Crown of Coral and Pearl

Crown of Coral and PearlFor Generations, The Princes Of Ilara Have Married The Most Beautiful Maidens From The Ocean Village Of Varenia But Though Every Girl Longs To Be Chosen As The Next Princess, The Cost Of Becoming Royalty Is Higher Than Any Of Them Could Ever Imagine Nor Once Dreamed Of Seeing The Wondrous Wealth And Beauty Of Ilara, The Kingdom That S Ruled Her Village For As Long As Anyone Can Remember But When A Childhood Accident Left Her With A Permanent Scar, It Became Clear That Her Identical Twin Sister, Zadie, Would Likely Be Chosen To Marry The Crown Prince While Nor Remained Behind, Unable To Ever Set Foot On LandThen Zadie Is Gravely Injured, And Nor Is Sent To Ilara In Her Place To Nor S Dismay, Her Future Husband, Prince Ceren, Is As Forbidding And Cold As His Home A Castle Carved Into A Mountain And Devoid Of Sunlight And As She Grows Closer To Ceren S Brother, The Charming Prince Talin, Nor Uncovers Startling Truths About A Failing Royal Bloodline, A Murdered Queen And A Plot To Destroy The Home She Was Once So Eager To LeaveIn Order To Save Her People, Nor Must Learn To Negotiate The Treacherous Protocols Of A Court Where Lies Reign And Obsession Rules But Discovering Her Own Formidable Strength May Be The One Move That Costs Her Everything The Crown, Varenia And Zadie ifgrace and furyandred queenhad a love child who spent the summers with their distant aunt inhouse of salt and sorrows,it would be this book i found this story had all the best elements of those particular books sisterly devotion, brotherly princes who couldnt bedifferent, magic and its exploitation, court politics and scheming, with the enchanting lure of a seaside atmosphere all of these aspects arent new, but somehow this story delivers them in a way that kept me interes ifgrace and furyandred queenhad a love child who spent the summers with their distant aunt inhouse of salt and sorrows,it would be this book i found this story had all the best elements of those particular books sisterly devotion, brotherly princes who couldnt bedifferent, magic and its exploitation, court politics and scheming, with the enchanting lure of a seaside atmosphere all of these aspects arent new, but somehow this story delivers them in a way that kept me interested my one major complaint would be the synopsis is pretty much the entire book its taking tl dr to an entirely new level as there is literally nothing else to this story worth mentioning everything you need to know can be summed up in those few short paragraphs i get thats what a synopsis is for, but never have i read a story that was missing additional side plots or surprising new elements its just a little bit of a downer but still, this is a very promising start to what i imagine will be an entertaining serious there is room for growth, but that only means it should get better from here 3.5 stars Now AvailableSorrow is good for the soul, Father had said after the incident, when I had recovered from the pain and sickness but had still not grown used to the feel of the torn flesh on my otherwise flawless skin Those who have never known pain or adversity are as shallow as the waves lapping on the shore And what is wrong with being shallow I d asked him What lies beneath the surface of shallow waters Nothing It s only when you go deeper that the ocean comes alive The deeper you Now AvailableSorrow is good for the soul, Father had said after the incident, when I had recovered from the pain and sickness but had still not grown used to the feel of the torn flesh on my otherwise flawless skin Those who have never known pain or adversity are as shallow as the waves lapping on the shore And what is wrong with being shallow I d asked him What lies beneath the surface of shallow waters Nothing It s only when you go deeper that the ocean comes alive The deeper you go, themysteries and surprises await Even though I have a plethora of books on my shelves, as every reader is entitled toCough Cough , I will still venture out to NetGalley to snag an arc of a book that a trusted friend raves about Crown of Coral and Pearl wasn t even on my radar, yet a fabulous review from Sol encouraged me to rush and request it immediately Once approved, I started it the very same day, and I can t begin to tell you what an excellent decision that was Although it appears to have taken me forever to read this book, it s only due to the fact I was on vacation at Disney World with the family, and had to sneak in every page possible around our tight scheduleYou took two daughters who loved you and turned them into weapons to exact your revenge, never realizing that there was no enemy Perhaps I am a weapon, a blade honed on your bitterness And perhaps I have come to stab you in the back Yes, this is the type of truth bomb that sets the scene for the first installment in the duology Surprisingly, I enjoyed the first half of the bookthan the second, even though the first part was thepredictable section This is partially due to the fact that it s glaringly obvious in the synopsis, but also because this is the portion that is atmospheric, world building, and develops characters before things get going The author s descriptions are lush and immersive, and I couldn t get enough of this unique place where a minority group is being held under the oppressive hand of the land lubbers, even though the people in power have a lower life expectancy, and quality of life in general This section also features multiple grounded platonic relationships, and I adored the fact that we get an invasive look into the detailed structure of this fantastical place There are complex dynamics in this dysfunctional family, and I am grateful that these were exposed in great detail for the readerHiding our scars doesn t mean they re not there Just as beauty cannot disguise who we really are beneath the surface I didn t hate the second half of the book, but I found myself a great deal less invested once Nor leaves her community to take her sister s place as Prince Ceren s fiance I feel the need to give a head s up to the fact that there is a heavy handed insta love situation here, and even though I m not entirely opposed to that trope, this one felt it was created to manipulate the reader on multiple levels From the moment both characters interact on paper, it s clear that Talin is meant to be her love interest, and that this relationship is intended to further Ceren s role as antagonist Again, it wasn t bad, but I actually found myself sympathizingwith Ceren than with either Talin or Nor during the second half of the book The ending was intense, exciting, and overall very satisfying, and I m pleased that I knew going in there would be another book to give us a bitIf you re looking for an engaging YA fantasy with a unique setting that goes down like smooth butter, this one s for you I appreciate that the author tackled some tough subjects while promoting female value beyond outward appearance, and I can t wait to see how she chooses to wrap up the storylineMany thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy via NetGalley. The August Fae Crate FINALLY arrived today 9 16 19 Click the link below the pic to see the goodies I have a couple of favs THE GOODIESSigh and shit Mel The August Fae Crate FINALLY arrived today 9 16 19 Click the link below the pic to see the goodies I have a couple of favs THE GOODIESSigh and shit Mel 1 Crown of Coral and Pearl 3 Stars 2 Kingdom of Sea and Stone TBR I m not sure if I should be grateful or disappointed that I managed to get out of this book unscathed It was enjoyable to read But the romance left a lot to be desired I hope the sequel will be worth reading Selling PointsBrilliant depiction of twin relationship One of the things that this book did get right was how difficult and polarizing siblings relationship could be Nor and Zadia had opposite personalities 1 Crown of Coral and Pearl 3 Stars 2 Kingdom of Sea and Stone TBR I m not sure if I should be grateful or disappointed that I managed to get out of this book unscathed It was enjoyable to read But the romance left a lot to be desired I hope the sequel will be worth reading Selling PointsBrilliant depiction of twin relationship One of the things that this book did get right was how difficult and polarizing siblings relationship could be Nor and Zadia had opposite personalities However, it was hard to favor one twin over the other bcs at the core of everything they mirrored one another I loved seeing how unrelenting their love was Solid world building I loved how intricate it was the two dissecting worlds between the dry land Ilara and the ocean village Varenia I loved how clashing it was when the two worlds were finally met and experienced through Nor She slowly discovered the contrast between what she had always thought of the place and the reality she found in Ilara Interesting court play and intrigue There was enough scheming and veiled mysteries in this book to hold your attention I loved seeing how Nor brought us along in her attempts to save her hometown and learned about the castle and its people, the history behind it, and everything to do with it These little narratives were engaging and never made for a dull moment in the book Malicious beauty pageantry of a sort The idea of choosing a bride based on looks is not unheard of At first, it struck me as baffling and utterly ridiculous how these Varenian people think highly of someone based on their beauty However, this book also showed the harmful side of it How it turned society against each other and made them shallow and resentful We can also see how it affected the twins relationship with their mother Things you need to watch out forLackluster romance It was so unsatisfying bcs it was an insta love There was no build up No feelings and sparks For all the disdain Nor feels towards judging people by their appearance, she was instantly smitten by Talin bcs of his sea blue eyes And Talin s personality was so cardboard cutout Contrived ending It was a deus ex machina The book ended with some not so random but totally uncalled for plot twists that supposedly just fixed everything What worse is that rather than showing it to us, the resolution part was told through Talin I m also annoyed with how the villain was dealt with I feel like the author did him dirty with the ending.Read this book if you re in the mood for some fantasy read by the sea that s got some great portrayal of unconditional twin sisters love and palace intrigue Just forget about the bland romance and you shall be fine did i add this to my tbr just because the cover s pretty no, why would you suggest that Good LORD this was good The only downside is that I have to wait a whole year for the next book That sucks.It s hard to believe that this is the author s first published book if I m being completely honest.I don t think I have to explain what happens in the book because it s kind of clear.Anyway, the characters OOF Talin and Nor are loveable and all but Ceren The guy is COLD And I mean cold cold He is cruel and vile and extremely unloveable and that s exactly what makes the book so damn in Good LORD this was good The only downside is that I have to wait a whole year for the next book That sucks.It s hard to believe that this is the author s first published book if I m being completely honest.I don t think I have to explain what happens in the book because it s kind of clear.Anyway, the characters OOF Talin and Nor are loveable and all but Ceren The guy is COLD And I mean cold cold He is cruel and vile and extremely unloveable and that s exactly what makes the book so damn interesting I was frightened of the person I was becoming a woman who lied to everyone, who disrespected her parents, who helped her sister injure herself A woman who would spy on a king.A woman who would steal a crownRight up until the end, I thought this was going to be a 4 star read Nor was wonderfully smart, the politics were actually interesting, and I loved the premise of the story But there were three main problems 1 The romance was absolutely shite.2 I sympathised with the villa I was frightened of the person I was becoming a woman who lied to everyone, who disrespected her parents, who helped her sister injure herself A woman who would spy on a king.A woman who would steal a crownRight up until the end, I thought this was going to be a 4 star read Nor was wonderfully smart, the politics were actually interesting, and I loved the premise of the story But there were three main problems 1 The romance was absolutely shite.2 I sympathised with the villain waythan I did with the heroes 3 The ending was extremely deus ex machina and not worthy of the book at all.Like I said, the premise really good Seventeen year old Nor whose name means coral lives in the ocean village of Varenia with her twin sister Zadie pearl It s literally an ocean village the houses are on stilts over the water, and due to an ancient rule made by the nearby land kingdom of Ilara, no Varenian is allowed to go to shore.With one exception whoever is chosen by the village elders to be the next queen of Ilara Once every generation, the most beautiful girl in the village will travel to Ilara to wed the king Nor has always wished it could be her, because she feels stifled in her tiny beauty obsessed village with a mother who wants nothingthan to have gorgeous daughters But she can never be chosen A childhood accident left her with a tiny blemish on her cheek, and it s Zadie whom everyone knows will be picked And when Zadie is picked, everything is as it should be Only, Zadie doesn t want to go She s in love with their childhood friend Sami, and she s willing to go to desperate lengths to make sure she isn t sent away from him forever Nor is packed off to Ilara instead, armed with a pot of cream designed to hide her scar the only thing identifying her from Zadie There she meets her betrothed Prince Ceren, a mercurial and oddly cruel young man She also meets his half brother Prince Talin, muchhandsome and kind, whom she feels drawn to immediately Nor quickly realises that things are rotten in the state of Ilara The Ilaran nobles are weak and aged, compared to the healthy youthfulness of Varenians Ceren believes it s because of the blood pearls rare pink pearls harvested only in Varenia, they re its main export But the pearls are running thin and Nor s people are starving She will have to balance the needs of her people with appeasing her spoiled, maniacal husband to be Right, let me start with the negatives Problem 1 The Romance This was, quite frankly, nothingthan insta love Talin is an extraordinarily handsome man Nor is an extraordinarily beautiful girl Naturally, they fall in love with each other I had no idea WHY she was attracted to him beyond stupidly superficial stuff like his sea blue eyes , or whatever This is a book which is supposed to be about celebrating all kinds of beauty, not just the physical It s trying to show us how wrong Varenia is to be obsessed with beauty And yet All we see of Talin is his good looks It was very ironic but also totally destroyed any page where he appeared.It also destroyed my respect for Nor She s clearly a clever girl, avoiding many of the TSTL traps which can ensnare a fantasy heroine who s not careful Yet she actively annoyed her actual fianc by flirting with his brother right in front of him What the hell Why would you deliberately annoy Ceren, whom you know has got a bad temper, like that And why are you attracted to him AT ALL Problem 2 The Villain Ah, Ceren Where do I begin with him The author definitely tried to humanise him, but it s reached such a peak that I feelfor him than I do for Nor, or the 2D cardboard cut out that is Talin His mother died when he was young, and his father immediately remarried to a gorgeous new bride who gave birth to a gorgeous young son Who WOULDN T feel threatened in that sort of situation Especially because it s made obvious that Talin s mother disliked her husband s heir, was jealous her own son wouldn t get the throne, and did her best to exclude Ceren from family activities.When they matured, Ceren was uglier and less social than Talin, who easily won hearts wherever he went And THEN Ceren s own fianc e Nor appeared and made it obvious from the beginning that she preferred his brother to him like everyone else on the planet You really have to feel for Ceren here.Nor and Talin don t come off well here at all Nor just latched onto handsome Talin and never let go Talin is far too quick to hate an elder brother who has never actually hurt him Yes, Ceren is definitely no saint, but he was an extremely interesting character and I don t think he was done justice by the author or any of the characters Problem 3 The Ending I obviously can t say too much here, because spoilers But it was rushed, implausible, and badly thought out It also relied heavily on Nor s character making a U turn from what it was previously written as What I liked Wonderful exploration of the difficult, but always close, relationship between twins Quite good world building Good pacing I wasn t bored for lack of action When Talin wasn t around, I did respect Nor and her lack of stupid actions Overall This seems to be a standalone, which is a good thing since I m not sure I would have read a sequel It was an okay read but once I saw the direction it was heading in at the 70% mark I struggled a bit to finishARC received in exchange for an honest review thank youBlog Bookstagram So right away, I really liked the first half of this book The sister bond was well done and I really connected with Nor.For me, I kept waiting for the romance to build between Nor and Talin, or take away the romance I loved their connection at the beginning of the book but then their whole relationship was underdeveloped, which would have been fine, but I kept getting insta love vibes from Nor Ceren was actually well developed and he was quite the baddy, but I liked him The writing was beauti So right away, I really liked the first half of this book The sister bond was well done and I really connected with Nor.For me, I kept waiting for the romance to build between Nor and Talin, or take away the romance I loved their connection at the beginning of the book but then their whole relationship was underdeveloped, which would have been fine, but I kept getting insta love vibes from Nor Ceren was actually well developed and he was quite the baddy, but I liked him The writing was beautiful and the world the author created was really cool Side note I with there would have beenSami He was probably my favorite character and there should definitely be a whole book on him 4 5 StarsI m the perfect seashell you pick up from the ocean floor, only to turn it over in your hand and see the crack Thank you, NetGalley and Harlequin Australia, for sending me an advance reader copy in exchange for an honest review Title Crown of Coral and PearlSeries Crown of Coral and Pearl 1Author Mara RutherfordRelease date August 27, 2019 Genre fantasy, YAI wasn t prepared for how obsessed I would feel about this story How I d be so completely absorbed with these characters lives that I d careabout their welfare than being gritty eyed and sluggish the next day Yes, it s one of those Sacrifice Proper Sleep kind of books After blogging for so long I probably go through twenty five potentially exciting b Title Crown of Coral and PearlSeries Crown of Coral and Pearl 1Author Mara RutherfordRelease date August 27, 2019 Genre fantasy, YAI wasn t prepared for how obsessed I would feel about this story How I d be so completely absorbed with these characters lives that I d careabout their welfare than being gritty eyed and sluggish the next day Yes, it s one of those Sacrifice Proper Sleep kind of books After blogging for so long I probably go through twenty five potentially exciting books before I find one that hits the mark in every single way like this one Honestly, this is why I read To find something that will knock your socks off, blow your hair back, give you the biggest rush of giddiness after flipping the last page Fantasy lovers, stop right here and make this one a priority It s a fantastical tale about the fierce bond of sisterhood, what one will sacrifice for true love, and the other s lesson about the importance of strength of character instead of fleeting beauty I was almost instantly drawn into Nor and Zadie s fascinating home of Varenia The two twins live in a small ocean community that looks idyllic from the outside, but in reality there s only two ways to achieve anything Be flawlessly beautiful, enough that you ll be chosen by the elders to marry a Prince of Ilara Or collect enough clams from the dwindling supply underwater in order to find the pearls that will keep your family fed Neither prospect is particularly easy or simple People are starting to really struggle to put food on the table, and surely circumstances will be even worse once they re completely picked over How will they survive Nor and Zadie s mother isdesperate than ever to have one of them chosen to reap the glory and bride price Their mother was a despicable and selfish human being She threw all of her time and energy into Zadie in order to maintain her perfect outward appearance In this society beauty was power, and she was determined to use whomever she needed to in order to get it She thought nothing of her child potentially leaving and never seeing her again, or ripping her away from the only home she ever knew when it was clear she had no desire to marry a strange man in a strange land In fact, she deliberately sought to hurt both her daughters very cruelly The way she treated Nor after she saved her sister s life and became scarred was as if she didn t even exist any But when she did notice she was there, she was verbally abusive and made Nor feel worthless because of her appearance Prepare to hate this woman, that s all I ve got to say Mother was wrong Nor You have the power to do anything and everything you dream of,than any person I ve ever known And that power, that inner strength, that is what makes you the most beautiful girl in Varenia The only positive that came out of Nor s situation was that she became physically and mentally stronger because of all of the challenges heaped on her And if she had no chance of being chosen and seeing the world that she dreams of exploring, at least her sister will have that It s hard to imagine being banned from venturing out of your village, to be trapped there with no means of escape and so isolated that trees, horses and roses are things you ve heard of but never seen Your world encompasses the sea, the sun, and the warm breeze on your skin I really liked the concept of the blood coral, how it grew near the bodies of the departed who are put out to sea And the mysterious qualities and benefits it seemed to have that the people there don t fully understand Through a twist of fate, Nor is sent to New Castle where she will impersonate her twin sister in order to fulfill the betrothal She thinks this is the answer to everyone s prayers, but she couldn t have beenwrong She has a dangerous path ahead of her if she s going to survive this new life of hers on land The prince is nothing like she imagined, and the prosperous land is a dark and unwelcoming place that seems to breed illness in people She went from a simple life to backstabbing aristocracy, royal machinations, and cruelty like she s never witnessed before Not only is her life in danger, but everything she holds dear to her heart back home She must make the right allies and outwit those who hold all of the power Varenia, the ocean, even my parents I could survive without them But my sister was as essential to me as the sunlight, as the air I would find a way back to her some day.There is a romance, but it s not a love triangle situation As someone who s a romance reader at heart who also loves a good fantasy, Ms Rutherford delivered the goods on a perfectly balanced heart stopping adventure and well drawn out relationship with the love interest Of course it wasn t the main focus, but it still felt developed enough in the background for it to feel natural and realistic Make no mistake though, Nor is the star of the show here, as she stood up for what s right, fought for those who couldn t themselves, and discovered just how much of a difference one person could make if they believed in themselves enough The sisters love for each other really shined brightly It was so powerful that time and distance could not dim or tarnish it I can t sing this book s praises enough When I first got the arc, I wasn t entirely sure if this was a standalone or not, but it looks like the author has been cleared for a follow up Even though this could have ended at book one, I certainly don t want to give up this world quite yet Not by a long shot There was plenty of potential written in for a continuation so I couldn t beexcited we will get to return sometime next year with Kingdom of Sea and Stone. Snatch this hidden gem upor should I say pearl This is an absolute must read Home was not a house, or a village, or a sea It was family, and love, and the space where your soul could roost, like a seabird safe from a storm.FOLLOW SMOKIN HOT BOOK BLOG ON

!!> EPUB ✻ Crown of Coral and Pearl ✶ Author Mara Rutherford – Oaklandjobs.co.uk
  • Hardcover
  • 432 pages
  • Crown of Coral and Pearl
  • Mara Rutherford
  • English
  • 02 April 2017
  • 1335090444