The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross
Release Date: February 19th 2018
Publisher: HarperCollins Australia
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When I think of some of my all time favourite books, they either have: a) beautiful, albeit kind of flowery writing b) a slow burn plot/romance/pace or c) both.
The Queen’s Rising is one of the books that fell into the “both” category and I while I don’t know what I expected from this book, I didn’t expect this to become one of my new favourite fantasies!
The main character, Brienna is taken to Magnolia House (a boarding school with specialised learning for one of the five ‘passions’: art, music, knowledge, dramatics, wit) when she is 10 years old and while most people who become passions have a natural gift or talent, Brienna was accepted without due to the Headmistress feeling sorry about her parentage (which at this point, is still unknown to Brienna). Brienna tries out a few different passions eventually settling on knowledge, and despite not having a “natural gift” for it, Brienna’s hardwork, determination and dedication becomes obvious in the text. Not only did I adore Brienna for all of these qualities, but I also loved how she was kind, loyal, driven and smart!
There is a huge cast of characters in The Queen’s Rising, but not once did it feel confusing or overwhelming for me personally. I grew to like most of the characters and in particular, I loved the other five passion girls who I really hope we get to see more of in the next installment! Brienna’s passion master (tutor), Cartier, was ONE OF MY FAVOURITES EVER. I honestly haven’t liked a side male character this much in a very, very long time!
As I stated earlier, the plot is what I would consider to be slowish. There’s not necessarily a lot of action and there is a mystery kind of element to it with lots of questions to be answered. A lot of the plot twists and questions were to do with Brienna’s heritage and secret identities and there happens to be an arguably spoilery family tree at the beginning of the book. So I HIGHLY recommend skipping that altogether or just don’t look at it too closely (like I did) so that way, a lot of the twists aren’t spoiled before you actually start the book. There were a few plot twists I found a little predictable and some that completely took me off guard but I found the whole plot really enjoyable regardless!
The romance in this book is my FAVOURITE KIND OF ROMANCE. It’s SUPERRRRRRRR slow burning but it was so exciting and swoonworthy (and I barely use the word swoonworthy). I’m not going to go into detail about who the romance is between and it’s not even a major part of the book, but I can’t express to you how much I loved it. I haven’t felt so attached to a ship or pairing in a very long time. The romance was caring, careful, angsty and very sweet. I loved every second and I really, really need more omg
Rebecca Ross’s writing is simply lovely. Her prose is flowery but still simple and her descriptions of Valenia, Maevana and the people in both lands, were exquisite. Ross’s writing is the perfect blend of everything I love in a novel and I’m very disappointed this is her debut because that means I can’t immediately read more of her beautiful words.
While I gave this 4.5 stars, I did knock off half a star simply because I felt like some things were a bit too neat. The ending in particular was in itself, an excellent ending, but it also felt things were resolved a little too easily? This definitely could have been a standalone but I am NOT complaining about there being more to come because ohmygodineedmorenow.
All in all, The Queen’s Rising was a beautifully written, slow burn, immersive novel. It had excellent world building, a huge (but great) cast of characters and featured one of my favourite romances in a very long time. I seriously can not wait for the next installment (why did this JUST have to come out) and I’m kind of kicking myself for reading this so soon because now I have to wait longer.
(Again, to reiterate, there is a potentially very spoilery family tree at the beginning of the book so either don’t look at it too closely or skip looked at it until after twists are revealed)