I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on January 5, 2016
Source: the publisher
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.
Quick head’s up: This review may include some minor spoilers. They were included because I felt they were important, mostly because they were things I loved about the book (things about some of the relationships between characters, etc) and contributed to my overall rating.
Holy wow, this book was epic! I loved everything about this book – the writing, the world, the plot, the characters – I have very few issues/complaints! I was really, really excited to read it and it absolutely exceeded my expectations!
I really liked Elli. She’s not a born fighter – in fact, she was pampered for pretty much her entire life. Yet she doesn’t sit back and just accept things as they are. She asks questions, demands answers and when things get tough, she fights. She pushes herself to do what she has to without complaint. Her loyalty to the Valtia and her compassion for others, coupled with her fierceness and inner strength, make her one of my favorite MC’s of 2015! I especially loved the plot twist concerning her and her “destiny/fate.” It was different and unique from other YA novels in many ways, though most are spoilery, so I can’t share in detail! Sorry!
Oskar was epic! In the beginning, he was moody, distant and sarcastic – Okay, okay, I know! You’re all probably like, “Wait, how do those things make him epic?!?!” But the thing is, later on in the book, once he warms up to Elli, he becomes really epic! The plot twist concerning him didn’t completely shock me, but it was still awesome! I also had MAJOR SHIP FEELS for him and Elli!
I loved Oskar’s strained friendship with Sig. It felt so raw and relatable. We all have (or have had) that friend who we love, but whose toxic nature makes us wary of their friendship. I loved the dynamics between Elli, Oskar and Zig, as well!
I think one of my favorite things about The Imposter Queen was the relationship between the Valtia and the Saadella. The mother-daughter-like bond is very heartwarming. I also loved Mim and how protective and loyal she was to Elli. Aside from the main character’s, she was one of my absolute favorites.
The characters in this book – both main characters and secondary characters (even some tertiary characters!) – were incredible! There are too many of them for me to discuss them individually, but they felt incredibly real and every single one of them had an important role to play. Fine did a wonderful job with character development, even with characters that didn’t seem to play a huge part in the story.
The ending – especially the last 65 pages (give or take) – was incredibly intense! The action never let up. The revelations and plot twists will keep you flipping pages, demanding more. My only issue with this book was that the pacing slowed down a bit roughly 70% in; however, the page numbers in the PDF eARC I had were off, so I don’t know where that is in the actual book. When I have a chance, I’ll find it in the bookstore and check, then update this part of my review!
Overall – if you couldn’t tell from my review – I HIGHLY recommend this book! I’m not really sure why, but this book gave me major Kiss of Deception feels and major Grisha feels. So if you loved those two trilogies, you’ll likely love The Imposter Queen! So far, there’s no series/trilogy name for this book and I have no idea if there’s going to be a sequel. But I REALLY hope there is! This was my first Sarah Fine book and I’m definitely eager to read more from her!