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The Queen's Rising

Review

The Queen's Rising

In the world of THE QUEEN’S RISING by Rebecca Ross, passion is the key to power and your bloodline determine whether you live or die. This Medieval French-based empire is divided into two kingdoms — Maevena and Valenia — and they are at conflict with each other after the last queen of Maevena was overthrown generations ago and a brutal king took power instead. In Valenia, there is an academy in which girls seek their passion and train with a master and to impress the upper class so that they can succeed. Normally only five girls are accepted, but this time there are six.

Seventeen-year-old Brienna is half-Maevan and half-Valerian, and her grandfather placed her in the academy for her protection; for if her father discovered her, she and the entire empire could be in ruins. But when Brienna discovers an ancient power and a secret to her lineage, she becomes part of the plot to overthrow the king of Maevena. In this story, family is, quite literally, everything.

"Ross built up an intricate and divine system of class, power and magic that combined to give readers the perfect blend of melodrama."

This novel contains just as much magic in the prose as it does in the setting. With Ross’ lyrical writing, complex characters and meticulous world-building, one is bound to be mesmerized from the first page. The detailed family trees and fantasy politics were done with grace, and you could tell that the relationship between the author and her characters was intimate. As a girl who is obsessed with fantasy worlds, this novel was exactly what I expected, wanted and needed. Not only did it contain the elements of a well-written story, it also contained secrets that I did not see coming. If you plan on reading this, I actually think it is best to know as little as possible, so I advise you to not read any other description.

The best aspect of THE QUEEN’S RISING was most definitely the setting. Ross built up an intricate and divine system of class, power and magic that combined to give readers the perfect blend of melodrama. The two kingdoms that were rivaling with each other were so similar yet so different to previous stories that I’ve read; it gave me a THRONE OF GLASS-type of feeling. The architecture described in this was like that of a fairy tale, and the significant events that occur in them are so symbolic and representative of similar events that occurred in history. How the characters react to conflict in this setting makes the overall plot much more complex. If this novel took place in an entirely different setting, then it would be an entirely different book. 

If I could change anything in this novel, I would make less of the story take place in the academy and focus more of it into the plan of overthrowing the king. Half of the story took place in that school and the actual plan didn’t start to carry out until about three-quarters of the way through the novel. If there was absolutely no way possible to narrow down the first part, then I would have written more about the small revolution. Another thing I would touch on briefly would be the family trees. While Ross does a wonderful job at explaining the lineage (and the fact that they are drawn out in the beginning), I still got confused as to which family did what and to who was in each family. There are about five or six family trees, so it’s really hard to keep up with everyone even with them drawn out!

Those who are avid fantasy readers and writers will delight in THE QUEEN’S RISING. It is impossible not to fall in love with the stunning prose and intricate world-building. Even though this world is deadly, I would love to be transported there; and with the help of this book, I managed to get there.

Reviewed by Daniella R., Teen Board Member on March 14, 2018

The Queen's Rising
by Rebecca Ross

  • Publication Date: February 6, 2018
  • Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult 13+
  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen
  • ISBN-10: 0062471341
  • ISBN-13: 9780062471345