Queen of Someday held a lot of promise but it never got fulfilled. It’s a shame because this is my first historical fiction read (I am not counting Infernal Devices since it was more of a steampunk and fantasy series) after so many years and it really disappointed me. I wish I just picked up any of Julia Quinn’s or Judith McNaught’s books.
I am not sure what went wrong with this one. Is it because it was too short that the story was not fully realized? Is it because the heroine grated on my nerves to no end? Anyway, I am not going to fill you with so many questions. Instead, let me share my opinion of this book by scrutinizing the synopsis so as to prevent this review from becoming an incoherent mess.
<b>"ONE GIRL WILL BRING AN EMPIRE TO ITS KNEES…"</b>
The first sentence of the synopsis. Grand, isn’t it? I seriously assumed that I’m going to see our heroine, Prussian Princess Sophie, achieving lots of outstanding feats here. Not only that, I also expected that little Sophie would be well-versed in politics and will be witty at all times. I think that my expectations are only logical because the sentence above is pretty bold. One girl will bring an empire, the RUSSIAN EMPIRE, to its knees. Now, if you heard someone declaring that to the whole world, your expectations will be the same as mine. Unfortunately, our little Sophie was neither wise nor capable of achieving exceptional deeds.
So far, her accomplishments in this book were:
1. Seduced three boys- The Prince heir, a nobleman, and the general of the Russian Court imperial guard. And no, I am not joking.
2. Killed three (or was that 4 assassins) while she and her mother were travelling from Prussia to Russia. It was quite unbelievable though because their guards got killed and yet Sophie, managed to kill the assassins. Oh bravo! YOU ACTUALLY MANAGED TO KILL TRAINED ASSASSINS? Are you Celaena Sardothien, Sophie? Remind me again how old were you when you started playing with your knives and accompanying your father during his hunts?
3. Able to learn the Russian language and spoke it like a true-bloodied Russian. But I haven’t seen her speaking in actual Russian. The story just told that she finally learned it.
I have never seen this girl even demonstrating that she has the IT to be deserving of the empress throne. All throughout the book, she was busy flirting with all the three love interests, wondering how their lips and hands would feel on her body. I am seriously at a loss here. Makes me think that instead of her strength and brain powers, she’s planning to use her body and knack for flirting to seduce the entire Russian court to bring it to its knees.
<b>"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."</b>
Yeah, you did survive, Sophie. But that’s because you are one lucky girl. And most of those obstacles that you’ve encountered were quite petty. What if I place you in A Game Of Thrones-esque setting, let’s see if you will still survive the ordeal.
When you got poisoned, you were just lucky that you were with your love interest. But after you recovered, what did you do? Did you actually spare some time to formulate a strategy to show the Imperial court that you are a force to be reckoned with? No, you just continued with your clandestine meetings with your love interests. And you even played knight in shining armor to your killer. I cannot for the life of me…
Oh, Sophie, I am sorry but I haven’t felt that you actually faced a difficult time while you are making it to the top in the Russian court. Whatever difficulties that you’ve faced are because of your stupid decisions. No, Sophie. Please just go back to where you belong.
<b>"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."</b>
Imperial Court holds dangers like nothing Sophie has ever faced before.—> This! WTF? REALLY? Those dangers are quite meh and very PREDICTABLE. Hahaha. Beware, I am going to be writing a lot of spoilers here. So read at your own risk.
1st Attempt on Sophie’s Life: The Ambush (Happened in the first chapter)
This seems like a plot device just so the author will have the opportunity to show that Sophie is a Wonder Woman who is capable of killing highly trained assassins. Her guards were just there as props.
2nd Attempt on Sophie’s Life: Poisoning
Could have been prevented if f***ing Sergei (the general of the Russian Imperial Court) was not an incompetent dummy. He already knows that there’s a lot of threat to Sophie’s life and yet, he didn’t arrange for a food taster. I would have let it slide if only the manner of poisoning was pretty sneaky and brilliant. But no, Sophie got poisoned in the most boring way possible. Really, it could have been prevented if Sergei and the rest of his subordinates have an ounce of common sense. Oh Sergei, ever heard of risk assessment and danger forecasting? Why not spend your time learning those instead of caressing Sophie every chance you get?
3rd Attempt on Sophie’s Life: The Russian Empress threatened to destroy Sophie after the latter was discovered cheating on the Prince Heir
See? This danger should not have happened if not for Sophie’s stupidity. She’s already betrothed to the Prince Heir but she kept on meeting and kissing handsome Alexander that it even reached a point that she was ready to run away with the latter. Yes, you are 15, Sophie, and your being impulsive is understandable. But if you are hailed as the girl who can bring down an empire to its knees, I expected better from you especially that your family is depending on you.
<b>"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."</b>
Know what, Sophie? I know that this is pretty lame and I know that I should respect you as you. But you really failed to demonstrate that you actually have the wisdom, the strength, the cunning and the overall capability of becoming an empress. Maybe you should start befriending other princesses and queens from other books and learn from them. I have some recs if you’ll have them.
And oh readers, are you excited that this book is set in Russia? I am sorry but you’re going to be disappointed. I didn’t feel that this book was really set in Russia. For example, I haven’t seen the characters speaking in Russian. I haven’t read even a simple “привет” (pronounced as privet) which means “hello” in Russian. I haven’t even gotten a glimpse of the Russian culture in the old days. Really, if you are only picking up this book because you want a Russian setting, just pick up Laini Taylor’s The Daughter of Smoke and Bone.
Verdict: I really tried to love Queen of Someday but it was one of those awful books that heavily relied on the romance, love quadrangle to be specific, to tell a story. It felt unresearched, rushed and didn’t really offer something new to the table. Even the romance did not work for me.
1.5 stars because this is not the worst book that I’ve read, the cover is gorgeous, and what Sophie/Catherine did at the end slightly took me by surprise but it doesn’t mean that that was pretty cunning. She can do better.