Title: The Ring and the Crown
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Younger Readers: sexual content, though fits within the standards of YA
Synopsis from Good Reads:
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 one rule that matters in Eleanor’s court: trust no one.
Fans of Melissa de la Cruz’s Blue Bloods series will enjoy this novel. Overall it is a fun read with each chapter alternating between characters the way that her other series did. The world of magic that de la Cruz creates is enjoyable and intriguing.
The entire reason I picked this book up was for the cover. It is absolutely beautiful with the bright colors and gorgeous design. Even the inside of the book is designed beautifully. I love having it added to my ever-growing collection of books. It looks great next to Rebel Belle and Love Letters to the Dead!
I did enjoy this book but I did not love it. There could have been considerably more detail and story building to make the book flow more easily. The various points of view were interesting at times but certain characters created a blocky feeling, pulling the reader out of the immersive experience intended in reading. Many other readers have voiced a dislike for the ending of the novel, saying that it ends too abruptly and could have easily been expanded at least 100 pages. I agree with this critique to a point but the ending did not bother me nearly as much as it did some others.
This story felt very finished at the end. It ended a bit like a stand-alone novel. However, the sequel The Queen and the Courtesan is expected to be published sometime this year.
About Adventures in Obsessive Reading
Ms. Winkle is an author and book blogger. Bleeding Heart is the first installment in her Guardian Chronicles series and her first novel. She has a BA in Anthropology from the University of Montana, an MA in International Security from the University of Arizona, and is currently working towards her Ph.D. in Political Science. When she isn’t studying she can usually be found with a dog and a book.
You can find more of her work on her blog at: http://obsessivereadingreviews.blogspot.com