Brienna, a descendent of both Valenian and Maevian blood, is a student at a bording school where she has chosen to master the passion of knowledge and hopefully be chosen by a patron upon graduation.
However, when she beings having visions of her ancestors memories, she is abruptly offered patronage by a disgraced lord, and pulled into a plot to overthrow the king of Maevana to restore the right queen. As Brienna learns more about her heritage she is forced to choose between blood-ties and the family she has been taken in by.
The Queen’s Rising is a romantic foray into the renaissance-France inspired country of Velenia and Maevana, about a brave young woman who risks her life to save the two countries of her ancestors.
With themes of belonging to two different cultures, the bonds of friendship, choosing your family, in addition to a slow-burning romantic sub-plot, this was an enjoyable read. The writing was good, the characters were interesting, and the plot was, though somewhat predictable, was creative and well-thought-out.
***Note to the reader: Don’t read the family tree charts on the first couple of pages. They are overly helpful and spoil some of the best potential surprises in the book.
Almost immediately after I finished The Star-Crossed Queen, I picked up Roshani Chokshi’s sequel A Crown of Wishes and was not disappointed. If anything, I liked it even more than its predecessor. That’s not something I get to say very often.
Starring Maya’s sister, Gauri, this book focused more on how people change through sacrifice, experience, and how life is not necessarily about getting everything you want, but about the stories you make and leave behind.
This book had beautiful characters that changed and developed naturally, but dramatically, from beginning to end. I love a good character-driven story, and this one is a good one.
The romance too was wonderful. Gradual, slowly realized, and full of exquisite wanting and waiting, Chokshi masterfully created a believable and enviable relationship that will keep you on the edge of your seat and a smile on your lips.
Overall, this book left me wanting more in the best possible way. I can’t wait to read whatever Chokshi comes out with next! 5/5
Rebecca Hahn’s A Creature of Moonlight is a beautifully written tale of a young girl finding and making her home and her destiny. In a world where everything is chosen for young women, many have been drawn to the magical forests in an attempt to escape their seemingly inevitable destinies. Once these young women enter the forest, they are never seen or heard from again.
This is the case for all except one. Marni’s mother came back from the forest, pregnant, but otherwise unharmed. But when her brother discovers her pregnancy, he tracks her down and her young child. He kills her, and threatens to kill Marni too, but she is saved by her Grandfather, the king, who trades his kingdom for her life.
After growing up near the forests, Marni is being pulled between two worlds: that of the magical forest where her father, a dragon, lives, and that of the kingdom to which she is the sole heir.
Hahn does an excellent job of telling this original fairytale through a feminist lens, focusing on a woman’s right to choose her own destiny, and the importance of that choice.
(Warning! Some minor spoilers lie ahead). Continue reading “Revenge and Choice in “A Creature of Moonlight””
In a world where people can speak to the elements and magic flows from nature, there lives a princess. She’s timid and unassuming, an insecure princess who wants to be only what others expect of her. At least, until someone steals her throne. On a quest to get her throne back, Ani discovers who she is, who she is meant to be, and what she can do.
Goose Girl is a story of discovery, empowerment, and kindness. The main character, Ani, is an empowered damsel in distress who learns how to stand up for herself and fight back without becoming hardened or losing her newly found self..
I enjoyed the freshness of this story and the characters. Shannon Hale created beautiful characters who are relatable, complex and realistic. The main character, Ani, while initially weak and pitiable, develops quickly and fully into a strong, yet soft young woman. That kind of character seems hard to find – many female protagonists in YA lit tend to be masculinized (such as Katniss from The Hunger Games) or overly weepy and dramatic.
This book is slower paced, and a bit heavy on descriptions for a YA book, but it is beautifully written and contains a wonderful story about the importance of love, laughter, standing up for yourself, and friendship.