Review: The Ring and the Crown

The Ring and the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz

The Ring and the Crown (The Ring and the Crown, #1)

Publication date: April 1st 2014

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Number of pages: 384

Series: The Ring and the Crown (1#)

Genre: YA Fantasy/Historical Fiction

Source: Borrowed. This is my honest opinion.

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Goodreads synopsis:

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.

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Review:

A world of magic, politics and love where passions run high.

I’m not going to lie. I really didn’t have high expectations for this book. At all. The reviews I’d seen hadn’t been brilliant and I wasn’t a fan of the author’s ‘Blue Bloods’ series. Thankfully, I did like this one more than I thought. Otherwise that beautiful cover would completely have gone to waste.

I’d describe this book as following 4 main female characters (Marie-Victoria, Aelwyn, Isabella and Ronan) and one male, a man named Wolf. It was told in third person but narrated various scenes of the lives of the 5 characters listed above. I surprised myself to actually liking all the characters listed above (usually I’m pretty biased and find one point of view that I like most/least). But I was very interested in all their stories and really felt for them.

I love the way that Arthurian legends have highlighted so heavily in the story. There are mentions of characters like Merlin and Vivian and I really wish that there were more books that kind of showcased these legends. Being from a background rich in British and Celtic history, these legends have featured a lot in tales my parents used to tell me. Plus who couldn’t love BBC’s television adaption of Merlin. That actually has to be one of my favourite shows ever. Ever, ever, ever.

I also adored Melissa de la Cruz’s writing. Even though she was writing in third person, I never felt detached from the story. Her writing just kind of flows perfectly and is very easy to read. I got through this book very quickly and could easily have kept going.

While for my enjoyment level of the story I would rate the book 4/5 stars (or something like that) for most of the book, I feel like the ending and the story fell a bit flat over all. I feel like I was waiting for some big climax or some complication of sorts to happen. I don’t really feel as though much happened over the entire course of the novel. The story seemed to be more about who was falling in love with who.

Which left me feeling totally disappointed towards the end. I can’t really say much more without spoiling it but I decided to drop my rating because I felt a little cheated. Like everything that did happen in the story happened for nothing and it was pointless.

Although, I did appreciate the twists. Even if some of them made me a little bit frustrated.

And I loved the way it was kind of written as an alternative as to how history could have gone. I would love to read more books like that in YA.

The other thing is, we didn’t get to see much of the friendship particularly between Marie-Victoria and Aelwyn. I don’t feel like I really saw much closeness between them, only relied on what the author had shared about their past, which to be honest wasn’t that much.

I thought this review would be more positive but apparently now that I’m reflecting on it, things have changed. I probably won’t continue on with the trilogy. However, I actually did enjoy what I read, believe it or not. It was a nice, light read.

3/5 comets
The Earth shook. If they thought the Leaning Tower of Pisa was leaning before…

Add The Ring and the Crown to Goodreads

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Goodreads author bio:

Melissa de la CruzMelissa de la Cruz is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of many critically acclaimed and award-winning novels for teens including The Au Pairs series, the Blue Bloods series, the Ashleys series, the Angels on Sunset Boulevard series and the semi-autobiographical novel Fresh off the Boat.

Her books for adults include the novel Cat’s Meow, the anthology Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys and the tongue-in-chic handbooks How to Become Famous in Two Weeks or Less and The Fashionista Files: Adventures in Four-inch heels and Faux-Pas.

She has worked as a fashion and beauty editor and has written for many publications including The New York Times, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Allure, The San Francisco Chronicle, McSweeney’s, Teen Vogue, CosmoGirl! and Seventeen. She has also appeared as an expert on fashion, trends and fame for CNN, E! and FoxNews.

Melissa grew up in Manila and moved to San Francisco with her family, where she graduated high school salutatorian from The Convent of the Sacred Heart. She majored in art history and English at Columbia University (and minored in nightclubs and shopping!).

She now divides her time between New York and Los Angeles, where she lives in the Hollywood Hills with her husband and daughter.

Review: Legend

Legend by Marie Lu

Legend (Legend, #1)

Publication date: November 29th 2011

Publisher: Speak

Number of pages: 305

Series: Legend (1#)

Genre: YA Dystopian

Source: Gifted. This is my honest opinion.

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Goodreads synopsis:

From different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths…

Until June’s brother is murdered, and Day becomes the prime suspect.

In a shocking turn of events, the two uncover what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths to which their country will go to keep its secrets.

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Review:

What a Legend! Corny, I know.

But really, it was so. Good.

To be honest, the premise of the book didn’t grab me. It didn’t sound particularly unique and I have to say that that is the sort of thing that attracts me to a book. As much as I love good ol’ dystopians, Legend did sound a bit like your typical cookie cutter dystopians to me. Military warfare between hightech guys and the outsiders with a bit of plague thrown in. Where have I heard that before…?

But there was nothing NOT to love about Legend. I thought the story was pulled off really well. The world was vivid, the characters were great and I was never bored. Not once. In fact I couldn’t actually stop reading it was that good. I also have a tendency to skim when I read but I’m pretty I didn’t at all in Legend.

After finishing Legend, I’m pretty sure it’s the hardest it’s been so far to not start the sequel, Prodigy. But it was late at night and I was crazy tired, so I just had to refrain. It was just so good! There were twists everywhere and it was thrilling and exciting. At one point I actually gasped out loud. I never thought the author would make one particular event happen.

June was one great character. Day was another great character. Metias was a great character. Everyone were great characters. There were backstories for most of the characters and they were so well crafted, I just loved them all!

I absolutely must recommend the hardback edition. I have the boxset which comes with the trilogy and a little novella booklet. The texture of the dustjacket is so cool, a few words are printed in colour and Day’s point of view is written in gold! So pretty.

Would I recommend this? Would I recommend this? Pfffffffft I think you already know my answer. YES A THOUSAND TIMES OVER!

5/5 comets
Bye, bye Earth. Out of this world!

Add to Goodreads

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Goodreads author bio:

Marie LuI write young adult novels, and have a special love for dystopian books. Ironically, I was born in 1984. Before becoming a full-time writer, I was an Art Director at a video game company. Now I shuffle around at home and talk to myself a lot. 🙂

I graduated from the University of Southern California in ’06 and currently live in LA, where I spend my time stuck on the freeways.

 

Prodigy (Marie Lu) Inspired Outfit

Trendy Thursday 18#

The Rules:

  • You can make an outfit that can be worn in real life inspired by an character in a book you have recently read and reviewed. If not, you can just make an outift for any book.
  • Design an outfit you think they would wear.
  • Leave a comment down below with the link to your blog.
  • Post the Trendy Thursdays sticker on your blog (or make your own) with a link to my blog (Bookcomet).
  • Try to post something for each catergory.
  • Have fun!

This week’s book is…

Prodigy by Marie Lu!

Prodigy (Legend, #2)

Goodreads synopsis:

Injured and on the run, it has been seven days since June and Day barely escaped Los Angeles and the Republic with their lives. Day is believed dead having lost his own brother to an execution squad who thought they were assassinating him. June is now the Republic’s most wanted traitor. Desperate for help, they turn to the Patriots – a vigilante rebel group sworn to bring down the Republic. But can they trust them or have they unwittingly become pawns in the most terrifying of political games?

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Now this outfit is inspired by what June wears when she and Day are hiding in Las Vegas. Not a spoiler, don’t worry. I’ll try and keep it close to the descripton of her clothing.

Dress:

Hair: Fiery Red Braided Updo Hair Style

Makeup:

Nails:

Shoes: Knee Length Black Lace Boots

Accessories: (chains around waist and ankles), 

 (gold feathers in hair)

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*I do not claim ownership of any of the images used in this post. All were taken from Google Images except the book cover (Goodreads) and the Trendy Thursday button (me).