Review - The Ring & Crown by Melissa De La Cruz

Title - The Ring & The Crown
Series - The Ring & The Crown #1
Author - Melissa de la Cruz
Pages: 384
Published: 04/01/14
Acquired: Arc - Thank you for Disney-Hyperion
Goodreads Rating: 3.56
My Reading: 4.0

Goodreads Synopsis:
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.
My Review:
I have a been a fan of Melissa de la Cruz for many years now. So when I found out that she had a new series coming out mixing fantasy, historical fiction and royalty I knew this was a book that I had to put on my TBR. I originally requested this title off of Netgalley was declined. I decided to try my luck and contact Disney - Hyperion to see if maybe the would send me a physical ARC. I was sure my request would be declined again. Then one day I got the glorious package in the mail that had a beautiful ARC of this book in it.
I have to admit that the first chapter really through me off and at first. I have an issue with difficult names and pronunciations and as the author the started building the fantasy elements of this story it took me a while to put the pieces together so I can follow along.
Many stories now a days are told in two perspectives. Some authors are even brave enough to adventure out to 3 POVs. This can be enjoyable if the author is able to do it correctly, but often it fails miserably. But in this book Melissa de la Cruz writes in 5 POVs and I felt she did it beautifully. All the characters were clearly developed with all of their thoughts, feeling and emotions expressed. Each character had their own chapter at first and after the first 5 chapters the characters were beautifully woven together and their stories and lives intertwined.
The first character is Aelwyn a sorceress who was sent away from court when she was younger when she almost set her best friend the Princess Marie on fire. As the Queen at 152 years old is starting to dwindle down Aelwyn is send back to court as in this world, every Royal is only as strong as the Sorcerer and Sorceress by their side.
Princess Marie on the other hand is a plain and sickly girl who is destined to inherit a kingdom and has been set into an arranged marriage with the Heir of the Prussia Kingdom, Prince Leopold. Leo is the most eligible bachelor around and every female would love to marry. Everyone except Marie herself. Marie is secretly in love with her guard Gill and as the whole kingdom is ready to celebrate her engagement, Marie is mourning the loss of her true love.
The third character is Ronan Astor a young girl from America, who comes from a good family whose name is known around the world, but her family is going bankrupted. In order to save her family reputation she most go to London and try to marry well.
The fourth character is Wolf the second son of the King of Prussia. Wolf is happy to be the second son and one with no responsibility. He is away in America where he is able to partake in his favorite activity, one that is not suitable for a royal - Street Fighting.
Lastly we have Isabella, the former fiancée of Prince Leo. In order for Leo to become engaged to Princess Marie, Isabella must sign away her relationship with Leo, but she is determined to not let that happen.
I know what you are thinking. How can the author possibly write about 5 main characters. I don't know how she was able to do it, but she sure pulled it off. I do have to caution you on one thing though. The first 75% of this book is all about love and romance and relationships. We really don't see so much actual action and non-romantic plot development into the last bit of the book where there are some major twists. That was my only main issue with this book,  the fact that I would have liked to seen some more plot mixed in that was not related to the interpersonal relationships and more to do with the political power struggle and the fantasy elements.
That being said, I did really enjoy this book and will definitely be picking up the sequel when it comes out.


  1. I haven't read this one yet, but it's on my wishlist. Great review!


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