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The Ring and the Crown

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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.

384 pages, Hardcover

First published April 1, 2014

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About the author

Melissa de la Cruz

120 books14.9k followers
Melissa de la Cruz is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of many critically acclaimed and award-winning novels for teens including The Au Pairs series, the Blue Bloods series, the Ashleys series, the Angels on Sunset Boulevard series and the semi-autobiographical novel Fresh off the Boat.

Her books for adults include the novel Cat’s Meow, the anthology Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys and the tongue-in-chic handbooks How to Become Famous in Two Weeks or Less and The Fashionista Files: Adventures in Four-inch heels and Faux-Pas.

She has worked as a fashion and beauty editor and has written for many publications including The New York Times, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Allure, The San Francisco Chronicle, McSweeney’s, Teen Vogue, CosmoGirl! and Seventeen. She has also appeared as an expert on fashion, trends and fame for CNN, E! and FoxNews.

Melissa grew up in Manila and moved to San Francisco with her family, where she graduated high school salutatorian from The Convent of the Sacred Heart. She majored in art history and English at Columbia University (and minored in nightclubs and shopping!).

She now divides her time between New York and Los Angeles, where she lives in the Hollywood Hills with her husband and daughter.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 993 reviews
April 5, 2014
Relationship chart.

I'm sorry for that chart. I'm pretty good with charts and graphs and stuff, but Microsoft PowerPoint has failed me this time. Why? I tried so many templates, but there simply wasn't a premade chart adequate enough to draw out the entire fucked up chain of relationship in this book. So there you have it. My brilliant hand made relationship chart. Yay me.

This isn't the story of two girls, one Princess, one Magician. It's a book about really, really horny teenagers who fuck all the fucking time. And it's not the sexy kind of screwing, it's "Oh god why am I doing this I hate myself, this is so wrong because my virginity should be a precious thing to be saved for my husband but whatever #YOLO BITCHES!" kind of fucking.

It's the story told from the POVs of *takes a deep breath* Marie-Victoria, Aelwyn, Wolfgang, Ronan, and Isabelle. And that's just some of the main cast. *facepalm* Thankfully, it wasn't hard to differentiate between the, 5? 10? Whatever.

I wouldn't even have minded if there had been a relevant plot. It seems like 90% of the way through, the author realized, "Oh, shit, we're in a magical world, we need to have a plot besides a bunch of oversexed teens. BAM! INSTANT CONSPIRACY. The end."


If you've read Cruz's Blue Blood series, you'll know what to expect. Romance, romance, and more romance. Love triangles, love squares, love dodecahedrons. Just be thankful there's no twincest in this book. But then again, it's only the first installment, so we'll see what comes next. To be honest, I wouldn't mind twincest, because the soap opera element is the only thing that made this book worth reading. This book may be set in a magical alternate universe of the US/UK/Europe, but there was no fucking point to the magic.

For 90% of the book, magic was all but nonexistent, to be honest, it made for a pretty setting where you can use magical jewelry and use spells to color your hair and that's pretty much all there fucking is to it.

It's a fast read, I'll tell you that.

The Summary: It's circa 1900. We are in an alternate universe of our world, where magic is prevalent, where Merlin exists, and where the current ruler of the Franco-British Empire (long story) is Queen Eleanor. She is 150 years old. That magical universe thing? Just forget about it. It's almost completely irrelevant. What's more important is the luuuuuuuurve!
Two girls.
One beautiful and strong.
One plain and powerless.
Only one shall be queen…
And the other shall serve her.
Marie-Victoria : It is plain (no pun intended), that the plain girl is Marie-Victoria. The 17-year old daughter of Queen Eleanor, Marie's the epitome of all the stereotypes about British monarchy. Which is to say, she's as plain as pudding, she's pale, she's sickly, she's a fucking pussy scared of her own shadow (or rather, her mother's), and she's perceived to be a spoiled brat.
Marie was starting to be a bit of an embarrassment to the whole court. The princess, instead of acting like a girl on the cusp of a great romance—awaiting the appearance of her soon-to-be-beloved—was sulking around the palace, holed up in her room, eating sweets and not speaking to anyone.
Marie is sick, she's got a tuberculosis-like wasting disease, she's had to wear leg braces her whole life, among other things. Man, inbreeding sucks balls.

Long live Kate Middleton! Fresh blood, whoo!

Marie is going to marry Prince Leopold. Golden, handsome, PERFECT Prince Leopold. Everyone loves Prince Leopold. Except for Marie. Why? Well, he's handsome and all, but Marie is really *sigh* in love with her guard, the man who saved her life...the valiant, the handsome, the strong...Gill. Yes, gill, like that part of a fish. Blurble blurble.

So what's a girl to do?! Marry Leopold and save the peace of her kingdom?!
The peace of the empire depended on her taking the Prussian prince as her bridegroom. The sooner she accepted her fate, the easier her life would be.
Or will she...follow her heart! Dun dun duuuuuuuuuuun!

Aelwynn :
When she was a child, she’d always wanted what was the princess’s. Even at seventeen years old, it was a hard habit to break.
The daughter of Merlin. Yes, THAT Merlin. Apparently he's a person, and he's been alive for 1000 years, and his sister is Viviane, the Lady of the Lake. Sucks for him, he's got a rebellious daughter who got herself sent away to magical rehab, and after 4 years she's come back. Honestly, there was no point to Aelwynn to this story because she does fucking nothing besides act as Marie's magical accomplice whenever Marie needs a magical fucking makeover. All Aelwynn does is get jealous of everything Marie has. There was no point to her character at all, otherwise.

Ronan : Welcome to the United States! That's right, we're crossing the Atlantic Ocean now. For some fucking reason, we're now follow Ronan Elizabeth Astor's story. She's from the famous Astor family, only it's a not-very-well-kept secret to New York society that their family is fucking broke because daddy Astor has a habit of making terrible investments. Therefore, what's a girl to do? Well, save the family. Ronan is going to Europe, in hopes of making a good match -> ka-ching! There's no shame in money-hunting and social climbing, especially when you've got Ronan's golden fair beauty. And Ronan plans to aim high in her quest for a husband.
Ronan was nothing if not ambitious.She would be married at the end of the London Season—and she determined right then and there that she would make not just a good match, but the best match; perhaps even catch the eye of the Kronprinz of Prussia himself.
Ronan was nothing if not ambitious.
But as we know, fate doesn't always work the way we intended to. Mistaken identities occur! A reference to Wuthering Heights will come into play! How fast will her clothes come off?!

Wolfgang : Oh, a guy! Yay! Wolfgang is the younger brother to PRINZSTSZE LEOPOLD *spittles* Those Germanic accents, I tell you. Not the golden boy like his brother, Wolfgang is a gentle soul, destined to a life as a glorified "sheep farmer." He's not like his brother, he's not!
Unlike his vaunted older brother, he had no taste for womanizing, no desire to father a litter of bastards. He vowed that once he was married he would never take a mistress.
Wolf, the Beast of Berlin, was more Labrador than fox when it came to the ladies.
See?! He's a gentleman! Leopold screws anything with a hole, but Wolfgang he's so nice! Until 5 minutes after we meet him, he suggests a game of strip billiards with a girl he barely knows.
He had just proposed they play a game where they take their clothes off.
Oh. That type of gentleman. -_-

Isabelle : It sucks balls to be Isabelle. It sucks more because she's been sucking PRINCZSZST LEOPOLD's balls, because now the motherfucker has gone and gotten engaged to another girl. He was his first, really! Isabelle and Leopold had been engaged, she a lovely French royal, he a handsome Prussian prince. It was love at first sight, they were to marry. Until Leopold threw her over for the whey-faced Marie. And they're still fucking. And it's so wrong. But they're still fucking. And it's the most painful, awkward fucking ever.
Leo leaned over and kissed her again, and now he was on top of her, kissing her again, and she wriggled underneath him, and found she was crying. She was crying without making a sound, the tears streaming down her face as he kissed her, just like the first time, when she had been unable to ask him to stop.
What do you even call crying while fucking? Fuckrying? Cryfucking? Honestly, craughing sounds like so much more fun than this.

So there you have it. The complicated love life of 5 (and more!) teenagers.
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,993 reviews298k followers
March 7, 2014

Fantasy-lite. But a lot of fun!

I'm glad I didn't pass this book up, despite the lack of emotional development and some of the questionable world-building. The Ring and The Crown is my first read by de la Cruz but it seems she has a talent for writing lighthearted, fluffy and entertaining stories. Reading this was a bit like reading a gossip magazine - full of the scandals, relationships and drama of the celebrities aristocracy. It won't change your life, you won't get a new philosophical perspective, but it is a fast-paced, entertaining novel that held my attention from start to finish. Oh, and there's also a few dashes of magic now and then.

As is common with traditional fantasy, there's quite a large cast of main characters and the book zips quickly from one point of view to another. Surprisingly, this works really well here and each perspective offers something unique and interesting. The world-building is patchy here and there, but this is not for a lack of trying. The author sets the scene in the prologue - this is an alternate history where the world is dominated by the Franco-British empire and its head controls the world's only source of magic. I had to raise an eyebrow at how quickly the author paints a picture of this unlikely world and expects us to believe it without further details... but, oh well. Into this world comes an array of characters: Princess Marie-Victoria (heir to the throne), Queen Eleanor (her mother), the Head Merlin and his daughter - Aelwyn Myrddn, Prince Leopold, Gill, Ronan and Wolf (to name but a few).

Queen Eleanor has high ambitions for her daughter and intends for her to marry Prince Leopold, but Marie has long been in love with her childhood friend - Gill. Their story isn't the only one of its kind in this novel. In fact, much of the book is about the romancing of the royals and aristocracy; the people they love and don't love but are being forced to marry. It's a whole bunch of romantic silliness that I don't usually care for but found extremely readable and entertaining. I suppose that sometimes this kind of light, undemanding story is exactly what you need. Just don't wander into this expecting hidden depth.

To some extent, though, I am selling this one short. Despite predominantly being a historical fantasy romance, the female characters all get their turn at being badass. Running parallel to the flirtations and sexual tension, is a story about war and magic. And the fate of this world depends on the female main characters (who all have their own strengths). I don't want you to think this is a typical romance where the women care about nothing but the guy's beautiful face, they have bigger concerns too.

Want something deep, complex and meaningful? Go find something else to read. Want something light and entertaining? Then this could very well be the book for you. This will probably appeal to fans of Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes.
Profile Image for Rosemary.
247 reviews4 followers
July 5, 2014
Wow. It's been a long time since I was tempted to throw a book across the room, and if I hadn't been reading this on my Kindle, I very well might have.

This is kind of an anti-YA YA novel: instead of exploring the difficulties (and the triumphs) of learning how to think and act for yourself, the message here is more like, "Free will is an illusion, and not only are your parents right about everything, it turns out that they've been engineering everything you do, so really, you might as well just stop fighting it and do as you're told."

The novel is also deeply conservative in its morality: essentially, good girls--those who are chaste and obedient--get rewarded, while bad girls--those with desires, both sexual and material--are punished.

First, though, let's back up a bit. The setup: The Ring and the Crown is the story of one London social season in the early 20th century, though not the one we know--the novel crafts an alternate history, where the British Empire never declined, America is still a colonial outpost, and Merlin is alive and well and essentially holding the whole enterprise together by magic.

In this setting, we meet four young women: Marie Victoria, the crown princess of the British Empire, a sickly girl who is about to be married off by arrangement to Leopold, Prince of the Prussian Empire, as a way of assuring peace between the warring dynasties; Marie's childhood friend Aelwyn, Merlin's daughter, just back from four years of magical training in Avalon; Isabelle, a French noblewoman who was engaged to Leopold before Leo and Marie's parents came up with a better plan; and Ronan Astor, a New York socialite whose bankrupt parents have sent her to London for the season with the expectation that she'll marry a rich, titled Englishman who can bail them out.

The novel tracks these four, and their paramours, throughout the season. And on that level, it's a total god-help-me-I-can't-stop-eating-these-potato-chips indulgent, compulsive read, complete with gowns, balls, snobbery, and snogging.


All of that action establishes these four girls as independent and determined characters: Marie wants to ditch Leopold and the Empire to run away to America with her guard, and Aelwyn is committed to helping her by magically assuming her identity. Meanwhile, Isabelle schemes to get Leo back or--barring that--to find some way to escape her oppressive guardian, Hugh. Ronan lucks into posh digs both on the ship to England and while in London, and attracts a couple of suitors even though she’s fallen hard for Leopold's younger brother, Wolf.

Virtually the entire plot (94% of it, according to my Kindle) moves them toward exactly those rebellious, self-determined endings. But then all of those plans get undone in the last pages of the book, in a series of events and revelations that are wholly unanticipated. And I mean "unanticipated" in the sense that there's little in what comes before that sets the stage for them. It's as if the author suddenly realized that there was a lot of background information she forgot to divulge earlier, so it all gets dumped in like an aside at the end--"Oh, by the way, I forgot to tell you, or even to hint at, all this important stuff that's going to totally change the trajectory of the whole book."

So, despite the above, in the end, Marie, Aelwyn, and Wolf all discover that self-abnegation is not only what's best for them, but what's best for everyone. To wit, the following quotes.

Marie: "There was no such thing as personal happiness. One hoped it would come with duty, like a flower you stumbled upon in the wilderness...She lived for others. Her life was not her own, because it was everybody's."

Aelwyn: "It had been right of her father to send her away to Avalon, to understand that she must learn to control her power and emotions. She must accept her position."

Wolf: "That was his job, after all--his purpose in life--to fulfill promises and responsibilities in case his brother failed to deliver....'I have no choice in the matter.'"

Reading lines like that, I found myself thinking, "OK, this is interesting...we'll see how *those* thoughts get overturned as the book winds down." But they didn't. Nope. Those are the final epiphanies of these characters. “GIVE UP NOW AND DO AS YOU'RE TOLD." Lesson learned. Back to your original programming.

That is apparently also the message for the rest of the Empire, as well; while much of the book questions the fact that the whole society is held together by magic, in the end, not only is the current system just fine, thank you, but "without the leadership of the monarchy and the invisible orders, civilization itself would have been in jeopardy." Wow--thank goodness for the divine right of kings (and wizards), which keeps all us dumb proles safe.

Meanwhile, the unrepentant girls-who-want-things and who have been sexually active, Isabelle and Ronan, both end up alone. Marie enters into a loveless marriage because, you know, that’s what you do when you’re going to be Queen someday. And Aelwyn commits to celibacy so that she can take over for Merlin when he dies. Which is the biggest tragedy of all, because she’s the most interesting, most potentially powerful character in the whole novel, and she is completely undeveloped and ultimately discarded at the end.


[Full disclosure: I received this book as a free eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]
November 6, 2021

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This review is dedicated to my critics who think I'm too biased/snobby: I fully went into this book expecting to hate it, but I changed my mind. (My mind can be changed, occasionally - it's only that few books are up to the task.) I had good reason to be suspicious of THE RING & THE CROWN - not only did some of my trusted friends not like it, I had also tried and loathed the author's Blue Bloods series (a sad attempt to cash in on the TWILIGHT craze, with a dash of Gossip Girl thrown in for good measure). Also, what is up with the cover? It's beautiful, but also completely ridiculous - like an Instagram model with a weird hat decided to take a selfie in a macaron bakery in downtown L.A.

The plot of THE RING & THE CROWN is a bit difficult to explain, because it has, like, four main characters and about twenty secondary characters who play a significant role in the plot. My friend Khanh made an excellent flowchart showing the relationships of the characters in this book in her review, and I actually referred to that chart a few times while writing my own just to make sure I had everyone straight. Main character #1 is a mage named Aelwyn, a bastard mage of significant power who was friends with the princess but then sent away for nearly setting the palace on fire. She's been living on a magical island for several years, but is now being sent back to court to take her position as court mage. Main character #2 is the princess, Aelywn's friend, Marie-Victoria. She's kind-hearted, but weak, and the bulk of her childhood was spent in a variety of contraptions designed for her health and posture. She's about to be married to the prince of another country, but feels ambivalent about the match because she thinks he's a creep (he is). Main character #3 is Ronan, a girl who comes from a noble but now impoverished family in America; she's traveling to Europe in order to meet a rich husband. If you looked up "spunky" in the dictionary, you'd probably see her picture there. Lastly (but not leastly), main character #4 is Isabelle. Isabelle is a dauphine, who was supposed to marry the same prince that Marie-Victoria is now engaged to; she's also been the prince's mistress for several years, and has been sexually abused by her guardian. The upcoming marriage to the princess is just the latest straw on her sore back.

I guess the main plot is RELATIONSHIP!DRAMA. Which should have annoyed me, but in this book, De La Cruz has captured that light, frothy narrative style that works so well with YA historical. It's flowery and ornamental, and paired with the constant promise of scandal, really made the pages fly by. I ended up staying up until 3am reading this book. There's also magic, attempted murder, and court intrigue - three things that never fail to get my heart singing. I also liked the alternate history element: this is set in Victorian England, but in this version of history, the Americas relied on artillery during the Revolutionary War, whereas England used its mages. The Americans lost the Revolutionary War, so America is still part of England and there are castles and nobility there.

I was totally psyched for the sequel, THE LILY AND THE CROSS, but apparently the sequel isn't happening. Or at least, it's not going to be published. On her blog, the author said this: "[the book] didn’t quite go the way I imagined it would.  After I finished, I realized I liked where the story ended in book one, that it was complete and perfect as a stand-alone. So the sequel is not going to be published." I guess she had an early draft of the story available for purchase for a while, too (I'm not sure if it's still active, or if that was a limited time deal), but I didn't really look into that too deeply. Okay. But then in a response to a question on the book's page, the author said this: "Hey guys, seems to be some wrong assumptions about an author's "choice" to end a series. IT IS NEVER AN AUTHOR'S CHOICE. All my series that were canceled were canceled by publishers and the reason is often the same: poor sales of prior books." So I'm a little confused, after all, because the blog post makes it sound like it was her choice to end the book, but her response to the question seems to be putting the blame on the publisher. So I don't know what the deal with that is, but it's disappointing.

It does sort of work as a standalone - the last chapter sort of wraps up everyone's narrative - but several people I wanted to end up together didn't end up together, and Isabelle's storyline was so depressing that it almost felt like she was being punished for her precocious sexuality. I wanted to see her destroy her abuser and end up with someone who loved her, so that was depressing AF. Ronan didn't get a very good ending, either. If you enjoyed Richelle Mead's THE GLITTERING COURT, I think you'll probably enjoy THE RING & THE CROWN, as they are very similar in many ways and there's a lot of crossover appeal, although TR&TC definitely leans more towards historical fantasy.

P.S. I took a bookstagram of this book.

4 stars
Profile Image for Wendy Darling.
1,636 reviews34k followers
February 12, 2014
I actually liked this. It skips over emotional development and takes a lot of shortcuts and side trips and backtracking with the plot, but it kept my interest and I was surprised by how things turned out for some of that characters.

Best enjoyed the way you would a historical romance. Don't expect it to be deep, but it is very entertaining.

Bit more of a review to come.
Profile Image for Christine Riccio.
Author 4 books101k followers
May 4, 2014
This book was really entertaining. It's definetely not THE BEST THING EVER, but it was a cool concept, and I enjoyed myself. Solid 3 stars =) Here's my full booktalk/review: http://youtu.be/LFzWVcx5Gsk !
Profile Image for Lesly!.
217 reviews4 followers
July 11, 2014
Absolutely Beautiful!! Loved it!!! Melissa De la Cruz Made it again! A must read, Highly recomended!!

I fell in love with it since the begining. What I love most of Her writing style and technique is that she just doesn't give just one Main characters she gives us many amazing characters to enjoy. This story is absolutely captivating.
Told in the perspective from like four or five different people. If you read the blue blood series, you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't it is at first a little confusig but just as you get in rythm you will love the story.
Profile Image for Lainey.
261 reviews1,578 followers
March 9, 2015
Actual Rating: 3.5/5 but I rounded it up to a 4 due to my overall enjoyment of the book and needing the second book yesterday.

I've picked up this book, looked at the synopsis, and would put it back. I did this in bookstores before I bought it, and continually did it once I received the book at home. Here is why:

The synopsis is slightly confusing.

This time, I decided not to look at the synopsis before getting into it. Instead, I watched the amazing book trailer and started reading. Here is my synopsis of the book: Follow five point-of-views as you follow them around life at court. Magic is present in an alternate historical timeline where England controls France and the Americas, Prussia is the second biggest empire at the beginning of the 20th century. (This description isn't meant to poke fun. I honestly think if someone told me THIS was what The Ring & The Crown was about, I would have picked it up much much sooner.)

It was a tricky start for me. Since there were five perspectives, for the first 50 pages, I felt like I was starting a new story every 10 pages and my mind was wandering. HOWEVER, once I finished the first rotation of perspectives, I was hooked. I couldn't put the book down and I was eagerly finishing chapters to see which perspective was next. You follow four girls, (the English/French Princess, said Princess' best friend and powerful mage, and American girl trying to find a husband so her family doesn't lose their governor title, and a French Lady who was supposed to marry the crowned prince to the Prussian throne but things happen and she can't.) I loved all the girls for different reasons. I thought four female perspectives might muddle together in my head, but it didn't. They were all so distinct. The one boy perspective is a guy named Wolf. He is an underground fighter and happened to be the second prince in the Prussian empire. AKA, I was in love with him at his first chapter. Like, seriously. Book boyfriend right there. All the characters are extremely passionate. They reminded me of The Vampire Diaries when all their emotions are heightened after transitioning. THey were all like that. Not a bad thing, but this just reminded me of that.

The setting, as I said earlier is just an alternative 20th century and I loved this idea that England governed over France and these "wild" Americas. As a history buff, I liked learning how magic ended up helping England win their wars against France and the Americans in the American Revolution. Also, the fact that the Prussian empire was still here. Gah, I just loved this world and the way magic was weaved into it was great. I wished the rules of magic were just a tad more cemented into the storyline, it was good, I just felt like something was lacking.

If you're looking for a good historical urban fantasy, I would recommend this. It's not a sweeping fantasy, it takes place in the same area 85% of the book. But I feel like if you like the TV show REIGN, you would like this book. It's very courtlife-centric and the romance is in the foreground the story. The relationships in this reminded me of SHE'S THE MAN (otherwise known as the greatest movie ever made.) Like how, everyone is liking someone else and the relationship are super intricate and interwoven. Yup, this was REIGN meets SHE'S THE MAN and I was 100% ok with this.

Also, this book is dark. There are themes that I don't see often in other YA. Sex happens. There is thrusting. Usually YA books kind of glaze over that, but I'm glad this one didn't.

So, onto a few of my complaints with this books. Towards the end, things were happening and characters were saying things that were just a little too convenient to the plot and wrapping up falling action to finish the story. I also think, because this story followed five different perspectives it should have been longer than 370 pages. Due to the shortness of the book, there was more telling than showing, and I don't like when authors skim over and summarize things (especially while trying to build relationships between two characters.) Ok, here is the thing, because I recently made a big deal about this aspect in books during my review of RED QUEEN by Victoria Aveyard. I can forgive the summarizing of relationships in multi-perspective books because the pacing is often different in those books as there are multiple stories going on, where in RED QUEEN we follow one perspective and are only focused on her story. However, I can see how other people might not like how fast some of these relationships form in THE RING AND THE CROWN. It could be viewed as insta-love. But honestly, it's not. Again, I think this all goes back to the fact that this novel should have been longer to carry all five of these character's stories for proper building of the story.

OVERALL, I extremely enjoyed this book. I think if the story was just developed a little bit more, it would have easily been a 5 star book for me. But I want and need the second book so bad. I want to know what happened. I need to know everything really. I cried during this book, my favorite couple in this book is sort of in shambles right now, I need answers.
Profile Image for Erin .
1,279 reviews1,202 followers
March 25, 2020
Jar of Death Pick #31
Spring Into Reading A Thon: A book that's been gathering dust

I found this book at Dollar Tree a couple years ago, I had never heard of it but the cover was nice and it was only a dollar so I bought it.

The Ring and The Crown was a quick read. I read it less than 24 hours and while it was fun, I don't know if it was a good book. For one thing I thought the story progressed way too fast. I mean one couple met and days later they were madly in love and considering marriage. I mean I don't mind insta-love but this was ridiculous. I also felt like there were too many characters and not enough world building.

After I started reading this book I did some research(I looked up book 2 on Goodreads ) and discovered that the planned second book had been cancelled. At first I thought about not finishing the book because "What's the point?" but I continued and I'm glad I did because after finishing the book I don't think a second book was needed. The story wrapped up in a satisfying way for me. I probably wouldn't have read the next book anyway.

The Ring and The Crown was published in 2014 so it had that 20teens feel to it and I enjoyed it more than I had expected to.

No rec
Profile Image for Prima.
6 reviews
January 30, 2014
Miss Melissa de la Cruz does it again!!!! I absolutely loved the new history of Europe (with magic!!), the couture gowns, the oh-so-fabulous-parties. Wolf is the new Jack!!! Don't want to spoil too much, but this is a worthy, sumptuous, sexy and soapy read that her fans and new readers will devor.

The only bad thing is the wait for the sequel.... SIGH!!!!!
Profile Image for Jeann (Happy Indulgence) .
1,010 reviews4,174 followers
February 2, 2015
This review appears on Happy Indulgence. Check it out for more reviews!

The prologue for The Ring and the Crown sets the scene with mystery and intrigue – which girl is the traitor, and which one is the real Princess? As the book begins however, it isn’t immediately obvious what the prologue is about. But if you sit back and relax, enjoy the drama and the extravagance, it will take you on an enjoyable ride.

Set in a the British Kingdom protected by a Merlin, The Ring and The Crown presents a wonderful piece of light historical romance. With characters such as the sickly princess, playboy prince, powerful sorceress and a few heiresses, there is an elegant, fairy tale like quality to the book.

There were many character point of views in the book, but I was never confused by which one I was following. They each had interesting, definitive and well-rounded personalities which set them apart. I was impressed with the authors’ ability in writing concurrent storylines and while developing multiple characters throughout the book. From the regal Marie, to the flirty playboy Prince Leopold, the honourable fighter Wolf, the scorned Isabelle and the powerful and loyal Aelwyn, I was determined to find out how their stories would turn out and who they would end up with.

Aside from who people were going to marry (for the women) or who they wanted to bed next (for the men), there wasn’t a lot in terms of plot. Everyone has their own agenda and their own stories, which i enjoyed following and seeing where it was all going to go. This won’t suit every reader however, as it was a bit slow and draggy until the last quarter of the book.

While I enjoyed seeing everything come together, the big reveal was rather jarring. I didn’t see it coming and the explanations and events leading up to it seemed to be a matter of convenience, making sure the story tied up neatly. It was more a case of telling rather than showing, and the author didn’t do a very good job of foreshadowing.

The world building is quite poor, aside from the British kingdom and talk of the New York Astor and Prussian lines, we don’t really know why magic is such an integral part of the world and how it came to be. I was fascinated with how the ‘invisible order’ of Merlins and Morgaine were part of the royal court, and wish there was more about it.

The Ring and the Crown is an addictive, quick read with an elegant setting about the love and the life of royalty and heiresses. I enjoyed the soap opera romance and vibrant characters, as well as the experience of reading without knowing where it was all going to go. It doesn’t offer a particularly strong plot, or much in terms of world building, but I loved the twists at the end and how the ending is very different to what we anticipated. I can see this is a series however, so I’d definitely be keen on picking up the sequel.
Profile Image for Mrs..
73 reviews14 followers
February 3, 2014
First of all, I feel so amazed that I got to read this book before it was published!

This book at first threw me for a loop. Although it is set in the early 1900s, the world is not as we knew the world then. This is a world with magic. With that magic, England is in power of the world because they contain all the known magic in the world. They were able to put down the "little rebellion" in the Americas, so even the United States doesn't exist -- it is a colony/state of England. So even though you might say this has a touch of historical fiction, it really doesn't just because the historical accuracy is made up. ;)

There are several main characters, all of whom you get to know very well. Ms. de la Cruz is excellent in moving between the characters easily but strongly enough that you truly feel you get to know each character and what motivates them. Three of the main characters are actually royalty in England and Prussia (yes, Prussia exists). The others are "minor" players who actually play a huge roll in these royals' lives. Of course you have evil characters, but the fascinating part to me was that you couldn't figure out who the evil people were. You knew they wanted control, but she really kept you guessing as to who the evil people were. Without giving away the entire book, someone who appears weak eventually becomes strong, and someone who is strong eventually lowers himself/herself to appear weak.

This book is very well written and the character development was amazing. I've never read a book with this many main characters who you actually get to know intimately. I absolutely loved this book and can't wait for the second one to come out! But of course, now I have to still wait for THIS one to come out!
Profile Image for Pinky.
514 reviews431 followers
July 30, 2016
Another book that I have a hard time rating because of all of the mixed feelings. This book is something that I wouldn't usually pick up, but I wanted to try out something different and boy did it play with my emotions! It was crazy to go through this book, it was different and I enjoyed it, but I didn't love it as much as I had wanted to.

“I will love you, my English rose, and you will fill my French dreams”

This book follows the point of view of five different characters. One is Marie, the girl is a princess and is forced to marry a prince. She is in love with a man that no one would accept and she does not know what to do. Aelwyn is another character we see who is a mage. She is in love with the prince and envies Marie. Isabelle is the prince's ex, she was in a relationship with him but is forced to get out of this relationship. She lives with her cousins but wishes to live elsewhere, somewhere safe and away from those who cause her harm. Wolf, a street fighter, whose brother is the prince, (making him a prince too). And Ronan, an American who needs to marry in order to help her family stay stable.

“Magic is an honor, until it's a shackle.”

Man, that was a mouthful! I had a hard time getting into this book, it took me two weeks to actually start reading. I kept reading the same two pages over and over again because I kept giving up. Eventually, I started reading it when I was super relaxed. I liked the story but there were so many characters that I had to keep repeating who each character was and who was in love with who, along with what each character's position was. It was really hard to keep reading but eventually, I was used to the characters which got me into the story. But this took about 200 pages, so if you were a person who gets bored easily, I suggest you do not read this book.

Another thing that I did not like about this book was the characters. I only liked one of them and it was Wolf. (He reminded me of the Wolf from the Lunar Chronicles but he was different at the same time). Wolf was fun and a different character. I mean, he wasn't perfect but that's the point! Anyway, the other characters were so selfish. I felt like they all cared about their own problems and always wanted to get what they wanted. Marie was super spoiled, I was so angry with her and the decisions she made. It was so frustrating to read about these characters because they made the worst decisions and always thought about themselves and not others. I hated Leo so much too!

The entire time I was reading, all I was thinking was:

The pacing in this book was so weirdly different, I wasn't used to it. It was super slow in the beginning and then everything happened in the last 100 pages! It was like a super slow carousel that suddenly sped up to a point where you can't hold on anymore.

I was so shocked in the end, the book just hurt me so much. It gave you a little bit of happiness but then I felt like someone shot me right in the heart again and again. Even though I didn't love all of the characters, I was still sad and wished for a better ending. I found it so hard to believe that everything had happened. I felt like there was no point because the ending wasn't satisfying.

I know that there is a sequel coming out this year but I am not sure if I want to read it. I feel like I might want to read it because I know all of the characters and it would be cool to see how things turn out. But at the same time I feel like I might be disappointed. It wouldn't hurt to give it a try, so I might read the sequel when it comes out.

This book was entertaining but really slow at the beginning. There are a lot of characters, there were a lot of parts that had me upset, there were a lot of parts where I felt angry. But this is a book that is different and filled with many surprises. I recommend this to anyone who wants a fresh book that is different. Although I didn't enjoy it as much as I wanted to, someone else might like this.
Profile Image for Rayne.
862 reviews288 followers
April 5, 2014
This is exactly the type of book one would expect from Melissa de la Cruz:
Blue Bloods defanged and in corsets: a group of shallow teenagers with something that makes them special but that barely plays into the plot, in situations way beyond their maturity levels and having awkward sex with each other.

If that's what you were looking for, congratulations!, that's exactly what you'll get and that means you are acquainted with de la Cruz's works because it seems this is just what she does. You will not find depth or complexity here. Honestly, the most complex things here are the dresses they wear and the multiple and confusingly intertwined romantic and sexual liaisons everyone has with everybody here. But that's just how Melissa de la Cruz's books are. Her books are just vapid takes on cool ideas that go by fast and entertain you for a couple of hours without engaging most of your brain.

When it comes down to it, The Ring and The Crown is actually engaging somehow and the background of the story is actually fairly interesting itself. What de la Cruz did with the world was certainly fascinating, but it's just not important. That's just what's needed so her teenagers can go around and screw each other. There's magic and intrigue in this world, but all that's brushed over and given minimal importance in the novel. What's really important here is the romance, and damn, it's a complicated one.

We have 5 main characters, all of them seemingly different and from different backgrounds, but with barely a touch of actual personality. Two are royalty but don't want to be, the other three want desperately to be royalty, and one of those other three has magic that's not really important until it's needed. Each and every single one of them is involved, at the very least, in a love triangle of their own, and that's where you can find the "plot" of the novel. What bothered me the most, though, is that it wasn't enough that the plot of the novel is entirely made up of the romance, it's that the focus of the novel is so frivolous and shallow, it can't even stick around through the developments of the relationships and instead only comes back when there's drama to be had or awkward sex to painfully read through.

In fact, while this novel seems to have all the space and time in the world to discuss dresses and parties, it rushes through the character, romantic and plot developments. Some characters met in one scene and when we come back to them they are in love and dangerously close to shedding all of their clothes for each other. Another character is introduced as an ambitious one, jealous of her friend with a crown and with a burning desire to take it all from her, and when she's the focus once more, there's none of that. But even worse, the discovery of the twist upon which the entire plot hinges takes place entirely out of the narration. We reach the climax and out of nowhere, a character we hadn't even heard from in about a 100 pages unmasks the entire twist and the kingdom is saved, and in the following chapter, said character gives a detailed description of how they found everything out. Oh, and magic! There's a bit of it just then. That's just lazy writing and plotting, but what else is to be expected of a book that starts with a quote from a Beyonce song ("Who run the world? girls!/Girls, we run this motha! Girls!") and ends up with a Lorde one ("And we'll never be royals. Royals")? This is just fluff set in an exciting setting that should not, under any circumstances, be taken seriously, as beautifully showcased by the deep, meaningful quotes the author selected to open up chapters in her book.

Not everything was vapid frivolity and scandalous, engaging fluff, though. There were a couple of serious topics that the author did not handle well, rape and incest (not of the creepily romanticized kind like in Blue Bloods) being two of them, and the story was particularly cruel to several female characters. The truly dark parts of the plot are completely brushed over, almost cruelly dismissed, and not presented in the serious and careful way they should've or given the focus and tone those topics should be given. In fact, it almost seemed like the story was telling us that they were somewhat of a just punishment for a slightly "bad" character. No. Just no. Moreover, truth be told, almost every single female protagonist in the story ends up in rather unfortunate situations, which I thought particularly cruel for some of them. However, I did end up liking how two characters ended up because I thought it was a refreshing change from the happily ever after I've come to expect from de la Cruz.

So, after all this, why am I still giving it 3 stars? Because, much like with the Blue Blood series with which I stuck to all the way to the very bitter end, de la Cruz's books are fun. Somehow, in spite of the shallowness, the frivolity and ridiculous vapidity of it all, she always manages to be engaging and entertaining. I was hooked from beginning to end and I actually enjoyed the book quite a bit and it is not a book I regret reading. I can see a lot of people loving this one because, as much as it pains me to admit it, de la Cruz has a gift and she always manages to be charming and enchanting even when you know it's all just silly superficiality.
Profile Image for Kim at Divergent Gryffindor.
470 reviews131 followers
June 19, 2015

Actual rating: 4.5 stars

You know you really like a book when not one thing goes the way you want it to, and yet, someway, somehow, you still acknowledge how beautiful the book is and still be happy that you read it anyway.

The Ring and the Crown is an amazing book filled with intrigue, drama, politics and of course, romance. It is a captivating book that pulled me into a world of the court and ball dances, and it was a world that was easy to fall in love with.

"A false victory is a hollow one.”

The Ring and the Crown is told from multiple perspectives - Marie-Victoria, princess of England and France; Isabelle, supposedly the wife of Leopold, prince of Prussia; Aelwyn, daughter of the empire's mage, best friend of the princess; Ronan, an American girl seeking a husband because they are broke. I expected to be confused by this, but surprisingly, the continuum of the story was not disturbed, and the story flowed smoothly.

Of all the little stories in this book, my favorite is probably Ronan's. From the start of the book, I already felt really connected to her. I mean, I was able to connect with all the characters in this book, but I felt the most connected to Ronan. There's just something about her that pulled me in, and I was really rooting for her and Prince Wolf.

"One did not wonder why the sun shone in the sky, one just accepted it as a fact of life."

I read this book in Audio book format, and I must tell you, Jennifer Ikeda is truly a talented narrator. I think I would have liked this book less had it not been for her voice. She had the ability to add more intrigue and more wonder to the already intriguing and wonderful book.

There were lots of things that happened in this book, and I didn't feel bored at all. I couldn't put off listening to the book, so as I did certain things like eat and do my chores, I was listening to the book. I couldn't help it, the book is really amazing!

The reason why I couldn't give this book a full 5 stars is because towards the last 7 (I think) chapters of this book, I felt like things were rushed. One bad thing after another happened in just a matter of a few chapters, and they were all congested together. Certain things were also revealed in those last 7 chapters, and putting those revelations near the congested chapters just really put me off.

There were a lot of things that didn't happen the way I wanted it to. In fact, I was really just frustrated in the end. But despite that, as I said before, it's not a reason for me to deduct a star or even half from my rating. I acknowledge how beautifully written this book is, and I understand that it was a good close to the story.

I really love this book and I cannot wait for the next one! Actually, it was only after finishing this book that I learned of the second book. I think that this book is amazing already even as a standalone, but of course now that I know about it, the need to read it as soon as possible is there.

I recommend this book to those interested in a combination of historical fiction, romance and fantasy.
Profile Image for Jay.
514 reviews368 followers
February 10, 2015
Whatever you do, don't bother reading the synopsis of The Ring and the Crown because it has nothing to do with the book.. at all. Throughout the whole book I was waiting for when whatever was written in the synopsis and it never happened. Only 10% of the synopsis happened.. 250 pages IN THE NOVEL. I'm sorry but whoever wrote the synopsis must have read a different book because all I got from the novel was girls obsessing about getting married.. that is all. The magic was just a quick backdrop for the world so as not to label it a contemporary. There was so much cheating and obsessing and sleeping around.. and they were all 16 years or younger! The synopsis promised a prophecy.. a conspiracy.. magic.. power! but we truly got none of that until the last 20 pages where everything went even more downhill.. at least before that I could understand the direction of the novel.. but that ending? I was so furious and seriously thought I wasted my time reading it. I don't know what Melissa De La Cruz was trying to convey with this novel because I got nothing.. nada.. zero. This is not a memorable book and one I would like to forget.. it wasn't a great reading experience and it is truly a shame because the cover of The Ring and the Crown is one of my favorite covers of 2014.
Profile Image for Andis / Slytherin 🐍.
34 reviews17 followers
May 26, 2015
This book didn't really have anything to do with what the synopsis says, but it was still pretty enjoyable.
3 solid stars
Profile Image for Debbie.
295 reviews127 followers
March 31, 2014

2.5 Stars (lol, I'm not feeling generous)

This book, right here, is one the reasons why I stay far, far away from historical fiction books as well as books about princesses. They are always predictable, there is no (or barely anything) real talk about wars, enemies, etc. It's all just romance and scandals and who's fucking who or who wants to fuck who but not allowed to. I honestly felt like I was reading about the girls in my high school rather than an empire on the verge of collapsing. The characters are so one-sided and superficial that I had to skip a few chapters for one character because her life consists honestly, of only money and romance. That's it. Nothing else. In fact, this is all the main characters care about, romance. Not about anything important.

The novel starts off with a lot of description. Aelwyn returns to the palace after four years. The bad thing about this novel is that it's all fluff. Like I mentioned before, all the characters are one-sided, especially Ronan (the idiot who care only about money and romance). I could not, for the life of me, give two shits about the ridiculous shit that she goes through. More than once, I had to skip her chapter because I knew that I would give no fucks about what she has to say.

Despite the fact that just about everything important annoyed me, once I shut off my brain, I actually started to enjoy The Ring and the Crown a bit. I really enjoyed the ending, it's so shocking and exciting. The writing is all right, I didn't necessarily despise it, it's well down with the palace and I liked a little French that's put in it here and there. I also liked the magical aspect of the story although I would have loved it even more if there was more of it, more back story to it.

The Ring and the Crown is can be fun if not thought about at all. I recommend this one only if you've read and enjoyed historical fiction with royalty and enjoyed all the scandals and romances and whatnot. There's not very much meaning to this story and is solely for entertainment and I was really upset reading this and I don't know if I'll read any of De La Cruz's other series. Though I might finish this series in the hopes that these characters grow the fuck up and decide that life isn't all about stupidity.
Profile Image for Jen Ryland.
1,552 reviews903 followers
July 14, 2014
Gossip Girl + Downton Abbey + a dash of King Arthur

*wipes brow* Whew, that was a pretty fun ride!

The Ring and the Crown is an addictive alt-history paranormal soap opera. Secret romances and royal pageantry abound, and the narrative has a fun, chatty feel. As I was reading the first chapter, in which Aelwyn returns to London, I wrote in my notes: "OMG - Serena is back from boarding school!"

The alt-history premise, in which the Hundred Years war (I think??) was won by England using magic, is very cool. The worldbuilding is done with a light, deft touch (don't be afraid if you're not a big historical fiction reader) but it still all made perfect sense to me. The book features a large cast of characters, all quickly sketched and all in love with the most inconvenient person possible.

If you've love breathlessly narrated, multi-character historical soapfests like the Luxe series or Bright Young Things, you should definitely check this out! And if even if you say don't, come on and give this a try.... it is pretty addictive stuff :)
Profile Image for Jaime (Two Chicks on Books).
825 reviews399 followers
February 9, 2014
Freaking loved this! There were a couple quotes at the beginning of the chapters that didn't fit and I don't like the cover. But I LOVED the story and I really hope this is a series!!!
Profile Image for Fatima.
133 reviews42 followers
December 26, 2018
Worst book I read all year... Had to be one right?
Profile Image for Alyssa.
1,069 reviews843 followers
August 8, 2014
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

The Ring and the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz
Book One of The Ring and the Crown series
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads):

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.

What I Liked:

Oh how I LOVED this book! I had a very good feeling that I would, because it's historical fiction AND fantasy, it's by Melissa de la Cruz, it's a Disney book (I seem to really enjoy Disney's books), and it has a very intriguing synopsis! Not to mention a beautiful cover. I enjoyed de la Cruz's Blue Bloods series (what I've read, anyway), and my favorite genre ever is historical fantasy (which describes this book perfectly). The cover is the icing on the cake. And guess what? I really enjoyed this book!

The book is actually a lot more complex than it sounds. The princess, Marie, doesn't want to rule. She is the only heir to the throne, and her mother is getting ready to give the throne to Marie and Marie's future husband (e.g., Marie needs to find one). The most eligible suitor is Leopold, Crown Prince of Prussia. But Leopold is currently having relations with and is engaged to Isabelle, a French noblewoman (she might be a princess or duchess or something, I can't remember). Also infatuated with Leopold is Aelwyn, the powerful sorceress and daughter of Emrys, the current Merlin of the current Queen.

Throw in the fact that Marie is in love with a soldier, and the fact that Leopold's troublesome younger brother falls in love with a broke (but trying not to act broke) American heiress. Or the fact that Leopold isn't who is seems, and Wolf (his younger brother) is more than he thinks he is. Isabelle must sign away her marriage with Leopold, but he has her caught in an affair - literally - but she doesn't want to be a mistress. All the while, someone is plotting against the Lily Throne, and difficult choices must be made. Aelwyn and Marie must save the kingdom - together - and in the process, discover terrible and powerful truths.

Complicated, no? Trust me - you have no idea. The lines get so blurred in this book. Every watched Gossip Girl, or 90210? Those shows were this girl thinks she is in love with this guy, but then a few months later, she's totally smitten with some other guy. Relationships aren't concrete in this book, but truthfully, that's how things were, historically. When it came to nobility and royalty, marrying into money and power was more important than love. Keeping up appearances was everything. If the one you loved was royalty, he/she would have to marry royalty, and the best you could hope for (if you weren't eligible) was being a mistress (or lover, whatever the male version of mistress is).

That's probably one of my favorite things about this book. I know, it's weird that I LIKE the fact that the romance is weird and triangular and square and rectangular and circular and all kinds of shapes. I kind of want to draw a map of what is going on with the romance! Or lust. Or relationships. It's confusing, it's complicated, but that's life in the court. Nothing is easy. Everything is heartbreaking. Just wait until you get to the end of the book. Nothing turns out as one would like it.

So I won't comment on the romance any more than I have. Like, I won't name any pairs that I liked or disliked, for fear of revealing things. I didn't mention a few of the love interests or pairs. However, I will talk about the characters.

There are SO MANY characters, and I can't even say that most are secondary characters. In terms of perspectives, there were Marie, the princess, Aelwyn, the sorceress/close friend of the princess, Isabelle, the French noblewoman and former fiancee of Leopold, Wolf, the second prince of Prussia, Ronan, the rich-but-not-rich American... I think that is it for the ones whose perspectives were featured. This book is written completely in third person, but third person limited.

I think I liked almost all of the characters. Marie is gentle and kind, but she has a certain fire in her, a bit of steel in her backbone. Aelwyn is serene and intelligent, and probably one of the most stable characters in the book. Isabelle - I felt so bad for her, and I don't blame her for disliking Marie. Isabelle ALWAYS got the short end of the stick, unfortunately (remember that phrase, for the next section). I could not hate Isabelle. Ronan is a delight to read, because she is so different from the English and the French. Wolf is definitely my favorite character. He is mischievous and devilish, but he is also mature when he needs to be. I love his roguish charm. He deserves the best, of all the characters.

Leopold does not have his own perspective in this book - thank goodness. To be honest, I'm not a fan of him. I usually dislike the pretty boy, the golden boy, the boy who is seemingly perfect, but is actually ruthless and a total player. It's one thing to have all the ladies running after you. It's another to act like a pig and flirt with all of them, and lead them on. Jerk. But he definitely is a Crown Prince, and a natural leader.

I already mentioned the complicated romance, but with that is the complex plot. The romance seems to take up most of the book, and it's important. One pair's relationship directly affects others. Marie's feelings for the soldier. Leopold and Isabelle's affair. Aelwyn's infatuation with Leopold. Believe it or not, everyone affected everyone. This made the plot vastly tangled. Add in the underlying plot of the threat to the kingdom, which TOTALLY sneaks up on you. You would never guess who is behind it all. There are many villains in this story, directly and indirectly. But there are also many heroes (and heroines). But seriously - the depth of complexity really blew me away. When I finished this book, I was like, this book was awesome! Crazy, but awesome. Because it really was awesome, and crazy! It's amazing how intricate everything is, how de la Cruz sets everything perfectly, and intertwines everything to fit absolutely. Truly amazing, in my humble opinion.

Perhaps I've said enough? I hope I've done a good job of convincing you all to read this book. The next section is my "negative" one, but I feel like in this case, it consists of complaints about which only I would complain. All in all, this is an excellent start to a new series, and definitely my favorite of de la Cruz's published books to date!

What I Did Not Like:

There weren't too many things that I didn't like, but one thing that occasionally stuck out was the anachronisms. By now, you all have probably figured out that when it comes to historical fiction, I'm extra hard on authors. If the genre (or one of them) is historical, then you better get your facts straight (unless of course, you're manipulating history, or something like that). In this case, it was the speech that was a bit anachronistic.

I get it - you want your readers to be able to read and understand the story, and not feel like they're drowning in Old English. I understand that. BUT, at the same time, you can't just have modern day colloquial slang left and right. For example, the phrase "Why don't we seal the deal... - I feel like that's too modern for this time period (which is the late 19th century, early 20th century? Somewhere around there). And there was one about "the short stick of the bargain", or something like that. There are historical phrases that are KIND OF similar to the phrase (like "worst end of the staff", or "wrong end of the stick"), but that particular phrase is modern. There was a really obvious that I didn't bookmark (for whatever reason), and I can't quite come up with it at the moment, but it was obvious. In any case, I feel like there are other ways to convey a phrase, with less modern day colloquialisms. Instead of "sealing the deal", how about "coming to an agreement", or "finalizing the accord", or something like that. Right? Right.

Would I Recommend It:

DEFINITELY! If you're a fan of historical fiction, or fantasy, or both (like me), then there is a good chance that you will like (or love) this one! Also, as stated before, the book has a very modern feel, in terms of all the scheming and threats and messy relationships. Of course, historically speaking, that happened all the time, but it felt very Gossip-Girl-like or 90210-like, in terms of the drama. Which, in my opinion, was a positive thing, not a negative thing. But take that as you will. I think this book is fantastic, and I definitely recommend it. I'm sure it will be a hit!


4 stars. I seriously loved this book! Okay, it didn't get five stars from me. But I was not disappointed at all! I cannot wait to see what happens next in the series.
Profile Image for Kristen.
167 reviews77 followers
February 13, 2015
Received a copy of this book through NetGalley. In exchange, I'm providing for an honest review.

1/5 stars

The skinny:

One young woman is the rightful heir to the Lily Throne. Marie-Victoria, a young woman with little interest in ruling, is instead interested in pursuing a life of love. She hatches a plan with her friend, Aelwyn, so that she can take her place as ruler. As other characters engage in a complex dance of power and love, Marie-Victoria and Aelwyn try to put their intricate and dangerous plan into place.

The review:


I really liked the idea of a fantasy/romance book that was set in a time past. I love historical romances, especially involving kings, queens, big dresses, courts, etc. This novel had all of these things, as well as a touch of fantasy. All of these elements combined are why I gave this book 2/5 stars.


The book opens with introductions to several characters: Aelwyn, Marie-Victoria, Ronan, Wolf, Isabelle. Each character was immensely different, and came from very unique circumstances. The problem was that, at the beginning, in each new chapter a new character was introduced. It was kind of hard for me to keep the characters straight at first, so I had to go back and reread the first few chapters twice. Bottom line: I wasn't in love with so many different characters telling the story.

Probably the biggest think I didn’t like was how the main focus of the novel appeared to be more on teenage romance than fantasy. I’ve read a lot of good fantasy books that weighed the fantasy and romance quite nicely, but this book did not. I was really turned off by how frivolous the romances in the book were; they were not deep, and frankly didn't make much sense. If you like fantasy books that are based around the dumbest romances known to man, then you would probably like this book.

The last thing I didn’t care for was the promiscuity of the characters in the book. I’m no prude. I like trashy romance novels, not so trashy novels, and everything in between. The problem was that many of these characters were around the age of 17. Not only did pretty much all of them have some sort of sexual relationship with another character, but they also changed who they “loved” at the drop of a hat. I wouldn’t have cared so much if the characters who had sex, had been with the person they loved (aka liked) for more than a few weeks. These characters, based on how quickly they changed their love interests, did not know the first thing about love. All of the relationships in the novel were extremely childish, except for the sex factor. This was strange and kinda disturbing to me.


I felt like this novel had potential. The premise, the time period, and some of the plot, worked for me. I would have liked a lot more fantasy, and less wishy-washy romance. I might be interested in reading more by this author, but I just wasn’t sold on this book. I think that anyone who likes historical romance novels would probably enjoy this read!
Profile Image for Sue.
781 reviews1,590 followers
August 10, 2015
Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars

Review also posted at Young Adult Hollywood.

I am such a sucker for Historical Fiction & Fantasy. It is my greatest weaknesses. de la Cruz and I have a pretty long history back then, Blue Bloods are one of the first vampire series that I’ve ever read and It follows up with Witches of East End which I wholeheartedly enjoy, book and tv-series wise!

The Ring and The Crown have a large group of main characters. It follow the story of four girls and two princes. Marie-Victoria, the quiet gentle princess who is set to marry the crown prince of Prussia, Leopold. She has a best friend Aelwyn who is a sorceresses who one day will be the Queen’s Mage. Ronan Astor, a young American beauty who is determined to make a good match to save her family’s reputation. Isabelle of Orleans, the cast aside ‘true love’ of Leopold. ‘Wolf’, the dangerous wild younger brother of the prince.

It is a usual arrangement for Fantasy and Historical Fiction books to have an alternating point of views with their bunch set of characters, sometimes it can get a little bit messy and confusing but somehow it works perfectly fine for The Ring and The Crown.

Here are the few things that I did really enjoy and didn't liked about the book.


• The world building is not perfect but it is stunning and glamorous. There are mouthful of titles and terms that thankfully isn't too confusing for my case.
• Romance, the book have a lot of romance. Ronan and Wolf might be my favorite. There’s so many swoon alert there.
• Four different female characters who have their own definition of the word ‘strong heroine’, yes as expected they have to worry about their fancy dresses, hair and their magic but they also have more pressing problems to face other than romance, that is simply awe-inspiring.


• Plot Twists, by the last 30% of the book there are a lot of bombs dropping every now and then. That was overwhelming and too anticlimactic for me.
• Emotional Development, I hope this department was polished and developed even more.
• Some of the scenes of the book, I actually had seen it coming.

Over all The Ring & The Crown is a fast paced book that will enticed you with it’s glamorous world. I wouldn't mind reading more books about this world.
Profile Image for Olga Godim.
Author 12 books74 followers
June 2, 2014
I didn’t finish this book, stopped reading on page 118, but I’m still going to write a review and rate it. For the first time ever, I’m rating a book I didn’t finish. I want to vent my frustration with it.
I did leaf through the rest of the pages and read the last few chapters, so I know how it ended. And I disliked it intensely, although I must admit: it is a good book. The writing is very strong, the plot is moving nicely, if a bit slowly, the tension escalates, and the young characters are diverse and three-dimensional. I like them all: the sickly Princess Marie, the ambitious sorceress Aelwyn, the American girl Ronan, and the impish Prince Wolf. The others too – everyone in this book has a distinct personality, his or her own desires and ambitions. And nobody, I mean NOBODY, gets what they want.
Marie doesn’t get to marry the man she loves. Neither does Prince Wolf or Ronan. Aelwyn has to accept the invisible role of a magic wielder, submit to the stringent rules of the empire, against her aspirations for magic, beauty, and glory.
The empire, the mighty empire is that insatiable altar where all the young people’s happiness is sacrificed upon. The old Queen and the powerful Merlin rule the empire with iron fists and ruthless determination. They manipulate everyone, their children included, so none of the royal youngsters – neither Marie nor Aelwyn nor Wolf – has a choice. They must play their assigned roles or else…
I hate such books, hate the necessity to bow to contingencies and conveniences. I have enough of that in my life; I don’t have to read about it in fantasy novels. Fantasy is the genre where everything should be possible, where rebels win, and dreamers get respect and recognition, where love triumphs. Nothing even remotely ‘fantasy’ happens in this book, despite its magical implications and hints. The story reminded me of reality too much to finish it, too much even to like it.
If so many young people have to sacrifice their happiness for the good of the empire, maybe that empire shouldn’t be maintained. Maybe it should be broken, so more people would have a chance at happiness? Maybe magic should fly, and love should conquer all? Then, it would be a proper fantasy book, and I might even like it. Maybe…
Profile Image for Sakina (aforestofbooks).
393 reviews125 followers
June 6, 2019
I'm more disappointed in this book than I was reading ACOMF...and that's saying something.

The premise sounds interesting right...20th century England, but with magic. Merlin is alive and well (not our precious BBC Merlin, but whatever) – technically ruling alongside the Queen of England. We have the London Season about to start, all these grand parties and the huge Bal du Drap d'Or. What could go wrong?

Pretty much everything.

(ALSO...I spoil everything, but this is so you don't have to read this book. Also trigger warning for rape)

I want to start off by talking about the writing. It was bad 95% of the time. The 5% of the time that it was actually good was only when the author was describing stuff – the beautiful dresses, the parties, the scene etc. But the rest of the time, I had to keep checking to make sure this book was actually written by a woman and not a man.

"Her voice was a woman's voice, full of promise and seduction."

and this...

"Her décolletage looked fabulous if she said so herself, her breasts powdered and pushed up by her corset into two pale, plump mounds. Leo is a fool, she said to herself. That skinny Marie may wear the crown, but she'll never boast a chest as magnifique as this."

I mean...seriously. Just look at that. Who even wrote this?? On top of that, the dialogue felt choppy and unrealistic, almost like the author was putting words into these characters' mouths, instead of letting them speak the way they wanted to. Sometimes it was too formal, other times it was too casual, sometimes a character would say something you would never expect them to, other times it was like who is this character and why has she suddenly changed??

Speaking of the characters – there were waaay too many POVS. And I hated all of them.

Beginning with Marie-Victoria, the daughter of the Queen, about to be married to Prince Leo of Prussia (as part of an agreement to end a war b/w the countries). Then we have Aelwyn, daughter of the Merlin, who has just come back to London to become a servant to the Crown. Then we have Ronan, an American girl, whose family is actually poor, but pretending to be rich, who has come to London for the Season with the hopes of landing herself a rich husband. And then we have Isabelle, formerly betrothed to Prince Leo of Prussia, before he had to end things to marry Marie, who is also coming to London for the season. And lastly, we have Wolf, the brother of Prince Leo, who likes to punch people in his spare time (he boxes/fights?) and play strip poker otherwise.

All the characters are self-obsessed, vain, and petty. They only care about themselves and their looks and whether any of the men in their lives like them. They all fall in love in the space of a couple pages and then decide nope, they were wrong, and fall in love with someone else a page later. It was honestly so bad, I was rolling my eyes the entire time.

Ronan bumps into Wolf on the ship over to London, except Wolf doesn't say who he actually is. He manages to convince her to play strip poker, which she at first says no to, but then decides to be a bit more "spontaneous" and agrees. They "fall in love" because according to Wolf, Ronan isn't like any other girl he's met. She's spunky and confident and doesn't care about what anyone thinks, yet he seems to ignore how distraught she was over not getting first-class on the ship and how worried she was that people would find out she's actually poor. And honestly, the only thing Ronan saw in Wolf was "ooh dangerous handsome man, who has a secret past" and fell in love immediately.

Marie-Victoria is secretly in love with Gill, who is pretty much her body guard. And while this relationship could have gone well, it didn't. I didn't feel much for the two of them, probably cause there's so many characters that you never get to know any of them really well. She decides to run away with Gill, managing to convince Aelwyn to disguise herself as Marie (with magic) – and while Aelwyn likes Prince Leo (cause he's handsome), I still found this to be super selfish of Marie (especially since she doesn't give off the selfish vibe usually), considering that if either of them are caught, they'll probably be killed. But of course, before she can run off with Gill properly and marry him, she discovers the plot to blow up the castle, and ditches Gill cause she suddenly realizes her "duty" towards her country. I guess that's sort of relatable? I mean, its definitely more realistic for a princess to realize that she doesn't have a lot of freedom and probably never will, but her status as princess and one day a Queen, allows her to make a lot of changes that she couldn't make as a regular person. But Marie literally sees some homeless people and eats some regular food from an inn and is like wow life sucks for everyone except me, then almost gets mugged by some boys and then gets saved by Wolf and goes off to save the day. At some point, she also gains the confidence to stand up to herself.

Isabelle's story is kind of sad, but also not? I mean her stupid guardian, Hugh, is a creep and a pedophile, who keeps touching her even though she doesn't want to be touched. Yup...that happened. She's betrothed to Prince Leo (before he's engaged to Marie-Victoria), and when he comes to visit her manor, he manages to "convince her" (I'm calling this rape though, cause she literally says in the book that she said no multiple times and he didn't stop) to sleep with him. And that's pretty much their relationship. We later found out that Isabelle decided to pick the lesser of two evils: it was either Hugh or Leo. So she went with Leo, with the hopes that he could protect her from Hugh. And that's sad. On top of that, after Leo is engaged to Marie, he wants to keep Isabelle as a mistress, rapes her again (pretty much), and then Isabelle realizes that Leo sucks and she needs to end this. She ends it, her cousin Louis expresses how he loves her, she turns him away, gets jealous when Louis ends up sleeping with some other pretty, rich girl. Then professes her love to him when he's about to die, and decides she was always in love with him and they plan to get married and run off to his small estate, where they can raise the child she's pregnant with (aka Prince Leo's baby), but then guess what happens at the end of the book... I'll talk about that later.

Aelwyn is ehh. Honestly she wasn't that fleshed out. She went along with Marie's plan because Leo was attractive and she's always been jealous of Marie for having everything. Then she realizes who Leo is and kills him in one second, cause did I forget to mention? She's really powerful. Oh and some stupid guy in Avalon (where she was banished after she almost killed Marie when she was little), manipulated her into falling in love with him, had sex with her, and then got bored and left her.

So yeah...the men all suck in this book. And the women aren't any better.

Honestly, the only good men were the one gay couple (Archie and I don't remember his name sorry I suck), were nice and funny. Louis was good too, except somehow he falls in love with some random girl and wants to marry her, then decides to have a duel with Prince Leo, wins and runs off with Isabelle. So????

Wolf was okay. I felt like he honestly didn't have a good eye when it came to woman, since he fell in love with Ronan. But I liked his relationship with Marie, since they're childhood friends. When Prince Leo died, and Wolf became the heir, the marriage between him and Marie was something I could get behind. Obviously they don't love each other, but they have a good, pure friendship, which is better than nothing, plus he is nice when he isn't convincing women to play strip poker?? Lol, I'm making him sound worse than he is. When he called Ronan over to the palace to tell her he can't actually marry her, I died of laughter cause Ronan deserved it. I will say, he turned on his brother a lot quicker than I thought he would, but Leo is a piece of shit...

The ending was so weird. Like imagine reading a book that you absolutely hate, and then with 5% left, everything exciting and interesting that could possibly happens, happens. It tied up so nicely that I was left rolling eyes again.

Isabelle runs off with Louis and her unborn child, so they can get married. Hugh is pissed cause he wants her. So he gets his mercenary men to attack them, kills off Louis, and then forces Isabelle to marry him because she has no one and is pregnant. And it ends off with Isabelle saying she's going to marry him and once her child is born, she'll stab Hugh with a knife she keeps in her drawer, and then run away. And guess what happens? Just that lol. It's described in one sentence during Marie's wedding to Wolf. She runs off to a cottage and decides to raise her son (who just so happens to be as charming as Prince Leo was) on her own.

Ronan doesn't go back to New York. Becomes a secretary for some rich woman and starts her own hat business? I didn't know she could sew that well, but okay...

Aelwyn and Marie are sisters. SURPRISE. The Merlin apparently foresaw this whole book. And the Queen also had a dream that her future daughter would betray her, so they decided that the Queen would have two daughters, one from Merlin (aka Aelwyn) and one from the seed of her dead husband (aka Marie), and based on some crystal ball, if they worked together it would prevent the whole world from exploding. And if they didn't end up working together, then the Merlin would have to step in. LIKE WOW

Also, the Merlin was poisoning Marie since she was a child because somehow her weakness would give her confidence later to become a good queen?

Someone please explain this to me, cause I DON'T UNDERSTAND.

So yeah, this book was terrible. I don't know how I finished it. Definitely not reading the next one. I'm very sorry about this review.
Profile Image for k .
292 reviews
May 2, 2018
believe me, I was having a great time reading this novel until what I read in the end. Truth be told, I was really planning on giving this book a solid 5 stars.

characters - they're the type of characters you'll get attached to. They're funny, realistic, and fascinating.

Marie - What I only hate about her was that she's any other princess out there, fell in love with her guard, dreams of having an ordinary life and is engaged to a ''dreamy'' guy she loathes. Nevertheless, she proved she's worthy of the crown in the end for she chose duty over love.

Aelwyn - you know, I kind of like her, too bad, she doesn't have much exposure. Also, there was a scene where she was having this Cinderella moment, too bad, they didn't end up being with each other. why? uhm...due to death?

Ronan- you know what, despite her being social-climber, I really can't blame her for her family's name was at stake. Anyways, of all the characters, she's my favorite. Reading a chapter about her makes me interested. I just find it hard to believe that she was one of the beautiful ladies in the ball and yet, only two gentlemen proposed to her.

Isabelle - despite how she acted at the first part, I can really say I understand her. I mean, she was just a stunning girl who dreams of marrying a guy to escape her sexually-abusive cousin who was ten years old older than her. During the last few pages of the story, I seriously thought she was the only one who was going to have her happy-ever-after but *sigh* too bad.

Wolf - Okay, he's the type of guy you'll get obsessed with. I am torn between crying over him out of pity or punching him out of anger. She didn't end up being with the woman she loved and married his best friend instead.

Leo - I knew he was a jerk but Author, please, can you at least let him live for the sake of one character?

plot - the plot was amazing, the twist was unexpected but let me tell you this, I am not a big fan of the twist. ugh. Is it wrong if I hope the twist didn't happen?

but, let me ask you a question about the ''other'' twist, why didn't they made a big deal that Marie and Aewelyn were sisters and why did the queen hate Aelwyn in the beginning? like she's your daughter, dude.

and oh please, poor excuse for Aelwyn's father to say that the only reason why he was poisoning Marie was to ensure Marie was strong enough. I seriously rolled my eyes at this.

writing style - fast-paced. beautifully written. I can't put down the book due to how invested I was.

Okay, as I write this poor review of mine, I still can't help myself from getting a bit pissed for I still cannot accept the ending, this novel is totally not for soft-hearted.

Profile Image for Rachel  (APCB Reviews).
331 reviews1,193 followers
May 17, 2014
Read the full gif-filled spoiler-free review @A Perfection Called Books

I stumbled across this book on Goodreads and thought the story sounded intriguing and interesting. I quickly bought the book and read it in a day. Despite the rating, I really did enjoy this light read. This ONE part totally ruined the book for me though.

The Concept:

I always love reading a good historical fiction novel. This book takes place in the beginning of the twentieth century, and Great Britain is still basically the British Empire only more powerful as it has also claimed France. The Franco-British Empire's greatest enemy is Prussia. The princess of the empire, Marie-Victoria, is arranged to marry the Prussia prince, Leopold, to forge an alliance. As the London season opens up (society & socializing time) and in preparation for the royal wedding and forming of the alliance, tons of drama and conspiracies and romance ensues. In this world there are also mages (wizards) who openly use magic. They're servants or the most powerful are the ones who rule (the power behind the crown). I really liked the drama and life of the aristocracy and politics of it all and stuff. This book was just loads of fun!

The Writing:

This being the first book of Melissa de la Cruz that I've read, I see that she is great at writing light-hearted, fluffy, entertaining stories that keep readers captivated from beginning to end. The writing is simple and easy to follow.

The Characters:

There are so so many characters in this book. They are all interconnected too which makes things extra complicated. I liked a specific quality in each character, but disliked some other traits. These characters got on my nerves at some point.

Princess Marie-Victoria - The sickly princess doesn't want the crown. She is jealous of her best friend and mage who she views as someone who's "free" while she's shackled to the crown. She hates her betrothed, Leopold even though everyone else seems to love him. Marie just wants to run away and live a simple life with her longtime friend, new lover, and personal guard, Gill. Marie is so kind and gently and smart. She's great! I just hate how for most of the book all she's thinking of is her dream to run away with Gill. She doesn't even consider her country in her decision at all...

Aelwyn - This mage spends the whole book being super jealous of Marie, and it bugged the heck out of me. How about "be grateful for what you have?" She's infatuated with Prince Leopold too...

Ronan - The American comes to London in season to find a wealthy husband who will save her family from their financial troubles. I like her tenacity, but she whines and complains a bit too much. She turned down Wolf and then when she realizes he's rich she wants to get back together him and confesses her love! That's not right...

Wolf - I LOVE Wolf <3 He' so sweet and funny and handsome and adorable. I love how gentlemanly he is and how he's such a good person. As the second prince of Prussia it doesn't matter what he does; he just needs to stay alive in case anything happens to his elder brother.

Isabelle - I feel so bad for this poor girl. She's been taken advantage of way too many times. :( I like that she learned to say "no" but near the end of the book she succumbed to her despair and just gave up.

The Romance:

The book had a little bit of this:

Romance is a very big part of this book. I like that the romance isn't the main concern though. Each character knows that duties and obligations and other things are more important than the romance which I respect and admire. The romance in this book is all over the place. I saw someone created a chart of the relationships in this book XD It's so convoluted. Each romance is a bit different, each cute in their own way.

The Flirtations and Sexiness:

Everyone was going around having sex and giving up their V cards...

The Denouement:

I HATED the falling action. De la Cruz basically explains everything all at once and the conclusion and reason of everything could NEVER be deduced by the reader. De la Cruz did a horrible job of spreading the details and clues throughout the story. She had an outlandish explanation, and it was just dumped on us. Aelwyn told Marie and ugh it was just horrible. That's where my opinion and rating of this book tanked. It was horrible.

While Aelwyn was explaining everything I just wanted to say:

The Ending:

Not great, not bad. There's no cliffhanger thank gosh! I really have no idea where this series is going...


If you're looking for an entertaining quick read with not much depth, this is the book for you. It's fun and light and sure to please.

Profile Image for Emily - Reads Must.
97 reviews21 followers
May 5, 2014
There's no better feeling then when you find a book that you completely adore. This is one of my favorite books I've read this year! If J.K. Rowling and Philippa Gregory had a 382 page love child this would be it! It's rife with magic and enchantment while set in an historic context that will take you away to a whole other world. It's effortlessly written and an all out mesmerizing to read.

The Ring & The Crown tells the tail of the people attending the London Season as Marie, the Princess of Wales prepares for her engagement to one Prince Leopold in order to secure pace between their two nations. But with Leo currently betrothed to another and Marie's heart already taken it's bound to be an interesting season indeed.

I was a little worried when picking up with book because I tend to have issues with female points of view as they can come across a little winey and quite often the only real thought they have is 'why doesn't he love me?' But that is definitely not the case with this book! There are several different and interlocking love stories going on but all the women are strong minded and independent and give the men a run for their money.

The story is told my multiple points of view as the London season begins. We have Marie, the princess of Wales and heir to the British Thrown. Her childhood friend and sorceress Aelwyn. American beauty Rowan and French firehouse Isabel. All these wonderful leading ladies have vivid personalities and complicated love lives. Not a single one of them is dull or what they're meant to be. The Ring & The Crown follows them all as they have too choose between duty and their hearts. Friendship and protocol. And that's not even mentioning the boys!

SWOON ALERT - I'm going to start with Wolf. It's very rare you get a bad boy and a gentleman all rolled into one like you do here. He's cheeky and boisterous but as these romanticized ideas of what makes a relationship that is a rarity in this kind of setting. He's top of my fictional man crush list! There's also Gill and Louis to look out for, and a couple of villains that will make your skin crawl.

The ending was a full on information bomb! With one thing after another being thrown at you - I had a little trouble keeping up. It's not a hugely action packed novel and I would have maybe liked a little more fantasy too it but that's the only thing I can say about it. The fact that it was wasn't stuffed to the brim meant that you could take everything in. With so many different points of view you needed that time to really get to know everyone. If it had been any busier you wouldn't have felt for the characters, which would have made the events that unfolded towards the end of the book completely irrelevant.

As it is, I adored this book. Full stop end of story. I need more! As in a second book... now would be nice. This is one of those books that I intend to read again and again until I can quote it word for word. It's an enchanting world with vivid, lovable character's that will have you trolling your local book store for Melissa's other books. I highly recommend this and hope you love it as much as I did.
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