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