I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Queen of Someday by Sherry D. Ficklin
Series: Stolen Empire #1
Published by Clean Teen Publishing on October 7, 2014
Genres: Historical, Romance, Young Adult
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?
My Initial Reaction…
I had no idea that Queen of Someday was a fictional biography for Catherine the Great when I started it! The synopsis hints with “the greatest empress in history” and the references to Russia and the Imperial Court, but I thought it was straight up historical fiction – not a reinvention of real people. I didn’t know until the end and that knowledge made a good book even better! This is a series I will be following VERY closely.
I love reading about strong young women and Queen of Someday is chock full of them!
Sophie (AKA Catherine the Great) is our main character and Queen of Someday is told entirely from her point of view. I loved Sophie immediately. She starts off as a bit of a tomboy (though usually dressed in gowns) – battling off thieves that attack her and her mother as they travel to St. Petersburg, where Sophie is to *hopefully* marry Peter, heir to the throne. I thought Ficklin did a really great job showing how Sophie was strong and intelligent, and yet still youthful – meaning sometimes naive. The Imperial Court is a tough place for the innocent and Sophie endures quite a bit as she grows into a fierce young woman. Her path is punctuated with intense love, intrigue, and devastation.
Two other strong women in Queen of Someday are Sophie’s mother and Empress Elizabeth. I absolutely hated Sophie’s mother and in so many ways she actually seems weak. She’s so determined to restore the family’s wealth and status and is willing to use her daughter to do so. She acts quite dumb and selfish – most often an embarrassment to Sophie. And yet, I call her strong, because it is she – not her husband – who made the dangerous journey with their daughter. It is she – not her husband – who is actively working to secure her daughter’s marriage alliance. Oh and she’s up to something else (I won’t spoil for you) that you wouldn’t expect from a woman of this era. I much preferred Empress Elizabeth – since she’s more like the grown up – less innocent (and somewhat less likeable) – version of Sophie. She’s intelligent and fierce – definitely not a woman to trifle with. And yet I feel confident that Sophie will be so much more than Empress Elizabeth.
I’m really curious to see how Sophie’s two ladies in waiting – sisters Rina and Elizavetta – will develop over the series. Rina is so sweet and Elizavetta is so not, lol. I can’t wait to see the ways that Sophie will *hopefully* manipulate the hell out of Elizavetta in future books! I think they both will have an intrical part to play as the series continues and I find myself wishing I knew the history better so I had some guesses!
As great as the story is, it’s really the intricate and complex characters that make Queen of Someday so great, in my opinion. I don’t want to go on and on and on, but I have to tell you about the male characters! There’s three that we HAVE to talk about. Peter, Alexander, and Sergei. The quick version? Peter sucks. Alexander is so sweet. Sergei is the man.
So Peter is sadistic. He likes to play at emotional torture at best and from what I’ve seen physical torture will probably become his favorite game if it isn’t already. Thank goodness Sophie’s so smart! No other way she could survive that bastard. Alexander is so incredibly sweet. Poetic even (literally, he writes poetic love notes!). Too sweet, unfortunately. He doesn’t belong at the Imperial Court, especially not waiting on Peter. I hope he gets far away – though I’d miss him – because I don’t see a good future for him if he stays.
Sergei, though, is perfect for Imperial Court. He knows how to play it smart and he has the right people on his side. He’s a great advisor to Sophie. The only thing that didn’t really sit with me was that he was IMMEDIATELY devoted to her. Why? I don’t know what motivated him to like her so much right off that bat. He shows up to save her and her mother at the beginning, only to find that she’s pretty much already saved herself. So perhaps he just admires her independence. But I felt like his loyalty, even when it wasn’t necessarily to his advantage, came too easily. It’s a good thing, though. Sophie’s gonna need him…
At first the story for Queen of Someday felt a bit… silly? I’m not sure that’s the right word – but when it starts, we’re basically just watching a girl (Sophie) try to win the affections of a brat (Peter), working against other women, just to secure her family’s wealth. But then the stakes kept gradually increasing. Until suddenly, wedding a brat – who turns out to be a sadist actually – is more than just about wealth. It’s about life and death, for more than just herself. Since I didn’t realize this was the story of Catherine the Great, I didn’t see the developments coming. But I don’t think it would hurt to know – in fact, it would probably help you understand what’s really going on earlier than I did.
I know only bits and pieces of Catherine the Great’s story – and what I do know well is from later in her life, so most of Queen of Someday was a complete surprise for me and I have no idea how much is Ficklin’s creation. But she definitely took an interesting historical character and brought her to life. I CANNOT wait for more! This is one of those moments where you’re so glad you got to read a book early and yet devastated that it’s going to mean waiting even longer for the next one…