The Queen's Rising by Rebecca RossThe Queen's Rising by Rebecca Ross

The Queen's Rising

byRebecca Ross

Hardcover | February 6, 2018

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In this epic debut fantasy, inspired by Renaissance France, an outcast finds herself bound to a disgraced lord and entangled in his plot to overthrow the king. Perfect for fans of Grave Mercy and Red Queen!

Brienna desires only two things: to master her passion and to be chosen by a patron. Growing up in Valenia at the renowned Magnalia House should have prepared her. While some are born with a talent for one of the five passions—art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge—Brienna struggled to find hers until she chose knowledge. However, Brienna’s greatest fear comes true: 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, she reluctantly accepts. But there is much more to his story, for there is a dangerous plot to overthrow the king of Maevana—the rival kingdom of Valenia—and restore the rightful queen, and her magic, to the throne.

With war brewing, Brienna must choose which side she will remain loyal to: passion or blood.

Rebecca Ross received her Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Georgia. She resides in Northeast Georgia. The Queen’s Rising is her debut novel. Visit her on the web at www.rebeccarossauthor.com or on Twitter @_RebeccaRoss.
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Title:The Queen's RisingFormat:HardcoverDimensions:464 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.41 inPublished:February 6, 2018Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062471341

ISBN - 13:9780062471345

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing fantasy read! On her seventeenth summer solstice, Brienna wants her years as a passion to pay off; to be chosen by a patron and master her passion. Brienna struggled to choose a passion, and ended up as a passion of knowledge. She thought that since she didn’t have a natural passion , she wouldn’t have a patron either, did she think right? This is only the first part of the story; the second half has Brienna tied up in a revenge plot and nothing goes as expected, for everyone. I adored this book. You know the feeling you get when you realize you’re reading a new favourite book? Yeah, this book gave me those feelings the whole time I was reading. The beginning was a little slow, but in a good way. We were given the history of the world and its people in a very unique way, through Brienna’s learning as a passion of knowledge. This technique really worked well because it connects the reader to the world while also connecting them with the character. I loved the Arden-sister’s dynamics; they were like family and they made me so happy. Merei was my favourite; everyone needs a friend like her, she’s so kind and caring. This book added a book boyfriend to my endless list (surprise, surprise). Cartier is an angel, his backstory had me in tears, and he is so sweet (always wanting the best for the people he cares about). He’s perfect. The friendships in this book made me so happy. Brienna and Merei and then Brienna and Yseult had the best and most caring friendships ever. I wish I had a best friend relationship like those two pairings; they made me so happy! Speaking of Yseult, she low key reminds me of Aelin because of how bad-ass she is and how she’ll stop at nothing to protect her people. I’m a huge sucker for royalty in books, and this book’s royal system was really refreshing. For once the Queen was valued way higher than the kind was; and so were the daughters. It was a really nice change. I’m also a sucker for political intrigue in books and this book was packed with that! Jourdain, Luc, and Sean were some other characters I loved. These characters and their relationships just pulled at my heartstrings; other than Cartier I love them the most! Brienna was so realistic and relatable. She was far from perfect, she wasn’t completely fearless, and she was a book lover! She is definitely a new favourite female character of mine. I absolutely adored this book so much. It was action-packed, made me cry, had deceiving twists and turns, kept my interest (I was turning pages like a mad woman haha), and left me breathless. This book is high up there on my favoruites list with Sarah J. Maas’ books, which is saying a lot since that never happens! This book would totally be a good slump read too because it was so addicting that I stayed up really late reading it which I never do because I always go to bed early! If you like action-packed fantasy with amazing characters, royalty, and a richly written and developed world, then The Queen’s Rising is perfect for you! Read more reviews like this at plentifulpages.wordpress.com
Date published: 2018-08-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting Plot This book was an enjoyable read. I enjoyed the chemistry between Cartier and Brienna, as well as the contrast between Valenia and Maevana. I also enjoyed how Ross explored the meaning of true family and challenged blood bonds. The relationship Jourdain and Brienna share was also touching to read about. The story was intriguing with twists and turns that I did not see coming. The interactions between the characters were entertaining to read about as well. I found the ending to be quite satisfying. I liked the maps and genealogies in the beginning and the whole idea of passions as well. Ross did a great job at creating this world. An enjoyable book!
Date published: 2018-07-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Queen's Rising A quite enjoyable fantasy, I look forward to the sequel.
Date published: 2018-06-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Fantasy novel and world! The Queen's Rising follows the tale of Brienna, who is studying to master one of the five passions -- art, music, dramatics, wit and knowledge. She has spent her time at the House of Magnalia trying to find hers, finally settling upon knowledge. However, she has had less time to master her passion than the other girls, leaving her without a patron when the time arises for her to "graduate" from the House. After some months, she does find herself a patron, but also in the center of a brewing revolution. This book is a really good example of how to set up and wrap up a fantasy in a single book. While Goodreads states that it is part of an untitled trilogy, this book felt very much like a stand alone. I wouldn't mind if the next book were simply a companion that follows a different main character very specifically because of the way that the book wrapped up so well. It sets up the world wonderfully and then concludes the story without feeling rushed and without leaving me with a sense of longing to see the rest of the world. The world built in the Queen's Rising definitely has a French flavour to it and a kind of Irish flair with the surnames of some of the lords. The pamphlet writing and the powdered wigs definitely make me think French Enlightement/Revolution. It's familiar but also different enough that I didn't feel like I was reading a historical fantasy. Brienna finds herself insecure about her standing at the House of Magnalia because she was accepted for some reason other than an innate talent, and she knows that. She tries her best and works twice as hard at her passion than the other girls. That insecurity and doubt gives way, when she finds herself at the centre of the brewing revolution to overthrow the Maevan king who sits unjustly on the throne. Maevana has always had queens until the last queen was overthrown. Brienna's talents at plotting and her background in knowledge allow her to make the best use of her situation. This book doesn't have much action in it, and that's fine for me. It's very much a book about political intrigue and the steps in revolution. There are also really pretty passages in the book and I really enjoyed reading it. The only thing that kind of irks me, is the romantic arc of Brienna and Cartier. While I like the way the romantic arc in it and it was kind of sweet, Cartier is her passion master and he is literally 10 years older than her. It definitely makes me uncomfortable that he was her teacher for three years and he's LITERALLY 10 YEARS OLDER THAN HER???? I get that it's a fantasy, and social rules work differently in both fantasy worlds and in the past, but still. I'd also like to applaud whoever did the design for this book. I love the cover, the map, the interior, the chapter seperators, and ugh the font for the subheaders is so gorgeous. I love this font so much. I was honestly distracted every time I got to a new chapter and section because I love this font so much.
Date published: 2018-06-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Slow at the beginning, but it picks up I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and it remained emotionally light throughout, with a nice happy ending.
Date published: 2018-06-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A Slow Start, An Intriguing Finish I expected a LOT going into this book: -- YA Fantasy is my pretty much my favourite genre and any book that IS YA fantasy makes me hope I’ve found the NEXT GREAT BOOK THAT WILL SHATTER MY SOUL. -- THE COVER IS GORGEOUS (has nothing to do with the content inside the book, but I LOVE PRETTY BOOK COVERS) -- MAGIC + QUEENS + WOMEN ON THE THRONE + FORBIDDEN ROMANCE + SPUNKY GIRL WHO SPECIALIZES IN BEING A ‘PASSION OF KNOWLEDGE’ – YES PLEASE Unfortunately, The Queen’s Rising failed to live up to my expectations. It’s not that I HATED the book, but I simply wasn’t INVESTED in anything. Here’s why: 1) THE CHARACTERS WERE SO BLAND. They were singular in purpose, fading into the background even as I read about them (which should tell you a LOT) and there wasn’t a single person I cared for 2) THE DIALOGUE WAS SO AWKWARD. LIKE WHAT WAS EVEN HAPPENING? I felt like a bunch of pre-pubescent tweens were running across the page throwing phrases like “Master” and “Passion Daughter” and “Passion Father” around (it’s not incestuous IN ANY WAY, but it was still so AWKWARD to read) 3) In a book filled with reclaiming thrones and sneaking into countries, WHERE WAS THE SNEAKY POLITICIAL INTRIGUE? The three lord headed rebellion SO EASILY TRUSTED A GIRL WHO CLAIMED SHE HAD VISIONS OF THE PAST SHE COULDN’T PLACE AND WITH NO PROOF, INVITED HER INTO THEIR HOME AND TOLD HER EVERYTHING (it’s really no wonder their rebellion failed, when you think about it) and then, ALLOWED THAT NEW GIRL TO PLAN THEIR ENTIRE STRATERGY WHILE THROWING AROUND THE TERM “Passion Daughter” (Please currently picture me cringing) (This Special Snowflake trope wasn’t even realistically done and just… UGH) I was essentially on the verge of putting this book down, but since I’m a compulsive reader, I also just… couldn’t. I made a deal with myself – 50 more pages and if it doesn’t get better, I quit. SURPRISINGLY, IT DID. The dialogue got better, the characters stopped being awkward ducklings, the political intrigue and twists spring up from nowhere and the book I was expecting from page 1 materialized on page 300. I really enjoyed the last 100+ pages of the book, I liked Merei, Sean and Cartier. I actually like what the basic plot was, and I’m excited to see whether the writing, dialogue and characters improve in the sequel to this trilogy. 3 stars.
Date published: 2018-05-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Highly recommend!! An epic adventure featuring a strong female protagonist - I really enjoyed this read. Brienna has never known her father. Her mother died when she was young and her protective grandfather hid her away with in a passion house to keep her safe from the father she never knew. As Brienna cycles through the different passions, failing at all, she finally settles on knowledge. But as her classmates find patrons and leave her, Brienna is left at the passion house until ... her mistress discovers that Brienna is the key to the return of the ruling Queens to Maevana, a land that has suffered through King's rule for generations. While Brienna does not possess magical royal blood, her role in the return of female rule to her father's land is integral. This book has everything: a strong protagonist that you can't help loving, a wide array of side characters, adventure, mystery, romance, and danger. And the bonus is that the story ends beautifully with real closure. Highly recommend!
Date published: 2018-05-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVED IT! Amazing Debut! Just magic! This book has become one of my favourite books! It has action, twists, things you don't really expect and a romance that is just adorable. Really can't go wrong with reading this book, theres never a dull moment once you start reading it and I hope you do. I read it in ONE DAY! It was too good to put down! I was so glad the whole story was in one book, it didn't make me wait and it flowed just right. The story line is very interesting and although I did see the lineage in the beginning, the author still put those mysterious twists at the end that you don't expect, it was fantastic.
Date published: 2018-05-16
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Mixed Thoughts I have a lot of mixed feelings about Rebecca Ross's The Queen's Rising... I really wanted to fall in love with this YA fantasy debut. It seemed to check all my boxes: a beautiful cover, a premise involving overthrowing a corrupt king, a heroine who doesn't quite fit in, and more. The passions aspect didn't interest me as much, but I thought, "Oh well, I'll just go with it and hope for the best." It took me over a MONTH to get through the first third of the book. Because the information we learn about the two different kingdoms of Valenia and Maevana is narrated to us like a school lesson, it became so dry and boring to read. I mean, yes, Brienna's passion is knowledge and she has a mixed heritage, so she's naturally curious about Maevana, but surely there could have been a more interesting way to learn about this fantasy world. And then there was all the pomp and ceremony for Brienna to find a patron, which we all knew she was going to fail, so it was more pages to slog through. By now, you're probably wondering why I kept reading The Queen's Rising if it was taking so long to finish, but it's hard for me to give a DNF. What if the book gets better? And it did! Well, sort of. Once Brienna accepts her patron and departs from Magnolia House, the pace really began to pick up and the adventure begins. Brienna uses the memories of a family ancestor to seek out the Stone of Eventide, the key to restoring the throne to the rightful queen of Maevana. I loved how Brienna was strong-willed and courageous, learning how to defend herself and volunteering to take on a dangerous mission that would help her Maevan friends. But while the beginning of the book was too slow for me, the second half of the book was much too fast. The Queen's Rising could've easily been split into another novel to really take its time to build up the tension and plan out the rebellion against the cruel King Lannon. There was nothing surprising that happened. Everything literally went according to plan! I kept waiting for that moment when I'd be shocked by a twist, for someone to make a mistake, but everything went so smoothly! I was swept into the excitement and danger of the looming final battle while reading the book, but looking back now, I feel let down that nothing truly memorable happened. (Oh, by the way, DO NOT read the family trees provided in the beginning of the book. It totally spoils the identity of Brienna's father... not that it's too hard to surmise later in the book anyways.) As it stands, I'm really not sure why The Queen's Rising will be a trilogy because everything seemed to get wrapped up in this book... at least for Brienna's story. Maybe the sequel, The Queen's Resistance, will be told from another character's perspective?
Date published: 2018-04-30
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Okay This book wasn't terrible but I personally didn't find it interesting.
Date published: 2018-04-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting! I was given this book and it was such an amazing read, I recommend it to anyone! #plumreview
Date published: 2018-04-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! I got this book in two subscription boxes for February: Uppercase Box and Litjoy Crate. I was a little disappointed that I got the same book, but I was also excited to read it because it must be good if it was in two boxes. I loved this book! It is a different take on the YA fantasy story. Rather than the main character having to find love throughout the story, she becomes involved in a plot to raise the rightful queen to the throne. There was some romance, but it wasn’t the most important part of the story. Breanna was a very strong character. She took chances to save the ones who she cared about. She had many conflicting choices to make, but she made intelligent decisions based on her instincts and intelligence. I loved the twists at the end of the story! I felt like I was holding my breath through the last third of the story. There was loads of tension. Though the story was slightly predictable, I loved all of it! The only thing I’m wondering about is what will happen in the next book in the trilogy, but I can’t wait to read it!
Date published: 2018-03-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from This was okay This book wasn't great but it wasn't bad. It took a really long time for any real action to happen and that severely diminished my liking of this book. I did enjoy the many twists in the book though although if I had simply read the info the author had provided at the beginning there wouldn't have been quite as many. lol. I liked Brienna as a MC. She was strong and smart. She was also able to change throughout the book. I was kind of hoping she would end up Queen but I'm happy she didn't. She might not have been able to be with Cartier then!
Date published: 2018-03-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing<3 I honestly wasn't expecting much but the plot blew me away. Stunning description and the plot is not one you might expect. Cannot wait for the next book!
Date published: 2018-03-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely Amazing! This was such great book to read. Having just finished reading a hyped up book, that was at times confusing to read, I was looking forward to diving into a new and hopefully exciting story. And that is exactly what I got with The Queen's Rising. Rebecca Ross found a way entice readers with every sentence she wrote. Everything from the writing to the world building was intricately woven and utterly enchanting. This was a book that was truly breathtaking from beginning to end.
Date published: 2018-03-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Stunning Debut The Queen's Rising is an epic fantasy by debut author Rebecca Ross. When Brienna was ten years old, she was taken to Magnalia House by her grandfather. The girls who live there must study and master one of the five passions - art, music, dramatics, wit or knowledge. Brienna is not like the other girls, who are all from wealthy families. Her Valenian mother died when Brienna was still young and her Maevan father is unknown to her. Now seventeen, she is hoping to master the passion of knowledge by the upcoming summer solstice and gain a patron. Things don't go as planned for her though, as she unexpectedly becomes embroiled in a plot to overthrow the king of Maevana. Brienna is a mass of contradictions. She doesn't know who she really is or what she wants. While her friends at Magnalia House come from important noble families, Brienna's own remains a mystery to her. This affects her more deeply than she realizes and leads her down an uncertain path. The story itself sounds more complex than it is, and I found it quite easy to read. The importance of having a passion was inspiring. There is also a strong focus on female bonds and family relationships. The novel relies more heavily on the development of the characters and the dynamics between them, than on a lot of action, although there is an exciting battle scene which kept me on the edge of my seat. From descriptions of the past to interactions in the present, everything is composed with exquisite detail. The settings are gorgeous, and I became immersed in the sublime backdrops of castles and sumptuous landscapes. Elegantly written and visually stunning, The Queen's Rising reads as a standalone, so I'm intrigued to find out how Ross will follow it up in the sequel.
Date published: 2018-02-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Incredible Debut! Gorgeous New Fantasy! *I received a copy of this title from the publisher in exchange for an honest review* Wow! I’m honestly still in awe. This book is everything I didn’t know I wanted in a YA fantasy. It was way better than I could have ever imagined! I feel like this book is going to be highly underestimated. I’m still at a loss for words to describe how beautiful the writing was. The descriptive language that was used was flawless and I felt like I was reading a work of art! It’s going to be impossible to do it justice in a review because Rebecca Ross has an amazing craft and she has created such a vividly immersive world. When I was told that this book is being compared to Red Queen and Game of Thrones obviously I was all in! Rebellion? A plot to overthrow a mad king? Yes please! The book starts off with Brienna starting at what is basically a private school so that she can master a passion. She tries and fails at each one until she ends up spending her final three years with Master Cartier in knowledge. I honestly could not get enough of Cartier! His character was swoony and underhandedly funny and so, so charming and witty. When the solstice comes, however, she finds herself without a patron and stays at the school to further master knowledge until she can find one. As unexplainable things start happening to Brienna, a mysterious patron comes with an offer thinking she can help him. The only problem is that he will not reveal his true identity or his motives. I actually thought the idea of secret identities was clever because it kept me guessing the whole time! It made it difficult to predict where the book was going to go and who was to be trusted. Brienna suddenly becomes part of a rebellion to overthrow the King and she also discovers that her heritage is somehow the key to winning, if she can discover what it is. There were so many shocking twists and although I had so many theories for where the book was going to end up, my predictions were completely off-base at times. It’s so hard writing this review because I’m trying to be vague while totally wanting to spoil all the awesome that happens! I also loved that it was loosely based on Irish/Scottish history as well because it made it feel so authentic. The only issue I had with this book (other than it starting off a bit slow) was that sometimes it was difficult to remember who was who and I found myself constantly looking back at the names and family trees provided. It honestly did help to have a point of referral in order not to suddenly get lost, though. If you love a good fantasy full of magic, twists, secrets, war, and rebellion then The Queen’s Rising is definitely for you!
Date published: 2018-02-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A good read A decent debut novel for young teens.................the premise is predictable in some spots but doesn't detract from an overall enjoyable read.
Date published: 2018-02-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Beautifully Complex Fantasy The Queen's Rising was such an enthralling read with an immense world and sophisticated characters. I was not at all prepared for the complexity of the story but it was welcomed. When I first opened up The Queen's Rising I noticed all the extra contents: maps, character list and family trees. I was instantly wary of how convoluted the story might be. I shouldn't have worried. I must have looked at those pages no less than 20 times. They clued me into things and I was able to figure out a few plot twists myself ;) The writing in The Queen's Rising was beautiful. The words just flowed. The story moved at a perfect pace as twists and turns were introduced. From mastering passions to leading rebellions I loved how Ms. Ross kept expanding the story. There was so much to know and I was eager to learn it all. Though one twist was predictable and obvious, it was seamlessly incorporated into the storyline. Brienna grew up with her arden-sisters and it more than shaped who she was. It wasn't all sunshine and rainbows with them. Due to the nature of their studies there was a bit of a competition. I like that Ms. Ross showed us this common reality. Even in the face of animosity Brienna's affection for her sisters never diminished. Her loyalty and faith to the right cause also never wavered. Her strength helped goodness prevail. Romance played a small part in The Queen's Rising- a relationship that was never expressly forbidden but felt like it nonetheless. Given their initial relationship the couple will surely face some scrutinizing from readers but I personally really enjoyed the development of their relationship. Their ever-changing statuses only made me love them together more. The Queen's Rising is marked as the first in a series and I'm excited to see what will come next. With a brilliant cast of characters and a vast world ripe for exploration, Ms. Ross's debut fantasy novel is definitely one to look out for this year!
Date published: 2018-02-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Debut Novel <b>I received an advanced reader copy of this book from Indigo Books & Music Inc. in exchange for an honest review</b> <i>The Queen's Rising</i> follows the story of Brienna, a young girl of mixed heritage who is still trying to find her place in the world. After struggling through the first four passions - art, music, dramatics and wit - she finally settles on her last choice: knowledge. Her life takes a different turn when she finds herself with an unexpected patron and discovers a plan to overthrow a king. <b><i>"I had descended from selfish, ambitious blood. And I was Norah Kavanagh’s vengeance. I would redeem myself."</i></b> This novel was the last one I read in 2017, and I'm happy to have ended the year with it. It was an intriguing and simple story filled with political intrigue and girl power. Although it isn't necessary defined as such, the world in it makes it come across as a blend of historical fiction and fantasy; it has that slow vibe of of a historical novel but is set entirely in a fictional world with magic. It was also quite refreshing to see that the story didn't take the obvious route you would think it would. There were surprising elements while others may have been a bit predictable. I really liked the writing style of the book. I'm usually really not a fan of a first person narration, and even less of a alternating first and third person narration, but in this case, I thought it was well done and with a purpose. The world building is very interesting, but lacked in certain areas in my opinion. When I first started to read the book, I was very confused as to how the passions worked, and what were their purpose. I haven't quite mastered it yet, but as I read the book, it became a lot more clear. There were also certain rules that were mentioned that I saw no purpose to, and failed to understand why and how such a rule even made sense. I did however like how the magic system was explained; the story behind it was interesting to learn and nicely presented to the reader as well. The different cultures between kingdoms was a nice contrast to see and added an extra layer to the world. <b><i>"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.”</i></b> Another thing I liked about the book was how subtle the romance was. I get annoyed when the romance becomes the main focus and the plot takes a backseat. I'm happy to say it wasn't the case here. It was sweet but hardly there to be honest, which was fine with me. An aspect that I didn't liked was how neatly it ended. I think the plot could have been built up a bit more, create just a bit more tension and make the ending a bit less easy; it had the proper story line to do so and I think it would have made the book stand out more. Overall, I enjoyed the book. It was quick and light; two very unusual words to describe a fantasy novel but that it how it felt like. It can be definitely be read as a stand alone, but I am curious to see which direction the next book will take.
Date published: 2018-02-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok Predictable premise but some good twists & turns
Date published: 2018-01-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok A friend recommended this to me, and it was wonderful!
Date published: 2018-01-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic debut fantasy! 4.5/5 This book was such a fantastic read and it was so refreshing after reading a book that took ages to get through. I flew through this one! The plot, the characters, the world building, I loved it all! The story follows the main character 17 year old Breinna who wants nothing more than to master her passion of knowledge and to be selected by a patron (a passion is a study in either art, music, dramatcs, wit or knowledge). When things don't go according to plan Brienna is offered a position months later by a mysterious lord in Valenia who wants her help in finding something that has been lost close to 150 years. She quickly learns that this man she has come to work for and those people surrounding him are not who they say they are and she figures out their true identities which they have kept hidden for the last twenty-five years. She becomes involved in a plan to overthrow the tyrant King of the kingdom Maevana and to place the rightful Queen on the throne. The things I really enjoyed about the story were: 1. The writing, the writing was descriptive and beautiful, I felt as though I was transported with the characters into this world. I could envision the world so well, the school, castles, people, forests etc. 2. The characters (i'll only talk about a few). Brienna is selfless, passionate, courageous, strong-willed and determined female. She is such a great female lead, she doesn't let the desires of love cloud her judgement and make stupid decisions like we see a lot through YA books. She stays true to herself and the cause she is working for. Master Cartier is one of my favourite characters from the book, I cant say too much without spoiling the book which I wont do. He is a bit of a mysterious character through the beginning of the book and the tension between Briennna and him is great. Jourdain he is a bit of a mystery to start with and once you learn a bit about him you will come to appreciate him and his relationship with Brienna which turns into something wonderful. 3. Romance. Yes, there is a bit of romance in the story. No it doesn't overpower the story. It is a SLOW BURN romance which is the best kind in my opinion. You know it is going to happen and when it does it will just warm your little heart. The age difference between the two characters and the nature of the relationship did not bother me (student-teacher) 4. Family and friendships. The family and friendship aspects of the book were done well, Brienna learns that just because someone is related by blood doesn't make them your family and vice versa. She only has a few notable friendships in the book but the friendships she does have she has created strong life long bonds with these people. So now onto the main reason I did not give this 5/5. YA authors never take the plot far enough. Everything ties up too nicely, things are too easy for characters. That happened in this book, I was hoping something traumatic would happen, someone wouldn't come back. But alas, I did not get that. Maybe in the next book. Overall this was a great fantasy read and I cannot wait for the next installment in the trilogy. Thank you to HarperCollins Canada for sending me a copy for review
Date published: 2017-12-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic debut fantasy novel! 4.5/5 This book was such a fantastic read and it was so refreshing after reading a book that took ages to get through. I flew through this one! The plot, the characters, the world building, I loved it all! The story follows the main character 17 year old Breinna who wants nothing more than to master her passion of knowledge and to be selected by a patron (a passion is a study in either art, music, dramatcs, wit or knowledge). When things don't go according to plan Brienna is offered a position months later by a mysterious lord in Valenia who wants her help in finding something that has been lost close to 150 years. She quickly learns that this man she has come to work for and those people surrounding him are not who they say they are and she figures out their true identities which they have kept hidden for the last twenty-five years. She becomes involved in a plan to overthrow the tyrant King of the kingdom Maevana and to place the rightful Queen on the throne. The things I really enjoyed about the story were: 1. The writing, the writing was descriptive and beautiful, I felt as though I was transported with the characters into this world. I could envision the world so well, the school, castles, people, forests etc. 2. The characters (i'll only talk about a few). <b>Brienna</b> is selfless, passionate, courageous, strong-willed and determined female. She is such a great female lead, she doesn't let the desires of love cloud her judgement and make stupid decisions like we see a lot through YA books. She stays true to herself and the cause she is working for. <b>Master Cartier</b> is one of my favourite characters from the book, I cant say too much without spoiling the book which I wont do. He is a bit of a mysterious character through the beginning of the book and the tension between Briennna and him is great. <b>Jourdain</b> he is a bit of a mystery to start with and once you learn a bit about him you will come to appreciate him and his relationship with Brienna which turns into something wonderful. 3. Romance. Yes, there is a bit of romance in the story. No it doesn't overpower the story. It is a SLOW BURN romance which is the best kind in my opinion. You know it is going to happen and when it does it will just warm your little heart. The age difference between the two characters and the nature of the relationship did not bother me (student-teacher) 4. Family and friendships. The family and friendship aspects of the book were done well, Brienna learns that just because someone is related by blood doesn't make them your family and vice versa. She only has a few notable friendships in the book but the friendships she does have she has created strong life long bonds with these people. So now onto the main reason I did not give this 5/5. YA authors never take the plot far enough. Everything ties up too nicely, things are too easy for characters. That happened in this book, I was hoping something traumatic would happen, someone wouldn't come back. But alas, I did not get that. Maybe in the next book. Overall this was a great fantasy read and I cannot wait for the next installment in the trilogy.
Date published: 2017-12-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from surprisingly good I enjoyed this book much more than I expected! Upon opening the book and seeing the extensive family trees and characters, I was slightly apprehensive with the idea of keeping all the characters in straight. Thankfully, not all characters listed are used and it was fairly easy keeping them straight. Brienna, I enjoy reading a strong female character that isn't the be-all-end-all-destined-for-greatness. Nor is she the character that every male character instantly falls in love with. She was an enjoyable and well developed character. I will say though that everything wrapped up too neatly for her. The quest was fairly easy to fulfill and not much suspense building towards it. The world building, plot and writing style were very good and enjoyable considering this is a debut novel. Fun and entertaining book with great characters, twists and turns and a splash of romance. Thank you harper collins for the ARC
Date published: 2017-11-13

Editorial Reviews

“A sprawling girl-powered fantasy. A compelling page-turner. Hand this magical debut to readers who loved Shannon Hale’s Princess Academy or Sarah J. Maas’s “Throne of Glass” series.”