Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Review (+ Giveaway!): The Impostor Queen

The Impostor Queen #1
Sarah Fine
Young Adult/Fantasy
432 pages
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Available Now
Source: ARC from publisher for review

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.

The Impostor Queen starts a touch slow, the introduction of a royal hierarchy categorized by unfamiliar terminology keeping us from settling in immediately, but before long Elli’s journey picks up speed and has us racing to the finish to see how everything will unfold.

Elli is a sheltered young woman both literally and figuratively, having spent her entire childhood and majority of her teen years safe and coddled within the walls of her beloved Temple on the Rock. While her every need is attended to, her thirst for knowledge about the outside world goes unquenched, leaving her no choice but to trust blindly what those in a position of power tell her. Once she gets outside the walls however, she soaks up new information like a sponge, and it’s nearly impossible not to root for a young woman who has absolutely no sense of superiority despite being told she’s the future queen all her life.

The romance between Elli and ice-Wielder Oskar is everything we’ve come to expect from a Sarah Fine relationship, things between them starting out slowly as they both harbor secrets to protect themselves and others, and then steadily growing until we want nothing more than to read about the two of them building a life together. Unfortunately for romantics like myself, that dream of a life together is interrupted by a brutal series of revelations that tears the world Elli once new down and sets it aflame, and our fledgling couple finds themselves in the middle of a battle.

We’re left in a solid place despite a number of threads left loose to be picked up in the next installment, but Ms. Fine is an expert at ripping hearts out and stomping on them, so while this first book leaves us content, there are more than a few hints that she’s getting ready to ball her hands into fists and punch us right in the gut in the not-too distant future.

Rating: 4/5

Find The Impostor Queen:

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I’m the author of several books for teens, including Of Metal and Wishes(McElderry/Simon & Schuster) and its sequel, Of Dreams and Rust, the Guards of the Shadowlands YA urban fantasy series (Skyscape/Amazon Children’s Publishing), and The Impostor Queen (McElderry, January 2016).

I’m also the co-author (with Walter Jury) of two YA sci-fi thrillers published by Putnam/Penguin: Scanand its sequel Burn. My first adult urban fantasy romance series, Servants of Fate, includes Marked, Claimed, and Fated, all published by 47North in 2015, and my second adult UF series — The Reliquary, kicks off in summer 2016. When I’m not writing, I’m psychologizing. Sometimes I do both at the same time. The results are unpredictable.

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Thanks to Margaret K. McElderry Books and Irish Banana Blog Tours there are 3 finished copies of The Impostor Queen up for grabs today! To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to check out all the participating blogs for more reviews, interviews and guest posts!

Week 1:

Week 2:


  1. It sounds like an interesting one. I saw it a couple of times but I confess that I haven't read it.

  2. Agreed. And characters like Elli can easily annoy me, but she didn't. There's a difference between a sheltered character who is determined to learn and grow but is held back, and the TSTL characters. Elli is definitely the former. The next book can't come soon enough.

  3. Sarah Fine is so good at writing slow burn romances and build worlds! I loved this one and I'm excited (and scared) about the sequel!

  4. I have never read any novels by this author, but I really want to. This book seems right up my alley. I'm glad you enjoyed it and thanks for the awesome giveaway, Jenny!

  5. Love the cover... I've already asked my library to get it!

  6. Yay, Jenny! I'm so glad you enjoyed this one as much as I did! This is one of my favorite reads of the year and you know how much I adore Sarah Fine.
    Eli was really hard not to root for. I really appreciated how different she was from typical YA heroines. And OMG your last sentence. I'm not ready for it but you're right, it will be a rough emotional ride knowing Sarah.
    Lovely review, Jenny!

  7. Looks like an awesome book! Can't wait to read it! Thanks for the chance!

  8. Thanks for the review! I'm glad that the action picks up after the beginning--thanks for the heads up on that so I keep reading. This sounds so good.

  9. Loved the review. Thanks for being part of the tour!

  10. I need to read more Sarah Fine...everyone loves her!

  11. Sounds like a fantastic read! Thanks for the giveaway.

  12. Fabulous review and you have me even more excited for the release of this book! I can handle my heart being ripped out as long as there is a HEA at the end....fingers crossed!

  13. I'm glad you enjoyed this! She did manage to make a very creative and unique world and I definitely enjoyed that!

  14. Yay! I'm so glad you read this and liked it so much Jenny!!

  15. So happy that you enjoyed this one as well Karen! I loved how Elli took the outside world on headfirst. It made it impossible NOT to root for her!

  16. Loved this one. I know what you mean, I am sure Fine is going to punch is in the gut a few times next time out.

  17. I finally decided to pick up a book by Sarah Fine *pats herself on the back* and I hope to read it soon. I was under the impression that this was a standalone, but I was wrong. I like how this one has a solid ending and no cliffhanger to worry about, but the pending doom makes me a bit tense.

  18. Great review! It sounds really interesting.

  19. I've read fantastic reviews for this book. Cannot wait to get my hands on it. I've been wanting to read more Sarah Fine novels!!

  20. Not gonna lie, Jenny. I'm having such a hard time reading this book. The slowness is just too slow. Gah.

  21. I really want to read this book!

  22. I am sooo excited to read this, especially since I've heard so many good things about it and now that it has your seal of approval I'm even more eager to pick it up! I love Sarah Fine and this is going to be a favorite--I just know it! Fabulous review, Jenny! :)

  23. It seems like this is the kind of novel with a bit of a slow build up as it introduces you to the world, but then it gets really good and simply sucks you in! I have it, so I am looking forward to getting whisked into the royal world.