Review: The Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine

Review: The Impostor Queen by Sarah FineThe Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine
Series: The Impostor Queen #1
Published by Margaret K. McElderry on January 5, 2016
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 336
Format: ARC
Source: Gifted
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four-stars

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. Since then, Elli has lived in the temple, surrounded by luxury and tutored by magical priests, as she prepares for the day when the Valtia perishes and the magic finds a new home in her. Elli is destined 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, 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. Torn between the love she has 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 align with the right side—before the kingdom and its magic are completely destroyed.

For the past few years, I’ve been meaning to try Sarah Fine’s books. She’s got quite a few of them, and they basically all sound pretty damn appealing to me. However, blog life being what it is, I’ve not gotten around to it until now. The Impostor Queen came to me heavily pushed by Gaby (so hard in fact that she actually sent me an ARC—THANKS GABY!), so I was expecting good things. Ladies and gents, I got good things.

The Impostor Queen is in that newer wave of YA that’s so much darker and more graphic than the usual offerings. You know, stuff like A Court of Thorns and Roses, which is a bit racier than probably would have gotten published for teens a few years back. I love this trend of darkness, and how creepy and lusciously dark this book is made me happy.

gif got wine

Like, seriously, Sarah Fine is one of those really cruel authors. You totally would not want to be in her books. Either you’re one of the MCs and you get to live but like oh man so much torture all the time or you’re a supporting cast member, in which case you might as well be wearing a red Star Trek uniform. Some of the things that happened totally caught me off guard, and the book had me going “holy shit” more than once.

The opening starts off slowly, with Elli’s life as the Valtia to be. Mostly she’s taught what little the Elders think she needs to know and is dressed up for events. It’s not the most thrilling stuff. However, as soon as the current Valtia dies (this is not a spoiler bc it’s literally chapter one) and she undergoes the process to be the new Valtia, shit gets good (for the reader) and terrible (for basically everyone else). Give it some time to pick up, even if you’re bored at the start. At about the fifty page point, I couldn’t put it down.

So far, I’m not really emotionally attached to the cast. I like them, but they don’t have that special magic where they are real to me and do not even try to tell me they’re fictional. They’re good characters but they’re not quite alive in my head. That said, I am invested in the outcome of their story; I’m rooting for them, and that’s enough. View Spoiler »

The world runs to the more simplistic side, but it works for me pretty well. Elli lives in Kapuri, which is ruled by the Valtia (queen because of her inherited perfectly balanced fire and ice magic) and the Elders, who also have magic. Those who have magic have both ice and fire, but they’re usually out of balance, which tends to shorten the lifespan. The Valtia protects the country from storms, bad weather, and outside attack using her powers. Only the current Valtia just died throwing back the first attempt at an invasion by the Solturi so things are looking kind of bad.

gif who we are and who we need to be to survive 100

Aside from the dark, crack power of this book to make me read like a mad woman (the kind of reading where I was SO into it that I totally missed things—does this just happen to me?), I totally love the shippy possibilities. My mind is awash in all the ways this could turn out. Elli is canon bisexual, though her two love interests SO FAR are both male. Well, technically, only the one has proven to be a love interest, but I’m assuming that the other guy will be too. But I’m also assuming a certain girl who makes a minor appearance will also be a love interest. I’m into all of these pairings already as well as the two dudes together or like all of them together would be cool too. Or really any combination of them. This is one of those books where I ship everyone with everyone and I am so totally okay with that.

I very desperately need book two. GIVE IT TO ME. View Spoiler » Recommended for people into Queen of the Tearling and similar dark fantasies.

Favorite Quote:

Seriously, big spoiler.

View Spoiler »

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

 gif i am become death 100
I also may have fancast some 100 people in my head. *coughs*

3 responses to “Review: The Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine”

  1. SO GLAD YOU ENJOYED THIS ONE TOO YAY! I absolutely loved it.
    “you’re a supporting cast member, in which case you might as well be wearing a red Star Trek uniform” LOL true story.
    When I was reading I was so absorbed on the main ship that I actual never thought on an OT3, need to re-read to know my feelings towards this, probably gonna be 10000% aboard too, actually I really wish the bissexual part was more explored like with a actual romance not just a platonic crush, but at the same time I love precious Oskar so much and I just want him and Elli to be happy and in peace.
    Deyse @ Bound with Words recently posted…The Impostor Queen – Sarah FineMy Profile

  2. For whatever reason, I just wasn’t paying attention to this book when it started making it’s rounds…maybe it was the cover…?! But anyways, I finally got past that and started reading reviews and from the sounds of things, I need this book in my life. I do adore the new darker fantasy trend and the way you described how compulsively readable/addictive this was really speaks to me! I must get my hands on this book ^^
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Review: AbhorsenMy Profile

  3. Wow I’ve been seeing this book come out of nowhere. Maybe I’ll pick it up, but I have so many books to catch up from last year, that I might hold off on a few books, but who knows. What a great review!
    Alexa @ Words Off the Page recently posted…The Blind Book Date Club Sign-UpsMy Profile

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