Crown of Coral and Pearl

Crown of Coral and Pearl
Author: Mara Rutherford
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Release Date: August 27th 2019
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.

Crown of Coral and Pearl is a great book. The story is so unique and interesting and the plot is fast paced. Plus Nor is such a badass you couldn’t have a better MC.

I loved Nor. Nor is absolutely what made the book for me. She is brave and fearless and doesn’t take anyone’s crap. Even when maybe she should calm it down a little. She also have such a severe love for her family and her sister. Even when her mother is crap to her. She still understands where she is coming from. She can see what lies beneath people’s exterior.

One of the reasons for this is because Nor grew up in Varenia. A kingdom that survives by harvesting pearls from their deep waters and creating an alliance with the kingdom of Ilara by sending their most beautiful girl as a bride. The people of Varenia are not allowed to leave and they live in fear of these rules that they follow them closely. It’s almost like a prison, even though they love their home and their people. Very complicated in a way. They also hold beauty to an impossibly high standard because they want one of their daughters chosen at the choosing ceremony. Not only for the bride price but also the honor. So these girls are severely judged on their looks. Nor was scarred as a young child and therefore is out of the running for the ceremony. This however gives her an unexpected freedom and allows her to see how the beauty standards are ridiculous.

We actually spend a lot of time on Varenia before a bride needs to be sent and when Zadie can no longer go. Nor must go in her place. Once she gets to the Ilara and sees that things are not as they seem. The plot really picks up and gets very crazy with politics and court mysteries. It keeps you reading. We are also introduced to a host of characters that I did develop a fondness for.

The romance is sweet and cute. There is definitely a large difference between Ceren the crown prince and Talin, his half brother.

I don’t want to say too much about the characters because i don’t want to give any of the story away. I did really really enjoy it and I’m curious what the sequel is going to be about. I imagine it will be great too.

Mara Rutherford began her writing career as a journalist but quickly discovered she far preferred fantasy to reality. Originally from California, Mara has since lived all over the world, from Russia to Peru, along with her Marine-turned-diplomat husband and two sons. A triplet born on Leap Day, Mara holds a Master's degree in Cultural Studies from the University of London and would rather study the folklore of her next post than the language (which she has found is a lot more fun but not nearly as useful). She is a former Pitch Wars mentee and three-time mentor. Her debut YA fantasy, CORAL AND PEARL, will release from Harlequin Teen in Fall 2019.

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Prize: Win (1) of (15) copies of CROWN OF CORAL AND PEARL by Mara Rutherford (US ONLY)
Starts: 19th August 2019
Ends: 2nd September 2019
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