Review: The Queen's Rising by Rebecca Ross

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. 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, the solstice does not go according to plan, and she is left without a patron. Months later, Brienna’s life takes an unexpected turn when a disgraced lord offers her patronage. Though she’s suspicious of his intent, she has no other option, and must accept. But she soon discovers that he has big plans for her future. For there is a dangerous plot being planned to overthrow the king of Maevana—the rival kingdom of Valenia—and restore the rightful queen, and her magic, to the northern throne. The question is, who will be that queen?

Before I even begin this review I want to state that I did enjoy The Queen's Rising. It kept my interest for a long train journey and despite a rocky start - it took me a good 70 pages or so to really get reeled in- by the end of the book I sort of didn't want it to end.

That being said, on a completely critical note, some parts of this book just sort of fell flat for me. For example, at some points the dialogue just got a little bit too casual and didn't seem to fit the world that Rebecca Ross was trying to build. It pulled me out of the story a bit. On the other hand, sometimes the prose went a little too old-fashioned and it just didn't work, like a six year old trying to write a Shakespeare play.

That all being said, I did so love the plot of this book. The whole Anglo/Celtic style background and the flawed main character. I loved Brienna because she starts of the book not knowing what she wants in life and finishes it with a family and a life and a purpose. Despite the initial ickiness of the relationship between her and Cartier - which to be honest could have been erased just by getting rid of the scene where they first meet (she's ten, he's an adult) - I began to care about the two of them. I think the whole thing stemmed from the age difference because it's only around halfway through the novel that it becomes clear that he's not like fifty and is only like seven years older.

I would have liked more explanation on the magic side of things, and a little bit more time to get used to the Maevana side of things because everything felt a little too fast in the second half of the book, but I still connected with the people who really mattered on the plot.

Overall, The Queen's Rising was a good book with some twists and turns and some fun characters. I loved the world, but felt that the lore and characters were not as fleshed out as I would like. Because of some iffy prose and bad pacing, I was a little pulled out of this book but will still definitely read the sequel!

Book released 6th February 2018 by HarperTeen
Book received from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review

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