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’ve had this YA Fantasy novel on my TBR for a while and finally decided to dive in. I managed to read this first novel in the Crown of Coral and Pearl series and I am ready to read the second novel.
I connected with the main character Nor and loved following her journey throughout the novel. I felt that the world building was well done and I am looking forward to it expanding more in the upcoming books. I felt that this first novel was well-crafted for a first novel/series from Mara Rutherford.
The best aspects of this Young Adult Fantasy was the main plot and the characters. The plot was unique and I was completely hooked by it. While, I loved the main character Nor and felt that the side characters were also well-written.
I recommend checking out this well-written YA Fantasy novel.
4.5 Stars Out of 5 Stars.