Thank you so much to NetGalley and Inkyard Press for letting me read Crown of Coral and Pearl early! I didn’t know much about this book until I saw it on NetGalley for request, but I was really intrigued by the cover, and then when I read the description, I was hooked. I’m so glad I requested it and I’m so glad I got to read it early!
Crown of Coral and Pearl 4/5 Stars
Summary from Goodreads: 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.
I thought the general premise of this was so good. Nor seemed like a really great, strong character, with one main weakness: Zadie. I honestly hated Zadie as a character. She was so selfish and it was annoying that she could almost do no wrong in Nor’s eyes. Ugh just thinking about all of the things that Zadie did make me so angry/annoyed, so I’m going to stop thinking about them. In terms of the other characters, Sam was ok, I liked Nor’s dad, Nor’s mom was terrible, Prince Ceren was a little sad, and Prince Talin was “charming” but just ok. Honestly, Nor and some of the other people in the castle were the only ones I really liked.
Crown of Coral and Pearl was a very plot driven book, which I really liked, so it doesn’t really matter that I only liked a few characters. It’s a relatively short book (the e-arc was only 300 some pages while the other ones I read right before it were in the 500s), so the plot line moves at a really good pace. Things seemed a little too neatly tied at the end, so I kind of wish there was a little less neatly tied and a little more on the loose threads end, because I really liked the world and would have loved to read more things set in this world.
Overall, I really liked Crown of Coral and Pearl and I think you will too! It comes out on August 27th, so pre-order it, pick it up when it comes out, check it out from the library- do whatever you need to and read this book! (And when you’re done, come back and let me know what you thought of it!)