Series: The Impostor Queen #2
Also in this series: The Impostor Queen
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on January 3rd, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Source: The Publisher
My content rating: YA (Nothing more than kissing, Some violence)
Ansa has always been a fighter.
As a child, she fought the invaders who murdered her parents and snatched her as a raid prize. She fought for her place next to Thyra, the daughter of the Krigere Chieftain. She fought for her status as a warrior in her tribe: blood and victory are her way of life. But the day her Krigere cross the great lake and threaten the witch queen of the Kupari, everything changes.
Cursed by the queen with fire and ice, Ansa is forced to fight against an invisible enemy—the dark magic that has embedded itself deep in her bones. The more she seeks to hide it, the more dangerous it becomes. And with the Krigere numbers decimated and the tribe under threat from the traitorous brother of the dead Chieftain, Ansa is torn between her loyalty to the Krigere, her love for Thyra, and her own survival instincts.
With her world in chaos and each side wanting to claim her for their own, only one thing is certain: unless Ansa can control the terrible magic inside her, everything she’s fought for will be destroyed.
This second book in The Impostor Queen Trilogy takes us far from the action of the first book. Instead of continuing Elli’s story, this book leads us to the true Valtia, Ansa, who was kidnapped as a child and has been raised in a Krigere warrior tribe. Her whole life, she’s had one goal: to prove herself worthy of warrior status and to be accepted as a true Krigere. So, when she is suddenly imbued with magic, she sees it as dangerous and more than a little inconvenient. But she never imagines that she is now a queen.
What Fed My Addiction:
- Ansa and Thyra. The relationship between Thyra and Ansa is complicated for many reasons, but it isn’t the fact that they’re both female that keeps them apart (same sex relationships are accepted in their tribe). Ansa isn’t sure why Thyra holds herself aloof—if it’s because she isn’t interested (Ansa is fairly certain this isn’t the case) or if it is simply the fact that they’re both warriors and they will need to find non-warrior matches. As the book goes on, the twisted, complicated issues that keep Thyra from letting herself give into her attraction to Ansa become apparent, and it also becomes obvious that Ansa and Thyra see the world very differently. Throughout the book, I wasn’t sure if Thyra and Ansa were going to find happiness together or not—the book kept me guessing!
- A bloodthirsty world. Ansa has been raised to believe that killing is the ultimate goal. Her tribe sees anything less as weakness, and if there is one thing that Ansa cannot abide it’s weakness. Ansa’s story is filled with bloodshed and treachery and extremely high stakes!
- Ansa’s struggle with magic. It was really interesting to see Ansa struggle with her magic, thinking that she’s been cursed. Of course, as the reader, we know what’s really happened, but Ansa has no idea. I kept waiting for the moment that Ansa would discover the truth! And her struggle with the magic within her was more poignant because of the Krigere’s beliefs about “witchcraft.” Ansa fears that she will be her tribe’s downfall, and she can’t let that happen.
- The ending. The last quarter or so of the book was exciting, and I can’t wait to see what Fine has in store for us in the third book!
What Left Me Hungry for More:
- A companion, not a continuation. I wish I would have realized just how completely separate this story was going to be from the first one. It’s much closer to a companion novel than to a sequel (indeed, most of this book actually takes place at the same time as the first book). I kept waiting for Ansa to go to Kupari and interact with Elli and the other characters from the first book. But it isn’t until the end of the book that she meets up with anyone from Kupari at all—it looks like I’ll have to wait for book three to see Elli and most of the rest of the characters I grew to love in the first book. Of course, the history, magic and worldbuilding from the first book were still highly integrated with this book and we still get Fine’s magical storytelling, but this one is less of a continuation of the story than I was expecting.
I’m eagerly awaiting the next book in this series, where Elli and Ansa’s stories converge. I give this installment 4/5 stars!
***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
About the Author
I’m the author of several books for teens, including Of Metal and Wishes (McElderry/Simon & Schuster) and its sequel, Of Dreams and Rust, the Guards of the Shadowlands YA urban fantasy series (Skyscape/Amazon Children’s Publishing), and The Impostor Queen (McElderry, January 2016).
I’m also the co-author (with Walter Jury) of two YA sci-fi thrillers published by Putnam/Penguin: Scan and its sequel Burn. My first adult urban fantasy romance series, Servants of Fate, includes Marked, Claimed, and Fated, all published by 47North in 2015, and my second adult UF series — The Reliquary, kicked off in summer 2016. When I’m not writing, I’m psychologizing. Sometimes I do both at the same time. The results are unpredictable.