Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Book Review: Queen of Always by Sherry D. Ficklin

Queen of Always

(Stolen Empire #3)


Sherry D. Ficklin



If her time at court has taught Catherine anything, it's that there is no room for weakness in Imperial Russia. With the Empress' health failing and rumors of a change in the line of succession, her place in the royal line is once more in jeopardy. Tormented by her sadistic husband and his venomous mistress, Catherine must once more walk the fine line between pleasure and politics―between scandal and survival.

When her young son becomes the target of those rebelling against Peter's reign, Catherine will have to rise up to protect herself, her child, and her nation from his unstable and potentially catastrophic rule. This means putting herself at odds with the most dangerous man she's ever known, trusting those who once proved to be her enemies, and turning a nation against its sovereign. In the ultimate battle for the crown, new alliances will be forged, loyalties will be tested, and blood will be shed.
Don't miss this breathtaking conclusion to the Stolen Empire series!



I was so happy to get the third paperback for my birthday. I needed to finish up this series because after my Bestie finished all three books in a week, she's been badgering to talk to me about the third one.

Stuff gets real in the third installment of the Stolen Empire series. This is definitely not one for more sensitive readers. The steamy romance is taken to a level I never expected and is also shadowed by domestic abuse - something I can only tolerate because of the culture of the time period and setting, and because our heroine eventually comes out on top. Bestie and I both felt like the heightened sensuality was unnecessary and took away a bit from what we loved about this series in the first place; the spectacular story and writing.

I can't say I agree with everything Catherine does, or the choices she's forced to make. But it's through those choices that she becomes the strong heroine that she is. Because she's hardened so much, I don't feel a kinship to her that I did in the last two books, or that I've found with other characters. I don't feel like I would be her best friend in real life, but I definitely would be one of her trusted ladies that keeps all of her scandalous secrets.

Queen of Always wasn't my favorite in the series, but I wouldn't have missed it for the world. I'm glad I got to get up close and personal with all the drama that is Catherine's train wreck of a life. The ending was tragically beautiful. More bitter than sweet, but complete and leaving me sad that it was all over. I especially liked the letter to her children slipped into the epilogue. Overall, the Stolen Empire series is rich and elegant, and I highly recommend it if you want to really connect with a story.

 4 stars
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