The Ring and The Crown

The Ring and The Crown - Melissa  de la Cruz I picked up The Ring and The Crown because of it's gorgeous cover, and I have to say it was a lot of fun, although the plot was slow at times and the ending sucked. It's really just a light fantasy, cheesy romance novel.

It was set in a kind of alternate universe of the 1900's, where basically, England rules everything because they have a powerful sorcerer called the 'Merlin'.
I found it really intriguing and I definitely would have liked to learn more of the history. What was given was enough for the story, and enough to build the setting and understand how the empire works, but I would have liked more detail just because I loved it so much.

The book was written in multiple points of view, which is often something I don't like, but when it's done well I do appreciate it. In this case it was fantastic.
The characters all had a unique voice and plot, and they were probably the highlight for me.

First, there's Princess Marie, the queen's daughter and heir to the throne. I loved her determination, despite being sick all her life. When she's forced to marry Prince Leopold she seems to be the only girl who didn't fall for his charms. In fact, she cracked up when he said his extremely cheesy lines. I didn't like her relationship with Gill though, mostly because his character had no depth.

Then there's Aelwyn, Marie's best friend and daughter of the Merlin. I didn't care much about her, I felt she was just there to explain things to Marie and conveniently help along the rushed ending.

Next we have Ronan, my favourite character. She actually reminded me of Rose from Titanic. (Minus the iceberg.) She's sent by her family to London to find a rich husband, and while she's on the ship she meets a young man named Wolf, who of course, she falls in love with. I loved their relationship, mostly because Wolf was great. His sense of humor, the way he cared for his brother, how he hid his true feelings and vented his anger by fighting. Both he and Ronan were very entertaining.

Lastly, there's Isabelle, who would be the queen of France, had England not taken over. She grew on me, but I didn't find her story very interesting. She was engaged to Prince Leopold, but had to break it off because PEACE. She went through some of the worst situations, and even though she seemed quite stuck up, I had to feel sorry for her.

What I really didn't enjoy was the ending. It was just plot twist! Plot twist! Plot twist! In like 10 pages, and I couldn't get the full impact because they were so rushed. There was also a huge information dump, tying up all those loose ends of the book. It kinda felt like the end of a Scooby Doo episode. The book should have been another 100 pages at least to really flesh it out and give a satisfying conclusion.

Overall, this was just a light, even fluffy, fantasy. Full of secrets, scandal and big poofy dresses.