In just a few days, Melissa de la Cruz’s brand new novel, The Ring and the Crown, will be hitting bookstores and I was lucky enough to receive a copy in the mail for review. Check out what I thought below!
The Ring and the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz
This review is based on an advanced reader’s copy given to me in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my review in the slightest, and everything said here is my honest opinion. Thank you Megan Beatie and Disney-Hyperion for the ARC.
Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy
Part of a Series?:
Not entirely sure. Its listed on GoodReads as The Ring and the Crown #1, but it wraps up like a standalone.
You May Like if You Liked:
The Seven Realms Series by Cinda Williams Chima,
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.
Melissa de la Cruz is definitely an author that has been on my radar but I haven’t had much of a chance to explore her books. I read Blue Bloods, and while I think it was incredibly well written, it wasn’t the book for me. I hadn’t even heard of this book, to be completely honest, until it was sent to me in the mail by Disney-Hyperion. I thought it sounded quite interesting so I knew that I had to dive into it.
I’m very glad that I did.
Its obvious from the start that Melissa is a fantastically talented writer. The way she effortlessly moves through her story is incredibly impressive. Its easy to accept the world that she has created because she makes it so believable in her writing. Its confusing at first because she jumps in so fast, and its hard to keep up with this complicated world that she has created. She creates this world of intrigue and gossip and mystery mixed with the politics of nobility and royalty and, just for fun, why not, then throws in magic. It reads like a scandalous gossip novel set in the intriguing world of royalty. Its beautiful.
I did feel like the characters lacked a bit of emotional depth that I usually love about characters. I did not find that I was attached to the characters, but more so the story that was building up. The only character I felt genuinely attached to was Wolf and that was because he felt the most real. True, he was cliche, as most of the characters felt. Marie, the princess, wanted a life of simplicity, away from the pressures of royal life. Aelwyn is the daughter of the Merlin, bred to serve but with a desire for power.
Wolf is the younger prince, not good enough, living under the shadow of his elder brother and rebelling at every turn. Very cliche like. However, I felt a sort of kinship with Wolf. No matter the cliche, those sort of feelings are quite real and familiar. It is not uncommon to feel that sort of desperation of living in someone’s impossible shadow, and yet having a fierce love and loyalty toward them. The way Wolf felt toward his brother, Leo, was so familiar to my own heart that it was incredible to read.
I do feel the story wrapped up quite quickly. I would have taken another book, or even extra fifty to hundred pages to really wrap up that ending.
But the story was addicting. It really read like a bunch of scandal stories. You know when you read Pride and Prejudice and they talk in giggles and whispers of the “scandalous” things that are going on behind closed doors. It kind of felt like that, with a mix of Gossip Girl in there. It’s hard to explain. Oh, like Reign! Have you watched Reign. Reign is basically a TV show that took a bit of history, completely changed it (which, as a former history major, drives me insane haha), and made it scandalous and sexy. That’s exactly how this book reads. Its sort of addicting, to see the dark and winding world of this court.
The Last Word
The Ring and the Crown is a book full of mystery, scandal, sex and lies, and magic and it reads beautifully due to Melissa’s incredible talent. While some of the character’s personalities fell a little flat to me, and I felt the ending wrapped a little too quickly for my taste, all in all, I felt that it was an incredible book. She’s a talented writer, with a gift for story-telling, and this is definitely a book to keep on your radar. It releases in bookstores on April 1st.
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