Title: Queen of Someday (Stolen Empires #1)
Author: Sherry D. Ficklin
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication Date: October 7, 2014
Summary: 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 got an early e-book copy of this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
This review will be full of spoilers because there is no way to explain my feelings about this book without giving a few things away. You’ve been warned.
Guys, this book was awful. Seriously, I’m going to try so hard to give constructive criticism and not be a jerk, but this was the worst book I’ve read in a very long time. I’m so confused by many of the four or five star reviews I’m seeing, and I honestly can’t understand how people enjoyed a single thing about this book. The characters were so flat and one dimensional, the plot was awful, the writing was not even remotely engaging, and the summary for this book is completely misleading.
To start with, Sophie is absolutely ridiculous. In the first few pages of the book, she kills a couple of bandits with a little knife, one of their guts plopping in the snow in front of her, and is not even remotely phased. Not because she has killed before or anything, but just because. She literally doesn’t even think about it again. Maybe it’s because she literally spends every single second thinking about all the different men she is in love with. She meets three guys, THREE, and falls in love with each one of them withing seconds of meeting them. One insta-love scenario in a book is bad enough but three is just sickening. And that’s all she focuses on. Also, she magically says a speech in “nearly flawless” Russian after learning it for one day. One day. She was one of the most ridiculous and stupid girls that I’ve ever had the misfortune to read about.
Sergei is the first guy, who rushes to save her from the bandits then for some reason, even though he is twenty and sleeping with the empress, falls in love with fifteen year old Sophie and pledges his undying loyalty to her. He is constantly sending her presents, which seems a little forward of him, especially since she is there to marry the prince, and spending time alone with her in her room. Alone, as in unchaperoned. Which I’m almost positive that they wouldn’t allow back then. But after talking to him once, Sophie decides he is the only man she can trust or rely on in this court. Even though she knows nothing about him, except that he is unbearably handsome, a trend you’re going to notice with all of her love interests.
Peter is the prince, the one she is actually supposed to be marrying. He is gorgeous and rich and it’s her duty to love him, even if he is a huge drunk and likes to torture people and sleep around. But looking into his eyes for the first time in years, she thinks she can love him and be the wife he needs. So she sets on her path of wooing him. And for a while, before he reveals his true nature, she wants to be with him… but also two other guys too.
Alexander is a friend of Peter’s and he is dark and mysterious looking. She actually describes him as that. They leave secret notes for each other in poetry and he makes her blood boil with lust. He is so thoughtful and deep and after talking to him for two seconds, she realizes he is definitely the one she loves… maybe?
This next paragraph is going to ruin the whole plot. I’m going to give you all a quick summary of what happens in this book, so you realize exactly how absurd it is. And remember, this all happens in like 250 pages.
Sophie gets to court, starts falling for Sergei. Meets Peter, starts falling for him. The empress loves her and supports their marriage. Sophie meets Alexander, starts falling for him. They secretly meet up and kiss and she knows she loves him. She realizes her duty is to Peter, so she cuts it off. Someone tries to kill her. She magically survives. Peter tortures her would-be-killer and she saves his life. Alexander and her meet up and he asks her to marry her, even though she decided to cut him off. She agrees, and plans to run away with him. They get caught by the empress who threatens to kill everyone that doesn’t obey her. Sophie gets engaged to Peter. Alexander and one of Sophie’s friends get married under the command of the empress, and get ready to have a baby. Alexander and his new wife leave to live happily ever after. Sophie and Peter get married. Peter decides her loves some busty red head, kicks Sophie around, decides to not have sex with her and tell everyone she’s barren and can’t provide a heir so she’ll get sent off to be a nun. She runs to Sergei so he can impregnate her and pretend it’s Peter’s so that doesn’t happen. They bang and she loves Sergei and everything is good.
I’M NOT EVEN KIDDING, THAT’S THE GODDAMN BOOK.
But on top of that absolutely despicable plot, the writing is absolutely awful. Every character is so one dimensional and flat, we don’t even get to actually know anything about any of her guys except they are all handsome and madly in love with her. There is no depth to anything in this book. Sophie doesn’t grow or become stronger, she lets the empress take away the man she loves, and gives up on everything. There are no good morals to this story. She is beaten and does nothing. True love apparently doesn’t matter in this story because she still gets forced into this arranged marriage with a sadist, and has sex with some guy way older than her because she has no other choice. But actually it’s okay because this guy was there for her in the whole book and he is the only one she truly cares about anymore. And the only reason she puts up with anything is because she let this empress control her and it’s her duty to her family. Why should I like Sophie at all?! She is a weak, naive, pathetic little puppet, with no redeemable qualities or actions what so ever! What a load of absolute crap.
One girl will bring an empire to it’s knees, the summary says. I don’t even know what they mean by that. The empire and the people controlling it bring her to her knees, kick her in the face, and turn her into a submissive, hopeless doll. She does nothing exciting or amazing to help herself or the country, she does exactly what is expected of her. Sure, she tries to run away and gives that up the second her plan is thwarted. Then she bangs Sergei to get pregnant and not thrown into a nunnery, but what else is she supposed to do. She does it to save herself, not to defy the people controlling her, but because it’s her duty for her family to send them lots of money. And they whole things about “traitors and murders lurking around every corner”, it’s one guy who tries to poison her.
This book’s summary gives the illusion of Sophie being strong and making decisions to become the queen she knows she is supposed to be, but don’t be fooled. She only makes the sacrifices she does because she literally has no other choice and refuses to fight back. So if the author decided the story of her becoming a strong queen should come and apparently not even adding it into the book, she made a huge mistake. Because that would mean this is actually a romance book. With the worst, most boring and flat and awful love interests I’ve ever seen. No matter what they author’s goal was in writing this book (which brings up the question of how exactly she managed to get it published), she failed drastically.