We don't usually participate in blog tours, but I very much enjoyed Queen of Someday and was really excited at the opportunity of reading more about Sophie's journey. You can find the full schedule of this tour on YA Bound Book Tours.
Sophie—now Catherine, Grand Duchess of Russia—had a tough first year at Imperial Court. Married at sixteen to Grand Duke Peter, heir to the throne, and settled in their own palace, things are finally looking up. As a new day dawns, she thinks only of securing her future, and the future of their country, during one of the greatest political upheavals of her time. Fighting desperately against forces trying to depose the Empress Elizabeth and put the young Prince Ivan on her throne, Sophie soon finds herself in the middle of a war brewing between her beloved Prussia, and her new empire. But even as she navigates the fragile political landscape, she quickly realizes that she has only begun to discover the tangled web of deceit and infidelity woven over the lavish court of Oranienbaum Palace.
When a strange and delicate alliance forms between the young couple, she glimpses a future of happiness, only to see it lost in a moment at the hands of those who still seek to end her life—and prevent her reign. Out of favor with the empress and running out of options, Sophie will have to sacrifice her own innocence on the altar of Russia if she is to save the nation, and herself. To survive, she will have to do the unthinkable, betray those closest to her and become something greater and more dangerous than she ever imagined she could be… a queen.
Author: Sherry D. Ficklin
Sequel to: Queen of Someday
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication Date: July 14th 2015
Source: eARC for blog tour
Oh Sophie, how you have grown. In Queen of Someday, Sophie was small and scared. She was innocent, and fell in love easily. She has grown tremendously from those days.
I'll admit that I was shocked at how dark Queen of Tomorrow was. The violence Sophie encountered, as a women, was staggering, and frankly, hard to digest. I was so disgusted on Sophie's behalf. She is married to the heir of the Empress of Russia, and she is expected to produce an heir, at all costs. Peter, her husband, is abusive. He is violent, rash, and lacks empathy or foresight. Sophie had to manage him all throughout the story, but I was once again disgusted by her lot in life.
I think I'd be remiss if I didn't issue a major trigging warning. There is intense misogyny and attacks on Sophie in Queen of Tomorrow. However, I didn't think it was gratuitous because it did support the storyline. It seems like the plot of Queen of Tomorrow was Sophie rising above all the challenges and limitations things like her gender, her title, her husband, or even her family put on her.
Sophie is so incredibly resilient, and there is certainly something compelling about Sophie's ability to get back up and keep swinging. She is smart and resourceful, and she wants to rule. I love this. How often, in YA, do we read about women totally ready to take power and rule? Women with extreme ambition? Sophie knows she is capable, and she is ready to go for it. I like that she challenges her role and pushes back on barriers. However, she did concern me with some of her behaviours, but that's a part of Sophie's upbringing; she believes she has to please her husband. Sophie's growth fascinates me .
The plot is extremely quick. I was never bored for a single second and the pages flew by. It begins with Sophie in her palace with Peter, trying to rule, missing her real love Sergei, and just struggling to survive, and it continues with Sophie constantly having to regain her footing. Now, since I just mentioned Sergei, I love that he's in the story. Besides the benefits to the plot for having a high ranking member of Empress Elizabeth's court Sophie's lover, it's great to see that as much as the world is trying to mold Sophie into whatever they need, she pushes back. Sergei is her choice, and the presence of their relationship feels like Sophie reclaiming some control.
Ultimately, I was very entertained by Queen of Tomorrow. Sophie's journey to the top fascinated me, and I hope to read more about Sophie defying the odds and kicking some ass in the sequel, Queen of Always. I'm also a little scared because the world is not kind to Sophie, and I don't like seeing her suffer again. This has probably been very clear throughout my review, but my fascination of Sophie is what spurs my interest in this series. Queen of Tomorrow is very different from Queen of Someday. Queen of Tomorrow is darker, and more dangerous. I very much recommend it for people comfortable with very dark, entertaining reads.