“The Ring & The Crown” (Ring & The Crown #1) by Melissa De La Cruz (2014)
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Romance
Page Length: 384 pages (hardcover edition)
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. (Goodreads)
I liked the plot and historical setting of this novel. It’s a great balance of the aristocracy/ 1900s era mixed with elements of fantasy. Our two main characters come from two different worlds. One’s a princess and the other a sorcerer. The entire novel reminded me of “The Parent Trap” with magic as an added factor.
Once I started to read the novel I couldn’t put it down. The book is mostly a light read filled with lots of romance and drama (like a 1900s version of Gossip Girl). The pace of the story for the most part flowed pretty well until the ending. I won’t spoil it too much for you, but mainly there was a lot of finale plot twists mixed with action scenes and then bam! we get the ending and a mere two pages to sum up what happens to everyone. I was really disappointed, and while I was personally hoping for a fairy tale ending, instead the book ended more realistically.
Ending the review on a happier note, I loved the cover art design for the novel and it’s very eye-catching. I looked around online and saw that this novel is the first in a new series. So I’m looking forward to see if the story line from the first novel will be continued or if will be a completely new cast of characters.
A decent novel, but the ending is rushed. 4 out of 5 stars!