The Ring and the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz

Disney Hyperion | Uncorrected Advance Proof, 362 pages
Publication Date: April 1st, 2014
Young Adult | Historical Fantasy | Fiction
Rating: 1 out of 5 Stars
This review is not going to be pretty. It’s not going to be rant-y, but it sure as heck not going to be good either.

Exhibit 1: Page 1 includes a quote from a Beyonce song. Now, this is an ARC so I’m not allowed to re-quote that in my review. Just keep in mind that this is a historical fantasy; so the quote from a modern pop song is a little jarring. Okay, a lot. Unfortunately, that’s not the end of it.

Exhibit 2: There is a population problem in London, ladies and gents. A plethora of characters that you would need to keep track of, and it’s exhausting! Four girls and four boys all vying for your attention. After a while, the novel became some sort of anthology; one where I pick and choose which story to read. Needless to say, I skimmed a lot. And that’s the unfortunate thing. I was ecstatic to receive this book for review. I now have the thankless job of going back to the publisher with a less than stellar feedback.

Exhibit 3: Magic. Well, just like Houdini, it disappeared! Okay, slight exaggeration. There is magic – one that is used to create beautiful gowns, make the ladies’ hair shiny, and magic that works better than Proactiv! Magic is used to enhance looks, and that’s about all it was good for.

Exhibit 4: The romances here (spoiler) suck. There’s just no way around it. If you’re going in expecting a happily ever after, don’t even bother. Run. Run away. (end of spoiler)

Exhibit 5: Another pop song quote; this one from Lorde. *eye roll*

I wish I can add another section to this review where it would highlight the good things, and or the potentials. Unfortunately, the only good experience I had with this book is when I shelved it to my read shelf.

If you’re a fan of magic, and you know exactly how great it could be when it’s done well, you’ll be disappointed.

If you’re a fan of strong women who has a chance at changing the world’s sexpot perceptions of them as a whole, keep walking. You will not find it here. The funny thing is, both quotes from those pop songs depict of women empowerment.

If you’re one of those fools who believe that love conquers all, then keep on living the pipe dreams. Because this book will tell you that “love” means nothing. Cynical? Yes.

This is my first Melissa de la Cruz read; but if she keeps writing about excess, the rich, and the privileged, then this will probably be my last. It’s just not my thing. I like a cast with a lot more heft in the characterization department.

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