Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Book Review: The Ring and the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz

The Ring and the Crown
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Publisher:  Disney-Hyperion, 384 pages
Publication Date:  April 1, 2014

From Goodreads:
Princess Marie-Victoria, heir to the Lily Throne, and Aelwyn Myrddn, bastard daughter of the Mage of England, grew up together. But who will rule, and who will serve?

Quiet and gentle, Marie has never lived up to the ambitions of her mother, Queen Eleanor the Second, Supreme Ruler of the Franco-British Empire. With the help of her Head Merlin, Emrys, Eleanor has maintained her stranglehold on the world's only source of magic. She rules the most powerful empire the world has ever seen.

But even with the aid of Emrys' magic, Eleanor's extended lifespan is nearing its end. The princess must marry and produce an heir or the Empire will be vulnerable to its greatest enemy, Prussia. The two kingdoms must unite to end the war, and the only solution is a match between Marie and Prince Leopold VII, heir to the Prussian throne. But Marie has always loved Gill, her childhood friend and soldier of the Queen's Guard.

Together, Marie and Aelwyn, a powerful magician in her own right, come up with a plan. Aelwyn will take on Marie's face, allowing the princess to escape with Gill and live the quiet life she's always wanted. And Aelwyn will get what she's always dreamed of--the chance to rule. But the court intrigue and hunger for power in Lenoran England run deeper than anyone could imagine. In the end, there is only rule that matters in Eleanor's court: trust no one.


Review:
Fun, light and fluffy fantasy…until the end.  I really enjoyed this book, it had a wonderful cast of characters and an interesting alternate world where magic basically replaced technology (and America lost the war against England).  There are snippets about the world and the magic throughout the book that were just fascinating, and I wish there had been more.

It was definitely romance heavy, although there were themes of duty versus love.  You have Marie, the sickly princess who is engage to Leo, the Prussian prince who just won the war by using Pandora's box.  To ensure peace, they must marry.  But Marie is in love with Gill, her longtime friend and guard.  Then there's Aelwyn, the Merlin's daughter, who has just come back to the castle after being banished for four years.  She's actually always liked Leo.  There's Ronan, an American Astor who is broke and has to marry for money.  There's also Wolf, the younger brother of Leo, who just wants someone who loves him for himself (loved him!).  There's Isabelle, Leo's ex-fiance, who was cast aside because Leo has to marry Marie.  The plot of the novel revolves around the engagement and the season in London (parties parties parties).  The multiple POVs were well done and the book is fast-paced and so entertaining. I found myself smiling quite a bit.

And then…the ending.  All of the sudden, things get dark. Really dark. What happens to a couple of the characters…very unexpected.  It just didn't match the rest of the book. And the last few chapters felt completely rushed and I could barely wrap my head around all of the revelations (major info-dump), and the changes that were taking place for every single character.  It just came out of nowhere.  I also didn't like where everyone ended up, but I guess that's why it's the first book in a series (although in a way, everything was fairly well wrapped up).  


Posted by:  Pam

14 comments:

  1. Well, good to hear that it's not a cliffhanger! I like that it took a turn for dark though. You know me, I'm not a light fluffy person. I will definitely be reading this one. Great review!

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    1. I can't wait to hear what you think of it. I really enjoyed it, but the ending was so rushed and full of so much information. I'm not sure why the author chose to do it that way. I'm really interested in what happens next, though.

      Did you ever read Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz? I don't understand these authors that write series but start new ones before finishing. ~Pam

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  2. I've read a couple of reviews for this one, neither or which were very complementary, so I'm happy to here you enjoyed this for the most part. I'm almost always a fan of multiple POVs, so that isn't a deterrent, but I'm not looking to start any new series right now--especially if the ending takes such a dramatic turn. Great review!

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    1. I like multiple POVs as well, and that part was well done. I did enjoy the book except for the ending (especially how rushed it was and how much of an info-dump there was). ~Pam

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  3. I really want to read this one, just seems it has been a middle of the road book!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

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    1. I enjoyed it, but it wasn't one of my all time favorites. ~Pam

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  4. I have been seeing this one so much lately, I am really tempted to get this one for myself. I have to admit that I hate rushed endings though, and all the info dumping would probably get to me. I like the sound of the different POVs. Thanks for the review, will definitely be keeping an eye out for that one :)

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    1. Up to that point, I was really enjoying it. Basically, it was the last three chapters where all the info-dumping started and then the last chapter…so much happens, it was just overwhelming. ~Pam

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  5. Hmmm. I'm supposed to read this. I'm probably not going to like that ending...

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    1. Let me know what you think when you read it! ~Pam

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  6. I'm not sure about this one. I mean, I think I will like it, but I am not sure I will read it anytime soon. It doesn't particularly sound like anything new, if you know what I mean, and the fact that the ending was kind of a mess makes me hesitant.

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    1. I was enjoying it until the end. I haven't read her Blue Blood series, but I read Frozen and I really liked that book (why she started a new series is beyond me). ~Pam

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  7. Hmmm. I'm just not sure about this series yet. I have a copy of this and was all set to read it. But I don't know if I can take all the drama or this many couples in a light book. I'm going to wait and see where it goes before I invest. I think this author does never ending series, and I can't get involved in one of them...

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    1. There are definitely a lot of couples in this book. It was just so unexpected that the book turned dark when it was so light, which I was actually enjoying because it was different. There was politics and intrigue, but compared to most fantasies it was so upbeat and then…not so much. I am curious to see where this goes, but these series are driving me crazy!! I keep trying to stop starting any new ones and I just can't. :) ~Pam

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