Publishing Info: January 5, 2016 by Simon & Schuster
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: December 30, 2015
Sixteen-year-old Elli was a small child when the Elders of Kupari chose her to succeed the Valtia, the queen who wields infinitely powerful ice and fire magic. Since then, Elli has lived in the temple, surrounded by luxury and tutored by magical priests, as she prepares for the day when the Valtia perishes and the magic finds a new home in her. Elli is destined 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.
Disgraced, Elli flees to the outlands, the 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 the love she has 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 align with the right side—before the kingdom and its magic are completely destroyed.
I’m always up for new fantasy and THE IMPOSTOR QUEEN seemed right up my alley! THE IMPOSTOR QUEEN was sort of the opposite of the hero/heroine who discovers they have powers and come into glory so that was really, really neat to see! There is a bigger story in there about what Elli can and can’t do but I won’t get into spoilers there!! Once you read so many books, things can start to feel too reminiscent of a different story so it’s always refreshing to find a new take on a common theme. I totally had thoughts and feelings reminiscent of SHADOW AND BONE meets Frozen but they were just little pieces because THE IMPOSTOR QUEEN really stood on its own!
Admittedly, the beginning started off a bit slowly for me. The very first chapter or two, I was definitely intrigued but then I found myself wanting to know more about the world and about the characters and feeling like I wasn’t getting there quickly enough. I really waffled back and forth between feeling like the pacing was a bit slow to finding something that totally hooked me and then back again. I’m not sure if it was because this really did have a such a different feel or if it was more of a personal thing but I had a bit of a hard time really getting in sync with THE IMPOSTOR QUEEN until about halfway through.
Once I reached the point where things started picking up, though, I was absolutely hooked! The character development really started to take off. I got to learn more about Elli, her history, and her ability. The romance really started to blossom into something utterly beautiful and it made my heart ache. I absolutely adored the platonic and familial relationships as well and I was so impressed with Sarah Fine’s ability to craft such beautiful non-romantic relationships to evoke such strong feelings. There were so many layers to these relationships and I loved to learn about the history behind them. The romantic relationship also really grew on me as well! I liked Oskar from the start and I really loved what he brought out in Elli and how she softened him. The two characters really blended together well and their relationship ended up being totally swoon-worthy.
The ending of the book was utterly captivating. I mentioned that the book started to pick up for me about halfway through and things really just continued to escalate all the way until the end. The world-building picked up and the plot really started to take off as well! Action and adventure really took over and my worries about any lulls were totally gone. I ended up seeing tons of potential for the rest of the series (and by rest I mean I think it’s only a two book series?) and any doubts that I had about any character or plot point had totally vanished. THE IMPOSTOR QUEEN finished off so strongly and left me dying for more!
“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!
Elli // Character Obsessions: Her Valtia, becoming a good ruler, love, strength, survival.
I’ll admit that I wasn’t Elli’s biggest fan when the book started… But I also think that was kind of supposed to be the case. She was a bit pampered (though she was supposed to be) and utterly sheltered which made her naive and ignorant. I did like seeing her grow throughout the book and became wholly impressed with her towards the end!
Oskar // Character Obsessions: Hard work, control, family, brooding.
I totally loved Oskar right off the bat. Brooding, strong, hard-working, and has many layers? Yes, please. Sign me up! I loved how his relationship with Elli grew and how well-represented his other relationships were. I adored the interactions with his family and it was incredibly interested to hear about his past and his friendships.
Kept Me Hooked On: New fantasy twists. I really loved how this book took the “protagonist with a gift” concept and really turned it upside down. It was so interesting to see things from the opposite side!
Left Me Wanting More: World-building and development. This eventually panned out for me but there were some lulls in the action where I wanted more world-building and character development and it felt like there wasn’t too much going on.
There were a few slow spots for me but ultimately this was so enjoyable! The ending really left me with all sorts of FEELS and I can’t wait to read the next book!
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