Monday, October 27, 2014

The Ring & The Crown



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Today’s post is on The Ring & The Crown by Melissa De La Cruz.  It is the first in her The Ring & 
The Crown  series. The it is 372 pages long and is published by Hyperion. The cover is a pinky-red 
with the title in black and a young woman at the bottom wearing a flower hat. The intended reader is 
someone who likes fantasy, Jane Austen like novels, and love triangles; older young adult and adult 
only. There is sex, talk of sex and rape, some violence and some strong language. The story is told 
from the third person perspective of the main character's moving from one to another chapter by 
chapter.  There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the dust jacket- Magic is power, and power is magic. Once they were inseparable, just two
little  girls playing games in a mighty castle. Now Princess Marie-Victoria, heir to the mightiest
empire in the world, and Aelwyn Myrddyn, a bastard mage, face vastly different futures.
Quiet and gentle, Marie has never lived up to the ambitions of her mother, Queen Eleanor the 
Second. 
With the help her Merlin, Eleanor has maintained a stranglehold on the world's only source of magic. 
While the enchanters faithfully serve the crown, the sun will never set on the Franco-British Empire.
As the annual London Season begins, the great and noble families across the globe flaunt their 
wealth and magic at parties, teas, and, of course, the lavish Bal du Drap d'Or, the Ball of the Gold 
Cloth.
But the talk of the season is Ronan Astor, a social-climbing American with only her dazzling beauty 
to recommend her. Ronan is determined to make a good match to save her family's position. But 
when she falls for a handsome rogue on the voyage over, her lofty plans are imperiled by her desires.
Meanwhile, Isabelle of Orleans, daughter of the displaced French royal family, finds herself cast 
aside by Leopold, heir to the Prussian crown, in favor of a political marriage to Marie-Victoria. 
Isabelle arrives in the city bent on reclaiming what is hers. But Marie doesn't even want Leopold- 
she has lost her heart to a boy a future queen would never be allowed to marry.
when Marie comes to Aelwyn, desperate to escape a life without love, the girls form a perilous plan 
to endangers now only the entire kingdom but the fate of the monarchy.

Review- This was a fun read. There is drama, love triangles, magic, and some surprising tough 
issues. Leopold is a bad guy. He treats women like his personal sex toys and no one dares to try and 
stop him. Marie-Victoria just wants to be loved and she knows that Leopold will only make her 
miserable. Aelwyn wants her father to trust her and she wants power. I could go on but I think that 
you get the idea. All the characters are on the edge of adulthood and they do not know what to do 
with their personal desires or how to handle others. The character's are interesting and the plot is 
solid. But the stronger themes are a bit of surprise. Isabelle has been raped by some of the men in her
life and she does not know it. Leopold has magic on him that makes people want to please him. So 
Isabelle thought she wanted to have sex with him until she is out of his power. In addition to having 
a cousin who is a rapist. Aelwyn has a similar experience. I was uncomfortable with those parts of 
the story but I think that you should be. Someone being raped or deceived into sex is something that 
people should be uncomfortable with. I think that De La Cruz handles it well. I will be reading the 
next book in the series to see where she is going with it.

I give this book a Four out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from 
my local library.