Date of Publication: October 7, 2014
Source: Net Galley - Thank you!
ONE GIRL WILL BRING AN EMPIRE TO ITS KNEES...
Before she can become the greatest empress in history, fifteen-year-old Sophie will have to survive her social-climbing mother’s quest to put her on the throne of Russia—at any cost.
Imperial Court holds dangers like nothing Sophie has ever faced before. In the heart of St. Petersburg, surviving means navigating the political, romantic, and religious demands of the bitter Empress Elizabeth and her handsome, but sadistic nephew, Peter. Determined to save her impoverished family—and herself—Sophie vows to do whatever is necessary to thrive in her new surroundings. But an attempt on her life and an unexpected attraction threatens to derail her plans.
Alone in a new and dangerous world, learning who to trust and who to charm may mean the difference between becoming queen and being sent home in shame to marry her lecherous uncle. With traitors and murderers lurking around every corner, her very life hangs in the balance. Betrothed to one man but falling in love with another, Sophie will need to decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice in order to become the empress she is destined to be.
In a battle for the soul of a nation, will love or destiny reign supreme?
I'm in the minority with this one, and at this point I've accepted that. So I'm here to share why no matter how hard I tried I just couldn't appreciate this book. The problem, I feel is rooted quite deeply into this novel, to the point that almost every aspect had a flaw for me.
P.E. isn't a historical person and so her loving this was what introduced me to this novel. I mean great historical plus Russian royalty? Yes please. I envisioned great world building, character development, proper court etiquette, and a fantastically gripping plot... What I got was none of those. This book is a light romance (if you want to call 1 girl x 3 guys insta-love a romance). Little to no time is spent one bringing the surroundings to life and the plot consists of holes and conveniences.
Sophie was very inconsistent for me. She would boast about being so strong as her father taught her how to wield the sword and hunt but she talks a lot. The rest of the time she tells us how she is ready to sacrifice herself for her family (marrying a king is very undesirable apparently) and how she has no desire for love, then she has insta-love relationships with two other men and reciting Shakespearean and Hellenic love poetry. But once she sees the trouble in the path of her "one love" she quickly hides in her shell but is never decisive on what she wants to do. She wants to be queen but they she wants to be in love and now she doesn't want to be queen.. Boo hoo.
Going into this one, I knew that it wasn't correct in its history so I completely excused that and looked past it. A thing that I will never pass by is historical etiquette. 17th century Russia has a culture of its own very different from today or even 17th century England. I don't mind if Sophie's story is fictionalized but at least try to make sure the world is correct. They kept talking of Shakespeare and Helen and Paris of Troy. The latter I guess would have been translated to Russian or Germain by then but Shakespeare was way to new to have been accepted into different languages. Even if it had been, I found the constant bombardment of fake, one dimensional love proclamations through quotes from Shakespeare and the story of Troy very annoying.
I'm not a big fan of Shakespeare but I've read my fair share and this novel to me is a little bit of a Romeo and Juliet remake. We have a naive girl and a lusting fickle guy and they fall in love after two sightings but of course their relationship is impossible and so they lust away.
As for the other characters, I didn't like any. It was honestly hard to do so as we don't learn anything about them. The book is set around Sophie and her romantic interests. The interests have a shallow backstory and we know their titles but Alexander has no personality besides being devoutly in love while Sergei is dark, loyal and nobel. I guess I kind of like Sergei but I always like the dark, loyal and nobel, he just had no character development for me to appreciate him enough. Something that really bothered me about characters is that I notices some of them were there for one purpose. Example, Sophie's mother. She was plain mean. Hence Sophie hated her. End of story.
I've been going through a lot of Goodreads reviews on this one and many compared it to the CW show The Reign. I haven't watched that show but what I have gathered from it and the reviews is that the show has many differences from actual history and is more about love and teenage relationships than real history. Similarly, Queen of Someday takes a very key historical figure Catherine the Great of Russia and ignores everything else while making a light romance. I can imagine that it is enjoyable for those who appreciate such stories. I always love some romance but I need substance and this one didn't have that for me.
Love Poetry Galore
"Where both deliberate, the love is slight. Who ever loved, that loves not at first sight?" -Alexander
"The last think i remember is wishing that if I were about to die, that I could do it back in Alexander's arms." - Sophie
"I bite my lips against the suffering, for fear I will call out, and for fear of who I will out for." - Sophie
"If I ever find out who did this, I sweat to you, I will kill them with my own hands." -Alexander
"Please don't do anything rash. My time at court would be too dark to bear without your presence."-Sophie
"Her lips suck forth my soul, see where it flies. Come, Helen, come, give me my soul again. Here I will dwell, for heaven is in these lips."-Alexander