Book Review

Book Review of The Queen's Rising by Rebecca Ross

The Queen's Rising book review

The Queen’s Rising is a beautifully written and imaginative Y.A. fantasy. I often mark passages of writing I like when reading various books. I marked Queen’s Rising over and over for the lyrical, beautiful descriptions! The story begins with Brienna being taken as a child to the Magnalia House where students are raised in one of five passions – art, drama, music, wit, or knowledge. Usually only one child is chosen for each passion, but Brienna is accepted as a second and the reason is hinted at her parentage. Brienna doesn’t know who her father is, a mystery from the land of Maevana that might be the key to her learning who she should become. She struggles to find which passion to pursue and innately seems to understand that she was never chosen on the basis of her talents, but more on who her unknown father is. 

The kingdom of Valenia where Brienna is raised feels very much like a refined Renaissance France. Maevana has a more Scottish feeling – a land that is more violent and untamed. Maevana was once ruled by queens, until the Queen’s magic was stolen and hidden away and the throne given to a dynasty of men who are both cruel and unwanted and yet unchallenged as the items needed to do so are lost to hundreds of years of history.

Brienna stumbles on a gift of hers that will thrust her into the struggle to put a queen on the throne. As mysteries unravel, she finds herself having to choose between the father she always wanted and the one who was chosen for her. She will also have to choose between helping a queen rise to the throne or another entirely unexpected destiny that opens itself to her with an unexpected revelation.

I love the relationships in this book – from the tension between Brienna and her untouchable master to those between the passion sisters. I also loved the unexpected revelations that unraveled throughout the story. There is no love triangle or other such nonsense. The love that develops in the story is very slow burning and CLEAN – no sex, etc. The characters involved obviously have feelings for one another but circumstances make it so they can’t be expressed, and the tension builds like a tightly strung violin string. I also love the loyalties expressed in this book. 

Overall The Queen’s Rising was an enjoyable fairy-tale type fantasy story that I burned through in one day because I wanted to know what was going to happen. I appreciate that the book did NOT have a cliff hanger ending like so many YA books today. The ending was totally satisfying, and while I would love to revisit these characters again, all of the plot threads were tied up and ended in such a way that left me feeling quite content instead of frustrated at the lack of answers, as many of the YA trilogies do (it seems to be a trend to make trilogies now instead of wrapping things up in one book). The author didn’t drag the story on unnecessarily to sell more books. I appreciate that. A great debut book! I really look forward to more of Rebecca Ross’s books and her beautiful writing style! Finally, a YA author who has luscious descriptions!

Thanks to Edelweiss and HarperTeen for the ARC!

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