Sunday, March 11, 2018

Review: The Queen's Rising by Rebecca Ross

Firstly, thanks to HarperCollins Australia for this review copy <3

Date Read: March 1 - 6 2018
Date Released: February 19th 2018
Publisher: HarperCollinsAustralia
Source: Review copy via publisher
Genre: Fantasy
My Rating:

"Born out of wedlock, Brienna is cast off by her noble family and sent to Magnolia House - a boarding house for those looking to study the passions: art, music, dramatics, wit and knowledge. Brienna must discover her passion and train hard to perfect her skill, in the hope that she will one day graduate and be chosen by a wealthy patron, looking to support one of the `impassioned'. As Brienna gets closer to the eve of her graduation, she also grows closer to her smart (and handsome) tutor, Cartier. He can sense that she is hiding a secret, but Brienna chooses not to reveal that she is experiencing memories of her ancestors - memories uncovering the mysteries of the past that may have dangerous consequences in the present. A daring plot is brewing - to overthrow the usurper king and restore the rightful monarchy - and Brienna's memories hold the key to its success. Cartier desperately wants to help Brienna, but she must chose her friends wisely, keep her enemies close and trust no one if she is to save herself and her people."


My goodness I haven’t read something this lovely in such a long time. If an author was to take a list that said “Jaz’s Checklist for Perfect Book”, this would’ve basically ticked all the boxes. I didn’t really have any idea what I was getting into reading this (didn’t even read the blurb) but your girl was SO pleased.

I loved Brienna’s character. She starts off as kind of average, not really excelling in any of the passions of art, music, dramatics or wit. She eventually settles on knowledge but she knows she’s got nothing on the other knowledge student. What I admired about her character was her dedication and diligence – hell she knows she’s lacking and makes up for it by studying endlessly and trying her hardest. I saw in her this drive to extend herself and when she found a purpose, a calling, she dedicated 110% to the cause. She’s loyal, committed and uses her brains to her advantage when she knows she lacks in swordsmanship.

There’s a whole cast of characters dedicated to the cause of overthrowing the tyrant king and I liked the way Ross showed different sides to the characters – the refined Valenians versus the Maevans who are skilled with swords. I admired Jourdain who accepted Brienna so quickly for his cause, it took a lot of trust on his part. My favourite was Yseult who’s very quick with her blade but also kind and had a just side to her. I really hope we get to see more of her in future books. The Queen’s Rising was really Brienna focused and didn’t have the other characters as fleshed out, which I’m sure means we’ll see more of them in the sequels!

The romance WOAH AM I HERE FOR THE ROMANCE. Like I said I hadn’t read the blurb (or properly looked at the cover) going into this (sometimes I like to live life on the edge and request books based on their titles LOL) so didn’t have a clue there was romance. BUT BOY WAS I ON BOARD THIS SHIP FROM THE GET GO. I’m getting all swoony and biting my lip just thinking about it. It’s hella slow burn… SLOW. And it’s worth every. Angsty. Agonising. Precious. Stolen. Moment. I love my men smart, gentle, slightly broody but caring and hella sweet. The kind who don’t try to hide their feelings but tell you straight out how they feel and my heart is pounding just thinking of Brienna and the love interest haaaaah. I’m rest assured by Ross that there is more of this person in book 2 and I AM EXCITE.

I thought the plot was very intriguing, starting with Brienna’s flashbacks, then the mystery unfolding and the whole plan coming together. I did have a few questions as there were things that happened that looked a teeny bit like possible plot holes. I overlooked these because the beginning of the book has a whole cast of characters that gives some things away so I may have gone off these assumptions? I don’t know. Either way, it was still very fun and I loved the adventure. There’s also a touch of magic with the promise of more. I’m not usually one for light magic but I’m here for the potential! Not gonna lie, some twists were predictable but I was having so much fun (AND MY SHIP) I was happy to be along for the ride.

I can’t get over Ross’s lovely writing. It’s the perfect balance of flowery and effortless so I just flew through the pages, every night going “one more chapter” and reading like 3 instead. I really liked the world she created too – the French-inspired Valenia was delicate and lush, whereas Irish-inspired Maevana was more wild in a highlands-calling-you kind of way that spoke of freedom and castles. I loved both and can’t wait to see more of Maevana in the next books.

I enjoyed The Queen’s Rising the further I read, to the point where I was smitten. I’m not going to even deny that it’s mainly because of the romance/ship because IT IS. Lovely writing, great ship, dedicated heroine, swoony love interest and an intriguing world set up for more – WHEN IS BOOK 2?

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