The Impostor Queen grabbed my attention from its very first page. Within twenty pages, I was fully interested in the world, the characters, the magic, and the prickly sense I was getting that something wasn't right about everything going in the story. And by the end, I was torn between the desire to applaud and the need for a sequel. All in all, it was a novel worthy of the time I invested in it, which is really all I can ask of any book that I read.
I really liked this one, friends. Sarah Fine definitely has a way with words. She constructed her magical system so well, and I'm still in awe at how clever it is. It becomes the foundation for Elli's tale, and serves as a great base for the pillars of corruption and deception that make up its cornerstones. Apart from the setting and magic, Elli is a great character to read about, since she's simply a girl trying to deal with uncertainty and the unknown when things don't pan out the way she has expected them to. While I wouldn't necessarily call her a favorite, I admired her journey and felt like Fine really stretched her to the limits in this story. (And when I say stretched, I mean that things get really creepy and hard and terrible and sinister and confusing.)
There were two things that didn't sit so well with me: the uneven pacing (there's a lull in the middle of the tale) and the romance (I shipped it, but only to a certain extent since I wanted it to be developed further). But these are only minor reservations, and overall, they didn't deter me from really enjoying this story. The Impostor Queen is an undeniably sound addition to the fantasy genre. Rich lore, strong main character, twisty plot, a hint of romance... it's got just a little bit of everything I enjoy in fantasies. There's really only one thing it needs - and that's a sequel. And I'm sure, once you've read it, you're going to feel the same way.
Would you rather wield fire magic or ice magic?
Even though I can't bear the cold of winter in real life, I actually think I'd be well-suited to ice magic. It seems like my personality matches that of someone who wields ice, as based on the way its depicted in this story. There's a cool calm to the wielder, and they're not easily moved to passionate displays of temper. But when needed, ice can become a weapon and they can fight just as well as any other kind of magic user. Plus, ice magic appears to be better used in defense, which suits me just fine. (And that would put me in league with Queen Elsa and Jack Frost!) (And it would balance out my husband, who would totally wield fire magic.)
The Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books | Publication Date: January 5, 2016
Source: ARC downloaded from Edelweiss (Thanks!)
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. 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. As war looms, she must align with the right side—before the kingdom and its magic are completely destroyed.