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The Opal Mask #1

The Princess in the Opal Mask

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Every Fairy-Tale Ending Has a Price. . .

Orphaned as a child in the crumbling village of Tulan, Elara is determined to learn her true identity, even if it means wielding a dagger. Meanwhile, in Galandria's royal capital, Princess Wilha stands out as someone to either worship or fear. Though no one knows why the king has always made her conceal her face—including Wilha herself.

When an assassination attempt threatens the peace of neighboring kingdoms, Elara and Wilha are brought face to face . . . with a chance at claiming new identities. However, with dark revelations now surfacing, both girls will need to decide if brighter futures are worth the binding risks.

352 pages, Paperback

First published October 22, 2013

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About the author

Jenny Lundquist

7 books437 followers
Jenny Lundquist grew up in Huntington Beach, California, wearing glasses and wishing they had magic powers. They didn't, but they did help her earn a degree in intercultural studies at Biola University. Jenny has painted an orphanage in Mexico, taught English at a university in Russia, and hopes one day to write a book at a café in Paris. Jenny and her husband live in northern California with their two sons and Rambo, the world's whiniest cat.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 229 reviews
December 1, 2013
The stares are agony. People look at me, not as someone they may wish to know, but as a macabre curiosity, a freak that both intrigues and repulses them. Men hold their children tighter, fearing that the rumors may be true, and I have the power to harm their family. Beautiful women glare at me, feeling upstaged by the grandeur of my jewels and dress. The peasants worship or revile me, calling out their well wishes or ill will in equal measures.
None of them want to look past the Masked Princess’s costume and see the girl underneath.
Recommended for fans of Gail Carson Levine. This was a sweet little read, it feels more middle-grade than YA, despite the romance and the ages of the characters involved.

We have a princess and a pauper. There is nothing terribly original about this book, but it has well-written characters of different personalities to whom younger girls will be able to relate. They're rather tropey for the genre, but I have no complaints. For the most part, I enjoyed the main characters in this book, and the writing did a fantastic job of evocating the girls' emotions and very distinct dispositions. The weakness in this book lies in the main plot and the many dangling loose ends. I am not referring to a cliffhanger, I'm referring to the fact that people whom I felt are significant appear in the book, never to be seen again.

Summary: The book is narrated alternately by Wilha and Elara, in first-person POV.

Elara is an orphan girl. She has never known a home other than that of her cruel foster family; she has to deal with a somewhat-wicked foster sister, a cruel, insulting foster mom, and an indifferent foster father who spends much of his time either drunk or else drunk in a gambling house. She is street-smart, she is well-educated, determined to wrangle every bit of education from her stingy foster family as she can get. She is spirited, and she is self-sufficient, learning at an early age that life is going to be crappire unless she stands up for herself. She is bitter, with good reasons.

Princess Wilhamina (Wilha) is the epitome of a spoiled little rich girl, also with good reasons. Her mother died when she was young, leaving a grief-stricken father who is determined that no one shall ever see his daughter's face. She is to wear a mask at all time. There has nary been a single soul who has seen her face, and the one servant who has seen her has mysteriously disappeared from her service. As such, there is an air of mystery around her existence. There is a cult surrounding Wilha and her mask. There are whispers everywhere Wilha goes. She is feared. She is reviled. She is worshipped.

But really, Wilha is just a sad, lonely girl, without a single friend, whose very own servants think poorly of her, whose brother cares nothing for her existence, whose father doesn't even want to look upon her face.
I am left alone with the sinking fear that has been my constant companion.
Because if my own father refuses to look at me, there must be something horribly wrong with me.
Wilha is about to make an very much unwanted marriage to the heir of a rival country, Prince Stefan of Kyrenica. Elara has just been captured by the King's guards. They are about to meet. How are the two girls connected?
And then Lord Murcendor begins to tell me a tale so unbelievable, I have no doubt it is true.
Setting & Plot: Nothing groundbreaking. It is a standard middle grade fantasy without magic. I liked the background given on the history of Galandria. I liked the growing display of prejudice and hate between Galandria and Kyrenica. It was always evident that the countries were on the edge of a very tenuous peace, and the conflict between the country's peoples and their hatred and prejudice among each other were gradually shown throughout the book. Each of the citizens of one country have unbased prejudice against the others, thinking of them as little better than uncivilized savages, dogs, and murderers.

The plot itself, as well as the progression left a lot to be desired. There were a lot of very coincidental events leading to the discovery of information that I felt was too accidental to be true. It is not a good plot device to have crucial plans overheard by the same person repeatedly. I make a lot of concessions for the fact that this is a middle grade novel, but even for this genre, it should not be assumed that the reader is stupid.

The plot seemed too hurried in parts, and just unbelievable in others. There were plot lines that were never followed through, and as I mentioned earlier, people just disappeared from the book whom I thought were going to play a bigger role. There were rather insignificant loose ends, but they bothered me, mainly because this book is geared towards a younger audience, it should be simple, it should be uncomplicated, and it should not leave dangling strings of plots. I have different standards for different genres, ok?

I know this is the first in a series, but it doesn't excuse the fact that the book feels incomplete.

The Characters: By far, Elara is the best thing about this book. Elara is the kind of heroine I have always loved in my middle grade fantasies, and she completely delivered this book for me. She is not a wilting flower. She is strong, neither obstinate nor stubborn. Her acts of defiance are sneaky, rather than outrageous. She just wants to live a normal life, she doesn't give two cents about power or money.
“Would you?” he asks. “If the opal crown was being offered to you?”
“I would have refused him,” I say. “Galandria has done nothing for me. Let someone else rule this wretched kingdom.”
She is bitter, it's true, and it is completely forgivable. Elara has had a crap life, and I do not begrudge Elara her frustration and anger at the life she has been forced to live. Elara is also understandably angry about what she is forced to do, she is unwilling to participate in a deceit involving Wilha, a girl she sees as weak, spoiled, and spineless. But Elara is a survivor, and she will do what she needs to do to live another day. And she does it so well.

Elara is just so freaking awesome. I loved her wit, I love her intelligence, her ability to blend in and to make the best of a bad situation. Elara is never perfect, but she makes do with what she's been given, as always.

I had a much harder time sympathizing with Wilha. Elara sees the princess Wilha as weak, and I rather agree. Wilha is scared, shy, and the opposite of the outspoken Elara. Elara berates her so many times, and I found myself nodding in agreement. I loved this scene, where Elara lays the smack down on the weak Wilha for her inability to see herself as anything but a victim.
You cannot know what it was like, being forced to wear the mask.”
“Forced?” A sardonic smile twists at her lips. “So they held you down and strapped the mask to your face every day, is that it?”
“Well, no,” I say, frowning, “But—”
“Did they starve you? Threaten to throw you in the dungeon? Lock you in your chambers?”
“No, of course not. But there were so many rumors. Of my ugliness. Of a curse. Even some people in the palace believed them.”
“Some people are idiots,” [Elara] snaps. “So what? You’re not blind, and you own a mirror. Obviously you must have known there was nothing wrong with your face.”
And to further add to my dislike, at the first chance she's got, she completely ditches Elara and throws her to the wolves.

The Romance: DANGLING PLOT STRINGS. It's not so much a love triangle here, because random people just freaking (I'm doing so good in not using profanity in this review. Must. Not. Stop. Now.) disappear off the place of the earth. The romance was sweet, but it was like...what happened to the other guys? Yeah, I know I'm vague, but it can't be helped if I don't want to insert spoilers. This book's plot just frustrated me so much.

There is kissing, but the romance in this book is quite sweet and very appropriate for a teenaged audience. There is no insta-love. Relationships take time to grow. It is really, really sweet at times.
Of all the words in this world, love is the most powerful of them all. It’s a word I can’t say. Not yet, anyway.
Not until I know it comes from the deepest, most sincere place in my heart.
Overall: Not on the same par as other fantasy middle grade novels, but still highly enjoyable.
Profile Image for Tomoe Hotaru.
249 reviews854 followers
July 10, 2014
Just to get this out of the way: if what you want is a romance, with perhaps some sisterly competition of who-gets-the-prince, complete with your whole hair-pulling and mud-slinging routine, then walk away from this book.

I suppose that's one of the good things about The Princess in the Opal Mask; it could've gone down a catty, rage-inducing route, but it steered clear of it. The relationship between Wilha and Elara, albeit a little hostile from one side and understandably cold, was not a product of sibling rivalry or boy drama. Both characters had their distinct personalities, their own aspirations and expectations out of life, and of course, their own disappointments.
Wilha and Elara could not be any more different from each other, which different upbringing tends to do to people. This accounts for a lot of Elara's flaws: her hostility, resentment, and downright bitterness towards the world at large. In this aspect she was not a character I can find myself attached to. Like Cinderella, she was brought up by an "evil step-mother" and -- in Elara's case -- one step-sister. Unlike Disney's Cinderella, though, Elara has a bit of a "bite". She talks back. She's sly. While these are not the problems I had with her, combined with her overall attitude, she was not a character to be "sympathized" for or pitied.

That could be a good or bad thing I admit, but on my part, it proved the latter.

All the things I've mentioned above could've warranted three stars from me. But unfortunately my review doesn't end there. While I did not expect an adult-grade fantasy novel, starting this book I did expect it to be targeted towards a more Young-Adult category. However, this feels a lot more Middle-Grade than anything. That in itself is not a problem, but the dumbing down -- whether intentional or not -- certainly was.

1. Originality
Twins separated at birth, a girl with unknown parentage who turns out to be a princess ... ... these are tropes used far too often and far too casually in far too many fantasy novels out there.

Add to the boiling cauldron a mixture of Evil Step-Mother, Sheltered Princess, and Kingdoms at the Brink of War ... why, do you really need to read the book to figure out what happens?

2. Predictability
Certainly I did not find one single plot point that I didn't already foresee. The Princess falling for a commoner? The Twin falling for the Prince? and later taking the Princess' place?

This is as Middle Grade as it can get. The only way you can truly enjoy this as a five-star read is if you haven't read too many novels before, or can ignore story lines that have been used and re-used from the dawn of mankind.

I could definitely find more to criticize, but to give credit where it's due, the book did pick up towards the last quarter or so. While at first I did not sympathize nor particularly like Elara, I did grow to tolerate her and in the end gave her flaws a pass.
Wilha also grew as a character -- I think in the aspect of character growth, this book shows promise and I am sure many others will find more enjoyment in this novel than I did.

you can also read more reviews at my blog >>click click<<
Profile Image for Whitley Birks.
294 reviews355 followers
December 3, 2013
Read more reviews on my blog

I’d give Elara’s part of this book five stars, Wilhamina’s part three stars, and so the average comes out to four stars. The book was easy to get sucked into, in part thanks to the invisible and smooth writing, and I found myself eagerly reading it long past the point where I should have gone to bed. But as much as I enjoyed the plot overall, Wilha…just really didn’t do it for me. I read her parts the fastest just because I wanted to get through them.

Though I wouldn’t call anything in this book original, it’s still told well enough that if you enjoy low-fantasy novels, you’ll probably enjoy this one. It’s a solid offering and has all the things I love most: princesses, politics, and rebellions. I seriously do not care how many times I read about that as long as each offering is quality. I loved the history and the superstition that set up the plot of this book, I loved the arranged marriage angle, I loved the machinations, I loved all of that.

And I really loved Elara. She was tough and resourceful and determined, but at the same time her story was heartbreaking. There was a moment halfway through the book where Wilha tried to make nice with her, and you can kind of see the relationship they could have had, but Elara’s bitterness (as a result of her upbringing) get in the way. I almost wanted to cry for her, because the bad hand she’s been dealt meant she lost out on this great potential relationship. But at the same time, as a reader, I’m really glad the book didn’t smooth that over or make it too angsty. She walked a fine line there as a hardass character, and she did it well.

Wilha, on the other hand, was such a doormat. At first I didn’t care, because her characterization made sense and I was hoping to see her grow from that point. But she…didn’t. Instead, halfway through the novel, she just started doing stuff without rhyme or reason, for no point I could see besides moving the plot along. She simply didn’t have enough of a personality to provide a motivation for all the things she did, so she ended up feeling more like an authorial puppet than a complete character. She had potential, really, but it just…wasn’t handled well.

Even by the end of the book, Elara saved the day in every conceivable way, and Wilha…eh, she was there. But I did like the ending. It wrapped up the story enough to feel like a complete novel, but left enough loose ends to keep me interested in the sequel. (Which I will certainly be looking forward to.)
Profile Image for Books are TARDIS.
165 reviews49 followers
March 3, 2015
The plot at times appeared to be a bit too simplistic. Some of the events were just too convenient, like how some of the characters obtained a few key facts, the information just happened to fall into their lap, no effort required on their part. There were a lot of other things as well that went in favor of the protagonists way too easily . There were some side story lines that never fully came into play. These things took away from the story. Yet there were some factors and themes that made this an enjoyable read. Elara is the genuine article, her character holds true, given her life. Her survival instincts are very strong, she is jaded and distrustful, I really liked her and that is what kept me glued to the story. The bantering between her and the prince was very adorable. Wilha was not nearly as likeable or relate-able, but her character arc has the most promise for growth. There is no squabbling over the prince, love isn't the focus at all, which is great. The antagonistic feelings between Wilha and Elara make total sense. All in all, its a good light read.
Profile Image for Meaghan.
Author 1 book1 follower
August 5, 2013
I won this book as part of the Good Reads giveaways. This page turning story had me on the edge of my seat, waiting to see what would happen to the two main characters. A story swept up into the medieval world of Princesses and Princes, deceit, and a curse, there was romance, complicated relationships, hidden pasts, and tons of secrets. The mystery unraveled itself quite nicely, and left me eager for the next installment of Jenny Lundquist's next book. I will definitely keep this series on my watch list to read in the future, and so should you!
Profile Image for Hannah (The Curiouser & Curiouser).
480 reviews69 followers
October 28, 2013
*I won this book through Goodreads First Reads giveaway. In no way has this influenced my rating or opinion of this book.*


I know, right?

Now, there is a prince in this novel . . . though I’m not sure if you could call him charming. And there are other guys around, but this isn’t one of those YA fairytale novels where the girls fight over prince charming.

So Elara and Wilha are complete opposites. Where Elara can manipulate and tough through situations, Wilha hides behind her mask and is meek and kind of always frightened. But don’t worry, dear readers who want a kick butt heroine, Wilha changes pretty quickly and does some rash and unexpected things of her own.

Something I really loved about both girls: At one point or another, both of them discover that the guys they like (at the time) aren’t going to be with them, but neither of the girls do that annoying teenage girl thing where they mope around for the next one hundred pages of the book about how unfair life is.



Now, I’m not usually interested in the princess and prince thing in YA books, but I quite liked this one. Elara and Wilha are very likeable and both do rash and unexpected things at some point or another.

This book is just something new, to be honest.

If you like the whole mystical kingdom and secrets of the royal family kind of books, this one is for you. However, realize that this isn’t your normal prince charming kind of book. The prince? He’s not that nice at first, and Elara gives it to him straight. There was one scene where I really hated the guy, but he made up for it by the end of the book.

Oh, and the end? I thought I knew where each girl was going to end up. I thought this was one of those books where both girls where going to do “the right thing” and “go back where they belonged” like I’ve seen in so many other novels. But they didn’t. They did what they wanted, not what was expected of them, and I loved that. Honestly that was probably the highlight of the book for me.

Review can also be found here, where I also blog and fangirl about books: http://obsessivereads.wordpress.com/
Profile Image for The Captain.
1,096 reviews406 followers
September 17, 2017
Ahoy there me mateys! I have no idea where I first heard about this book but it sounded like a prince and pauper type story so it went onto the ports fer plunder list. I love those types of fairy tales and was excited to pick this one up. It turned out to be a fun romp that I read in one night.

There are two girls who eventually do switch places. The highlight of this book for me was Elara. She is feisty and determined. I particularly liked the way in which she interacted with her foster family in the beginning of the novel. The other girl, Princess Wilha, had her best moments in the second half of the book but overall seemed bland in comparison to Elara.

While this book was fast-paced, it does have lesser elements. Two in particular were the romances and the plot problems. The romances were mostly surface and not really developed in depth. I liked the guys involved. I just wish they didn’t feel so two dimensional. The plot was also clumsy. The reason for the princess wearing the mask seemed farfetched. A lot of the events seemed disjointed. So many improbable things just fall into place. Both main characters make odd choices that just seem to move the plot along. I would have liked a little more depth to the characters’ motivations. I also wish there had been more about the relationship between the two girls. Though I did not expect that ending at all which was fun.

Despite the flaws, I enjoyed it enough to read the sequel.

Check out me other reviews at https://thecaptainsquartersblog.wordp...
Profile Image for Jill Williamson.
Author 59 books1,444 followers
May 17, 2017
Picked up this book on the recommendation of a friend and was so pleasantly surprised to find that I couldn't put it down! Read it in two days. I liked both girls a great deal and wanted to find out how they were connected. Thrilled to find that book two is already out. I'm buying it now. I'm also excited to find another author who writes entertaining books I can let my thirteen-year-old read. My daughter will eat up this story.
Profile Image for Alyssa.
1,069 reviews842 followers
August 8, 2014
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

The Princess in the Opal Mask by Jenny Lundquist
Book One of The Princess in the Opal Mask series
Publisher: Running Press Kids
Publication Date: October 22, 2013
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Review copy sent by the publisher

Official Summary:

One Legend Determines the Fate of Two Lives

In the faraway village of Tulan, sixteen-year-old Elara has spent her entire life as a servant, trying to track down her real name. The name she was given before being orphaned. Meanwhile, in the kingdom of Galandria, Princess Wilhamina does not know why her father, the king, makes her wear a mask. Or why she is forbidden to ever show her face.

When a new peace treaty between Galandria and Kyrenica is threatened, Elara and Wilha are brought face to face. Told in alternating perspectives, this intricate fairytale pulls both girls toward secrets that have been locked away behind castle doors, while the fate of two opposing kingdoms rests squarely on their untrained shoulders.

What I Liked:

Oh, how I enjoyed this book! I hoped I would, because I like "high"/"epic" fantasy novels - it's one of my favorite genres. My expectations for this book weren't particularly high, but it was still really nice to be surprised. I'm so glad I got the chance to read this book! And to be on the tour.

This book is written in split point of views. Elara is the first of the two girls to be introduced, and then Wilha. Elara is a poor girl who lives on the mercy of a cruel woman and her family. The woman's husband is a drunk and a pushover - he lets his wife walk all over him. The woman is rude and disgusting and horrible to Elara, and only lets her live with them because of the money that the orphanage gives them, to take care of Elara.

The daughter, Serena, is the worst, in my opinion. She is snobby and selfish, and while she acts like she cares about Elara's welfare, she totally doesn't. Not to mention that she spirited away Elara's one best friend (Cordon), and the two of them (Cordon and Serena) decide to get married, when Cordon promised to marry Elara.

Yes, it might have been when they were children, but a promise is a promise, no matter what. In my culture, if you say you're going to do something, you had better do it, no excuses.

But anyway. The beginning was slow, because it was all about introducing Elara's life, and then introducing Wilha's life. Wilha is a bit spoiled, even though she suffers because she constantly has to wear a mask. Everyone thinks that she is cursed. But Wilha is such a puppet. She does whatever her family wants her to do, and doesn't fight back. She doesn't use her power, or fight for what she wants. Yet she is selfish, because she wouldn't have it any other way.

So, that's part one, and how I feel about part one. Part two deals with the two girls going to the land of Wilha's future husband. I'm not going to say more specifically, but I think you can guess the relationship between Wilha and Elara, and why they are both going to the kingdom. I knew right from reading the synopsis, who they were to each other.

The plot is AWESOME. It's very unique, considering most "high"/"epic" fantasy plots. It's focused around the mystery of the mask, of the two girls, and an impending war. In most fantasy novels, a war is a huge part of the overall plot of the series. I think we'll see more of that in book two.

Elara is my favorite of the two girls. She is assertive and controlled, deceptive yet soft. She and her new love interest (take that, Cordon) are the CUTEST. I really hope everything works out for the two of them, because I LOVE the two of them together.

I feel like Wilha was a terrible character - I just didn't like her. I could totally see things from her perspective, but that doesn't mean that I have to like her. See more about Wilha and her character development in the next section.

Love triangles... not really. I could see there being one in the future for Wilha, but I could care less. I really hope that Elara and her love interest stay together. KEEP THEM TOGETHER, MS. LUNDQUIST!

I liked this book.

What I Did Not Like:

I thought that the first part of the book was a bit slow. I'm good with slow - I can deal with it - but it still bothers me, when I'm trying to figure out what exactly is going on, and what should be happening. We're introduced to Elara's life first, and then Wilha's life.

In all honesty, the way the author constructed the story - with Elara being introduced first, and Elara being the poor girl, I sort of disliked Wilha. She is definitely too spoiled and puppet-like, beginning and end. In my opinion, her character development is extremely. Even at the end, she is selfish. She tries to tell herself that her entire life, she hasn't been selfish, but, um, she totally has been selfish.

I just don't like her. Elara and I are much more compatible - she's got more verve and spunk and a tiny bit of a temper, I suppose. But it's okay - I can live with Wilha in the story.

Would I Recommend It:

I most certainly would! I haven't read too many fantasy novels this year - "high"/"epic" fantasy - but this one is a great read! I was totally drawn in by the interesting situation with the masks, the two girls situation, and so on. I didn't think I would like this one as much as I did, but, I did!


4 stars. An excellent Young Adult fantasy read! I'm so glad I got a chance to read it. Even if you aren't a fan of fantasy, DEFINITELY check out this book! It's a refreshing and intriguing start to a spellbinding series!
Profile Image for Kara.
760 reviews
September 25, 2014

My Comments
Every Fairy-Tale Ending Has a Price. . . .I love this description and it fits this story SOOO well! What would you do if you found out your whole life was a lie? Elara has been raised by a foster family who has mistreated her and called her worthless every day. Other words they have used to describe her are unwanted. unlovable. hideous. However, Elara is a survivor and is constantly finding ways to take walks and find her own adventures. Little does she know that everything she has endured is about to change forever.

Wilha is the Masked Princess. Even her father has never seen her face and there are several rumors around the kingdom to explain this. The Masked Princess, according to the people, is both a curse and a blessing. Most people fear her thinking that if they accidentally see her face they will be cursed and die. Others believe that one word from her will heal the sick and the ailing. She has no idea why, but she is always obedient, always wearing the mask and performing her duties as the princess of the kingdom. There are so many questions in her heart, but she isn’t allowed to speak freely to anyone. She longs for romance from Patric, the man who is training her to sword fight, and she confesses her strange dreams to her guardian, Lord Murcendor. Wilha will also learn that there are traitors in her midst.

One day Elara finds out that things have changed between her and her best friend, Cordon. In her attempt to run away and follow the crowd, an assassination attempt is made on the royal family and the next thing Elara knows, she must make a decision that will change her destiny and the destiny of Princess Wilha.

The title of this book and the plot strongly reminded me of the movie, The Man in the Iron Mask. I think it’s PG-13, but it’s a musketeer movie with a corrupt king who has a secret twin brother that his parents didn’t know about. Leonardo DiCaprio plays both brothers. It’s not a kid’s movie, but a great story.

There are two things I can say about this book with certainty, there is NOTHING typical about this princess story and there is NO way to predict what will happen next. My one hope for this story didn’t happen (I realllly wanted the two girls to become a family and work together against the bad guys), but alas everything does work out beautifully despite this one point not happening. The two girls do help one another indirectly for the sake of peace in both kingdoms, but they do so separately as they each find what path they should take for themselves.

How do I say this without giving anything away? Princess Wilha’s mom has passed away, but I truly disagree with how her parents handled the situation. King Fennrick is absent from most of the plot and even though he does his best by Princess Wilha, he has very little involvement in what goes on. Wilha and Elara have no family protection, no security, and they are being lied to. That’s the part of the story I had the most trouble with. However, the way it’s written, I understand why this happens. Throughout the book, both girls are in danger and must figure out who they can trust along the way. Halfway through the book, I realized that the opposing kingdom was not the real enemy and was glad how things turned out with them.

I didn’t fully understand the reason for the mask until the end of the book. Either the king was really negligent with his family or he trusted the wrong men as his advisors and guardians while they created division in his kingdom. Either way, the mask creates a prison of its own while Wilha dutifully wears it. It doesn’t just block her perspective/view, it causes distance so that she can never really get close to anyone. In a way, this mask does help the kingdom and bring mystery to the princess, but it’s not worth the cost.

Elara is conflicted throughout most of the book once she agrees to the bargain she is offered, but I kept hoping she would change her mind because she does SUCH a great job on her part. I was VERY satisfied with what she chooses. It was awesome how both girls find their way on THEIR terms. I was also amazed by their hearts. No matter how they have been wronged, their ultimate motive is to bring peace to the land and avoid the two kingdoms going to war. They both take large risks to achieve this goal.

I absolutely love the cover of this book and it’s a great story overall. This book is in 3 parts and is told by both Elara and Wilha's perspective. I think book lovers that enjoy mystery, intrigue, betrayal, families with secrets, royalty, romance, and feisty characters will really enjoy this book. Neither girl ends up with the guy she hoped for, but I truly believe they get a much better ending than either one could anticipate and they both decide to leave a better legacy then they were left with. That’s what a dangerous adventure will do, it gives you the choice of finding a better destiny and of leaving behind the place you thought would be your only home.

I want to thank Jenny Lundquist for posting on facebook the chance to review this book. I also want to thank Running Press/Teens Edition for sending me the review copy. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, I really wanted a beautiful mask to wear after reading this!
Profile Image for Jamie Coudeville.
1,163 reviews59 followers
May 3, 2020
This book really surprised me. I hadn't heard much buzz about it, it is 7 years old and it has been on my to read list for quite some time. I had a hard time putting it down. I loved both of the main characters, though Wilha took a minute to warm up to. This book had a couple of tropes that I really enjoy. I already started the sequel.
Profile Image for claridge | booknomnom.
236 reviews14 followers
January 15, 2014
The Princess in the Opal Mask is the first book of 2014 that have me filled with so much anticipation. This book thrums with potential and every page esnares the reader with the perfect blend of mystery and mystique. (And what an apt adjective that is. Mystique.)

The Princess in the Opal Mask is about an orphan placed in the care of an abusive foster family in the fictional town of Tulan, in the southwestern portion of the Galandrian country. At first, it had the make up of yet another Cinderella story set in yet another period piece. The problem with this type of story is it loses its magic right after the few initial chapters, and succumbs to a downward pull in the story line. And I don't blame gravity for those failures.

If one is observant enough, there are enough clues in the beginning to arouse suspicion and it is there where the story deviates from the rest of the Cinderella-wannabe's.

To be honest, one of the strongest points this story has to offer is the politics behind the court. It has always been a weakness of mine, reading historical stories of the English and Spanish courts, and what always sinks me is the intricate yet elegant world of court politics. The Princess in the Opal Mask simmers with all these diplomatic pretenses, and the very fact that the story happened thru one of their kingdom's biggest deceit really, really intrigues me.

The world building is also spectacular. This is one of those books which proves that it doesn't have to be so elaborate. There is complexity in the simplicity of a world that is strong in its foundations. This one really stuck with its foundations. Because really, what most fantasy writers don't realize is that not everyone can sustain a stamina to build a world similar to the Wizarding World. People, keep it simple. If it grows, then make sure the roots are strong. Do not force the branches to grow out of the budding plant. Let it take root.

The romance part of this story - and here I will degenerate into a simpering fangirl - is really sweet. Although it is a little predictable. I am hoping that both Stefan and Elara grow into more complex characters individually and as a couple.

Speaking of growing into more complex characters, I really love the slow character development of the twins. They've both wanted things that are not presented to them by circumstances, and at the end, the one horrible thing became the chance that they were seeking. It is kind of cheap shot - I mean, it is still considered escaping. But right now, at this point in the story, I will reserve my judgement. I just hope that whatever is in store for the following books is enough to encompass a change that will span their whole realm. Because what happened in this world is just the spark. And that spark has a huge potential for change. Gears are already turning. I just hope that the books sustains its initial velocity.

I keep on watching out for the magical turn of events, but so far none of the Deus ex machina types have jumped off and derailed the story. I really, really hope that whatever mystical explanation - if there would be - would not cause this story's descent.

I just have so much hope for this book! It's been so long since I've read a fantasy book that has a refreshing take on things. (After The Girl with Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson, which incidentally is what comes to my mind when I was reading this. Maybe because they're both such wonderfully written, and written in almost the same tone.)
Profile Image for Nicole.
1,406 reviews122 followers
August 15, 2014
I am on some sort of a fantasy kick right now. I don't usually do fantasy. I have problems with name pronunciation and feeling like I can't get my footing in this strange world. That wasn't as hard here. In this book, it was all about princesses and I can completely understand princesses. I really enjoyed getting into this book. I fell in love with this cover when I first saw it so getting it at ALA was a treat.

So this book...I really enjoyed the story and the Parent Trap type plot, but I was often frustrated by pausing to sound out some names. Not a big deal, but it is one of the biggest reasons that I avoid fantasy. Once I was able to get past the names, I found myself wanting to pull the book out constantly. I wanted to see what decisions that Wilha and Elara were going to make and how this was going to impact their lives.

I liked that they twins weren't too opposite, and that they had some similarities. I want to say that their main differences were that they had different upbringings and that made one of hard and indifferent and the other one a weak woman who needed to find who she was. I actually liked how they slowly discovered who they were meant to be.

As I learned about Wilha, I couldn't imagine what it would be like wearing a mask all day. I would understand why she was so submissive after having been forced to wear the mask her whole life not knowing if it was because she was cursed or just very very ugly. I think I would have had the same reaction that Elara did to it.

I really enjoyed this book and the background story of with the Opals, and I cannot wait to see what the next book holds. When I initially picked this book up at ALA13, I was intrigued by the plot and the cover, but I was under the impression that this book was simply a stand alone, but finding out that it is part of a series, at the very least, a two book series is wonderful.

Be sure to stop by later today to check out my interview with the author!
Profile Image for Monica.
387 reviews85 followers
September 5, 2014
I found this novel to be very engaging. It had some surprising elements to the plot even though the underlying themes of the book were fairytale cliches (unknown parents, hidden identities, twins who switch places, ect.) I found it interesting that the novel took place in a fantasy setting, but did not contain any other fantastical elements. It is set in a world without magic, but the fairytale tone of the novel and Lundquist's writing made the reader feel as if she was reading a traditional fantasy novel.

The two POV characters could be frustrating and immature at times, but they both grow throughout the novel. I did not like the main secondary character, and I would have enjoyed the story a bit more if Lundquist had made him a bit more of a sympathetic character from the start (He is originally an antagonist, but by the end of the book becomes one of the POV's love interests despite little growth as a character).

Overall, I enjoyed the novel, and it to be a fun and fast paced story. I will definitely be reading the second novel in the series when it becomes available.
Profile Image for Teresa.
699 reviews
November 1, 2013
I just loved this and having to wait til Fall 2014 to read the second one is not cool. While I was reading this I really didn't want to put the book down. Elara and Wilha are both going on such interesting journeys, but geez I wish there'd been a bit more communication between the two.. maybe next book.
Profile Image for Araseli.
140 reviews49 followers
October 10, 2014
I enjoyed this book it was fun and cute. It's a retelling of the prince and the pauper but with a princess.
Profile Image for Rosemarie.
219 reviews30 followers
April 23, 2017
A book that has the words 'princess' AND 'mask' in the title is going to get my attention in a big way - and "The Princess in the Opal Mask" did not disappoint. Like a Mardi Gras celebration, it has all the mystery, romance and intrigue that its title evokes.

The two main characters are identical twins, Wilha and Elara, who were separated at birth. Wilha grew up as The Masked Princess of Galandria, made to wear a mask all her life and NEVER told why. As a result, all sorts of rumors and superstitions have evolved around her - some believe she has the power to curse you if you look at her face, others think the mask is simply because she is unusually ugly. The true reason is none of those things, but Wilha has had to live with being stared at and feared all her life.

There is a history in Galandria of twins committing treacherous acts against each other in order to claim the throne for themselves. As a result, the birth of twins was seen as a bad thing for the kingdom, and a solution was agreed on soon after the birth of the princesses.

Elara was given to a family to be raised as a commoner - and she has been treated horribly by her adopted mother who only keeps her because of the money the family is paid to look after her.

Initially, the story has echoes of the traditional tale of the Prince and the Pauper. In that story, I believe the prince and his look-a-like agree to chance places. But here it is much more complex. Elara and Wilha do end up changing places, but it's not because they want to. They are not really even friends.

Elara is very mean to Wilha and that is the only part of the story that I didn't really understand. Wilha wants to get to know the sister she never knew she had, but Elara is too busy being angry at the King for giving her up. She has a right to be angry, of course, but Wilha had nothing to do with his decision.

Elara sees Wilha as having lived a privileged life because she grew up in the palace. But it was obvious to me that Wilha had her own problems, being forced to cover her face for her whole life and live with the rumors and superstitions - not even knowing herself what is 'wrong' with her. That's a terrible way to live and I find it hard to say who got the worse end of the King's 'solution' to the problem of having twins.

The masks themselves are beautiful. I love masks and this kingdom is full of them. People who support The Masked Princess wear masks as a kind of cosplay. There are masked balls too and I loved that part. The kingdom is known for its opals and the stones are used to decorate everything from masks and clothing to buildings and the streets themselves.

Wilha is betrothed to the prince of Kyrencia, a neighboring kingdom, to prevent a war. Kyrencians and Galandrians hate each other, and the tensions between the two kingdoms create problems for Wilha and Elara and lead to the opportunity to trade places.

When Elara is pretending to be Wilha, she comes to realize that it isn't so easy to be The Masked Princess.

Wilha, in a surprising turn of events, comes to realize that perhaps Elara is better suited to BE The Masked Princess! Elara has a bolder personality, and instinctively takes action that prevents a horrible event that would likely have led to the war her marriage is supposed to prevent. Additionally, after a rocky start, Elara has even managed to hit it off with the prince that Wilha is betrothed to.

Meanwhile, Wilha has found happiness and meaning in a simple life in town using her outstanding sewing skills.

The story is very well written. I loved how it flowed easily between Wilha's and Elara's points of view. We seamlessly travel between events inside the palace, and then see how they are viewed from outside, in the town. It was wonderfully told and I loved every minute of the story! I was thrilled to realize that there is a sequel to this book: The Opal Crown. I can't wait to see what happens to these two fascinating princesses.
Profile Image for Celeste_pewter.
593 reviews147 followers
October 22, 2013
Two-second recap: The Princess in the Opal Mask is a sparkling tale that harkens back to great fantasy/adventure stories like The Man in the Iron Mask and The Prince and the Pauper.

Two girls, both on the cusp of adulthood, will come-of-age and learn more about themselves in Jenny Lundquist's first YA novel.


Full review:

I'm a big fan of Jenny Lundquist's MG books - e.g. Seeing Cinderella. They're innovative, fun to read and educational at the same time.

So when I found out that she had written a YA novel set in a fantasy location, my reaction was something along the lines of: SIGN ME UP/TAKE MY MONEY.


Fortunately for me, Running Press Kids kindly set me an ARC, and I was immediately immersed by the beautiful world that Lundquist had created. It's a beautiful and intriguing one, where two girls will challenge their fates, take on obstacles that they could have never imagined, and find out their true strengths.


Things that worked:

* The characterizations

One of my biggest issues with dual-narration novels, is the fact that too often, the two main characters sound exactly alike. There's not enough to differentiate between the two of them.

This is not the case with Princess in the Opal Mask. Lundquist has given Elara and Wilha two very distinctive voices and personalities. She establishes their back stories very early on, and uses those foundations to explain why they've developed the personalities that they have. From beginning to end, Lundquist also does a fantastic job of showing how their own personal obstacles, ambitions and journeys eventually lead them on the path of transitioning from being a teenager into an adult.

Without giving away too much of the story, I think that readers will absolutely be able to relate to both girls equally. Even though their personalities are fairly distinctive, readers should be able to see a little of themselves in both girls.

As for the secondary characters, they rounded out the cast perfectly. Yes, someone of them occasionally veered into typical fantasy molds, but Lundquist's writing is so enjoyable, you don't notice at all.

* The plotting

The book opens with a prologue on the origins of the a legend in the kingdom of Galandria, which sets the tone for the novel perfectly.

From then on out, Lundquist beautifully balances both the day-to-day lives of Elara and Wilha, with the more explosive moments and revelations. I could easily feel the boredom of Wilha, as she struggled to understand why she had to live a life half-hidden, or the anger of Elara, as she tried to struggle with the difficulties of her life.

The plotting and the pacing was so superb, I actually didn't anticipate one of the book's many plot twists- and that's normally something I would have seen from miles away.

* The writing/world-building

With this novel, Lundquist absolutely proves that she has the skill and versatility to write for multiple audiences. The dialogue was true to the age, true to the world, and wholly believable.

Same goes for the world-building. I would argue that one of the most difficult aspects of writing fantasy is writing a believable world with your own elements, and Lundquist does that here in spades.

* The lack of the romantic angle

While romance is hinted at in the book, it doesn't play a significant part. I loved this - this book is clearly the coming-of-age journey of two very different young women, and romance shouldn't play a significant part in self-discovery.


Things that didn't work:

My one very, very minor quibble with the book is that early on, a certain character gets upset with another character, for reasons that are completely out of the second character's hands.

I'm not a big fan of the "I'm mad at you because I love you" trope that happens all-too-often in literature, so I was a little annoyed with this character for a couple of pages.

However, this is a personal preference, so don't let it bug you. I also think the second character responded to the situation beautifully, and proves later that she has grown in leaps and bounds from that moment.


Final verdict: Lundquist's first YA novel is a clear throwback to the classic YA books that I grew up with. Fans of The Narnian Chronicles or The Dark Materials trilogy, will absolutely feel at home with The Princess in the Opal Mask.

I highly recommend this book for fans of fantasy books, but also for fans who are looking for something different beyond their typical YA book. Read this. You won't regret it.


Disclaimer: I received a copy of The Princess in the Opal Mask from Running Press, in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

Profile Image for Alicia.
71 reviews50 followers
July 12, 2018
I feel like this book just needed more...
Profile Image for KC.
408 reviews
December 17, 2020
A fun, fast read about twins separated at birth. Predictable but a fun adventure. I love reading young adult and rags to riches story lines.
Profile Image for vicky..
386 reviews158 followers
September 9, 2014

Brace yourselves, a long review is coming
Also, spoilers from the whole book.

I liked the book, I did. It’s a cool retelling of The Prince and The Pauper, but there were two major plot holes that I just can’t ignore.

We have Elara and Wilha. Wilha is a princess who always wears opal masks, although she doesn’t know why and Elara is an orphan. The first part of the book was amazing, we get to know the girls, wonder why on earth one of them had to wear masks even since she was born (only a few people ever seen her face) and if the other was going to survive her poor life.

Despite being a princess Wilha is not spoiled at all, she’s just very unhappy and lonely. Elara is a BAMF and I supported her during the whole book. You go, girl, you deserved all the good stuff in life.

Then the second part came and everything went to shit.

Turns out, they are twins separated at birth. The king kept Wilha and gave Elara away because (listen to this):

“The last time twins were born to the ruling Galandrian monarch was a century ago, with the birth of Rowan and Aislinn Andewyn. No one could have foreseen that Aislinn Andewyn—the Great Betrayer—would become a bitter woman. Bitter enough to betray her own sister and cause the splitting of our kingdom. (…) But this time, the king had the advantage of his own family history. There was much unrest in Galandria in those days. Many feared revolution, just as they do now. And another set of twins could be seen as yet another premonition. Another split of a great and glorious kingdom by two heirs both bent on ruling.
The king feared, and the three of us agreed, that if the birth of twins was announced, factions would immediately develop, supporting one girl over another, with the likely result one day being civil war. And so, the decision was made: There would be only one child born that day. Only one recognized princess of Galandria. And if the queen could conceive another child, the princess was to be removed from the line of succession. With neither of the twins knowing about the existence of the other, and neither of them in line to rule, it was thought the kingdom would be safe.”


Seriously, if you didn’t wanted another kid you could’ve just kept her in the castle as a servant’s daughter of something like that. Wtf? Doesn’t make any sense.

Then the advisors tell Elara she will have to impersonificate Wilha for a week, just to see if the prince she’s going to marry is not evil or something. And I thought, Okay girl you do this and you are free. Elara is tough and I was sure she was going to accomplish the task, and in the meantime Wilha will be safe in the castle waiting. After all, they are doing all of this for her safety, right?


They came up with the idea of sending Elara as the princess and Wilha (get this) as her maid.

What the actual fuck!? I was so angry! If you want to keep her safe, who don’t you just leave her in the castle!? For god’s sake, you could just simply ask Elara (or her guards) at the end of the weekend if the prince was a mad psycho or not! No need to send Wilha!

God! Even remembering what happened makes me angry because it doesn’t make any sense at all sending the real princess there.

Then the plot twist came (I didn’t see it coming, I’ll admit that) and everything more or less improved. Elara was a total BAMF meanwhile Wilha turned out to be a complete idiot once she removed the mask (also, very selfish).
The ending seemed very very rushed. Like oh yeah I think I don’t like being a princess anymore so yeah Elara now you be The Masked Princess while I’m a hobo in a foreign country.

And there will be a second part but I dunno. I’m still mad.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Ellen.
299 reviews15 followers
December 22, 2013
Originally posted on The Canon! {http://canireadeverything.blogspot.co...}

There are so many reasons I fell in love with this book, but the biggest is that it has the magic that so many retellings lack: The Princess in the Opal Mask mixes the wonder of The Prince and the Pauper and the magic of Cinderella into one wonderful story.

The Princess in the Opal Mask is written in dual perspectives, focusing either on Elara, the orphaned child growing up as a servant to her host "family", or Wilha, the girl behind the Princess in the Opal Mask. Both characters are coming from a vastly different viewpoint: Elara sees Wilha and the royal family's excess wealth and sees the ability to feed hungry villages; Wilha only wants to discover the meaning behind her mask and it's heavy weight. I believed Elara's initial desire to find her family and discover her true name as much as I empathized with Wilha. I rarely connect to characters so quickly, but these two were so endearing.

I enjoyed that Lundquist didn't mind showing the harsher side of her two heroines; it kept the novel from floating off with all of the riches and magic. Elara's initial harshness towards Wilha is explained (quite well) in her side of the narrative, making it easy to understand each girl's viewpoint and to be caught up in the story.

Between Wilha and Elara, it was impossible not to fall in love with Elara's businesslike and unfiltered attitude regarding the legend surrounding the Opal Princess. She is clever, quick on her feet, and fascinating to read. For me, Elara definitely made this story. Wilha's sweetness is endearing, but she lacked the attitude of Elara. I saw that Lundquist is working on a sequel; I hope Wilha gets her moment to shine.

You've probably already noticed, but I loved the plot. I loved the mystique surrounding the Opal Princess, the magic of the setting and, most of all, each girl's struggle to gain their identity. Elara knows that her name was thrust upon her by the evil Mistress Ogden when she appeared on their doorstep; her deepest longing is to discover her family and the true given name she received from her parents. Wilha has a name, a family...on the surface, she has everything that Elara lacks. But Wilha has never been allowed to develop her own identity, her own personality. Everything has always been directed for her.

Everything in the world is against these two girls, and all I could do was hang on while they struggled to shake off these expectations.

Lundquist's use of the dual perspective really shines in this novel. Without the transition from narrator to narrator, the novel would have been jumbled and confusing. I loved being able to slide from one's mindset to the other.

The entire novel is written in this slippery-smooth manner, one that I barely notice I am actually reading. It felt like the entire story was playing out in my mind's eye instead of words on a page. Lundquist's writing made it easy to sink into the story.

The Princess in the Opal Mask is a struggle for identity. This novel has it all: magic, mystery, intrigue and romance. I'm hooked.
Profile Image for Amanda.
287 reviews
May 30, 2015
4.5 stars

I really enjoyed this book. I picked it up just before lunch time and was practically glued to it until I finished it in the afternoon. Then I promptly started into the sequel.

It was good.

Main question of the book: Why does the princess have to wear a mask all the time? The answer, apparently, is way more complicated than anyone expected.

Okay, so, let's talk characters. Annoyingly, I can't say much here without spoilers, so I'll put it simply: Elara was brave and fascinating and not-always-understanding. Wilha was fearful and sympathetic and usually wise (except, you know, when she decided to be selfish). Both of them annoyed me at times, but you know what? That's okay. Their flaws make them real, and their flaws made sense based on their backstory. As for the secondary characters, well...let's just say the love interest thing was, well, interesting. Spoilers seem inevitable, so let's have at it:

More character spoilers, this time relating to Elara and Wilha:

I liked how complicated everything became as a result of choices made by the king and queen of Galandria years before this book started, and even choices made over a century before. Because that's how life is. It's not an isolated chunk of time, it's connected with history.

I guessed most of the plot twists, but didn't mind too much, and I found most of the plot pretty unique, at least from what I've read. The only plot thing that bugged me was Wilha conveniently overhearing some important information that allowed her to "save the day."

Overall, I quite liked this book. I would say "looking forward to reading the sequel," but, ah, I kind of already have...
Profile Image for Krystle.
912 reviews335 followers
April 25, 2014
I haven't heard much about this book but I just loved the premise. The cover is gorgeous and you know how much we're all cover suckers. Shallow, yes, but who can resist a pretty face?

Not me and thankfully this book doesn't manage to let me down either!

Let's get this down and to the point.

The Princess in the Opal Mask was great. I wasn't so sure of the dual narratives that the author employed but it worked itself out in the end. I didn't know which character to root for in the beginning. The poor orphan who is being used as a wagon for money and pushed around at home as a servant to cater to the whims of the others, or the reticent princess who is never given her voice and has her life being dictated by others. I truly was conflicted over this until we find out their real personalities.

This book is pretty fast-paced with short chapters and swift, engaging prose that doesn't waste any space. The plot of this might seem pretty linear and predictable but it still kept me glued to the pages. Both characters shown in the end. Elara for her resilience, dedication, and loyalty, and well, Wilha comes true and does the right thing when matters count. It's really interesting how one character sticks true to her desires and wants in life, while the other assumes the role of another even though it's not something she wants but does it for the good of the kingdoms.

If you liked The False Princess, then you'll most likely enjoy this one as there are a lot of similarities.

Recommended and how can you pass up that cover? HOW?!
Profile Image for Cheryl.
5,256 reviews196 followers
October 21, 2013
Willa has known nothing of the world outside of the castle walls. It is not as easy or as glamorous as you would think it would be for a princess. Willa has no friends, she can no go anywhere alone, and the worse part is that she keeps her face hidden behind a mask. Willa does not know the reason for the mask only that ever since she was born, she has been hidden away from everyone by a mask.

Elana is the complete opposite of Willa. She is an orphan. She does not know where she came from and Elana is not her real name. The one thing that Elana desires is to know here real name and claim it.

A chance meeting and an assassination attempt gives the two girls a chance to switch roles and see how the other one lives.

I read this book was ease and savored every moment. Evertime I went to put this book down, I found myself gravating right back to it. There is not a lot of action in the sense that you are expecting from the assassination attempt as that does not happen until later in the book but I found the stories of Willa and Elara intriguing. My favorite of the two is Elara. She was stronger however by the end of the book Willa was finding her own voice and making a loud roar. I can not wait to read book two and see what happens next to Willa.

This book is like The Man in the Iron Mask. It is also kind of like The Prince and the Pauper. If you are looking for a new author to read than now is the time to check out Jenny Lundquist. This book would make a good movie or television series. The Princess in the Opal Mask is a gem of a read!
Profile Image for Amy.
2,628 reviews414 followers
May 3, 2016
Surprisingly good. Or perhaps I should say, not bad? I had extremely low expectations for The Princess in the Opal Mask. It didn't take much to rise above my assumptions. However, I was still pleasantly...well, not surprised but content with the book.
The story line is nothing new. Neither are the characters. The writing is pleasant but not remarkable. In fact, it is satisfying simply because it provides a light tale and goes no farther. There is romance without immense angst, danger without real drama. Villains are villainous and the two heroines find what they want most (a family...and a backbone.)
It is the story of the princess and the pauper. The plot unfolds as you would expect it. The only thing surprising is how foreseeable everything is.
But it isn't bad. I didn't get bored with the characters. It was light, and fun. Yeah, somewhat ridiculous. There are a million unanswered questions and some characters seem to drop out of the plot rather fast. However, the ending almost stands on its own, and I appreciate that. I would read the sequel if I come across it.
I recommend it as something light and clean, but not out of the ordinary or even worth it for serious fantasy/fairy tale lovers.
Profile Image for Nona.
2 reviews
February 10, 2014
Princess In The Opal Mask
By: Jenny Lundquist

When was the last time that you read a book, that made you ask so many questions you might explode? The Book is about Elara and Wilha Andewyn. This book is in 1st person but it has a unique way of switching the I voice between the two main characters. This book is a fantasy because it’s about two princesses who wanna find their life they’ve always longed for. Elara is a fostered 17 year old who lives with a family that all they see of her is a servant. When she gets a chance, she finds a whole new world she has to fit into. Wilha is a Andewyn Princess, surrounded by guards and walls. When she finds a way out of it.. will it change her life forever?

I would recommend this book to people who like a mystery about two girls going through a few problems together.. one in royalty and one a servant. But will it change? Jenny Lundquist did very well when she described the characters, sometimes I felt like I was friends with the characters. The theme of this book was Identity, because both girls try to find their true identity.

August 19, 2014
Goodness. Talk about a 180 degree turn. Sure. I didn't like Elara in the beginning (and the story jumped forward) but God I loved how the story just became better and better and I just couldn't let go of the book.
Of course mostly everything was predictable like ***** SPOILERS AHEAD*****

- how the squire turned out to be the crown prince
- how they came to fall in love


It was a great fairytale and I can ignore the fact that nobody explained WHY Travers or Lord Finley wanted Elara on the throne instead of Wilha (weird name, that) - I mean they're twins and it's not as if they know one to be better than the other.
Did I mention that I love fairytales???
I am swooning - just swooning. Give me more! I am craving more.

I kind of have to confess that I found some of the chapters with Wilha were a little tiny bit boring but some of them were not.

Great fairytale, so once upon a time I fell in love with it...
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