by Mette Ivie Harrison
Series: The Rose Throne #1
Published by EgmontUSA Release date : May 14th 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, Young Adult
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"Ailsbet loves nothing more than music; tall and red-haired, she's impatient with the artifice and ceremony of her father's court. Marissa adores the world of her island home and feels she has much to offer when she finally inherits the throne from her wise, good-tempered father. The trouble is that neither princess has the power--or the magic--to rule alone, and if the kingdoms can be united, which princess will end up ruling the joint land? For both, the only goal would seem to be a strategic marriage to a man who can bring his own brand of power to the throne. But will either girl be able to marry for love? And can either of these two princesses, rivals though they have never met, afford to let the other live?"
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Fantasy is a bit of a hit or miss for me. I enjoy being whisked away to entire new world, discover it’s beauty, it’s people. Learn about the laws, the Politics and the like. In the same token; I am often thrown by its complexity, weird names and terms- so I usually steer clear of it. Though the Rose Throne is complex, irritatingly confusing at times, I really enjoyed it.
Immediately, we are introduced to an interesting, beautiful; yet terrifying world. With two rival kingdoms ruled with opposing magic on the brink of war, we are thrown into the mayhem of the Royal Court, it’s Politics and introduced to two Princess’, who harbor their own secrets and must constantly sacrifice themselves for their kingdoms. The world building was fantastic. Very vivid and well written. It has a historical feel to the dialog, which is something I don’t read very often. It wasn’t something I was expecting. I loved the magical elements. It was very original and I thought it was a fascinating concept. Confusing at times to comprehend though. Everything moved a little too fast for my liking. It seemed like if I was even slightly distracted, I would miss something MAJOR.
The story is told in dual POV between Ailsbet and Issa. Between the two, Ailsbet was far more entertaining. Being an outcast for NOT having magic, she is tough, determined and strong. She is obsessed with music and could really care less about anything else. She hates court, her father and just wanted MORE for herself then what she had been given, but not in a way where she felt sorry for herself or was really selfish. She has no friends. No close family. And I thought her courage and wit were her best traits. Her kingdom being the.. darker of the two, she isn’t a fluffy Princess.
Issa was just too wishy-washy for me. Yes, honorable sacrifices she was making but I felt, at times, that she just didn’t care about the consequences of her actions.Or just didn’t UNDERSTAND them. I felt she was too sheltered (OK, not her fault really) being her Kingdom was a lot more fair to their people and used the more gentle magic. She did redeem herself at the end, because I am not even sure Ailsbet would have done what Issa did.
The Rose Throne is VERY plot driven, not character. And there is so much going on, it’s hard to really divulge into ANY specifics without starting from the beginning or spoiling anything. Because of this, I wasn’t able to connect with our two main characters. I was invested in their stories; but since the book takes place over a years time, with time gaps every few chapters, I was more concerned about who was good and who was not, who was going to die next, since they were dropping left and right. More invested in the WORLD than just those two. Which isn’t a bad thing. I would much prefer to be more invested in the individual characters, so this is all preference.
As for all the other characters. I often forgot who they were, what relation they had and what their presence meant. I was always second guessing, because pretty much everyone was twisted, selfish and two faced. And when someone died.. I was just “EH, shitty day” about it. I didn’t care, really. As for the romance part; I honestly missed the initial.. attraction, so I was thrown when the love confessions started.
Overall~ Enjoyable read. Beautifully written, creative world with interesting magical elements. It was a nice escape. But, since it isn’t typical for my reading preferences, I’m still undecided if I will continue on with the series.