Author: Rebecca Ross
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?
My rating: 4 Stars
I received an ARC of this at Yallfest 2017, and once again I went into this book completely blind and not knowing what to expect. With that being said, this book fell a bit flat for me considering the hype behind it. Especially since it’s not even released yet. I probably would’ve given this book 3.5-3.75 stars if goodreads gave me the option, but I’ll just stick to 4 stars for now.
We follow Brienna, a young girl brought to Magnalia house by her grandfather when she was 10 years old. Magnalia house is a 7 year program where girls are to become passioned, and we follow Brienna as she struggles to find her passion throughout the first part of the story. She decides lastly to passion in Knowledge, all the while feeling inept and knowing she will leave without a patron after the summer solstice. This part of the story captured my attention, but I eventually felt like it could have been a bit shorter and the author could’ve left out a few unnecessary details. Though I can understand why the author decided to go into a lot of detail at the beginning of this book.
The story goes on to show that Brienna has inherited her ancestor’s thoughts, which is a rare occurrence, but eventually leads to a more interesting part of the story: Overthrowing the tyrant king of Maevana who stole the throne from the rightful queen.
Now I won’t go into much detail about overthrowing the king of Maevana, etc. because there are TONS of plot twists that were pretty surprising to me, and they definitely kept me on the edge of my seat. So I’d rather let readers experience that on their own if they decide to read this book.
With that being said, I had a hard time with a few things in this book…especially the quote ” I was feeling two conflicting things at once.” OR “He was feeling two conflicting things at once.” By the end I swore if it was said one more time I was going to scream! This quote is repeated over and over throughout the book, and I honestly thought the author could come up with a better way of expressing emotions between two certain characters.
Also, I’m not a HUGE fan of romance, but when authors explain things in a certain way, I tend to roll my eyes so hard I can see my brain. For example:
“He had never seemed so fierce and wild, and I had never wanted him more.”
Ummmm. No thanks. Even typing this out made me roll my eyes. (LOL)
Once again, I just feel like the author could have done a much better job expressing feelings for characters. But that’s just me.
All in all, the story was well written. I enjoyed the plot twists and unexpected turns but it fell flat for me when I realized the author kept repeating certain descriptions, which is why I ended up giving it 4 stars. =]