Early Review: Queen of Someday (Stolen Empire #1) by Sherry D. Ficklin
'Queen of Someday' wasn't exactly what I was expecting, and I don't mean that in a good way. It wasn't bad; in fact, many people loved the book. I guess the novel just wasn't for me.
At first I was interested, the book seemed like it was off to a great start. We first meet Sophie as she's being forced to accompany her mother to the Empress's palace in Russia. Her family needs money, and either Sophie wins the affection of the Prince, or she will be forced to be wed to her uncle. I liked Sophie's spunk from the very beginning, and there were some fighting scenes even before she got to the palace. There we meet Sergei, and I instantly fell in love with him. Literally, he smiled once, and I was a goner. Sophie seemed to feel a bit of the same way, and so I figured that he was going to be "the one". Turns out he was going to be one of the three.
You know how much I enjoy reading about love triangles, right? Well, this book didn't have two guys, it had three, thereby making it a love rectangle. If there's anything I learned from this book, it's that I despise love rectangles. With two guys, it's understandable, but when three guys want one girl who is determined to marry the Prince...well, that doesn't really make much sense. To me, the romances didn't feel authentic in the least. I was worried about the main character as soon as she laid her sights on the third man. She thought each one of them was handsome, and she kept imagining seductive moments with each of them. I guess you can say that's when I started not liking Sophie.
I only liked one of those three guys, but Sophie seemed to pay attention to everyone but him. There was barely any emphasis on their relationship at all; they were portrayed as friends, while Sophie was in love with one and had to make herself be in love with the other. And if you think that's one messed up love rectangle, then Ii'd have to say you're right. Which is why the ending makes so little sense. She ends up turning to a person she thought least about in the entire novel, and what she did at the end...it was strategic, but my heart pines for romance, NOT STRATEGY.
I'll admit that for most of the story, I had no idea what the point of the book was. I was trying to figure it out, but it seemed like the entire novel was focused on the drama and scandal of Sophie and her crazy love life. While I was right, the author's note at the end revealed this book is really a fictional depiction of Catherine the Great, and how she went from "an innocent girl from Germany" to such "a force of nature". While that cleared things up a bit for me, it didn't change my enjoyment of the book and the plot events.
In my opinion, though the idea behind 'Queen of Someday' is a good one, and though the novel was well written, it could have done away with some of the relationship drama and instead focused more on the fact that people weer trying to prevent Sophie from being Queen. With two assassination attempts, you'd think the story would be intense, but both attempts were brushed off in favor, you guessed it, more romance.
Book Synopsis: ONE GIRL WILL BRING AN EMPIRE TO ITS KNEES...
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?
Source: A copy was received from Clean Teen Publishing for review.