Review of The Ring and the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz

The Ring and The CrownThe Ring and the Crown
by: Melissa de la Cruz
Release Date: April 1st 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Source: Hardcover provided by publisher for review

The publisher provided a coy of the finished copy in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:
star

Summary:
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.

My Thoughts:
I am so happy that Disney-Hyperion sent me a copy of The Ring and the Crown. I hadn’t added it to my read list until I received the beautiful, finished copy. I thought this book was so much fun to read and touched on some wonderful elements I loved (foremost realistic magic). I was easily swept into this alternative-history filled with intrigue, drama and societal schemes. Add in little tid-bits of Arthurian legend and you have a very happy reader.

This is my first de la Cruz book and so I wasn’t sure what to expect but I knew I loved the cover which was even more stunning in person. I love the whimsical head piece and colors which the designer/artist did a wonderful job using to express the general feel of the story. Don’t go into this one expecting action because this book was all about the people. Politics, marriage proposals and drama ensue as we journey through various point of views and events all from different perspectives. I loved the various POVs and became very connected to a few of the characters. All were memorable and brought something unique to the storyline.

Melissa de la Cruz’s writing was incredibly easy to read, fun and incorporated current societal norms with historical elements. She was able to give each of her characters their own unique voice, motives and though there are many point of views I was never confused on who I was reading.

Though the vast majority of The Ring and the Crown centers on dialog, character interactions and internal musing the pacing was fast and never boring. I was completely and utterly immersed into the dramas unfolding as the story progressed. My only complaint was in the last third of the novel things began to move too fast. The wheels were set in motion and events flew by. I wanted things to be dragged out more because, to me, the ending felt rushed.

Final Thoughts:
I was genuinely and wonderfully surprised by how enamored I was with this story and de la Cruz’s writing. If you are drawn to reading about aristocrat drama, realistic magic and alternative history sprinkled with Arthurian legend you should give this book a read.

The Ring and the Crown Book Trailer:

Comments

  1. says

    Well Kristen, I had been wondering about this book after reading some other positive reviews but yours really cemented my interest in reading it!
    I usually I’m not drawn into books that centre around personal dramas and political maneuvres, but this one sounds like so much fun, I’m ready to give it a try!
    Thanks for a great review, Kristen!

    • says

      I’ll be very curious to hear your thoughts on this one when you read it. It was a lot of fun but it did hit on some serious topics too. Very exciting to hear what you think.

  2. says

    Wow…that book trailer…usually I find them kind of tacky, but that one was quite intriguing. I really want to read this! (Yes, I say that about most books, but it’s always so true!) I got declined (I don’t live in the usa, dang it…or at least that’ what NetGalley told me was the reason) so I’m waiting until it comes out. I love the cover! I’m a bit worried that there’s not much action, because I loooove action-y stories. But still. Want this. 😉

    • says

      Aww, sad that you got declined. I wish the international bloggers got approved more often 🙁 I’m going to be curious what you think of this. I’ve not read any other reviews for it and now I want to go and see if I’m in line with what others are thinking. The action is only there for the last bit but it was still highly entertaining for me.

  3. says

    Hmmm. . . you know, Melissa De La Cruz’s books just don’t normally sound like my kind of thing, but this one sounds so different and has gotten so many positive reviews lately! I’ve been intrigued by the summary for a couple of months and learning that there’s lots of intrigue. And I’m glad you said it’s fast paced, because I think that might sway me to add this one to my TBR!

    • says

      I’ve not read anything from de la Cruz and didn’t have this one on my radar. I’d been sad had I skipped it because I found reading it a very enjoyable experience. It was a great palette cleanser for me.

  4. says

    I kept passing by this one because I read Frozen by this author and it didn’t blow me away — but that one was written with her husband, I believe — but then Disney Hyperion sent me a gorgeous finished copy and I said WTH. I haven’t started it yet, but after all of the recent reviews I’ve seen, I think I’ll definitely enjoy it, even if I’m not the biggest fan of so many perspectives. Glad you found this one so enjoyable, Kristen…gives me hope. 🙂

    • says

      I saw so many negative reviews of Frozen I decided early I wasn’t keen on reading this book. But, like you, Disney sent me the pretty HC and I ended up really enjoying it. I can’t wait to hear what you think Jen.

  5. says

    I was this book a couple time, I also think I saw it on Netgalley. Love your review, I will have to add it to my TBR list. Sounded interesting but wasn’t sure. Now I am excited to read it 🙂

    Thanks for sharing

  6. says

    I like this cover; but I do not really think that I will enjoy the book, hih :p but I’m glad you did 😀 It do sound interesting. Kind of. I think. But yeah. I’m happy you enjoyed it 🙂 Great review Kristen. <3 thank you for being honest and sharing 🙂

  7. says

    Haha, awesome! So I’m a bit conflicted on this one simply because I don’t know if those are things that I like or not D: I don’t know the last time I read a book with them all. I am excited to give it a try though, and as long as the writing is fast enough, I’m not too worried 😉

    • says

      I’ll be curious if you’ll like it or not. It has a lot of drama and character interactions. It was different than what I typically read so was a nice change of pace.

  8. says

    I’ve heard some really positive reviews about this book and how some people’s expectations were different than intended though in a good way. I really enjoyed Melissa’s Blue Blood series. So I’ll be interested to see what this one is like when I get around to it. Brilliant review Kristen! 🙂

  9. says

    I’ve never read a book by this author, although I know she and her husband have been writing together for years. I might give this one a try. I’m hearing pretty consistently good things….

  10. says

    So glad you loved this one. I really wanted to review it, but I couldn’t fit it in my schedule and had to skip it. Now I wish I had fit it in!

  11. says

    Ah, don’t you love it when you end up enjoying unsolicited copies?! The same thing happened to me. I didn’t ask for this, it wasn’t high on my radar, but then I ended up really enjoying it. I’m so glad you did, too! Lots of fun, and an interesting ending for sure.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

    • says

      I do! Best surprise to receive a book and end up loving it. I thought it was such a wonderfully fun read and was a great palette cleanser. The ending was unexpected for sure!

  12. says

    Hmm…I’ve liked some of the alternate history stories I’ve read, but I’m not sure whether the political intrigue and drama sound good. I’ll probably wait until this one hits the library and read the first chapter. Thanks for the fun review!

    • says

      I found this one to be a nice surprise but suggest the library if the summary doesn’t appeal to you. Curious to hear your thoughts when you do read it.

  13. says

    I was really surprised with The Ring and the Crown too! I was expecting not so good things with this one because of the negative things I’ve heard about Frozen, but The Ring and the Crown definitely surprised me! And indeed, The Ring and the Crown is definitely a fun book to read! :D<3

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