Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Opal Crown by Jenny Lundquist Review

Action, romance, sibling rivalry and court intrigue combine for a page-turning read in this sequel to The Princess in the Opal Mask, which VOYA called “engaging and action-packed.”
In the year since she was betrothed to the crown prince of Kyrenica, no one has suspected that the Masked Princess has been a decoy. That Elara, the secret twin sister, has been pretending to be Princess Wilha all along. The royal family has kept Elara’s identity hidden from the world, and for the girls, swapping lives has not been easy. Galandra is quickly declining, and the sisters continue to be a pawn in the Guardian’s ever-changing endgames.But the stakes rise when Elara and Wilha’s younger brother, Andrei, takes the Galandrian throne after their father's death, and he reveals the girls' deception to Kyrenica’s royal family. Viewed as traitors, Elara and Wilha realize they are now fighting for their lives—and for their country. However, with only one crown and one throne to overthrow, Elara and Wilha must decide who will become queen. Or rather, the next savior for their people.The sequel to the Princess in the Opal Mask.

Published: October 2014
Page count: 368
Series: Second book in The Opal Mask series.
Rating: 4 stars

My librarian recommended this two book series to me and I'm honestly quite glad she did. I love the mix of fantasy and fairy tale type, add in a bit of political drama and several characters vying for the crown and I'm very happy. I enjoyed the first book a lot and I thought there were some really good plot twists. This one, I think, didn't have as many. I felt like the main focus of this book was the crown and Elara and Wilha trying to become sort of friendly with each other. There might not have been as much action either, except for a mob or two and a few attacks and sneaking about ;) But the vibe of the story was still enticing and I finished this book fairly quickly. I was nearly finished with the book last night when I realized how late it was and decided to finish it this morning, haha. I also think this is a good sequel and demonstrates how things are changing and the twins are developing and maturing. Depending where I was in the book, I was often on one girls' side or the other. Now that I think about it, that's pretty realistic. There were times that I wasn't happy with something Elara had said or a way Wilha had handled a situation and that's how it is irl. 

The writing style fits the setting so well. I don't think that I've read any of the author's other books but she has created such a great group of kingdoms and villages for this series. Then there are legends, secret passageways and all kinds of fairy tale-esque things that I loved. Character wise, I liked both the girls (except for the few odd scenes or moments) and their love interests. At first I was rather confused as Wilha had been seeing someone when the girls were in another kingdom, yet when she returns home to Galandria she goes back to swooning over her sort-of-beau from before she left. It was explained later, but at the time it felt odd to me that she seemed to immediately forget about this other boy she'd been with for months. I liked that Wilha was quiet yet the one who could handle a sword masterfully. I liked how strong and determined that Elara often was, I felt that she also could really understand what the Galandrians are going through in this book. The ending was satisfying, although there was just a little hint of something at the end that would almost make you wonder about another book...but it seems like this is the final one so oh well :)

Overall, while this sequel wasn't quite as good as the first book, I still liked it a lot. It's got a cool setting, two fiery main characters, and turned out to be a pretty nice ending. I really liked this series as a whole and found the romances sweet and the twins (although a bit irritating in this book because they don't communicate with each other well) lovely princesses with good hearts. I'd definitely recommend if you like a good medieval/fairy tale sort of book.

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