“She walks with grace upon the clouds, and the stars know her by name.”
A web of passions, ancient bloodlines, looming war, allies, traitors, and vengeance…
Aside from the obvious cover lust that I have for this book…. I really, really wanted to love this book, but by no means do I think it is terrible. I absolutely love the tight knit community of characters and how intricate the world that Ross has woven is. Interesting and original where things are not quite as they appear, I felt like I was taken back to a fantasy version of renaissance France with the threat of a an ancient magical realm holding all the secrets.
While Brienna is trying to earn her passion cloak, I loved the comradeship that grows between the girls during their schooling at the House of Magnalia. Magnalia itself seemed like a whimsical place that had a magic of it’s own within its walls where girls learn their passions through Art, Music, Drama, Wit, and Knowledge. And though romance was not the focal point of this story, the ship is real between Brienna and Cartier! The bond that Brienna makes with her patron was my favorite part of her journey. We can see and feel her becoming who she is meant to be.
Ross’ writing is poetic and visually stunning, but I struggled through the plot which felt lost in between the passion and magic system as well as Brienna’s struggle within herself. It became confusing at times. Though the ending was not what I had anticipated being and not engaging for me, I do recommend this to readers who love complex magic systems and historical fantasy lore. I am hopeful for a more confident and daring Brienna in book two!
Original Title: The Queen’s Rising
Audience: YA readers, ages 14+