Catherine has struggled to find her footing at Oranienbaum Palace after being married to Grand Duke Peter of Russia at the age of sixteen. While her mind is on cultivating a relationship with the surfs and lords that will soon be her subjects, forces within Russia are trying to depose of Empress Elizabeth. Deception, tenuous alliances, and adultery flourish in court. Can Catherine secure her place in court and history? Or will she fall too far out of the Empress’s favor?
Queen of Tomorrow is the second book in the “Stolen Empire” series. Even though I didn’t read the first book, Queen of Someday, I found the story easy enough. Tomorrow does a great job of dropping hints of what happened in the previous book without going too much into detail.
Catherine–who will eventually become Catherine the Great–is likable from the very beginning. She has the perfect mixture of strength, independence, and timely views on the relationship between husband and wives. Basically, she had enough drive to make me root for her without making her seem out of place in the setting of 18th century Russia. Her personality jumped off the page from the very first chapter.
The fluctuation in Catherine’s relationships with both the Empress and her husband–how there were good days and bad days–fit exactly into my idea of how the court of a monarchy would work. I’m not sure how historically accurate it was since Ficklin admits at the end of the book that she played with reality a bit. However it felt real, and I loved the amount of danger those relationships posed to Catherine. It created amazing tension. I never knew exactly when things would start to go south, meaning the increase in danger felt completely natural even if it was out of the blue.
My only complaint isn’t much of an issue with the book. It’s simply a byproduct of this book being the second in what I believe is a trilogy. Ending with a cliffhanger gives the reader a massive incentive to pickup the third book. And let me tell you, the cliffhanger here is a good one. I didn’t see it coming, and I’m curious enough that I plan on keeping an eye out for the next book.
Queen of Tomorrow would be a great read for someone interested in a YA set in a royal court. I’d suggest reading the first book to get the most out of the series.
Queen of Tomorrow by Sherry D. Ficklin is published by Clean Teen Publishing and is available as an eBook and in paperback.
**I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley.com in return for an honest, unbiased review.