Sunday, January 28, 2018

The Queen's Rising by Rebecca Ross

Title: The Queen's Rising
Author: Rebecca Ross
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss

When her seventeenth summer solstice arrives, Brienna desires only two things: to master her passion and to be chosen by a patron.

Growing up in the southern Kingdom of Valenia at the renowned Magnalia House should have prepared her for such a life. While some are born with an innate talent for one of the five passions—art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge—Brienna struggled to find hers until she belatedly chose to study knowledge. However, despite all her preparations, Brienna’s greatest fear comes true—the solstice does not go according to plan and she is left without a patron.

Months later, her life takes an unexpected turn when a disgraced lord offers her patronage. Suspicious of his intent, and with no other choices, she accepts. But there is much more to his story, and Brienna soon discovers that he has sought her out for his own vengeful gain. For there is a dangerous plot being planned to overthrow the king of Maevana—the archrival kingdom of Valenia—and restore the rightful queen, and her magic, to the northern throne. And others are involved—some closer to Brienna than she realizes.

With war brewing between the two lands, Brienna must choose whose side she will remain loyal to—passion or blood. Because a queen is destined to rise and lead the battle to reclaim the crown. The ultimate decision Brienna must determine is: Who will be that queen?
Review by Nara

So I went on Goodreads to do a bit more research about this novel after I finished reading it, and I was super surprised because this is a trilogy?? Not going to lie, this book seemed quite conclusive. I guess on the other hand, it did have a world that definitely could be expanded, so Ross may be planning either direct sequels or companion novels, I'll have to wait for more news on that.

The big twist in the romance was 500% predictable, but because it was a twist that I was a hundred percent on board with, I could most definitely forgive the predictability. The romance on the whole was actually quite excellent, with the development being slow and believable. In fact, the story on the whole was pretty well paced and engaging, with there being various interesting characters introduced at various points of the novel.

In terms of the minor characters, I would have liked to see a little more of the other "passion" trainees, particularly Melei. Brienna appears to have a close relationship with the others, and seeing that fleshed out a little more would have been nice (although I suppose this may also have been difficult seeing as though they all split off pretty early). The other minor criticism of the novel I would have is the the world building on the whole was decent, but limited in certain aspects such as the magic system.

Overall, an excellent debut novel from Ross. I'm going to keeping an eye out for any news on those sequels.

Really liked it
Overall: 8/10
Plot: 4/5
Romance: 4/5
Writing: 4/5
World Building: 3.5/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 3/5