it is forbidden to do so). One day when Mielitta flees the bullying, she goes out into the Forest. Her wonder is palpable as she explores this natural space. What a difference between where she has grown up and this place. While there, a cloud of bees surround her, stinging her. They actually essentially change her into a queen bee shifter with a hive mind. The bees that exist in her head continually talk to her. This metamorphosis has changed her in more than one way. With the strength of her bees within and outside her, she has courage and strength that she never had before. She actually does it shift into bee form, and she sets up the next generation of bees for her hive. This story isn’t just about Mielitta and her bees. There is greater political intrigue in the Citadel that Mielitta and her swarm get mixed up in, and several secrets come out in the end.
I thought the author did a fantastic job describing the settings, especially the Forest, and Mielitta’s thoughts and emotions. I love when thoughts would switch over to the hive mind; the bees were definitely a character unto themselves, which was an unexpected delight.
NOTE: Miel is the French word for honey, which is why I called her “Little Honey” in the title.