I picked up The Queen’s Rising because I find it pretty much impossible to pass up a book being sold as “perfect for fans of Six of Crows and Sarah J Maas” (yes I’m a marketer’s dream haha). This comparison wasn’t far off the mark – The Queen’s Rising delivered a tough young woman main character and a bunch of espionage and political intrigue.
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.
So, I thought this was really fun! There were lots of things (tropes, I guess) that I’ve seen and loved in other YA fantasy books, but it was done in a way that felt fresh and a bit different to me.
One of the things I really liked was the friendship and camaraderie between Brienna and her fellow passion trainees – I feel like so often we see competition between young women in books, but these women really supported eachother.
I’m not entirely sure whether this is intended to be the first book in a series (it seems like from the Goodreads entry) – I would love to follow more of these characters’ stories beyond the finishing point of the book, but also felt like it had a satisfying ending if it were to be a stand-alone.
I gave this 3.5 stars, and would recommend it to readers looking for a quick, fun, lightish-on-the-fantasy read, without the commitment of a multiple book series. I have an ebook of this one, but the cover is gorgeous, and I’ll be keeping an eye out for whatever Rebecca Ross does next.
The Queen’s Rising is out now from Harper Collins. I received a free ebook from Harper Collins through NetGalley.
All opinions here are my own.