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.

  • hahahahahahahh I loved this. Why do the most fun reviews usually have to be for not-good books. I am sorry you didn’t enjoy this one, I have decided to skip this myself, but thank you for the entertainment 😉

  • Oh myyy.. :'( I’m so sorry you didn’t like it! Just like you when you first got the book – I’m excited to read this one. Such a pretty cover..I was thinking it would be something like Born Wicked, which I loved. *hugs*

  • It sucks that you didn’t like it, I get that with some books sometimes. Usually Melissa is a great writer, so I’ll have to look into this one a little more! Amazing coverage in your review of the book! 🙂

  • Sorry the book didn’t work for you. It sounds weird to put it mildly, definitely not my type of book. Who would want to quote Beyonce in their books?o.O

  • Oh no! I’m sorry you didn’t like this one. Honestly, I don’t think it’s really my type of book anyway, so I didn’t plan on reading it. But the cover is gorgeous! And it’s always a little saddening when you want to love a book, but just don’t. Thanks for the honest review. 🙂

  • I’m really sorry it wasn’t for you. I confess I didn’t ask for it because I wasn’t sure I would like it even if everyone just loved it. I haven’t read a book by this author, but maybe I’ll try something else if I do.

    • I heart her Blue Bloods series is good. So maybe that would work for you? 🙂

  • I’ve been hearing a lot of negative reviews about this one which is too bad because I was really looking forward to it. I can understand your predicament with the historical setting and the modern lyrics I would have felt the same way. Thanks for your honest review.

    • Thanks, Mari. This was my first book from the author. It’s too bad because I know she’s huge in YA. Oh well. Can’t love them all, eh? 🙂 Thanks for visiting.

  • inspiringinsomnia11

    Love the new site, Joy! Hopefully you’re enjoying it, too. BTW, I initially tried to go to your Blogspot page but it just gave an error message that the page doesn’t exist, rather than directing me here. (I got here from your Twitter page.) I’m not sure if you attempted to set up a redirect, but it seems like it might not be working.

    Anyway…when this book popped up on NG, I didn’t even bother to request it. I thought her last book, Frozen, was pretty bad, so I figured I’d take a more cautious approach. I’m actually picking it up from the library today. 🙂 This sounds so odd and not in a good way. Random anthology? Beyonce quotes? I suspect I’ll be skimming, too, if not downright DNF’ing.

    Stephanie @ Inspiring Insomnia

    • *cries* still working out the kinks. I’m such a spazz. In a hapless moment of brilliance, I decided to delete the blog. Ack! Good thing I’m able to undelete. So now I’m trying to get it redirected the proper way.

      I’ll have to watch out for your review. You got the corner on snark. 🙂

  • Wow, your review was really powerful Joy! A shame that this wasn’t your thing, weird how it quoted a Beyonce song! Too bad the magic disappeared, sounds like it was centered a lot on looks and “beautifying”. BTW I just LOVE your new theme, it’s very clean and crisp! Easy on the eyes.

    • Thanks, Jeann. 🙂 It is such a shame, because I really, really wanted to read this book. :/

  • Agh. I’m so sorry that this book was so awful for you. Though I love your review a whole lot. <3 I am so so so happy that I never ever wanted to buy this book in the first place, lol (A) because from reading your review, I know I would not enjoy it. At all. Agh. Too many characters? Sounds exhausting. And not a good romance? Sniffs. I want that in books, lol. Anyway. Thank you for sharing and being honest. <33
    Love, Carina Olsen (my wordpress name is lovingrob, so that will be the name I'm commenting with on your new blog ;p Which looks AWESOME, btw :D)

    • Love your name! Lol. So glad you found me! Seriously, I’m such a ditz. I can’t believe I deleted my blogger before I gave my notice. *cries*

  • I’m sorry it wasn’t for you, I saw so many persons excited about this book… it’s sad.

    • I was definitely one of those people who was excited about this book. It’s all fluff, to be honest. 🙂

  • I actually had been eyeing for this book, I saw the book trailer and it looks great. But pop song quote for a book that is meant to be an epic fantasy series is kinda funny lol. Thank God I haven’t ordered this one.
    Thanks for your review!

    • I seriously laughed my head off as soon as I saw it. Lol. Anyway, I hope you’ll fare better with it should you decide to pick up a copy. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, Ikao.

  • I’m a little over halfway done right now and I don’t hate it, but I certainly don’t love it either. I seriously wanted to throw the book across the room when I read the Beyonce quote at the beginning, partially because WHY and partially because I hate that song. It doesn’t feel like a fantasy at all, except for the (few and far between) mentions of magic. The only other book I’ve read of hers was Blue Bloods, which this feels very much like. At least it’s pretty?

    • Lol! I wanted to quit reading right at first page. If I didn’t have to review the book, I’d’ve probably quit right there and then. Also, yeah. That’s really not a good song by Beyonce. I can see why you would hate it. 🙂

  • The cover is so pretty thats actually why I really badly wanted to give this book a chance. i haven’t read anything by this authoro before but now i think i’ll be staying away LOL!
    as for the pop song lyrics *cringe* uhm yeah i find that sort of thing uncomfrtable to be honest. if it doesnt fit the time frame than just no.. dont be put in the book…that simple..
    This one sounds like a mess unfortunetly i think i’ll be staying away!
    Thanks for the review
    Lily @ Lilysbookblog

    • Exactly! It’s very odd, indeed. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, Lily.

  • Ann S

    Sounds like a hot mess, thanks for the warning. At least the cover is pretty!

    • No problem. Pretty cover did me in again. 🙂 Thanks for dropping by!

  • As soon as I saw the Beyoncé quote I was like NOPE! I read the first book in her Blue Bloods series and it was about rich kids and private schools and whatnot. So this is probably her style. I’ve been waiting for this review since you first talked about it on Facebook. LOL Great review, Joy! Your website looks AWESOME btw!

    • Yeah. That was a sure way for me to not like a book: quote a pop song. Now, if you’d quoted Eddie Vedder or Bob Dylan, then I’ll most likely worship your book. Lol. And thanks! I’m really liking the look. 🙂

  • I’m sad to hear you didn’t really care for this one. I have a galley of this to read, but I think I will go in to it with low expectations and maybe then I can be pleasantly surprised. That cover is still so pretty *sigh*

    • You definitely should lower your expectations; maybe then you’ll have a better luck than me. 😉