Title: The Impostor Queen
Author: Sarah Fine
Date Started: March 3
Date Finished: March 4
Format: Hardcover from local library
Sixteen-year-old Elli was only a child when the Elders of Kupari chose her to succeed the Valtia, the queen who wields infinitely powerful ice and fire magic in service of her people. The only life Elli has known has been in the temple, surrounded by luxury, tutored by magic-wielding priests, preparing for the day when the queen perishes—and the ice and fire find a new home in Elli, who is prophesied to be the most powerful Valtia to ever rule. 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, 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. Torn between her love for her people and her growing loyalty to the banished, Elli struggles to understand the true role she was meant to play. But as war looms, she must choose the right side before the kingdom and its magic are completely destroyed.
I have to admit that when I started reading this book I honestly thought it was going to be another novel that I was only going to get fifty pages or so in and then discard because it had a really slow start. It also kind of reminded me of Three Dark Crowns with the dark elements. But I persisted and was thoroughly surprised. Once I got passed the current Valtia’s death and Elli’s blunder with not having the magic and her being banished to the outlands things picked up. I liked Elli’s work ethic even though she was down to eight fingers and had seen some horrible things before Oskar found her.
Speaking of Oskar…can I just say that this relationship made me smile for the first time in a long time? It’s been a while since I last saw a couple that made me smile every time a part of them walked into the room and the other took notice. But, of course, there always has to be an obstacle that will keep them apart. There’s a little bit more intriguing though. The reason Elli didn’t take the Valtia’s magic was not only because she wasn’t destined for it, but also because she is a siphon. She can siphon other people’s magic away and she can also strengthen it. When she realizes what Oskar is, she helps him take the edge off of his ice magic and that helps to bring them closer. But Elli thinks that’s the only reason. Then there’s also the fact that when she goes back to claim her crown, she knows that she cannot be with him because she is the queen and a queen cannot love.
Final Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. Despite the slow start I really enjoyed myself as I was reading this book. I’m curious to see what happens to Elli and Oskar now that the priest has their other half and the magical cuff. Although from what I’m reading of the sequel’s summary, I don’t think I’m going to be finding that out anytime soon.
Bookshelf worthy? Support your local library!