Saturday, November 7, 2015

Book Review: Queen of Someday by Sherry D. Ficklin


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.
Imperial Court holds dangers like nothing Sophia 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 - Sophia 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, Sophia 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?

*** Rant ***

I'm very conscious of the fact that I read a lot of the same, closely linked genres. Because of that, every few books or so I try to mix it up and read something a little more contemporary. Something without a pretty girl in a dress on the cover. With this past week being Halloween, I decided to read something paranormal. I had my heart set on werewolves, so I searched my kindle for that among my endless list of free downloads.

I must have started a dozen books and nothing caught my attention. NOTHING...except some pretty chapter layouts that didn't seem to fit with the quality of writing. Finally, I got so fed up, I decided to break my rule and start a book I've had my eye on for months.

And you know what? I'm so glad that I did. Life is short, and ain't nobody got time to waste reading something of mediocre quality and that doesn't interest them. I'm a mom, and an author myself, so I'm not giving up my daughter time or writing time for something that doesn't give me chills.

Yes, I read a lot of fantasy, especially YA, historical fiction, and romantic fantasy. Magic excites me. I love exotic worlds and quirky characters. I wish more than anything I could enroll in Hogwarts and spin around in frilly dresses all day long when I'm not off on some epic adventure. Most other stories just don't do it for me, okay? I like what I like and I can't escape it.

My point is...I tried. I tried to read something different, but it didn't work out. From now on, I'm not going to trudge through something just for the sake of variety. I'll continue to explore other genres, but my favorites will always be my favorites. I don't care if I'm dorky. 

***note: I'd still like to get my werewolf fix. If you have any suggestions, let me know!  



A couple of my blogger friends really liked Queen of Someday and when I went to check it out I found out it was FREE on Amazon! (at this date, it is still currently free)

I completely devoured this book. I took long lunches at work, put the kid to bed early, and kicked my husband out of the bedroom when he started wrestling with the dog in my reading space. Sherry D. Ficklin is amazing in every aspect. She gives the reader just the right amount of imagery and intrigue to keep reading to find out what happens next. One of the most important things to me in a novel is the narrative. And this author nailed it! Her voice is so captivating, I would seriously read about her describing a slice of pizza she was eating. 

The main character, Sophie, is headstrong and a bit conniving at times, but smart enough to know when to reign in her feelings. Her driving force is her need to protect and secure her family's future (like most historical fiction female protagonists) but also her growing desire for love and companionship. Boat-loads of romance in this book, as Sophie is a teenager and daydreams about every dashing young man she meets. Not really my kind of thing, but like I said, because of Ficklin's storytelling magic, I would read pretty much anything she put on paper. And in honesty, I can't really blame Sophie. I remember being the same way when I was 16. Maybe I liked this book so much because it brought back the excitement of young, tragic love.   

 A few disgruntled readers argue that this story has no plot. I disagree. Though the plot itself was subtle, lacking any disasters or sword fights, the pages turned uncontrollably. I did find one teeny snag in the ending conflict, where I was like, "Yeah, but she could just fix "that" by doing "this". But you know what? I love this book so much I don't even care. I just went with it. Oh! And did I tell you the best part?? At the end of every few chapters, there are little one minute videos of commentary from the author! Brilliant! This really gives the readers a more personable experience and insight into the true history of Cathrine the Great. I hope more authors start doing this if the concept applies to their book.

If you haven't guessed already, I'm definitely going to read the entire series. In fact, I put all three paperbacks in the series on my Christmas list. If I don't find them under the tree, I'll be soooo disappointed.

Queen of Someday is a beautiful, tragic love story, filled with satisfaction. It's a great guilty pleasure to curl up with on a cold evening with a cup of your favorite cocoa. Ahhh....   


5 Stars
* * * * *

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