Sunday, March 13, 2016

A World of Ice and Fire | The Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine

I read this one . . . two months ago? It seems about time that I share my thoughts on it. :D

*I received an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
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. 

*Released January 5th 2016 from Margaret K. McElderry Books*
My Thoughts
The Impostor Queen was my first Sarah Fine book and I got to say that it made a good impression. It didn't knock me off my feet by the book as a whole, but there were a couple wow parts (like the magic). 
The Magic
I LOVED THE MAGIC. There were two kinds: ice and fire. The amount of magic someone had in them depended on how much ice and fire was within them and how balanced it was. The Valtia has perfectly balanced magic and had the most power--it was also a power that was passed on down to a new queen every time a Valtia died. So, it lived on. There were priests and acolytes and other magic wielders living inside a temple. The society depended on the Valtia to keep the weather balanced and go keep them safe. Anyway, the magic was amazing. I loved the concept and I loved how the author handled it when it came to the heroine. It made for some epic battle scenes, too.
The Characters
Elli - She was great! I feel like many readers will appreciate seeing a bisexual heroine in a YA fantasy. Readers may really like her character growth too.  She had to learn so much. She lived a very sheltered life where her purpose in life was to take over as the Valtia when the other one died and then do what the Valtia does: keep the people safe, keep the weather balanced, etc. All she knew was what the priests told her. And then she was banished to the outlands, which was way out of her element. She had to make herself useful, so she learned how to do that. She learned more about herself and grew as a person. She formed bonds with other people. I really liked seeing her go through this process.

Oskar - I loved him! He was quiet and a little rough around the edges. He had a wonderful heart and I really liked getting to know him. He had a nice journey--full of worry and hard decisions--that I can't say much about. Trust me, though. He was a great character!

Sig - Sig...I both loved and hated him. He has a lot of potential for character growth. I liked how bold of a character he was.
The Story
It was engaging! I was reading a few other books when I started this one and was really happy with the pace because it moved so much faster than the other three.

The book was a lot more violent than I was expecting, which I kinda odd to say. The amount of violence was pretty typical for a YA fantasy novel, but some of the things that happened at the beginning had me saying, "What the hell?!?" It clued me into how horrible the society that Elli grew up in was. It also made her new life a relief because I was happy that she found better people to be around.
Final Thoughts
The Impostor Queen was a good fantasy read with many things going for it. The only negative comment I can think of is that it could've been BETTER. I LOVED the magic, but I wish the rest of the book wowed me as much. I wish it had blown me away. Maybe the sequel will do that? I recommend this book to anyone looking for an engaging fantasy with really cool magic and great characters.

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