Happy Monday lovelies! Today I have something rather special for you. I was sent a copy of The Ring and The Crown by the wonderful ladies at Small Girls PR to review. I've ever been more excited to receive a book and this is my honest review. Expect gushing, fangirling and a little drooling.
Rating: 5 out of 5
Title: The Ring and The Crown
Author: Melissa De La Cruz
Publishing Date: April 1st 2014
Received from: Small Girls PR
Summary (via Goodreads)
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.
ReviewThere's no better feeling then when you find a book that you completely adore. This is one of my favorite books I've read this year! If J.K. Rowling and Philippa Gregory had a 382 page love child this would be it! It's rife with magic and enchantment while set in an historic context that will take you away to a whole other world. It's effortlessly written and is all out mesmerizing to read.
The Ring & The Crown tells the tail of the people attending the London Season in the early 20th century as Marie, the Princess of Wales prepares for her engagement to one Prince Leopold in order to secure pace between their two nations. But with Leo currently betrothed to another and Marie's heart already taken it's bound to be an interesting season indeed.
I was a little worried when picking up with book because I tend to have issues with female points of view's as they can come across a little winy and quite often the only real thought they have is 'why doesn't he love me?' But that is definitely not the case with this book! There are several different and interlocking love stories going on but all the women are strong minded and independent and give the men a run for their money.
We have Marie, the princess of Wales and heir to the British Thrown. Her childhood friend and sorceress Aelwyn. American beauty Rowan and French firehouse Isabel. All these wonderful leading ladies have vivid personalities and complicated love lives. Not a single one of them is dull or what they're meant to be. The Ring & The Crown follows them all as they have too choose between duty and their hearts. Friendship and protocol. And that's not even mentioning the boys!
SWOON ALERT - I'm going to start with Wolf. It's very rare you get a bad boy and a gentleman all rolled into one like you do here. He's cheeky and boisterous but has these romanticised ideas of what makes a relationship that is a rarity in this kind of setting. He's top of my fictional man crush list! There's also Gill and Louis to look out for, and a couple of villains that will make your skin crawl.
The ending was a full on information bomb! With one thing after another being thrown at you - I had a little trouble keeping up. It's not a hugely action packed novel but the end definitely made up for it. Although I would have maybe liked a little more fantasy as they bits we did get were really well written. Although say that the fact that it wasn't stuffed to the brim meant that you could take everything in. With so many different points of view you needed that time to really get to know everyone. If it had been any busier you wouldn't have felt for the characters, which would have made the events that unfolded towards the end of the book completely irrelevant.
As it is, I adored this book. Full stop end of story. I need more! As in a second book... now would be nice. This is one of those books that I intend to read again and again until I can quote it word for word. It's an enchanting world with vivid, loveable character's that will have you trolling your local book store for Melissa's other books. I highly recommend this and hope you love it as much as I did.
I think Melissa deserves one of these...
And one of these... I save Nathan for the very special ones.
**I received this book as an ARC from the Small Girls PR to read and review. This is a 100% honest review**
These are a few notes I made while reading The Ring & The Crown. All notes where made on my GoodReads page.
This is such a great book and there were a couple of lyric quotes at the beginning of each section so I thought it was only fitting to put together a little playlist to get this the book. It's all about GIRL POWER this one. Enjoy x