When I fell in love with the cover, I tried to convince myself that I shouldn't expect much but still I coveted the book. The synopsis was convincing enough. YA retelling of the life of Catherine the Great, empress of Russia? Oh, please, you have to be mine! And I read it. And... I loved it. So beautiful and romantic and sad!
In a fantastic first chapter, the main character shows off all her bravery and wit. I knew then that I would still love her at the end. I did.
Set against the luxurious backdrop of the Russian court, Queen of Someday is a thrilling tale of cutthroat politics, playful maneuvers of love, and a battle between survival and the heart.
Sophia has little time to win Peter's devotion. After fending off death, she counts with the Empress' support, but the crown of the Russian Empire is not easily won. She will need all her charm and wit to conquer her future if she wants to escape defeat, a horrible marriage to an old man, and the enemies' plots.
Beautiful gowns, political schemes, sparkling jewels, assassination attempts, forbidden love, bloodthirsty obsession. What's not to love? ;o)
Favourite quote:When love comes, nothing can stand in its way.
- how clever and free spirited Sophia is, she's a wonderful character because her qualities are outstanding. She's brave, speaks her mind, is good but is also willing to play dangerous games at court
- the intricate web of political alliances and plots to secure the heir's hand. It was delightful and so entertaining to watch Sophia learn the tricks to counteract and vanquish all the obstacles in her pursue of the crown. Not only must she enthrall the reckless prince, she also has to master the Russian language, beat her rivals and become the best option in the complicated state of European war affairs
- it's beautifully romantic. Thanks to the poems, the handsome men and the dire threats and everything at stake, emotions run rampant and at great peril for the protagonist
- too many men make our little heroine's heart flutter, but all of them are in compelling in their own accord (erratic prince Peter, loyal Sergei, poetic Alexander)
- the dramatic situation that Sophie ends up in might be partly her own doing, but it's full of edge, courage and emotional turmoil. It's the foundation for a Queen and a future of powerful events.
- magnificent, wild and terrible things happen at the end. Oh, how sad, and epic too!
My conclusion: Sophie's youthful hope gives way to a queen-in-the-making. I think her character is one impressive element of the novel. The author's writing style allows for beauty and flow in the telling of these gripping historical events.
Apart from the exciting courting and romance, I enjoyed Madame Groot's lessons in the art of flirtation and manipulative persuasion. This is a lavish, sad, clever tale of love and drama. I recommend it to anyone who wants to be moved and entertained. On my account, I'm so happy I read it, and I'm already sold for any other book that comes next in the series.
The Stolen Empire Series is forthcoming from Clean Teen Publishing. It is a YA Historical Romance based on the life of young Catherine The Great.
Before she can become the greatest empress in history, fifteen-year-old Sophia will have to survive her social-climbing mother’s quest to put her on the throne of Russia—at any cost.
Queen of Someday (The Stolen Empire #1)
Release Day: October 7, 2014
Imperial Court holds dangers like nothing Sophie has ever faced before. In the heart of St. Petersburg, surviving means navigating the political, romantic, and religious demands of the bitter Empress Elizabeth and her handsome, but sadistic nephew, Peter. Determined to save her impoverished family—and herself—Sophie vows to do whatever is necessary to thrive in her new surroundings. But an attempt on her life and an unexpected attraction threatens to derail her plans.Alone in a new and dangerous world, learning who to trust and who to charm may mean the difference between becoming queen and being sent home in shame to marry her lecherous uncle. With traitors and murderers lurking around every corner, her very life hangs in the balance. Betrothed to one man but falling in love with another, Sophie will need to decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice in order to become the empress she is destined to be.
In a battle for the soul of a nation, will love or destiny reign supreme?
A Note From The Author:
The true story of Catherine the Great is one fraught with betrayal, intrigue, and romance. While a good deal of my story is drawn from actual people and events, I have been very liberal in the rearrangement of dates, events, and places. Whenever possible I took my cues from her own words, intermixing my own thoughts and ideas. My thought upon the creation of the book was simple. I looked at the woman she was when she claimed the crown and then wondered, how did an innocent girl from Germany become such a force of nature? Most people aren’t born cold or ambitious, but have circumstances that forge them into those people. And that was the story I wanted to tell in this book. I wanted to see the events in her early life that would have changed her into the person she became, and not knowing the truth of that story, I simply made something up. That is what we, as writers, do best.
If you are curious about the real history behind Catherine, I suggest heading to your local library and doing a bit of research. This is not meant to be a historically accurate representation, but a flight of fancy, one that I hope you, dear reader, will enjoy as much as I have.
About Sherry D. Ficklin
Sherry D. Ficklin is a full time writer from Colorado where she lives with her husband, four kids, two dogs, and a fluctuating number of chickens and house guests. A former military brat, she loves to travel and meet new people. She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other. That is, unless she’s on deadline at which time she, like the Loch Ness monster, is only seen in blurry photographs.
She is the author of The Gods of Fate Trilogy now available from Dragonfly Publishing. Her previously self-published novel After Burn: Military Brats has been acquired by Harlequin and will be released in 2014 with a second book in that series to follow. Her YA steampunk novel, EXTRACTED: The Lost Imperials book 1, co-written with Tyler H. Jolley is now available everywhere books are sold and her newest YA novel, Losing Logan, is now available from Clean Teen Publishing.
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