The Ring and the Crown
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Series: The Ring and the Crown #1
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Release Date: April 1, 2014
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.
First Sentence: There are two of them, bent over their dolls.
I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for a honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.
Honestly, I had absolutely no intention to read The Ring and the Crown. Hearing about Melissa de la Cruz’s latest released book that’s out in stores, Frozen, and how terrible it was scared me off from reading all her other recent books. (Have I ever mentioned how I was a huge fan of Melissa de la Cruz’s middle school series, The Ashleys, when I was in middle school? Too bad the series was discontinued mid-way.) However, my friend convinced me to request an ARC of The Ring and the Crown from Disney-Hyperion because she read it and claimed it was soo good. In the end, I’m glad I did listen to my friend and request The Ring and the Crown from the publisher – The Ring and the Crown turned out to be a lot better than I expected.
As soon as I started The Ring and the Crown, I noticed this one thing: Melissa de la Cruz uses a lot of commas in her writing. I’ve read the first two pages of Frozen, Melissa de la Cruz’s earlier released book, and noticed this trend too. For example, instead of using the word “that” to connect two parts of a sentence, Melissa de la Cruz chooses to use a comma instead. Individually, this might not be annoying, but if grouped together into nearly 370 pages (which is about how many pages The Ring and the Crown has), it does become annoying. Thank goodness the comma usage in The Ring and the Crown is a lot better than the comma usage in Frozen, meaning that there was less use of commas in The Ring and the Crown.
But as I awake from sleep, I still do not know-
Which one of them is my daughter?
And which one is the traitor? (ARC xiv)
I have this one major problem (well, in my mind, it’s a major problem) with The Ring and the Crown; it “borrowed” character names from other books and shared some of the character’s traits. I don’t know how many of you guys have read Sherry Thomas’ The Burning Sky, but if you did, do you remember this person named Archer Fairfax? (I’m pretty sure you should since Archer Fairfax does play a very important role in The Burning Sky.) Well, guess what? There’s a Archie Fairfax in The Ring and the Crown. And that’s not all folks! I’m sure most of you have read The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer by now and met the hero of the second book in Scarlet, a street fighter named Wolf. Guess what character The Ring and the Crown has? That’s right, a guy named Wolf who is also a fighter. I had to put The Ring and the Crown down for awhile when I found out about that little tidbit because of all my Wolf (the one from Scarlet by Marissa Meyer) feels. I didn’t want to get my feelings mixed up between Melissa de la Cruz’s Wolf and Marissa Meyer’s Wolf. However, I’m reading an ARC so I thought things like names can change, but one of my friends received a finished copy of The Ring and the Crown and when I asked her, she told me that the names “Archie Fairfax” and “Wolf” stays the same. As of now, I’m going to side-eye The Ring and the Crown every time I look at it. If it wasn’t for the name “borrowing” problem, I would have given The Ring and the Crown 3.5 stars instead of just 3 stars.
“WOLF! WOLF! WOLF! WOLF!” They called him the Beast of Berlin, the Animal of the Black Forest, Lobo Loco in Spain, Le Loup Fou in Montreal; and tonight in New York City, he was the Mad Dog of the East. (ARC 42)
Unlike what the summary on Goodreads suggests, there are actually five main characters in The Ring and the Crown instead of just two. The Ring and the Crown is told from Marie, Aelwyn, Ronan, Isabelle, and Wolf’s point of views besides just Marie and Aelwyn’s like the Goodreads summary suggests. Each of the character’s stories are entertaining and they end up interacting with one another later on in the book.
The one word I’ll use to describe The Ring and the Crown is entertaining. The Ring and the Crown is full of drama. Don’t worry though, The Ring and the Crown isn’t full of annoying drama, but fun entertaining drama. There were plenty of shocking twists I didn’t see coming, use of magical powers, plus scandals! I don’t know about you, but I’m addicted to reading about scandals set in a historical period because it is just so much fun to read about scandals that have happened back then.
“Oh please, you can’t afford me…Because of my circumstances I must marry for money, and not for love. I might as well be one of those painted ladies in Amsterdam, with a red light over my head.” (ARC 144)
The ending of The Ring and the Crown was shocking, but a page later, Melissa de la Cruz decided to end the shocking part of the ending abruptly. Basically, the third to last page ruined the shocking ending by trying to sum up a few months worth of events instead of leaving us readers stunned and desperate for more. It would have been a lot better if the ending of The Ring and the Crown left us continuingly guessing, but nope, it didn’t. That ruined the “umph” effect the earlier ending gave me.
Do I recommend The Ring and the Crown? I’ll have to say yes, especially if you enjoy reading about scandals and romance set in a historical period. If you enjoy reading those kind of books like I do, you’ll definitely enjoy reading The Ring and the Crown.