Note: I received a free copy of The Ring and the Crown from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Ring and the Crown was a cute little historical/fantasy novel that
actually kind of reminded me of a Shakespeare play (think A Midsummer
Night's Dream or Twelfth Night). The story is Shakespearean in a way
because almost everyone pretends to be someone they aren't, some in
disguise and some just through their actions, and they all begin the
story in love with the wrong people.
The main story is set
around Princess Marie Victoria and her newly returned friend Aelwyn who
has been away at Avalaon to learn to control her magic. When she returns
Marie is affianced to a Prince Leopold who both girls knew when they
were younger. There are also side plots involving Leo's lover and her
cousin and lecherous uncle, Leo's brother and an American girl who he's
expressed interest in, and Marie's guard Gill.
It was very
interesting to see how author Melissa de la Cruz envisioned a world
where royal families had the help of their Merlins or Morgaines, aka
sorcerers and sorceresses who can use magic to help change appearances,
influence others, and basically help save or sink an entire nation. But
it wasn't just the magic that intrigued me, it was the lively
Even though the "cast" as you might call it was large
(even the secondary characters had full chapters dedicated to them) it
was nice to see each of them fleshed out with motivations of their own
and even resolutions to each of their stories. I also liked that each
and every character learned something new about themselves and that,
though they didn't necessarily get the endings they had wanted, most of
the good characters got relatively happy endings and the bad characters
met endings they deserved.
Sometimes it's just nice to read something that ends in such a nicely tied up way.