Queen of Tomorrow - Book Review
Sherry D. Ficklin
Book #2 in the Stolen Empire Trilogy
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Sophie - now Catherine, Grand Duchess of Russia - had a tough first year at the 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 realises that she has only begun to discover the tangled web of deceit and infidelity woven over the lavish court 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 favour 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 that she ever imagine she could be … a queen.
I really enjoyed this book. The second in Sherry. D. Ficklin’s Stolen Empire Series, I found this story to be just as delicious as the first.
Now married to Peter, heir to the Russian throne, Sophie must discard her childish dreams and step up into her role as Catherine, Grand Duchess of Russia. But her husband, Peter, is a monster, and when their enemies destroy the hard-won peace gained between the couple, Catherine must fight to keep herself from spiralling into the darkness.
As Peter makes plans to set Catherine aside, Catherine begins to make alliances of her own. Hatching a treasonous plan that will ensure her own future, as well as the continued prosperity of her new nation, Catherine prepares to commit the most dangerous of all sins. If she survives, she will emerge a queen. If she fails, she will lose her life.
This was a short but delicious read. In it we see how the months of married life and ruling have changed Sophie. No longer meek and innocent, she has grown into a true court lady and discovered the art of intrigue and subtly. However she no longer knows who to trust and with plots and deceptions lurking around every corner, we get to see her sharp mind in action as she struggles to remain several steps ahead of her enemies.
However entangled in a forbidden romance with the Empresses ex-lover, Sergei, we also see that at the core, Sophie is still just a young girl with a yearning to be loved. She never asked for this courtly life, and it was heart wrenching to see how so many people sort to manipulate her for their own ends.
Having said that, all the secondary characters are brilliant, each in their own cruel, vindictive way. They are the kind of characters you hate, but love for how they keep the reader on their toes.
Everyone from Sophie’s husband, Peter, to the Empress, Peter’s lover Elizavetta… even Sophie’s own mother works against her. You really can’t ask for better drama.
Yet while there are many things going on with the plot, the pacing itself isn't fast, however it dances along at a steady beat. The reader also has plenty of time to take in the scenery, absorbing the beautiful descriptions that really set the scene of this glittering court.
Also with its cliff hanger of an ending, I can’t wait to begin book three, Queen of Always. I’m desperate to see how Sherry. D. Fickling will conclude this story. A truly epic read, I give Queen of Tomorrow 4 stars!