The Queen's Rising

Book review by
Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media
The Queen's Rising Book Poster Image
Romantic fantasy-adventure has strong women, dash of magic.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 13+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Fantasy meant to entertain.

Positive Messages

Strong bonds of sisterhood endure and will be there for you always. Your family is the people you love and want to be with, not necessarily blood relatives. Getting an education opens up the best possibilities for your future. Using your gifts for violent reasons only corrupts them and brings destruction and death; using them peacefully brings healing and harmony. If you're willing to work hard, you can pursue your passions and become very good at them, even if you don't have special talent.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Lots of strong, smart, loyal, and more-than-capable female role models. One society was ruled by females for hundreds of years and went terribly wrong when the throne was usurped by men. Another society has long been peaceful and prosperous under male rule. Brienna is brave, loyal, works hard to achieve her goals and to help others. Her family and friends are caring, loyal, and supportive. The villain is a ruthless tyrant who wants to hold on to power.

Violence

Very little violence until a large battle at the end with swords, knives, and arrows that mentions blood, injuries, and some pain. A brief, mildly gory description of dead bodies killed by magic. Several hard hits to the face mention blood from noses and mouths. A robbery ends with a stabbing, neck slicing, and blood spewing. Heads on spikes briefly described. A whipping mentions the back flayed open. A dog attacks and kills, mauling an arm and neck.

Sex

Lots of romantic feelings and attraction that has to be suppressed because of a teacher-student relationship. A few brief kisses.

Language

A few instances of verbal abuse but no swearing.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Lots of mentions of ale, wine, and "cordial" with meals and celebrations. A few mentions of drinking cordial to calm strong emotions. No drunken or alcoholic behavior.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Rebecca Ross' The Queen's Rising  is a fantasy adventure with a bit of romance. It's refreshingly swear-word free and the romance is very innocent. Violence is rare until a large battle at the very end with swords, knives, and arrows. Blood's mentioned a lot but not described in detail, although some dead bodies killed by a magical attack are described with some gore. The central romance is between a teacher and a student, but neither one acts on their feelings until that relationship is over. Most of the romance is descriptions of feelings, with one or two kisses not described in detail. Positive messages about the value of sisterhood, the value of education, and loyalty to the family you choose as opposed to the one you're born to. Lots of strong, smart, capable female role models. 

User Reviews

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Teen, 13 years old Written byNXZR_Girl August 27, 2018
Teen, 14 years old Written bykrystalcamas May 15, 2018

What's the story?

In THE QUEEN'S RISING we meet Brienna, now about to turn 17 and graduate from the prestigious Magnalia House, where she's been educated for the past seven years. But she chose her specialty later than most, and is worried that she hasn't had time to master her chosen passion -- knowledge -- and be selected by a patron to move on. Her worst fears are realized when none of the potential patrons choose her, and she spends a lonely summer at Magnalia wondering what the future holds. Although she doesn't realize it at the time, a great future arrives in the form of a mysterious lord who agrees to adopt her into his own family. It's quickly obvious that Jourdain is more than he appears to be, and soon Brienna's caught up in his intrigues. Intrigues that will eventually take her across the sea to a ruthless kingdom with inextricable ties to her own mysterious past, and the keys to her future.

Is it any good?

Romantic fantasy fans will enjoy following Brienna as she's swept up into adventure in a richly imagined, deeply realized world of secrets, a dash of magic, sisterhood, and royal intrigue. Two kingdoms in The Queen's Rising, both full of well-drawn characters, are easier to keep track of and envision thanks to maps and family trees in the front, but beware that the family trees reveal some spoilers. Teens will relate to Brienna as she struggles to find her path and longs to know what life has in store for her.

Debut author Rebecca Ross is at her best creating vivid descriptions of the world and the people in it. Some of the dialogue is a bit melodramatic, and sometimes the language comes across as trying too hard to reinforce the time and place. But teens who like their fantasy worlds with a sweet romance, a dash of adventure, and plenty of girl power will enjoy it.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about romantic fantasies like The Queen's Rising. Which ones are your favorites? How does this one compare?

  • What are Brienna's character strengths? What makes her a good role model?

  • So many fantasies are series. Would you like to see this story continue, or does it stand on its own? Why?

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