The Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Category: Young Adult
Sixteen-year-old Elli was
only a child when the Elders of Kupari chose her to succeed the Valtia,
the queen who wields infinitely powerful ice and fire magic in service
of her people. The only life Elli has known has been in the temple,
surrounded by luxury, tutored by magic-wielding priests, preparing for
the day when the queen perishes—and the ice and fire find a new home in
Elli, who is prophesied to be the most powerful Valtia to ever rule.
But when the queen dies defending the kingdom from invading warriors, the magic doesn’t enter Elli. It’s nowhere to be found.
Elli flees to the outlands, home of banished criminals—some who would
love to see the temple burn with all its priests inside. As she finds
her footing in this new world, Elli uncovers devastating new information
about the Kupari magic, those who wield it, and the prophecy that
foretold her destiny. Torn between her love for her people and her
growing loyalty to the banished, Elli struggles to understand the true
role she was meant to play. But as war looms, she must choose the right
side before the kingdom and its magic are completely destroyed.
The imposter queen started off very slow, and I struggled a bit through the first hundred or so pages. There's a lot of set up to who she is and what she is supposed to become, and it drags a bit through what follows. However after that the book really takes off and I'm so glad I didn't give up on it.
Elli is one of those characters that have to grow into who she is supposed to be. She lives a very sheltered life in the beginning, but blossoms into a capable young woman throughout the rest of the book. For me the story really picked up when she left the city and met the other banished citizens.
There are most of the usual fantasy tropes here with chosen ones and prophesies and hidden magic, and I saw every one of the plot twists coming, but I still very much enjoyed this. One of the main reasons I enjoyed it was Oskar. Oskar is the male lead in this novel and the love interest. I couldn't help myself, I really fell for that big, gentle bear of a man. He's one of the best male leads I've read in a while. But before you start thinking this is just another YA romance disguised as a fantasy, I assure you it isn't. There is just the right amount of romance in the story. It doesn't overpower anything, but adds to it.
There are no major cliffhangers at the end of this book, but it does leave us with some really big loose ends. Obviously there will be a sequel. I'm hoping it's a duology so that it isn't dragged out too long.
View all my reviews