“‘Aviana,’ I whispered, my fingers moving to catch the rich tumble of the cloak that was mine. He had chosen Aviana for me, the constellation that accompanied his own. They were stars that, like his Verene, bespoke of bravery in darkness, of triumph. Of steadfastness.”
What can I say about The Queen’s Rising? I adored this book so much.
Brienna enters Magnalia house at 10 years old, where she is meant to study and master one of five passions (dramatics, wit, knowledge, music, or art). After her seven-year contract is up, she must be selected by a patron, or not passion and earn her cloak. Brienna spends four years in the four other passions, before finally deciding on knowledge for her last three years. However, on the night she is to earn her patron and her cloak, she earns neither.
Now, this is where the Goodreads synopsis goes a bit wonky. I wish I could elaborate without spoilers, but alas, I cannot. Just know that Brienna is not caught in the middle of a feud as an unwilling pawn, she is, rather, the one to keep the fire of revolution burning to an ultimate climax.
The storyline is so well knit together. It was only 436 pages, yet I felt like I had read an entire trilogy with the way Ross pulled me so deeply into the characters, their crossing storylines, and how well they all fit so beautifully together.
Which brings me to the characters. I find myself always being a tad annoyed by my main characters. There’s something cheesy or a little cliche about most, and I choose to overlook that for the ones I enjoy or wholeheartedly detest it in the ones I can’t stand. However, Brienna was someone I completely fell in love with. She was complex and you really get the chance to watch her figure herself out.
Without getting too into the other characters, because their names are important and their parts are vital to this story, I found the people that Brienna chose to surround herself with as comforting and inviting as I’m sure Brienna felt around them. Ross builds her characters and world with love, and it’s felt in the reading.
There were, however, a couple things I did not enjoy, as evident by my 4 stars. First of all, Ross writes descriptions beautifully. She can pull every sense into her story and it’s lovely. Still, sometimes I found myself a little confused on what descriptions she chose, wondering if they actually made sense. For example:
“He wasn’t going to move. His face had gone pale, the ends of his hair quivering as he tried to swallow his fear.”
Maybe I’m the only one to find it strange that the ends of his hair would quiver? I don’t know.
Secondly, I felt that there was a little something lacking when it came to this “revenge plot” and their plan. It almost felt too easy, like there wasn’t enough force pushing back against the goal, making it more easily obtainable than I would have liked. That’s a bit of a personal preference, but I love my heroines to face an optimal amount of danger. And it almost felt like Brienna had it easy.
Despite those couple points, I was very enchanted by this book. It truly is beautifully written and I fell in love with every character. I highly recommend it.