The Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine
Series: The Impostor Queen #1
Rating: 4 stars
Published: January 5th 2016
Sixteen-year-old Elli was only a child when the Elders of Kupari chose her to succeed the Valtia, the queen who wields infinitely powerful ice and fire magic in service of her people. The only life Elli has known has been in the temple, surrounded by luxury, tutored by magic-wielding priests, preparing for the day when the queen perishes—and the ice and fire find a new home in Elli, who is prophesied 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, 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 her love 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 choose the right side before the kingdom and its magic are completely destroyed.
Elli was originally supposed to be the next Valtia, the Queen of the Kupari. But when the Valtia dies, none of her magic of ice and fire enters Elli, and she's brandished an impostor and must flee the city before she is sentenced to death. Elli leaves a life of luxury and is left with nothing. But she refuses to be less than nothing.
I'm not a jewel. Not a treasure. Not a wonder or a living miracle.
I'm a burden.
Determination forms like a fist behind my breast.
I will not be a burden.
There's one scene in particular that showcases her strength, actually there are many, but this seemingly insignificant one is my favorite. Her happiness over being able to do things for herself had me cheering her on.
"Elli? My mother said you did an excellent job with the corn yesterday."
My head bobs up, but he's already gone. Even so, the strangest sense of accomplishment floods my chest. I'm not useless. I can grind corn, but on stockings, and tie a kerchief, and relieve myself without an attendant holding my gown up for me. All things I'd never done before yesterday.
For two-thirds of the book, I was reading at an alarmingly fast rate (faster than usual), because I was so entranced with the world and reading about Elli develop. The final third of the book, with the conflicts between Sig and Oskar, was slower for me, and this pacing threw me off.
The romance was nicely developed between Elli and Oskar, although I wish that Mim's story didn't end so abruptly. I would have wanted to see more of the LGBTQ romance that was featured in the beginning.
I'm looking forward to reading the sequel, and hopefully Elli and Oskar can find the true Valtia.