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The Essence

(The Pledge #2)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  7,835 ratings  ·  588 reviews
“Danger, dread, mystery, and romance” (Booklist) continue in the second book of The Pledge trilogy, as Charlie’s reign is under siege from the most unusual of enemies.

At the luminous conclusion of The Pledge, Charlaina defeated the tyrant Sabara and took her place as Queen of Ludania. But Charlie knows that Sabara has not disappeared: The evil queen’s Essence is fused to C
Hardcover, 341 pages
Published January 1st 2013 by Margaret K. McElderry
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Bethany (CozyLittleBookNook) The first one doesn’t, this one has one but it's not really a love triangle it more like the Host by Stephenie Meyer, it is but then it isn’t if you k…moreThe first one doesn’t, this one has one but it's not really a love triangle it more like the Host by Stephenie Meyer, it is but then it isn’t if you know what I mean. I can’t say about the third one because I have yet to read it.(less)
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Average rating 3.72  · 
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 ·  7,835 ratings  ·  588 reviews

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Hannah (jellicoereads)
Feb 16, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dystopia
They get on the train. They get off the train. They get on a horse. They get off the horse. They get on the boat. They get off the boat. They arrive at the castle. They leave the castle. They get back on the boat. They get back on the horse. They get back on the train.

Somebody tries to kill her repeatedly, but they're not very good.

Nothing else happens.

Seriously. I really wanted to enjoy this one, since I liked The Pledge, but I just couldn't do it. The romance was lacking, there was too much
Feb 05, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dystopian-sci-fi
I don't know....just didn't like it? ...more
The Essence was boring to me. I definitely wanted to just skim through everything because nothing was really holding my attention. Since it's the second book in this series, it definitely fell into the dreaded second book syndrome. I wish it didn't but I didn't really like it.

Charlie, the MC, just rubbed me the wrong way sometimes. Yeah, she wanted to be this strong and independent woman.. but she should've asked for help when she needed it. Her not asking frustrated the heck out of me. I get th
Sooo...this book was kinda boring, yeah? I feel like this is going to be one of those series that could have been told in 2 books instead of 3. Nothing really happened here except a whole lot of Charlie being naive and stupid.

Ladies, you can be a strong female and still ask for help when you need it! Strong does not mean ignoring everyone else because "I can do this on my own". No, strength comes in recognizing your weakness and let me tell you, Charlie was not strong.

Following the events of th
Najla Madwar

If you need some kind of proof that having an inexperienced eighteen-year old girl as a QUEEN with yet another eighteen-year old girl as The Commander of The Armed Forces is such a bad BAD idea then read The Essence, it's proof enough.
Jan 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Three Stars: A good middle book, but not much plot advancement.
Charlie is struggling to come to terms with her new duties as Queen of Ludania. She tires of everyone, even her best friends, referring to her as "Your Majesty". She longs sometimes for the return to the simplicity of her old life. Yet, she has risen to the occasion and taken a firm hold on the throne. With her rein, she intends to bring peace, prosperity and equality to her kingdom. No longer are the citizens divided by class and la
Jun 29, 2018 rated it liked it
It was definitely a good read but lacked a bit of what I loved from the first book.
Aanchal (Book Flame)
Mar 20, 2012 marked it as to-read
The cover is so gorgeous...I can't wait to read The Essence but 2013? such a long wait. I hope they change the date. ...more
Jessica (The Psychotic Nerd)
This and other reviews can be found on The Psychotic Nerd

This book was very different than the first book! I didn't like this as much as the first book, but this is still a very great read!

Charlie is now Queen of Ludania, after defeating Sabara, but Sabara isn't dead. Sabara is living inside Charlie's mind and Charlie has to fight her for control. Not only is it hard for her to fight Sabara and kept it a secret. Apparently, some of her people are very unhappy with her erasing the
Danielle (The Blonde Likes Books)
I definitely didn't like this one as much as I liked the first book. This one felt like it didn't need to be it's own book, and that it could have been combined with the final book. Ultimately, that made this one feel a little more dragged out than it needed to be. That said, it did have it's good moments, and I liked it overall. ...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Apr 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Christina (A Reader of Fictions) by: B
As anyone who has read my review of The Pledge knows, I was not a big fan. I had absolutely no intention of reading the sequel, but such are the joys of the Sadie Hawkins feature. Blythe wanted me to read this, so here we are. On the plus side, I didn't dislike The Essence the way I did The Pledge, largely due to the decrease in romance, but I still don't think this series is particularly impressive.

One part of The Essence is super cool, and that is Charlie's relationship to the queen she displa
an advance copy of this book was provided by Simon and Schuster through Goodreads


I vaguely remember reading the first book The Pledge. I looked back on what I said about it and my memory was jogged about how I didn't love it or hate it. I liked it enough to read the second one. I wish I didn't. I found myself screaming at this book all day. It's a shame that I had to bring in the new year reading this, it was exhausting.

The first book end
Jacqueline's Reads
Jul 12, 2012 rated it it was ok
2 Stars

One word to describe The Essence would be BORING or maybe ANNOYING. Book 2 picks up where book 1, The Pledge left off. Note, if you haven’t read book 1, I would suggest NOT reading this review. I remember liking The Pledge until the ending. When I found out Sabara was stuck in Carlaina (Charlie) in The Pledge I was 100% grossed out, regardless I still liked the characters and decided to continue with book 2, The Essence.

I don’t even know if there is a summary to The Essence, I would just
Warning: This review contains spoilers for The Pledge

And the streak of sequels that outshine their predecessors continues!

This time the streak is continued with, obviously, The Essence, sequel to The Pledge which, while I enjoyed overall, left me with mixed feelings. However, despite The Pledge leaving me with mixed feelings, I went into The Essence with high expectations after the conclusion of The Pledge, and I am thrilled to say that most if not all of those high expectations were met by the
Vaishnavee Suresh
Jan 06, 2012 rated it it was ok
Picking up a few months after The Pledge, we find that Charlie - I mean, Queen Charlaina - has settled in quite nicely into her new life, her transition from Charlie, the Vendor's daughter to Queen Charlaina going smoothly except for a few tiny bumps. But, is the road to a happy kingdom smooth? Or does a certain Queen and her past catch up with Charlie?

Starting, for a change, with the negatives.....Charlie had yet to become Queen Charlaina de Heyse. I've seen zero character development throughou
Avy  (Book Looney) ❄️
All right. Again, just like The Pledge, The Essence started off slow and a little frustrating. It took me a while to finish this one, but I did keep going (albeit slowly) because I really did want to see how it ended.

Charlie really pissed me off a few times, to be honest, and I felt like screaming at her too many times to count throughout this book. I mean, all she kept doing was digging a bigger hole for herself every few chapters.

The ending may have made me scream like a banshee, read chapte
Jan 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this. I'm not compleetly obsessed but it was a ncie fun read. The last 25% was actually pretty great.

Is it wrong that I'm liking Sabara more and more? I know she's the villain here but I just really like her. She's very determined and more than a little crazy. I Kinda like her more than Charlie.

I enjoyed book 1 more than this book but I'll probably still finish the series as it was an enjoyable read.
Jan 22, 2012 marked it as to-read
I can't believe I have to wait a year for this book!!! If Charlie and Max aren't together when it's all over I'll be very disappointed. ...more
Mar 10, 2012 marked it as to-read
I'm not sure whether I actually want to READ this or not, since I thought The Pledge would've been amazing as a standalone novel. Oh well, I dunno. I'll probably give it a shot anyway. ...more
Mar 29, 2013 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Before I read this I re-read The Pledge and honestly? I didn't like it as much as I remembered. The books are quite short, but the cliffhanger in the first book was good enough to get me to buy this one and to carry on with the series.
I did like this one. I mean there was a little more going on and kept you interested but I didn't get the rush of excitement or that connection with the book. I don't overly love the characters. I have had a complete turn around with this book as I remembered lovi
Anna Marie
Jan 12, 2014 rated it did not like it
You know it's bad when you get halfway thru and find yourself asking, "Can't we be done, like, now?"

In this second book in the 'The Pledge' series, Charlie is now queen. But she's not queen by herself - the queen who tried to take over her body is *IN* her body, with her. So the entire book is Charlie whining by day about how lousy she is at queening and how TIRED and BORED she is, and by night she has internal arguments with the ex-queen inside of her. As the ex-queen gets stronger and stronger
The Good

Sabara.  I love the internal struggle Charlie has with Sabara. Sabara's past is wildly interesting, but I wish there was more focus on her. I am hoping the final book will give more insight into the evil queen's past.
The terrorists.  Equality seems all well and good to most people, but every time huge changes happen in a government you are going to have at least a small group of people who don't want change and like things the way they are. The presence of terrorists in t
B L Jones
May 19, 2012 marked it as to-read
Well well, what can i say, a second book.....ah i hope this book is better than the first, its not like the first was particularly bad it just wasn't particularly GOOD either, and it defiantly wasn't amazing, unlike the cover which i WUV!

Ok things i would like (OR THAT I WOULD NOT LIKE) to see in this book are:

-Charlie has to GROW A PAIR and start making me believe in her as a person and a queen.

-DO NOT KILL ANGELINA, no this is not the hunger games, no sweet little sisters have to die please.

Nov 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
The sequel was okay. It didnt pull me in right away and i was a bit confused about what was going on for the first part as i had forgotten the events of the last book, so it took me a while to get into it.

Charlie is now queen but has the spirit of the old queen imprisoned in her body. The is quite a hard situation for her and i felt sorry for her. She seemed more or less the same to me in this book as the last one with no particular character development.

Max unfortunately who i did really like
Liked this but not as much as the first book, The Pledge. There was still that air of mystery that I enjoyed and the pacing is still on point, but I felt it was still disjointed. There was a bit more of the previous queen's back story which I enjoyed but I still didn't understand why she really wanted to stay. Was it truly for her love or was it for more for a selfish reason?

I found both Charlie and Sabarra's thoughts to be jarring and misplaced. Especially at the end.. Charlie changing or was t
Nina {ᴡᴏʀᴅs ᴀɴᴅ ᴡᴀᴛᴇʀ}
This took me a while to read. And while I enjoyed it, I guess, it took me a while to read therefore it didn't feel as good as it could have been. Again, the world building could have been done much better. Also, there was not enough Max in there at all, and too much Niko. Though considering Niko and Sabara's relationship it makes sense. Overall, the plot was interesting. While I liked Charlie, there were moments were I couldn't help but roll my eyes.
I totally wanted more Max and Charlie action.
Apr 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
MMM.. YUMMY COVER. ME LIKEY. Absolutely loved The Pledge #1--- the wait for this is going to be pure torture! ARGH.
Hylary Locsin
Mar 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
Originally posted on my blog: ! Check it out for more reviews!

Now that she is settling into her newfound role as the queen of Ludania, Charlie is struggling to cope with unrest in her troubled kingdom. The caste system that used to strictly divide the country by language has been abolished, and Charlie, Max and Brooklynn are trying to ensure that the transition to equality goes smoothly. Unfortunately, not everyone in Ludania is thrilled about what Charlie h
I really enjoyed the first book in Kimberly Derting's dystopian fantasy series and I've been looking forward to reading The Essence for a year now. I have to admit that it's been so long since I've read The Pledge that I was a little hazy on the finer details of what happened in the story, I knew I'd enjoyed it and I remembered the main plot but I had trouble remembering who all of the minor characters were and was a little worried that was going to reduce my enjoyment of the next book. That is ...more
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Challenge Corner: The Pledge Series (Starting at The Essence) by Kimberly Derting -> Starting May 2nd, 2018 1 2 Apr 28, 2018 12:37PM  
Audiobook? 4 13 Jan 08, 2014 09:22AM  
SO CLOSE!!!!!! 3 38 Dec 31, 2012 11:34PM  

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Kimberly is the author of the award-winning THE BODY FINDER series, THE PLEDGE, and THE TAKING trilogies. She is also the co-author of the popular "Loves Science" picture book series, featuring our favorite science-loving superstars Cece, Libby, and Vivi!

Her books have been translated into 15 languages, and both THE BODY FINDER and THE PLEDGE were YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults selections.


Other books in the series

The Pledge (3 books)
  • The Pledge (The Pledge, #1)
  • The Offering (The Pledge, #3)

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