Book Review – ‘The Queen’s Rising’ by Rebecca Ross

Title: The Queen’s Rising
Author: Rebecca Ross
Genre:  Fantasy, Young Adult
Date of Publication: 6th February, 2018
Page Count: 464 pages (hardcover edition)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)


When her seventeenth summer solstice arrives, Brienna desires only two things: to master her passion and to be chosen by a patron.

Growing up in the southern Kingdom of Valenia at the renowned Magnalia House should have prepared her for such a life. While some are born with an innate talent for one of the five passions—art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge—Brienna struggled to find hers until she belatedly chose to study knowledge. However, despite all her preparations, Brienna’s greatest fear comes true—the solstice does not go according to plan and she is left without a patron.

Months later, her life takes an unexpected turn when a disgraced lord offers her patronage. Suspicious of his intent, and with no other choices, she accepts. But there is much more to his story, and Brienna soon discovers that he has sought her out for his own vengeful gain. For there is a dangerous plot being planned to overthrow the king of Maevana—the archrival kingdom of Valenia—and restore the rightful queen, and her magic, to the northern throne. And others are involved—some closer to Brienna than she realizes.

With war brewing between the two lands, Brienna must choose whose side she will remain loyal to—passion or blood. Because a queen is destined to rise and lead the battle to reclaim the crown. The ultimate decision Brienna must determine is: Who will be that queen?

It’s only February, but The Queen’s Rising is already a contender for favorite read of the year! This book was an amazing nostalgic return to my youth – I used to binge on high fantasy that had inspiring female protagonists (most from modest backgrounds), journeys to defeat a corrupt ruler or great evil and perhaps a hint (or more!) of mentor/protege romance.

In more recent years, I haven’t come across many books that ticked all those boxes (The Queen of Blood is closest in feel, but doesn’t feature a romance) and I feel the market is more saturated with elves and assassins and love triangles and heroines with a bad attitude who are supposedly kickass but need their love interest to save them from their own follies. In that context, The Queen’s Rising felt like chicken soup for the soul. The story didn’t reinvent the wheel, but it was a delightful remix of tropes and themes I love, so it was perfectly suited to my tastes.



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Shelflove Crate: December 2017 – ‘Timeless’

My box finally made it to me! It ended up doing a loop going back to America and then returning to Australia, but it got here in the end, safe and sound. 🙂

Shelflove Crate is a YA book subscription box that is “specially assembled with a newly released Fantasy or Sci-Fi YA book and 3 or more theme-based items”.


Shelflove Crate
Cost: $29.99 USD
Shipping Costs: $7.99 for US, $14.99 for Canada and $22.99 worldwide
Payment Method: Credit Card
Mailed Out: from the 20th onward each month

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Review – ‘The Bookworm & The Beast’ by Charlee James

Title: The Bookworm & The Beast
Author: Charlee James
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Date of Publication: 4th December, 2017
Page Count: 172 pages (Kindle edition)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)


When quiet, bookish Izzy Simon accepts a two-week assignment as an assistant for an author of children’s books, it seems like the perfect way for her to make some much-needed extra money, but the grumpy author claims he doesn’t want or need her services. He might be as handsome as a storybook prince, but his prickly personality and resistance to all things Christmas are sure to make for a chilly holiday season.

Derek Croft never agreed to the cheery temp his staff arranges for him while they’re on vacation. Izzy is his polar opposite, but Derek soon realizes she could be the perfect solution to his interfering family…if he can get her to agree to pretend to be his live-in girlfriend. Before long Izzy’s sweet disposition and unflappable optimism has him decorating a tree and looking forward to late night hot cocoa, but he’s all too aware their time together can’t last.

I requested this out of the desire for a sweet Christmas read featuring a Beauty & The Beast retelling – it’s now nearly mid-February, which speaks volumes about how difficult I found it to get through this story. The blurb promised all my favorite tropes (fake relationship! forced proximity! grumpy-curmudgeon-with-a-heart-of-gold! bookish-nerd-falling-for-her-boss!), but unfortunately ‘The Bookworm and the Beast’ didn’t live up to expectations.


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