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April 2, 2014

Review: The Ring and The Crown by Melissa de la Cruz with Giveaway #RingandtheCrown

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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.

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The Ring and The Crown (The Ring and the Crown #1)
by Melissa de la Cruz
Publication Date:  April 1, 2014
Publisher:   Disney-Hyperion

Available for Purchase:
Chapter-Indigo|amazon|B&N|kobo|TBD|indiebound

[youtube_sc url=”http://youtu.be/XeqBgUglvao” color=”white” autohide=”1″]

** This title was provided to us by the Publisher for an honest review.
We were in no way paid for our opinions **

Gabby-2013I’ve been a huge fan of Melissa De La Cruz ever since I read her Blue Bloods novels way back when I had just started getting into YA. Getting to read The Ring and the Crown was something I was seriously excited about and I couldn’t wait to get started. It sounded so mysterious. Royalty. Historical fiction. Some fantasy elements? A really beautiful cover? Count me in.

The Ring and the Crown has over five different main characters who all benefit the main plot. First there’s the Princess Marie-Victoria and Aelwyn. Princess Marie-Victoria is Queen Eleanor’s daughter who is expected to wed so that the Franco-British Empire can continue to thrive. But Marie doesn’t want to marry Prince Leopold, not when her heart has been stolen away by a boy she can never be with.

Aelwyn is the bastard daughter of the Merlin who has left behind her home to serve the Crown. Re-united with her childhood friend Princess Marie, the two girls quickly fall into a plot for the lives they desire that will involve Aelwyn’s magical abilities. If the girls are caught, however, they will be accused of treason and no doubt punished with the utmost severity.

At the same time an American woman named Ronan Aster has gone overseas to London to attend the Ball du Drap D’or. While on her way to the city she meets, and falls in love, with a man she meets on the boat. A man who she believes she will never see again after their little fling. A man named Wolf who she doesn’t know is the Prince Leopold’s relative who could easily marry Ronan into the rich, lavish life she desires.

Lastly there’s Isabelle of Orleans, Prince Leopold’s original fiancé and now his current lover. Isabelle’s strong emotions toward Leopold cloud her mind and drag her into an unwanted situation where Prince Leopold uses his manipulative ways to control her.

Right from the get-go I was already immersed in The Ring and the Crown. I was a bit nervous when I started reading because there was way more main characters than I had anticipated but De La Cruz does a fantastic job of keeping them from getting confusing. Every single one of the characters is different than the other and has their own subplot that coincides with the main storyline. For readers that want a novel that has a well-rounded story I’d point them in The Rig and the Crown’s direction.

My whole time reading I did like all of the different parallels between the characters and noticing the foreshadowing of how one event would impact the other. There is a bad guy in the novel (yay, bad guys!) and I don’t think anybody expects his identity or how much action comes into the novel nearing its e