Published by: HarperTeen on February 6, 2018
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
When her seventeenth summer solstice arrives, Brienna desires only two things: to master her passion and to be chosen by a patron.
Growing up in the southern Kingdom of Valenia at the renowned Magnalia House should have prepared her for such a life. While some are born with an innate talent for one of the five passions—art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge—Brienna struggled to find hers until she belatedly chose to study knowledge. However, despite all her preparations, Brienna’s greatest fear comes true—the solstice does not go according to plan and she is left without a patron.
Months later, her life takes an unexpected turn when a disgraced lord offers her patronage. Suspicious of his intent, and with no other choices, she accepts. But there is much more to his story, and Brienna soon discovers that he has sought her out for his own vengeful gain. For there is a dangerous plot being planned to overthrow the king of Maevana—the archrival kingdom of Valenia—and restore the rightful queen, and her magic, to the northern throne. And others are involved—some closer to Brienna than she realizes.
With war brewing between the two lands, Brienna must choose whose side she will remain loyal to—passion or blood. Because a queen is destined to rise and lead the battle to reclaim the crown. The ultimate decision Brienna must determine is: Who will be that queen?
Things I liked
- It’s a really cool kingdom/rebellion story. This is honestly one of my favourite plots.
- Brienna was a great character. I enjoyed reading from her point of view.
- Brienna receives some memories from one of her ancestors and I thought that was a cool concept.
- The whole thing with passions was cool, though it actually ended up being far less significant than I thought. Still a cool concept though.
- The book gets neatly wrapped up at the end, as if it were a standalone (though it’s listed on Goodreads as #1 in a series).
Things I didn’t like
- The romance. It was honestly just so mediocre. I feel like it should have been bigger and more intense, or just cut out completely. But as it is, it felt kind of useless and half baked. Also, at first, I hugely mis-pictured the love interest as kind of an old man and was really thrown off when they had an intimate moment. I think it confused me because it was a teacher/student relationship and I just naturally pictured the teacher as an old man, though perhaps that was due to me forgetting or misreading a description that mentioned him as actually being a VERY young teacher.
- The world building was so-so. Parts of it were really interesting, but the whole story is centered around a rebellion and overthrowing the evil king. But I didn’t feel like I ever really saw evidence of his evilness (or at least not until we met him). It would have helped a lot if there were more stories and examples of how horrible he was.
- I’m kind of sad that we didn’t see more of the passion sisters after the beginning. I loved their relationship.
The Queen’s Rising was a cool story and a fun read, but not exactly epic or anything.