Title: The Queen’s Rising
Author: Rebecca Ross
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Release Date: Feb 6, 2018
When Brienna’s seventeenth summer solstice arrives, the only things she desires are to master her passion and to be chosen by a formidable patron. Growing up in the southern Kingdom of Valenia at the exquisite and renowned Magnalia house should have prepared her for the solstice–the moment her life is expected to change. While some are born with a talent for one of the five passions–art, knowledge, dramatics, wit, and music–Brienna struggled to find hers until she belatedly chose knowledge. On the solstice, Brienna is not chosen by a seasoned patron but is instead forced to go become the assistant to another patron–this one a disgraced Maevan lord who involves Brienna in his plans of vengeance to dethrone the cruel Maevan king, Lannon. Along the way, she discovers a shocking secret and is forced to choose between blood and passion.
The writing in this book was exquisitely crafted. Each sentence, each paragraph felt gloriously and meticulously written just for this book. The writing style just made this novel really interesting to read. I also really liked the concept of the five passions–art, knowledge, dramatics, wit, and music–and I really liked the characterization of Brienna’s arden (passion) sisters an how supportive they were of one another as well as dedicated to their passion. I really LOVED that the author, Rebecca Ross included a map as well as several family trees, and a cast of characters in the beginning of her book. This definitely helped me to keep track of all the characters. I also felt that the plot came to a satisfying conclusion and I loved how much detail Ross put into the creation of the different lands and customs in her novel.
However, what I wanted was a little more romance between Brienna and her passion teacher. Her teacher, Cartier, was really well characterized and played an important role in the story, however, I wanted more friction in their relationship in order to heighten their romance, which honestly took more of a backseat in the book. I also wanted more action or deception/treachery to occur in the middle of the book, where the pace considerably slowed. The beginning and end of the book were really engaging and exciting, but the middle got to be a little bit boring sometimes.
The Queen’s Rising is definitely an exciting fantasy read perfect for young adult readers and those who are fans of high fantasy, epic battles, and relationships between fathers and their daughters, which surprisingly came up in this book. I would certainly recommend this book to fans of Kristin Cashore’s Graceling Trilogy, Heather Fawcett’s Even the Darkest Stars, and Lesley Livingston’s The Valiant. I give this book a 7.5 out of 10 stars.