RELEASE : OCTOBER 7TH 2014
Queen of Someday should be named Sophie’s World, but then unfortunately there would be copyright issues. The story revolves around Sophie and Sophie’s quest to the throne, Sophie’s love life, Sophie’s family, Sophie’s insecurity,… Everything involving Sophie.
Sophie is fifteen years old and is on her way to become Catherine the Great from Russia. All she has to do is court Prince Peter. Easy right? Except Peter is very feeble and very wishy-washy about any kind of feelings for anyone - the boy is obviously traumatised from his past, but because it’s Sophie’s story, we never really find out why. All we know is that he likes to take a selection of girls back to his “chambers”.
If that wasn’t hard enough, two other very attractive Russian men come into the story: Sergei and Alexander. They work at the court and are supposed to prepare the German Sophie for her future role. Focus here is on “supposed to”.
Who will capture Sophie’s heart? Will she become ruler of Russia? (if you know anything about Russian history, you can already guess the answer to both these questions) And most importantly, will she do it before the reader gets tired of the attractive girls with an escort of lovers?
I started off reading this book having no idea that this was the story of Catherine the Great. I saw the similarities, but because the narrator is Sophie, I didn’t really make the connection until after her Russian baptism. This made the story even more exciting, since I couldn’t guess at all the outcome of the story.
However, knowing the historical facts, I adore what the author did with the story.
Sophie is not written as a ruthless killer queen nor as a delicate wallflower who gets sucked into a manipulative game by men. Sophie is at times very naive, but she’s also still so young. Dealing with the intrigues of the Russian court at the age of fifteen must be hard and Sherry D. Ficklin knows how to make the reader empathetic for Sophie. Yes, it is all about her, but if you relate to her the way that I did, then you won’t mind that one single bit. I wanted to know everything Sophie was feeling and doing and I loved the amount of detail the reader was told about the young princess.
I can imagine that some readers will be annoyed with the perfection of Sophie. Every man she meets falls for her and it seems like she can do no wrong. However, if you stick with the story, you’ll find out that beauty really isn’t everything. So just read enough, that’s my advice.
I had some serious hatred towards the mother of Sophie. She seemed unnecessarily cold and rude towards her daughter and really pushed her into the marriage “to save her family”. But after checking out Wikipedia (yes, my college professors can cry now) it turns out that her mother really was that way. So not much I can say about a character who was written historically accurate.
What I did dislike about the story was the depiction of Peter. As history tells, Peter and Catherine eventually turn against each other and one dies. So I understand the need to make Peter slowly into an antagonist in this story - it has to set the scene for the books to come. However, I really wanted more backstory from Peter. The moment he acts like an asshole, Sophie just accepts it. She never tries to really figure out why he is the way he is or even tries to fix him. She goes along in his sick games. I think a good sit-down between Sophie and Peter would have given the reader more insight into the Prince’s personality. And since the details of their relationship have never been recorded, it wouldn’t interfere with historical accuracy either.
But if the reader just accepts that this is Sophie’s story and all about her point of view, and realises that Sophie just has a personality in which she accepts a lot (probably her nativity again), then you can get carried away. The Russian court is described beautifully, there are many turns and twist in the plot (trust me - it’s not your regular love triangle story) and Sophie is a great character to connect to. We want her to succeed. To be happy. And Sherry D. Ficklin definitely made me happy when I read this book. 4.5 stars for an amazing take of an interesting historical event.