A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Imposter Queen is an epic-style fantasy set in a realm where some people have magical abilities using ice or fire. There's a fair amount of fantasy violence with people being burned or frozen to death, and blood is mentioned a fair amount but not described in detail; otherwise there's no gore. Heroine Elli, 16, is at first in love with her handmaiden Mim, and some feelings of physical attraction are briefly described. Later she falls for Oskar, a man; they kiss a few times and are the source of the romance aspects of the story. Elli's a good role model for wanting to help her people and be useful; she's brave and curious about the world around her, and she learns that she has the power to control her own magical gifts without anyone else controlling her.
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What's the story?
Elli was identified as the next queen of Kupari when she was about 4 years old. At that time she was taken from her mother to live a lonely, isolated life with only a few adults for company while she was prepared for her future role. Now Elli's 16, and when the current queen dies after saving the country from an invasion, Elli has to undergo the ritual that will bind the previous queen's magic to her. But something goes wrong, and Elli emerges with no magic whatsoever. How can she rule and keep her people safe without magic? With her country on the verge of being invaded, THE IMPOSTER QUEEN will have to find a way to restore her country -- and her belief in herself.
Is it any good?
This well-balanced story has plenty of elements for fantasy fans to enjoy. Magic, action, intrigue, and romance combine in an imaginative world that's well realized. Tweens and teens will relate to Elli's feelings of uncertainty about herself and root for her as she discovers she has more to offer the world than she thought.
Although the various elements are woven together well and the plot keeps the pages turning, there's not a great deal of depth or richness to provide appeal outside the genre. It's a fun, light read that fantasy lovers will enjoy, with an ending that satisfies while leaving the door open for more.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why fantasies are so popular. Why do we love them so much?
If you lived in Kupari, would you rather have ice magic, fire magic, or no magic at all? Why?
Did you find the ending satisfying? Would you like this to become a series? What do you think the future holds for Elli?
Themes & Topics
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.