Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara Rutherford is a book that I had such high hopes for. The premise sounds so promising, and the world is innovative. Unfortunately, I found the main character very plain, and the pacing and romance are off. This book is fine, but that’s about it.Title: Crown of Coral and Pearl
Author: Mara Rutherford
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Publication Date: August 27, 2019
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 received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃
❀ Review: Crown of Coral and Pearl
In a society in the sea, the most beautiful girl is chosen every generation to go away to set foot on land and marry the prince. Nor is honoured with the position, however, an accident leaves her unable to take the position. Instead, her twin sister is sent over, pretending to be Nor in order to marry the prince. I love books that feature sisters, and reading about Zadie and Nor’s relationship is so heartwarming. As well, the idea of a sea world is so intriguing, and the logistics are well-developed.
❀ Interesting dynamic between the characters
The characters in the book are good enough, but I didn’t find them to be very memorable. Zadie is honestly very plain, and I didn’t really see her do much. The only thing that really makes her stand out is the scar on her face that makes her less beautiful in the eyes of society. I did like the way Zadie and Nor’s relationship is characterized, however, and the fact that they are both rivals and best friends is an interesting dynamic.
My biggest issues with the book are with the pacing and the romance. This book is incredibly slow paced, and nothing really happens until halfway through, and then it is flat again until the end. I wasn’t wowed by anything, and it took me a long time to get through because I was losing interest. On top of this, the story contains one of the most insta-lovey relationships I have ever seen. I can probably count the number of times Zadie and her “love interest” converse on one hand, and their relationship is completely superficial. It feels rushed, and it just isn’t believable.
Crown of Coral and Pearl had so much potential to be a five star read. The world building is well-executed, and the relationship between sisters is fantastic. That being said, the main character, the pacing, and the romance fall flat. I would recommend this to those who are looking for a book with an original world to escape into, but be aware of the slow pacing.