My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
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.
Beware spoilers ahead!
This book was recommended to me by my GR friend Alyssa! Out of all the anticipated January releases this book (based on the synopsis) sounded the best in my opinion. I had come across this book through Alyssa. When she added it I was instantly drawn by her excitement and the title of the book. By the time I was done reading the synopsis chills went down my back. Of course I added it that day. Then as time went by I realized that I wasn’t excited for it anymore. I thought I lost interest and took it off my shelf. But I still went back to this book. Whenever I saw a giveaway featuring Passenger, Truthwitch, and The Impostor Queen, I would enter in hopes of winning The Impostor Queen. It was then that I realized that I was still interested in this book and bought it. I am happy to say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading it!
The book begins with prologue written in third person. In the point of view of the former Valtia. The Valtia is dying. She didn’t use her powers properly (there has to be a balance of ice and fire) and it has affected her body. She really does not want to die. She still has so much more to do as a Queen. But alas her time has come. Before she dies she sees a little girl with copper hair and pale blue eyes. And she knows what that little girls destiny will be.
We are then taken to Elli who is having a lesson on the human body. You find out that Elli is excited to be the next Valtia. She’s quite passionate about her role. She’s also very curious so she tends to ask a lot of questions.
The next day is the harvest ceremony. During the ceremony the Valtia (the Queen) and her Saadela (Elli) will greet their people. Things have been a bit rough on the Valtia as they are being threatened with the possibility of war. Elli has been looking forward to the ceremony because she gets to see The Valtia and her people.
The ceremony is interrupted by some men claiming they saw enemy war ships. The Valtia leaves to fight them. She promises Elli that she will return for their dinner at night. Elli spends the reminder of the day panicking and pacing back and forth. Her handmaiden Mim comforts her as best as she can. Before their dinner Elli gets word through Mim that the Valtia has returned but this will be her last night.
Elli demands to be taken to the Valtia so she can see her for the last time. The Valtia is a mess. Some parts of her body are on fire while others are frozen. Regardless Elli remains with her until her last moments.
The Elders explain Elli that once the magic enters her body she has to be willing to use it and become a Valtia. Their words don’t sink in at first because she is consumed by her grief for Sophia (the Valtia). After listening to the Elders Elli allows the magic to enter her.
Once the magic has entered her body the Elders make her swear to be a Valtia. She does so and is meet with cheers. Elder Kauko asks her to demonstrate her power by lighting a candle. She concentrates on the task but finds herself unable to do so. Elder Kauko assumes that this is because she has to rest. And that tomorrow she should be able to perform her magic. Elli agrees seeing no other reason.
Elder Kauko tells Elli that apart of having the magic she will experience terrible dreams. Mim has been instructed to stay with Elli and keep an eye on her. Despite what the Elders told her she has no dreams at night.
I honestly did not think this book would be so good! I’m surprised that I have never heard of this author until the end of last year. I loved the world! It was so interesting to read about the ice and fire magic as well as the way Elli has been raised.
Unlike most fantasy books Elli’s destiny was revealed in this book. I assumed that it would buildup over the course of this series. But the author surprised me by revealing it in a first book. And the best part was that it all made sense! It didn’t read like something the author came up with in the last minute. This was a very well planned book.
I loved Elli! She is so unique and unlike a lot of YA heroines. She was so compassionate about being Valtia and helping her people. She learned as much as she could so that she would be a good Valtia. After finding out that she’s not the Valtia her world was turned upside down. She didn’t know who she was and what she is meant to do with her life. But she didn’t let that stop her. When she is rescued by Oskar she decides to learn about survival and doing tasks on her own. With the way Elli was raised she couldn’t even put on her clothes, walk for too long, and etc. She was determined to learn to do all of these things and she did so. It was really impressive.
Oskar was so sweet! I loved his sister and mother. He is also different from most YA heroes. While he did keep secrets he wasn’t rude. He was actually quite sweet. And really happy. I loved reading about his interactions with Elli! His mother and sister were nice when they took Elli in. By the end of the book they consider Elli family. Which was absolutely adorable!
I liked how this book was about finding yourself and choices. It was cool that the author weaved those themes in. The revelation of Elli’s destiny and how it was tied with a few characters was well done! I found that I could relate to all the characters in a way. Especially Elli. I know what it’s like to have your world turned upside down and I simply adored how she handled everything!
When I started reading this book I didn’t like the writing style. As the book progressed I found myself enjoying it and found that I got used to the writing style. While I definitely loved the plot of the series I did not love this book. Hence the rating.
Overall this was a really good book! I recommend it to fantasy fans, the authors fans, and anyone looking to start a unique series.