Title: Queen of Someday
Author: Sherry D. Ficklin
Series: Stolen Empire, #1
Format: eARC, kindly provided by the
publishers via NetGalley
My rating: 3 / 5
ONE GIRL WILL BRING AN EMPIRE TO ITS KNEES...
Before she can become the greatest empress in history, fifteen-year-old Sophie will have to survive her social-climbing mother’s quest to put her on the throne of Russia—at any cost.
Imperial Court holds dangers like nothing Sophie has ever faced before. In the heart of St. Petersburg, surviving means navigating the political, romantic, and religious demands of the bitter Empress Elizabeth and her handsome, but sadistic nephew, Peter. Determined to save her impoverished family—and herself—Sophie vows to do whatever is necessary to thrive in her new surroundings. But an attempt on her life and an unexpected attraction threatens to derail her plans.
Alone in a new and dangerous world, learning who to trust and who to charm may mean the difference between becoming queen and being sent home in shame to marry her lecherous uncle. With traitors and murderers lurking around every corner, her very life hangs in the balance. Betrothed to one man but falling in love with another, Sophie will need to decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice in order to become the empress she is destined to be.
In a battle for the soul of a nation, will love or destiny reign supreme?
-- As seen on Goodreads
I’ve been trying to gather my thoughts about Queen of Someday for days now, and I keep swinging back and forth from liked to dislike. I struggled at the beginning, and the middle was quite painful at times, not gonna lie, but the ending, oh my… it was EPIC! Purely for that ending alone, I’m so happy I didn’t stop reading. I was close a few times, but something told me to keep going and I’m glad I listened.
Sophie is our main character, and I’m so torn about her – I like and dislike her all at once. My expectations based on the synopsis lead me to expect a Russian political mystery with a hint of romance. What I got? Sophie trying desperately to fall in love with anyone who shows her the slightest bit of kindness or interest, and for her to manipulate them into falling in love with her, too. In a way, I feel sorry for her. She has a lot of pressures on her shoulders, and the entire purpose for her trip to Russia is to make Peter fall in love with her… so I can’t totally hold this against her. The part I disliked immensely was the Alexander saga in the middle. I didn’t believe in their love, and it came across as shallow and forced. It had all the hallmarks of insta-love, unfortunately.
One character I liked throughout the book was Sergei. He was the most consistent, and his character felt the most honest and trust-worthy. Peter on the other hand was a pain in the arse! But, when you take into account that he is actually Peter III of Russia… it’s a really good representation of his character! He really was a very unlikeable person, to the zillionth degree!
My biggest disappointment with the book involves court life and the political backdrop. I found it very watered down and tame for my tastes. I didn’t feel any urgency or danger, and the political, mystery and court life elements were very weak in comparison to other books I’ve read within the last year. Now, I’m not sure if this is purely down to me disliking the way the story was told, or if my expectations have been raised too high. Throne of Glass, Poison Study and Grave Mercy have really set the bar so high in my mind, I don’t know if it’s even possible to match them anymore.
By a mile, my favourite part of the book was the ending! Oh my goodness, I LOVED it! It had all the tension and twists I was expecting to see throughout the entire book. I WISH the entire book was as epic as the last 20-25%! I would have been fangirling like crazy if it was. For most of the book it was very hard to remember that the story is loosely based on Catherine the Great of Russia, and her history. It was even harder during the Alexander phase, in particular. But, when I strip away the things I disliked about the story-telling, I loved all the nods to Catherine’s history, and in particular, I LOVED how Sergei was incorporated into the ending! I’m really curious to see what happens next, and I’m considering continuing on with the series, but I’m a little hesitant. I’ll wait to see some reviews before I fully make up my mind!