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January 14, 2015

Shelley's Shot of YA: Queen of Someday by Sherry D. Ficklin

Series: Stolen Empire # 1
Format: E-Book, 262 pages
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Young Adult | Historical Fiction
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.

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.

In a battle for the soul of a nation, will love or destiny reign supreme?

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.


Queen of Someday is the first installment in the Stolen Empire series. Ficklin tackles one of the more intriguing characters in history, Catherine the Great (1729–1796), who was the longest serving Russian monarch, reigning from 1762 to her death in 1796. Ficklin uses her own imagination in telling how Sophie von Anhalt-Zerbst became ruler of Russia.

Told in the first person narrative, 15-year-old Sophie and her mother are invited to Russia by Czarina Elizabeth, daughter of Peter the Great who she overthrew. With the Russian Empress without any children of her own, she chooses her nephew Peter to be her heir, and because of who Sophie's mother is, figured the match would be a good one. Upon her 16th birthday, Sophie voluntarily converted to Orthodox Christianity and took the name Ekaterina, or Catherine and shortly thereafter was pushed into marrying Peter while her heart was still set on another.

I will say this about Queen of Someday, if you are like me who dislikes twisted love triangles, then perhaps you won't like it as much. Yes, Sophie has three men biding for her heart, while her mind is twisted into several emotions. However, I found myself tossing my dislike out the window because of who Catherine really was. Yes, she had lovers of her own, but so didn't her husband the despicable Grand Duke Peter who just grated on my every nerves.

I found myself intrigued and fully engaged in Sophie/Catherine's story. She's a character who isn't weak by any means, and shows it right from the very first scene. While she does struggle, and makes mistakes, you have to give her some leeway in being new to this world. She knows that her actions will either save her father's title and land, or she will be sent off to a convent or killed by the Empress. Yes folks, they really, really did that back in the 18th century.

I think one of the more appealing characters to me, besides Catherine, is Sergei Saltykov, a real life Russian military officer who came to Sophie's rescue, and later became her guardian, Russian language and court politics trainer, her lover, and the only one she could really trust. Queen of Someday is filled with political intrigue, betrayal, romance, deceit, and dangerous situations where one wrong move can have devastating affects on everyone you love.

For a history aficionado like myself, Catherine's story has always intrigued me. Catherine wasn't what you would call a faithful wife, or ruler, but with a husband like Peter, who could blame her? Ficklin is telling a story from her own perspective and using Catherine's own words to tell her story. One should not take the story as Fact, as authors often take liberal chances in telling their story. Queen of Someday is fairly quick read at only 272, and that truly was enough to get the author's point across.

Next up: Queen of Tomorrow (Stolen Empire # 2); Releases October 2, 2015







Sherry D. Ficklin is a full time writer from Colorado where she lives with her husband, four kids, two dogs, and a fluctuating number of chickens and house guests. A former military brat, she loves to travel and meet new people. She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other. That is, unless she’s on deadline at which time she, like the Loch Ness monster, is only seen in blurry photographs.



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28 comments:

  1. So many people are loving this that I think it is about time I pick it up and at least add it to the pile. :P

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    1. What's another book in a pile of hundreds! :O)

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  2. Oh it sounds interesting and the environment of the book does intrigue me I confess. 3 men for her? LOL lucky girl. I'm not agains love triangle but it must be well done. So I'll have to take a closer look at this one. thank you!

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  3. I'd like to read it but I fear I'd be too, that is not facts!

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  4. I'm not a big fan of love triangles too but like you, I can sometimes forgive it if the plot and characters are worth it. This is the first I've heard of this book and I'm not really a big reader of historical YA but this looks good...will have to check it out! Lovely review! :)

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  5. THAT ENDING. I was very pleasantly surprised at how good it came to be. I'm excited for the sequel that's for sure!

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  6. This sounds excellent! I think since it's historical fiction and based somewhat on a real story that the twisted romance will work fine for me. I'm definitely going to pick this one up!

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  7. Weirdly enough, the cover of this book reads more fantasy than historical. If I hadn't read the title, I'd be confused, lol. Glad to see you liked this one, though, because the synopsis really does intrigue me!

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  8. Oh I so wouldn't have grabbed historical from the cover. It does sound interesting. Not my typical genre but maybe!

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    1. I'm strange that way. I actually like the historical/fiction blend that authors create. Anytime you can add one of histories most powerful women to a story, I'm totally down with it!

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  9. I started thinking oh what a pretty cover, but this doesn't look like something I would read. Now I want it based on your review lol

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    1. Ah, love it when I lure someone into my web! Thanks Lily!

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  10. Well this is pretty interesting. Once upon a time, I couldn't get enough of the Russian regency. It would be cool to see how much of a spin the author has put into this one.

    Awesome review!

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    1. Thanks! Totally appreciate your comments!

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  11. I loved this one too Shelley in fact I have enjoyed all of her books.

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    1. This is my first adventure into her reading, and can't wait to see what she comes up with next. So much material she can use.

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  12. Wow Shelley... you have me intrigued by this one. I don't mind love triangles, they add spice, so I think I'd enjoy this one!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

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    1. Very Cool! I have high hopes for the sequel!

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  13. Pretty cover and great review. I must say that I came over because I saw the name Sherry. LOL Sounds like many people are enjoying the book. Like you said, Shelley, what's anything book in a pile of hundreds. ^_^ Have a great weekend.
    sherry @ fundinmental

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  14. Hmmm I guess I can deal with the suitors, she is a future queen after all so it's only natural that she'll have a few men vying for her and all that. Also I read an article about her way back and she was quite the hussy! LOL

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    1. Sounds like we've read the same material! She was truly something else, that's for sure!

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  15. I'm so glad you liked it! :) Thanks for taking the time to read and share it!

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  16. My son recently read a biography of Catherine the Great so I'm very intrigued with this HF account. I will have to check it out! Thanks for a great review Shelley.

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