Author: Sarah Fine
Genre: YA Fantasy
Sixteen-year-old Elli was a small child when the Elders of Kupari chose her to succeed the Valtia, the queen who wields infinitely powerful ice and fire magic. Since then, Elli has lived in the temple, surrounded by luxury and tutored by magical priests, as she prepares for the day when the Valtia perishes and the magic finds a new home in her. Elli is destined 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, the 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 the love she has 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 align with the right side—before the kingdom and its magic are completely destroyed.
I really couldn't have picked a better book to get me back into the reading saddle... or a worse one, depending on how you look at it.
The Impostor Queen had everything I like the most in fantasy novels: beautifully set up worlds, strong characters with awesome powers and lots of action. It also had, much to my delighted surprise, an LGBT element. Now, this might just be me being too grumbly, because I can just as easily see it having happened exactly like it did if Mim was a guy, but dammit, I wanted more of Mim/Elli! I was so wary when I first picked up the hints of feelings there, and then when they kept on coming, I fell in head over heels. I mean, come on: a queen-to-be in a fantasy novel where the blurb never even mentions her sexuality, so it's not marketed as the selling point (which is good, btw, no matter my disgruntled view on the whole Mim ordeal, because, hey... we got a bisexual fantasy queen! And the book wasn't even marketed as LGBT, it just... happened! *dreamy smile* like I said on GR, surprise gays are always such a delight), and I got all happy and squeal-y because YES, a lesbian queen! Finally a f/f ship that could actually survive and be canon and fill me warm, fuzzy feelings!
Alas, I thought too soon. Elli loved Mim, but it was not meant to be, so Elli quickly moved on to Oskar. As amazing a guy as Oskar actually was (actually another rather rare thing in YA these days, so double the kudos to Fine for an actually likeable guy!), I could never quite get behind that pairing because I was still crying over the lost potential with Mim.
I'll get over it. One day. Maybe.
I did love the world that Fine created, and can't wait to see what happens next. Raimo's ominous warning gives me hope for the next book, and I can't help but feel that maybe some of the Sutari people we saw in this book will make a comeback in the next one.