GENRE: Historical-fantasy, YA
Hi all! This book, The Ring and The Crown by Melissa De La Cruz, is a historical-fantasy taking place in the early 1900 where the English and the French have joined together to form an empire that controls all the world’s most powerful magicians and most of the world itself. Aelwyn is a bastard magician and her only duty in life will be to serve the crown, having been sent away four years ago to study and learn to control her magic she has returned to London and is reunited with her childhood friend, Princess Marie-Victoria. The Princess has never had the ambitions of her mother, Queen Eleanor II, or Aelwyn and she wants nothing more than a simple life with the man she has given her heart away to. A man she cannot have. Insteed she has a political marriage lined up for her, and the man she is to marry was engaged and his ex-fiancé isn’t ready to have him taken from her without a fight. Ronan is a beautiful American who is using her beauty to fight her way up the social ranks and she isn’t going to be left behind in the wedding games! All 4 girls meet in London for the coming out season, each willing to do anything for their perfect match. I enjoyed this book, it wasn’t anything spectacular though. While much more interesting than most books about the court, there were still a lot of very dry bits. Spoilers past here!
This novel had to have had one of the least satisfying endings I have ever read. Isabelle really gets the worst of it. She finally finds love and then get kidnapped, Louis is killed, she’s pregnant with her evil (and dead) lover’s bastard child and then gets to be raped by her guardian figure, Hugh, (which is “very much like coming home” because that was her childhood! Yay! Ain’t the sweet. No. It was really depressing, why did that line have to be there?! It made it sound like this was somehow positive!) There’s a hint at the end that she MIGHT have ran away and is now living by herself with her child. Oh good. So they get to be dirt poor and likely starve. Then we have Ronan and Wolf situation (more on that later) finally they are all set to go, they both love each other, this is going to work! Oh wait. No it’s not. We get rid of the evil character and break up our favourite couple in the process. Wolf and Marie-Victoria (henceforth PMV) are friends so it’s not horrible, but I was so disappointed, I really wanted Wolf and Ronan together. Oh then Ronan also starts her own business so that was fine. Her story line ended ok.
Wolf and Ronan the start of their relationship really made me frustrated. Almost all of it made me frustrated actually but mostly the first bit when he proposes. It’s like this “test” if she loves him or just money because she doesn’t know he’s rich. That is SUCH an unfair test for many reasons
- He knows the role of woman at the time, marry wealthy and support your family. She’s told him how she’s going to sell herself because her family is practically broke. She doesn’t know he has money so she’s not going to sacrifice her family for a guy she doesn’t know.
- That brings me to part two, she doesn’t even know his real name! She doesn’t know a damned thing about him.
- She could have though he was marrying her for her money; it looks like she has a lot so it’s not an unreasonable assumption.
Personally when he brought it up I would have gone with the last one as my main argument, supporting it with the second and first then sprinkles of what she did which virtue and that crap. After that initially messiness was out of the way I really liked their relationship, it frustrated me as I said, but it was a good frustration. They had good push and pull and I just wanted them to be together already! Then they’re together for like a day then it all goes to hell.
I can’t believe PMV wasn’t angrier when Aelwyn told her the Merlin guy was poisoning her! The test thing, fine. I understand the need for a strong ruler who will make personal sacrifices for the greater good of the people and wanting to make sure. I don’t support the method but the ends justify the means in this case (I think). But I saw no feasible reason for poisoning her to make her sick. Why? What are you trying to prove? I would have been way more upset and dwelt on that fact way longer than she did! Aelwyn told her and PMV and the Queen were just kind of “oh ok. That’s normal.” That’s high treason HE WAS DELIBERATLY FEEDING THE PRINCESS POISION AND CALLING IT MEDICINE! And it’s not like he just started, he’s been doing this for the majority of her life. Years. After the rest of her body was all fixed he just was like “oh I need to do something, she’s too healthy!” and after this he doesn’t see to be upset or anything, there was no revealing of plans it’s like he was just doing it for shits and giggles.
I really loved PMV and Gill scenes. They were so cute together but I knew she was going to give him up which I wasn’t too angry about because it had to happen. But seeing them together even for a bit made me happy. It was so satisfying when Leopold was killed by Louis in a duel! We knew something was up with him! At first it was just “ok PMV is in love with someone else, obviously he’s a good actor playing him part etc.” Then as it went on it just got weird because clearly he isn’t a very good person why does everyone love him so much? Does he just hide it that well? Ah he’s magic. Makes sense now! I had almost forgotten about Pandora’s box when it came back into play. I love when book make nice little circles like that. So elegant.
That is all for now! Kisses! Bye guys!