In honor of the release of Book 2: Queen of Tomorrow a few weeks ago, I read Book 1: Queen of Someday by Sherry Fricklin.
Check it out:
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?
I will start with a little disclaimer: I know that this book is a fictional representation of Catherine the Great but I’m reviewing this book as its own story with no regard for historical accuracy. With that in mind: let’s begin.
Cliffnotes version: Sophie travels to Russia to form a marriage alliance with Prince Peter, a boy she knew as a child who has grown into a very different man. While at the palace, she finds herself attracted to a man who is not her betrothed while others plot her demise. Strong-willed Sophie overcomes a novel’s worth of challenges knowing she has at least two more novels’s worth to face in the future.
I love Sophie. She is strong, and talented, opinionated, and passionate. I was so disappointed that the prologue read like a Harlequin romance but from the first chapter, she had me drooling for more. Seriously, if anything: READ IT FOR SOPHIE. She is a wonderful protagonist. If not easily swayed by love.
Our other characters, Sergei, Alexander, Rina, the Empress, Peter, even her mother, left me wanting more. I wanted to see more and interact with them. I found it hard to believe a forbidden romance between young lovers who met only a few days earlier (despite everything Disney has taught me). Yes, these characters were engaging and dynamic, I felt something for all of them thanks to Sophie (I am so in love with Sergei that it physically hurts), I just wanted more. I’ll admit, I felt no love for Alexander even if I was meant to but I also felt love for the empress when I don’t think I was supposed to…
So basically, there’s something for everyone.
The language was so on point with the time period, and the character we see Sophie portray. It was soft and elegant but also rigged and cold as Sophie becomes more and more engrossed in palace politics. It was a good old fashioned palace drama set in the heart of Russia amongst royals and schemers – people who will do anything to protect their way of life.
I definitely went from zero to sixty with my love for this book as you’ll see in my Random Notes While Reading:
· Nope, we’re trapped in a Harlequin romance
· Welcome to Russia
· He’s 15, you should be happy if his balls have dropped and he isn’t covered in acne
· Okay, that was awesome! If she stays like this, she will quickly become one of my favourites
· I wonder what will happen with these two *rolls eyes*
· Weirdly intimate, you mean…
· Okay, she’s still a teenager, I’ll give her that
· And the ugly step-sisters are arriving
· Sweetie, you’re awesome
· It’s so intense, so misogynistic, and kind of hot
· I’m strangely okay with this
· Seriously, girl. Mad props
· I ship it, I know it’ll end in disaster but I ship it
· Okay, it’s still Harlequin but context helps and my heart just fluttered
· It’s not going to be him! Don’t go!
· God damn it, I can’t decide anymore
· Aww, seriously, you’re not making it easy on me
· You know you’re growing up when you agree with the adults: you’re 16 years old, what do you know about love?
· That is such a dick move
· I would surprisingly be okay with her having a “mistress”
· Ew, stop! I used to like you. Now you’re a love-sick puppy
· He is no good for you, sweetie
· If her relationship with Sergei is genuine then I love it
· Where is this coming from? I wish we got to see more of these characters
· God I’m to end up writing fan fiction for this later, I know it
· I’m sorry but I side with the empress
· There’s the girl I know and love
· Damn, that’s evil
· Oh Sergei! I’m crying
· I really hope she becomes that woman, though
· Yup, you’re my favourite
· Oh goodness, mother is rather blind
· That bitch
· That’s my girl
Okay, yes I admit, I did not like Alexander turned her into a puddle of emotions despite reminding myself that she’s just a teenager. She seems mature beyond her years until she starts talking to a boy she likes. Which is why I adore Sergei as a character who is stoic, sweet and adoring but never compromised the way Alexander is. I love Peter as a character but not as a human being.
This really is a character-focused story which is how I ended up falling in and out of love with people all over the place. I loved the emotional rollercoaster I got to go on with this characters and I can’t wait to do it again.
I’ve already gotten my hands on the next book and it’s been added to the list of books I have to read as soon as possible.
You can get your copy here