Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
For 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 land.
Then 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 leave.
In 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.
Wow! I wasn’t sure what to expect when picking up this book… Throne of Glass, Waterworld, Wrath of Dawn, The Belles? I think if you combine all of those together you wind up with this book. Seriously!
I’m loving the fact ocean inspired books are in this year, being a coastal gal I’m totally vibing off of it, but more than that the way it’s becoming a thing in fantasy. Personal love for the ocean aside, this book really has a fascinating concept. Original folklore and politics ensure that the sea folk who live on boats/floating houses cannot step foot on land without being abducted/punished severely. Not to mention a beauty is selected for the King’s male heirs to wed to appease the sea god, Thalos, and to keep the peace.
Nor, the leading lady in the novel, is strong and stubborn but not cold in the least. She has a heart of gold, and it is her bond with her twin sister that is front and center throughout the novel. Everything Nor does is for her sister, for her family and her people. I didn’t find that she grew throughout the book, but she didn’t need to—she remained the same for the better.
There is romance and it doesn’t hit us until halfway through the book or more which was nice. Overall the plot was solid, and the pacing was steady. There were times I would have preferred it to pick up but it was a steady read.
Mara Rutherford created a fascinating world.
3.8 savvy crowns.
What has been your favorite read of 2019 so far?