Book Reviews

Review: The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross

I loved a great many things about The Queen’s Rising, such as the historical elements and the manipulations of time, and it is a wonderful and entertaining read, but there were just a few little minor things I had trouble with.


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.


book review The Queen's Rising by Rebecca RossThe first thing I would like to mention may seem a bit surface level, but it’s one of the first things you come across in a book – the map and the family tree. I don’t read that many YA fantasy that has a family tree or a list of characters, and I really loved this element. I thought it was incredibly helpful and helps to substantiate the world. It takes it a step further than most YA fantasy books I read.

Now to jump to the very end. I won’t tell you about the ending, I never spoil my readers, but I do want to say that this is a standalone book. And for that I am very grateful. I know we’re all about sequels and series, but I loved that this is a standalone. That being said, I am really intrigued to read more of Ross’ writing. The ending just feels right.

(Also am I the only one who is tired of always very long fantasy series?)


Brienna is fiery. I want more heroines like Brienna who care about their female friends, who have trouble finding their way, and who are challenged. Brienna feels conflicted by her dual nationality identity. I really enjoyed that this was a facet of the story. In addition, I want stories about all her other friends (those who she studied with). They were each individually wonderful and I am sad that we didn’t spend more time with them.

(Similar to that, I can see how the next work from Ross could be a prequel or a sequel years later. That would be amazingly interesting).

And many of the characters in the second half, those whose names appear in the family tree, are also similarly enticing. Give me more!


I wish the story did a little more. The parts I enjoyed the most were the ending were the things are unfolding and becoming more complex. And then it ends. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the ending, I just wish there was a little more!

I enjoyed the whole idea of the ‘passions’ but it ultimately felt a little extra to me. It felt like they were how Brienna grows up, and features in the plot, but a minor piece of the main show. After we switch focus in the book, it is also never really brought up again, so my main question is kind of – so? Similarly am I the only person who felt it strange that when they become ‘impassioned’ they get a patron but have to call them father? Maybe it’s just me.


I would recommend The Queen’s Rising mostly because I think it was an entertaining read for it’s plotline, even though it had a few quirks.

You can pick up The Queen’s Rising from Amazon(US), your local indie, and Goodreads.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from Edelweiss.


Do you enjoy the maps in the beginnings of books?

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