To become a master or mistress in the kingdom of Valenia, young children must choose one of five passions to study under the teaching of a master or mistress. The five passions are art, wit, music, dramatics, and knowledge. Once the child is chosen by a patron of that passion, they will receive their cloak that signifies that they have become impassioned.

There are houses scattered around Valenia that are dedicated to instructing these young children about these passions. At these houses, there are five ardens, or an apprentice student, each one studying a different one of the five passions. The length of time spent at these houses differs, but the most prestigious house in Valenia is the Magnalia House, which has a seven year program.

Additionally at these houses, the students are taught how to act properly and graciously. Valenia prides itself on being proper and dignified. The neighboring country Maevana, however, prides itself on its people’s fighting skills and relations.

Another difference between Maevana and Valenia is that Maevana has been ruled by a queen for centuries. That is, until a war breaks out, causing the queen to go into hiding. A merciless king is later put onto the throne, which causes three of the fourteen lords of Maevana to try put the great-great-great-great-granddaughter of the last queen onto the throne. The coup fails, and the three lords escape to Valenia to hide from Maevana’s king.

Meanwhile, Brienna has been an arden of each passion of the Magnalia House, but eventually stuck with the passion of knowledge during her fourth year. She had been the sixth arden at Magnalia, a feat that had never happened at Magnalia before. When it is finally time for a patron to pick her, she ends up not being chosen. After a few months, a different patron picks her, and she joins him in a quest to put the rightful Queen of Maevana onto the throne.

“The Queen’s Rising” by Rebecca Ross is an intriguing story that follows Brienna as she learns more about friendship, independence, and figuring out who she really is.

I received this book through the online book club that I am in. It is not a book that would usually interest me because of how drawn out the plot of the book is. Also, this kind of fantasy book is not usually my cup of tea. I prefer more action-packed books with supernatural creatures and magical abilities, but I decided to give this book a shot. 

The plot of “The Queen’s Rising” was simple and easy to follow after the first chapters. The main conflict in the book does not start until about 150 pages in, which was a negative in my mind. I prefer books that start right away opposed to slow burning plots.

Most of the plot twists in the book were easy to foresee as well. From the first 50 pages, I was able to predict most of the ending. In spite of that, there were a couple of twists that I did not expect.

Most of the characters were very well-developed. There was a lot of insight into Brienna’s friends and the unexpected patron as well. I quickly became attached to many of the characters, yet there were a few characters that I wish were developed more. 

Overall, “The Queen’s Rising” is a very cute, simple book. I would recommend this novel to fans of the Selection series, as well as readers who enjoy fantasy books as well as historical fiction novels.

“The Queen’s Rising” was released on Feb. 6, 2018, and it is Ross’s first book.

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