Make way for the Queens. They’re ready to make their voices heard.
There’s an instant admiration after reading a good book and finding out that it’s their debut novel. The Queen’s Rising by author Rebecca Ross falls into this category and I couldn’t help but instantly long for more stories in this universe.
Never wanting to give anything away, I’ll leave you with the official blurb, featured on the Harper Collins website:
“Born out of wedlock, Brienna is cast off by her noble family and sent to Magnolia House – a boarding house for those looking to study the passions: art, music, dramatics, wit and knowledge. Brienna must discover her passion and train hard to perfect her skill, in the hope that she will one day graduate and be chosen by a wealthy patron, looking to support one of the ‘impassioned’… A daring plot is brewing – to overthrow the usurper king and restore the rightful monarchy – Brienna’s memories hold the key to its success. Cartier desperately wants to help Brienna, but she must chose her friends wisely, keep her enemies close and trust no one if she is to save herself and her people.”
A great balance of world-building laid itself on the pages and I found that enough information was provided to create a fascinating and rewarding world without overwhelming the reader or sacrificing the narrative. This is usually one of the main reasons I clutch onto YA simply because it’s authors know how to stay on target.
The narrative structure or overall arc commonly found in trilogies or duologies soon presented itself in The Queen’s Rising. Book one was the origin story, establishing the world and characters. Now that it is done, we’re ready to get down to business.
I will admit that The Queen’s Rising was a slow burn kind of book, taking a while to get things moving or relationships building. This wasn’t necessarily a positive or negative thing and frankly can be taken either way depending on the reader. I do wonder whether this is natural for the beginning of a series though or merely inevitable when things have to be said or done. A slow burning romance is always the most rewarding in the long run too.
The reveal of Brienna’s Father was unfortunately not very shocking to me and I found it quite easy to predict where the story was going in advance because characters never dared to speak his name.
The adoptive/instant family theme centralizing the world and story was something that I loved. Brienna’s family is by love and not blood, something I wish was more present in other stories where people suddenly drop everything for someone they’ve never met simply because they’re blood.
Fantasy lovers will be entranced by the The Queen’s Rising, eager to see what comes next in the following novel and beyond.
Book supplied by Harper Collins NZ. Click here for details.