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Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Source: Publisher provided for review
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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.Sarah Fine cemented me as a fan after I read Of Metal and Wishes and Of Dreams and Rust, so when I read the synopsis for The Impostor Queen, needless to say, I got heck of excited. While this one won't unseat Of Metal and Wishes as my favorite book from Sarah, it's definitely a fascinating read that I couldn't put down--and I'll be at the front of the line for its sequel.
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 world of The Impostor Queen was probably my favorite part. The magic system Sarah has set up is so fascinating to learn about (people have either ice or fire magic), and the system of a female ruler with the most powerful magic in the kingdom (the ability to control both in equal measures)--magic that transfers to her non-hereditary heir upon her death--is so cool. Of course, the governing system that sounds like such a good setup has its dark side, which Elli comes to know in the course of the story. Just you wait!
Elli is interesting because she's so entrenched and so believes in the system she's a part of. The Valtia is more than her queen, and she's unwilling to believe anything negative of the people she's grown up around. Needless to say, when she doesn't get her magic, it's a jolt, and she has to come to terms with not being the person she was raised to be. At first, she's not the most interesting character. But as she learns to live a new life and she comes to realize that she's going to have to fight for her people, she comes out of her shell and becomes such a fascinating character.
If you like fantasy with compelling magical systems and are willing to invest yourself into a character a little bit before it pays off, The Impostor Queen will be a book for you.
Sarah Fine was born on the West Coast, raised in the Midwest, and is now firmly entrenched on the East Coast. She’s a clinical child psychologist and the author of the Guards of the Shadowlands series and Of Metal and Wishes. She is also a co-author of Scan and Burn.