Book Review: “Queen of Someday” by Sherry D. Ficklin

Word is out; I’m missing The Selection series. Ever since that series came out, I’ve been infected with an insatiable princess fever. So when I saw “Queen of Someday” by Sherry D. Ficklin (correction: when I saw the gorgeous cover), I knew it was something I needed to read.

Queen of Someday is about fifteen year old Sophie (aka, Catherine the Great), a Prussian princess who is being encouraged by her mother to vie for the affections of the Grand Duke Peter of Russia, in hopes that their marriage will save their family from poverty. At first, Sophie not only complies to her mother’s wishes, but is excited at the prospect of actually winning the hand of the dashing Peter. However, as Sophie finds out more about Peter, and meets the handsome Sergei and Alexander, her feelings are complicated.

When I first realized that there was going to be not only a love triangle, but a love “box” (for lack of a better word), I started to get a little leery. I like love triangles, but I wondered how many love interests you can actually jam into one book. However, this particular “love box” was handled with good structure in mind. While Sophie is attracted to all three men, in different ways, she doesn’t flip from one guy to another too easily. Peter turns out to be a good-for-nothing pretty early in the game, which leaves Sophie with one man who she is passionately in love with and one for whom she has a subtle attraction and deep trust. What results is a scenario that, to my non-history-buff brain, is pretty realistic to what a royal teenager may have gone through at the time.

This brings me to my one and only complaint for this book. This read was quick, yet very lush and satisfying throughout. However, I would have liked Sophie to be a little less attracted to all three men, all at once. Some build-up time would have been nice, especially where Sergei was concerned. That said, this is a minor detail, and I was very impressed with how romance was handled in this book. Bodice-ripper this is not, there is actually a lot of depth here.

Sophie! She is just such a great character. One previous reviewer compared her to “Katniss or Tris in a ball gown” and I totally agree with that statement. Sophie can be tough when she needs to be, but she has a very vulnerable, feminine, young side to her that makes her really well-rounded and interesting. What’s especially intriguing, is that instead of just being physically tough, she is able to manipulate and plot in order to avoid becoming lost in the corrupt Russian kingdom.

The book’s pace was also really great. Chapters are very cleanly divided, and this book as a whole is well-paced, interesting, and easy to follow. I appreciated the author’s writing style for the historical fiction genre; when Sophie speaks to other characters, she has the formal tone of the era, but when she speaks to the reader in her first-person narration, she uses more modern language. Readers who are turned off of historical fiction will like this book for that.

One final aspect that I loved is how many twists and turns there are. There were many parts where I thought I had this book figured out, then was totally surprised. The ending was an epic shocker that even I wouldn’t have thought of (and I guessed the Broadchurch killer in episode two), and left me both majorly impressed, and excited for book #2.

Overall, Queen of Someday is excellent for fans of princess-themed books, like The Selection, historical fiction, or just really engaging heroines. Loved it!!!

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