by Sarah Fine
Publication: January 5th 2016 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Sixteen-year-old Elli was a small child when the Elders of Kupari chose her to succeed the Valtia, the queen who wields infinitely powerful ice and fire magic. Since then, Elli has lived in the temple, surrounded by luxury and tutored by magical priests, as she prepares for the day when the Valtia perishes and the magic finds a new home in her. Elli is destined to be the most powerful Valtia to ever rule.
But when the queen dies defending the kingdom from invading warriors, the magic doesn’t enter Elli. It’s nowhere to be found.
Disgraced, Elli flees to the outlands, the home of banished criminals—some who would love to see the temple burn with all its priests inside. As she finds her footing in this new world, Elli uncovers devastating new information about the Kupari magic, those who wield it, and the prophecy that foretold her destiny. Torn between the love she has for her people and her growing loyalty to the banished, Elli struggles to understand the true role she was meant to play. But as war looms, she must align with the right side—before the kingdom and its magic are completely destroyed.
Thank you to Margaret K. McElderry Books / Simon and Schuster for providing me this book in exchange for an honest review.
THE IMPOSTOR QUEEN is a beautifully-written and amazing book that you won’t be able to put down once you start it. Action-packed and suspenseful, this novel is the absolute paragon of a high-fantasy novel.
When I read the first page, I was hooked. Elli is the Saadella, who is the person who receives powerful ice and fire magic once the Valtia, who serves as the queen, dies. So when the Valtia does die, the magic doesn’t flow into Elli, and that’s where the real action starts.
There was the perfect mix of magic, culture, and diversity. And the romance! At first I didn’t think there was going to be a romance because the plot was so caught up in Elli’s issue with not acquiring her magic, but once I met Oskar, I knew they were going to be one of my favorite OTPs of 2016. Oskar and Elli slowly develop their relationship over time, and it’s a relief to know that this isn’t a love-at-first-sight sort of love. Oh, and I can’t forget about Elli’s love for Mim, Elli’s handmaiden! Fine does a fantastic job incorporating an LGBTQ+ character in this novel.
In addition to the romance, the plot twists throughout the novel kept me on the edge of my seat. It was plot-twist after plot-twist, and I couldn’t stop reading. (I don’t want to give any more spoilers away, but I just want to let you all know that Sig, a fire-wielder, is one of my favorite characters, hands-down. You’ll definitely see more gushing over him in the future.)
THE IMPOSTOR QUEEN was my first Sarah Fine novel, and I can absolutely say that this book, filled with magnificent world-building and fantastic characterization, has easily become one of my favorites.