20 July 2015

Review #276: Queen of Someday (Stolen Empire, #1) by Sherry D. Ficklin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Sometimes, we must learn to open our hearts and grow to love someone we think we might not be able to.”

----Sherry D. Ficklin

Sherry D. Ficklin, an American author, has penned a terrific tale about queens, palaces, love and war based in Russia, Queen of Someday that happens to be the first book in the Stolen Empire series that accounts a tale of destiny, power and love in a dangerous kingdom in Russia which is loosely based on the life of young Catherine the Great.


Before she can become the greatest empress in history, fifteen-year-old Sophie will have to survive her social-climbing mother’s quest to put her on the throne of Russia—at any cost.

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?

Readers who were disappointed with Kiera Cass' The Selection series, will now be happy and pleased to read this Stolen Empire that is based on facts and mixed with author's imagination, reproduces an enchanting fairy-tale like story yet filled with depth and history.

The story begins with 15-year old Sophie and her journey to Russia along with her mother to become a princess by marrying the Empress's nephew, Prince Peter. Little did she knew that the Imperial Court, where the Empress resides along with the young prince, is the focal point of treachery, politics, backstabbing, political agendas, and also a game of love and throne. Whereas Peter's best friend is distracting Sophie from embarking on the path to win over Peter's heart among other girls, will she be able to resist? Will a young girl like Sophie be able to overcome the dangers lurking at every corner of the Imperial Court?

In short, this is a timeless story that will take the readers back into time to a world where bad politics, power and domination by an empire led the world. Since this is based on history, so the author didn't have to fictionally create a setting for her book, instead she vividly paints the picturesque as well as grim skyline of Russia and it's heritage and culture through this story. The timeline and the period is evident from the fashion, society, rules, food habits etc, that too has been strikingly featured into the storyline, thus giving the readers a clear glimpse into this era.

The writing style is elegant and the author's imagination plays wonder into this story which only gives more depth to the history. The pacing is fast as the storyline is layered with enough mystery, drama and lots of actions that will keep the readers on their edges till the very end. The narrative style is effective and crisp and that which is easy to comprehend with. The action scenes are all written with great vivid detailing.

The characters, even though they belong from the pages of the book, are very well-structured, realistic with their demons and flaws and thoroughly charming. Sophie- the brave young heart who braves and fights against all evil to what- to help her family from poverty by becoming the next queen or by listening to her own heart's choices? Unlike a regular 15-year old girl, Sophie shows a lot of maturity and intelligence with her decisions and moves and she knows why she was on the Imperial Court of the first place yet the author keeps a small part of Sophie's naivety and innocence till the very end. She sacrifices, she fights back, she speaks like an adult, she loves like compassionate lover- she is one of the most perfect YA heroines that I ever came across in a YA book.

Sophie's mother is one of the most interesting characters in the book who is both an evil as well as a loving mother. Well, she kind of felt quite manipulative and selfless and the author does go at a great length to explain the reasons behind her negative demeanor. The Empress is a well-developed character whose motherly love in the beginning of the story will melt away the readers' hearts.

Prince Peter is a vile character who loves to play games with the matters of heart and he is the one who constantly used to challenge Sophie with his mind-playing games and plots. Peter's best friend is another appealing character that makes Sophie fall for his caring demeanor. Yes, that sounds like a love triangle, but the author have skillfully handled it. The romance plays a huge role in the book, so the readers need to keep an eye for those passionate love scenes.

There are lots of twits and mind-numbing turns that have an ability to throw the readers off their edges. There is an air of mystery hanging in the air where Sophie is fighting hard for the throne, which the author have strongly portrayed in the story. Overall, this is beautiful as well as intriguing story that will keep the readers glued till the very end.

And yes, who can say "NO" to that beautiful book cover!?!

Verdict: If you have never read a YA historical fiction, then definitely try this book, because it sure won't disappoint you.

Courtesy: Thanks to YA Bound Book Blog Tour for the review copy. 

Author Info:
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.
Visit her here 

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