Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara Rutherford

Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara Rutherford

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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.

Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara RutherfordTitle: Crown of Coral and Pearl
Series: Crown of Coral and Pearl #1
Author: Mara Rutherford
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction
Publication Date: August 27, 2019
Rating: three-stars
Series Rating: three-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.

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❃ 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. ❃

Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara Rutherford

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.

❀ Very Slow-paced

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.

❀ An Original World

Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara Rutherford 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.

About Mara Rutherford

Mara Rutherford

Mara Rutherford began her writing career as a journalist but quickly discovered she far preferred fantasy to reality. Originally from California, Mara has since lived all over the world, from Russia to Peru, along with her Marine-turned-diplomat husband and two sons. A triplet born on Leap Day, Mara holds a Master's degree in Cultural Studies from the University of London and would rather study the folklore of her next post than the language (which she has found is a lot more fun but not nearly as useful). She is a former Pitch Wars mentee and three-time mentor. Her debut YA fantasy, CORAL AND PEARL, will release from Harlequin Teen in Fall 2019.

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About The Candid Cover

Olivia ❀ Canadian YA book blogger, Starbucks lover, & professional bibliophile.

22 thoughts on “Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara Rutherford

    • The Candid Cover says:

      I am glad to hear that you feel the same way! I think that giving the sequel a try sounds like a fantastic idea. It will be interesting to see where the story goes from here. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  1. Amanda - Devouring Books says:

    AHH! I love books that have body doubles! I’ve read quite a few– Rule of One, Impostors and Mirage were all amazing and I just love this idea in a book!! I didn’t know that Crown of Coral and Pearl had this in it, apparently I should have read the synopsis more clearly! But I do hate really slow paced books and insta love. I’m not big on romance, but when it’s superficial I pretty much hate it.

  2. Beware Of The Reader says:

    Aaah dang! It seems it missed its mark! The cover is so lovely and the blur promising that it’s even more disappointing! Thanks you for that excellent honest review!

  3. Piroska says:

    Thanks for the honest review. It’s important that reviewers tell it like it is, so that readers like myself don’t get sucked into the glossy 5-star party that often happens (and then get totally disappointed. It doesn’t deter me from reading the book, but it’s good to know the things that other readers might not like about it.

  4. Jaime Lynn says:

    It is so hard when a book is slow-paced. Even if a story is fantastic, it can make it hard to recognize that. But the story sounds good, so I think it is worth the try

  5. Sophie @ Blame Chocolate says:

    I’m so sorry this failed to meet your expectations! Slugglish pace, instalove and bland characters can totally ruin any novel, no matter how much potential it shows.
    Also, I hate that word “potential” – a lot of novels show a lot of promise yet never really deliver. I’m honestly a bit tired of being deluded into the promise of something that doesn’t actually come true.
    I already have real life for that, no need to extend it to books too xD
    Wonderful review!
    Sophie @ Blame Chocolate recently posted…{ARC} Turning Darkness Into Light | A Scholarly Heaven

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