The elders chose Elli to be queen, but they chose wrong in this beautifully crafted novel that “fans of Rae Carson’s books and Victoria Areyard’s Red Queen will find much to love in” (VOYA).
Sixteen-year-old Elli was a small child when the Elders of Kupari chose her to succeed the Valtia, the queen who wields infinitely powerful ice and fire magic. Since then, Elli has lived in the temple, surrounded by luxury and tutored by priests, as she prepares for the day when the Valtia perishes and the magic finds a new home in her. Elli is destined to be the most powerful Valtia to ever rule.
But when the queen dies defending the kingdom from invading warriors, the magic doesn’t enter Elli. It’s nowhere to be found.
Disgraced, Elli flees to the outlands, the home of banished criminals—some who would love to see the temple burn with all its priests inside. As she finds her footing in this new world, Elli uncovers devastating new information about the Kupari magic, those who wield it, and the prophecy that foretold her destiny. Torn between the love she has for her people and her growing loyalty to the banished, Elli struggles to understand the true role she was meant to play. But as war looms, she must align with the right side—before the kingdom and its magic are completely destroyed.
Sarah Fine is the author of Of Metal and Wishes, Of Dreams and Rust, The Impostor Queen, The Cursed Queen, The True Queen, and The Guards of the Shadowlands series. She was born on the West Coast, raised in the Midwest, and is now firmly entrenched on the East Coast. When she’s not writing, she’s working as a child psychologist. Visit her at SarahFineBooks.com.
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (January 5, 2016)
Length: 432 pages
Grades: 7 and up
Ages: 12 - 99
Lexile ® 800L
The Lexile reading levels have been certified by the Lexile developer, MetaMetrics®
"Fine's portrayals of fire and ice magic are scorching and chilling...Full of passion, fire, and ice. "
– Kirkus Reviews
"Readers will find conspiracy, magic, war, romance, prophecy, corruption, and the truth that there are multiple sides to every story. Stay tuned for a sequel. VERDICT Recommend to readers who enjoy magical fantasy with a little romance mixed in—especially to fans of Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen."
– School Library Journal
“Readers who love unique world building and magic will embrace this story easily, but the qualities of bravery, love, and devotion will extend its appeal even further.”
"Elli's quest is absorbing, the story well-paced, and the world and its magic intriguing."
– Publishers Weekly
“Fans of Rae Carson’s books and Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen will find much to love in Fine’s engrossing novel.”
“Sarah Fine presents a fresh and fascinating magical world with its own rules and rituals, riveting action and relationships (and a sequel-worthy ending),featuring a protagonist who grows in wisdom, compassion, and self-awareness.”
– School Library Journal, "Magic, Dastardly Villains, and Less-Than-Perfect Heroes"