Cover Image: Once a Queen

Once a Queen

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Member Reviews

An amazing read for the beginners . Fourteen year old Eva spends her summer in her grandmother house . There takes place a mysterious event that makes rises of questions . Eva searches for the answers and dive into her family's history and the secrets that are hidden in the manner. She discovers another world with full of magic that makes her glitch. Will Eva ables to find the answer and in the mean time she develops a bond with Frankie , the grandson of the gardener.. Their bond is like a sunshine and it grows naturally .
I love everything in this book like the plot , the character develoment and the suspense, the hidden secrets and identity and everything.
It is a young adult book and the fantasy book and if you are a new reader and search for the magical books you should definitely read this.
Thank you Netgalley for sending me this ARC.

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Fourteen-year-old American Eva has come to England for summer vacation with a grandmother she has never met. While there, she sees something happening in the garden of the old English manor house that leaves her deeply unsettled. Eva is determined to uncover the truth, but the mystery only deepens as she begins to piece together the secrets of her grandmother's past and the reasoning behind the estrangement between her mother and grandmother.

While it took me a while to get into the novel, it seemed a bit slow in the beginning but once it started picking up I really started to enjoy the novel. Eva has come to England never knowing the grandmother or the reasoning behind the estrangement even her mother doesn't seem to be willing to divulge the information. In fact, it even seems like she has no desire to be there. As Eva begins to bond with the people around her, she starts to learn that everything is not all fairytale.

This book was a really fun read. I enjoyed the characters and the plotline, but I would have loved more of the other world. Short glimpses were really not enough for me to form an opinion about the world itself. Still, it worked I suppose for a first book. The main character was relatable and well-developed, and I appreciated that the secondary characters weren't just mere background people who blended into the tapestry of the storyline. No, they had personalities and stories to tell which is what I like about many secondary characters.

The pacing was also on point, keeping me engaged and wanting to know what would happen next. However, I couldn't help but feel like the book was missing something. Perhaps it was a certain depth in the world-building or more exploration of the magic system. I am going to surmise we will learn more with the next book so this gives us a lot to look forward to.

Final Thought:

Overall, I would recommend this book to fans of YA fantasy looking for a fun and easy read. While it may not be a groundbreaking novel in the world of "falling into another world", but it does set itself apart from the others.

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Base on folklore this multigenerational family home hold many secrets. No one is as pleasant ans sweet as they seem.... Specially if they came from the underworld.

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I honestly don’t know how to feel about this book. In someways, it was wonderful and engaging. In other ways, it felt very confused, and like it jumped around. The writing was great, although a little pretentious, which is understanding considering the subject matter. I definitely find myself curious about more books in the series and would be willing to read those to get a better handle on the author. I love the idea of this, but the execution felt a little flat for me.

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*3.5

Thank you NetGalley for allowing access to the e-arc. All the opinions and thoughts are all my own.

I really enjoyed this book. I thought that overall this was a well written story. The plot was very interesting from start to finish. It was hard for me to put the book down at times. The premise of the book is a young girl discovering about family secrets especially her grandmothers. Her mother and her go away to England for the summer to spend time with the grandmother. There is mystery, found family, and coming of age tropes all wrapped into one novel.

I had no idea that this was possibly going to become a series. I’m curious to see how the story continues. I highly would recommend this to anyone who would like a YA mystery with bits of Narnia influence and bits of Emily Wildes Encyclopedia of Faeries.

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I do not normally read fantasy tales but I love the author's book "The Year of Small Things" and wanted to read this latest creation. Sarah Arthur paints a good portrait of the main character as she experiences all of the emotions and confusion that a teen/young adult goes through. The elements of fantasy, mystery and magic blended well with the family and drama in the real world. Highly recommended. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.

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Once a Queen is a captivating young adult fantasy novel that skillfully intertwines family secrets, enigmatic manor houses, and portals to otherworldly realms. The author's storytelling effortlessly draws us into a web of intrigue and adventure, leaving us spellbound from beginning to end.

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The main word that comes to mind with this book is sweet. I really enjoyed reading about the fantastical secrets, developing friendships, and reparations to the familial relationships. As a teacher, I can see myself recommending this book to my students! I think it will really take off with a middle/high school audience. The main character's self-discovery, confusion around her family keeping secrets, and need for independence took me back to the time of being a young teenager. I think the author really nailed this book! I look forward to reading more from the author/publisher in the future!

I will also be posting a review to my Instagram account: @disassociatedbookgirl

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I loved this book. The author masterfully combined family drama, fantasy, mystery, and magical realism into a wonderful book. I loved the portal magic elements and this meshing of real world problems into this fantasy.. I couldn't put this book down, it drew me in start to finish!

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DNF @ 15%

I wonder if it is the book, or just me, but something about us just didn't mesh right. There were no glaring errors that I could (or paid enough attention to) spot, but this book was unable to hold my attention.

I might give it another try next year once it is released. Sometimes, I just need a break. As they say, distance makes the heart grow fonder.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for giving me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Thank you NetGalley and Sarah Arthur for providing me of the ARC.

Once a Queen follows 14-year-old Eva Joyce. Together with her mother she goes to her grandmother's manor in England during the summer where she finds family secrets and goes on magical adventures.

The books tells about fairytales I've never read before which made it more interesting than the 'classic fairytales'. I absolutely loved the mysterious vibes and the magical portals. Sometimes I struggled with the old English used in Ternival, but English isn't my mother tongue so that's a personal struggle. However I did fancy the language.

The relationships between the characters, the amazing world-building and beautiful storytelling made this book very pleasant to read.

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3.5 stars. A strong addition to the Problem of Susan microgenre.

What I liked:
- The relationship between Eva and Frankie seemed very realistic.
- The writing was balanced and fit the story really well.
- Carrick Hall's vibes are impeccable

What I didn't like:.
- Ternival didn't feel very unique to me. The name even sounds really close to Cair Paravel.
- It was also set in the 90s, but it didn't really come through. It could've been any time.

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This book gave me strong Alice in Wonderland vibes with hints of Peter Pan. I had a hard time following the clips of the tale at the beginning of the chapters, but not enough that I didn't understand the references. I felt that the bond between Frankie and Eva developed at an odd pace, but I like where they end up. Overall, this was a cute, magical read.

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Once a Queen is a portal fantasy. Or maybe it might be better said that it's a fantasy novel about Portal Fantasies. Our Protagonist, a young girl named Eva goes on a trip with her mother to England to visit her grandmother. (Her very rich grandmother who lives on an estate with extremely extravagant topiaries that tend to attract tourists.)

On arrival, it soon becomes apparent that Eva's mother and grandmother have a very strained relationship. It also becomes apparent that the entire estate is mildly to extremely obsessed with a portal fantasy novel from the 1940s called Ternival: Selected Tales. A book everyone seems to believe describes real events. The only person who doesn't believe seems to be Eva's grandmother. (Who it turns out is a queen of Ternival.)

Eva is drawn into the mysteries surrounding the state and her grandmother's emotional disturbance in relationship to Ternival with the reckless abandon of someone who should be more genre savvy than this. Arthur appears to be trying to combine the portal fantasy version of "sense of wonder and the call to adventure," with a narrative that is more genre savvy than the Protagonist. This results in a slightly awkward mish-mash of tones that made it difficult for me to get into the book. Once a Queen is and attempt to find an answer to "The Problem of Susan." (That is, Susan Pevensie from The Chronicles of Narnia and the "Problem" of how she was rejected by and rejects Narnia in turn.) It is also a story about the effects of generational trauma on later generations. This story is an interesting attempt to work with these themes.

The only problems I had with the book is that the character "voice" of Eva felt off to me. Eva is supposed to be a teenager early in the story, but her actions, mode of speech and behavior does not seem very much like a "teenager" at all. (This is fine, it can be very hard to write children and young adult characters. I am just very picky if something is a little off.) Another minor issue is that the setting did not feel like the 90s, which is the decade the book is supposed to have been set in.

This book review is based on a galley copy obtained via NetGalley.

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I received this book for free from Net Galley and the publisher in return for an honest review. Thank you.

What would you do if you found out your grandmother had traveled to a fabulous, mythical land? That she was a queen there? How would you react?

It's a compelling idea. You would have so many questions. And wouldn't you want to explore that magical land for yourself?

Unfortunately, I didn't feel this book lived up to the premise. It was super slow. It was 3/4 of the book before anything happened. It just kept bringing up question after question, and so many secrets, but no answers until the book was almost done. I almost gave up several times. It really wasn't for me.

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Thanks to NetGalley for the digital preview of the book.
"Once a Queen" is a charming and fairy tale fantasy story young adult. It follows Eva, a 14-year-old girl, who unexpectedly spends her summer in her grandmother’s grand manor in England. Here, however, strange and bizarre things happen and as she reveals the secrets of the family hidden in the manor, she also discovers a world of magic and fairy tales that could be truer than she could have ever imagined.
While Eva seeks answers, she forms close ties with the elderly housekeeper, gardener, and gardener’s grandson, Frankie. These characters add depth and warmth to the narrative, guiding Eva in her quest to discover the truth about her family and the enchanting world that once existed.
One of the novel’s strengths is the exploration of themes such as family relationships, pain and the transition from childhood to adolescence. Eva’s journey is not only a search for answers about her grandmother’s past, but also a training tale while she is struggling with the idea of growing up and leaving behind the fairy tales and magic of her childhood.
In conclusion, it is a very pleasant and quick to read book. If you like magic stories, family secrets, coming-of-age novels and don’t want to read an overly challenging book or complicated worldbuilding, this is the perfect book for you!

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Once a Queen is a great coming of age story for those in the young YA category. Clean content, no romance, no language, yet full of mystery, and has slight parallelism to that of Narnia. This story is rife with magic, loss, bonds of family, with wonderful symbolism. The brief histories throughout this story is interesting, however, I found them to be a little bit distracting.

This also at times lacked to hold my attention. I think it's because its geared toward the younger YA audience, that it fell a bit flat for me, as I am a 25 year-old woman. But, I think plenty of entry-level YA readers would be interested in this. I would undoubtedly feel comfortable with my children reading this story, and would feel comfortable even recommending this to upper middle grade readers.

I personally wish there was more character development for Eva. I think she needs more. She is a great and curious heroine, who wishes to uncover the mysteries/secrets of her family. But, she felt a bit two dimensional to me. I wanted to FEEL connected to her, and I lacked that.

Now for my age, I would rate this lower. 3 stars. But, for the age group of the heroine, who is 14. I give this 4 stars.

I love the cover!

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"Once a Queen" was unexpected, but in a delightful way.

A fairytale is woven throughout the book, an excerpt between each chapter. But then you realize that the real story may be contained within the fairytale after all…

There's an English manor house with intricate tapestries and numerous paintings portraying dryads and a large white stag. A walled garden with larger-than-life topiaries. And it all seems to come alive in the moonlight.

The cast of characters includes an English grandmother, a scholarly mother, and an American girl who is just wondering if all will ever be made right.

"Once a Queen" reminds me of The Chronicles of Narnia, in all the best ways. Not that it's attempting to imitate, but more in the sense that the author loved Lewis and was inspired by his work and that of other great storytellers. Looking forward to the next in this YA fantasy series!

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what a fun and cute and exciting read!! this really kept my attention and it was just so much fun! there were parts that made me think and made me laugh and made me cry. this has it all!!

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I really wanted to love this book, but unfortunately found I just couldn't connect with the writing style. The world building was good and I always enjoy learning about magical lands, but unfortunately the book just missed the mark for me.

Thank you to the publisher for providing a review copy

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