So we rise to the challenge knowing that the victory is already ours.
To be published in February 6, 2018 by HarperTeen
eARC provided by HarperCollins on Edelweiss+
***any quotations are derived from Uncorrected E-Proof
Genres: YA Fantasy, Epic, Historical, Medieval, Royalty
Themes: royalty, deception, treason, rebellion, romance, family, friendship, blood, kin, ancestry, secret identities
My synopsis: Brienna spent the last seven years in the Magnalia House training to be a mistress of one of the five Valenian passions: art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge. However, unlike her fellow ardens (students), she did not spend all seven under one arial (master) – she is neither inclined to nor naturally talented in any one passion over another but was admitted in the institution due to her mysterious half-Maevan ancestry. In her first four years, she has failed in art, music, dramatics, and wit so she spent the last three years learning from the arial of knowledge, Master Cartier – would he find her deserving of the passion cloak? And when Brienna discovers secrets from the past enough to overthrow a tyrannical Maevan ruler, she obtains an unlikely patron and suddenly, obtaining the passion cloak is the least of her worries.
Political intrigues, dangerous plotting, secrets, all cloaked with a slow-burning delicious romance, The Queen’s Rising is not at all wanting.
But perhaps that made me want it even more, to prove that passion was not just inherently gifted as some people believed, but that passion could be earned by anyone, commoner or noble, even if they did not have intrinsic skill.
Brienna is strong-willed and brave enough to be admirable, but she also has enough fears and vulnerabilities, enough for her to be relatable. For once, our main character isn’t the chosen one, but more closely resembles the black sheep of the ardens. Though she is definitely a flawed character, I found her extremely likable.
Beyond just her character, I enjoyed reading about her interactions with her fellow ardens – the sisterly affection they have for one another is enviable. In only a few chapters, Rebecca Ross was able to not only build solid and lovable characters, but she was also able to express true friendships between these characters.
How shall I remember thee? As a drop of eternal summer, or a blossom of tender spring? As a spark of autumn’s stirring fire, or perhaps as the frost of winter’s longest night? No, it shall not be as one of these, for these shall all come to pass, and you and I, though parted by sea and earth, will never fade.
I like the breakdown of the passions, the idea of a passion is not something totally foreign but yet it adds an interesting aspect to the world building.
The plot points were fairly predictable, and usually that works against the book, but I think that I wanted the book to resolve well so I would have been disappointed if my predictions didn’t happen – I was probably most surprised by the ending, mainly because it actually ended, no loose ends or cliffhangers (I expected some since this book is listed as the first of a trilogy on Goodreads). I am guessing that the next books will be told in another character’s POV, acting more like companion novels (much like The Traitor Prince to the Ravenspire series).
Which leads me to my last point – the romance. I think this is what really made me enjoy the book much more than I thought I would. Surrounding the entire plot is this buildup and this tension and I loved every bit of it! It’s the kind of thing where you’re sure of the destination, but you don’t mind the steps that the author takes to get there.
“I cannot tell you what to decide, what is best,” he stated. “That is for your heart to choose, Brienna. But I will say this: no matter which path you choose, I will follow you, even unto darkness.”
Overall, I was surprised at how much I liked this book considering the predictability, and I would recommend it to someone just looking for a wholesome fantasy read.
Is The Queen’s Rising on your TBR?
What are some of your favorite fantasy reads?