Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 448
engaging YA fantasy
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
CROWN OF CORAL AND PEARL Is a story of sisters, adventure, and change. Nor and Zadie, whose names mean coral and pearl respectively, are twins whose beauty is renown. They live in Zarenia, a water kingdom of boats, and have never set foot on land. Their people make a living by diving deep and finding pink pearls, colored by their proximity to a deadly red coral. Varenia is oppressed by the kingdom who buys the pearls, believing them to be healing and somewhat magical. It is that kingdom, Ilara, which chooses a girl from Varenia once a generation to marry the prince and become a queen.

Ilara was a queendom until the girl who would be queen ran away with her love to the sea and died. Since then, the royalty has only had sons, marrying the Varendan girls. Zadie and Nor were thought to be the most beautiful and most likely to be chosen to marry the prince- that is, until an accident leaves Nor with a small scar on her cheek. Beauty is prized above all, and the next most beautiful girl, Alys, is discounted for a crooked tooth. Zadie is chosen, but after an accident, they send Nor in her stead, covering the scar, fearing what would happen if they don’t send “Zadie” to wed the prince.

Never having been on land before, Nor is not only surprised by all the social constructs of Ilara and the troubled political climate, but also everything about not being on the water. As she gains her footing, she realizes she has entered a world more dangerous than she ever could have imagined.

What I loved: The world here is really interesting, and I loved the mythology and legends that are told throughout. Nor and Zadie also have a beautiful relationship, and I adored the celebration of sisterhood. As a character, Nor is brave, strong, and everything I love in a heroine. Her journey is easy for the reader to leap into and empathize with. Adding this to themes about beauty and oppression, and it becomes a powerful story.

The villain here, Ceren, was really well-developed. The reader easily empathizes with him and can see where his concerns arise- which is not to say that he doesn’t take everything further than most of us would. However, there were times where I wondered if he could just be misunderstood (until his next terrible deed), but this conflict makes him a stronger character and villain as a result.

What left me wanting more: As a minor point, I would have loved to see more of the relationship building between Talin and Nor. A few more scenes where they get to know each other and develop something deeper would have aided in building something stronger between them. At times, it did feel a little insta-love-ish, but I still adored them as a couple anyway.

Final verdict: A celebration of sisterhood, political intrigue, and an intense villain make this book a delicious read. Highly recommend for anyone looking for an exciting new YA fantasy, and especially fans of THE BELLES, THE EVIL QUEEN, and RED QUEEN.
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 1 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Lady Rogue
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Last Magician meets A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and...
A Very Pikmi Halloween (Pikmi Pops)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Pikmi Pops(TM) are the latest collectible craze! Join these cute...
Apocalypse Taco
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sid, Axl, and Ivan volunteer to make a late-night fast-food...
The Owls Have Come to Take Us Away
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
In this delightfully creepy novel from Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe...
Voyages in the Underworld of Orpheus Black
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Harry Black is lost between the world of war and...
Awesome Achievers in Technology: Super and Strange Facts about 12 Almost Famous History Makers
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Part of a super fun middle grade series, Awesome Achievers...
Kitty and the Moonlight Rescue
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Girl by day. Cat by night. Ready for an adventure....
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A strong educational foundation helps ensure a child is able...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A strong educational foundation helps ensure a child is able...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A strong educational foundation helps ensure a child is able...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The first I Can Read! book featuring beloved picture book...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
In a beautiful anthology, ten children’s book greats share stories,...
Firebrand: The Initiation of Natali Presano (Firebrand, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
First time in print! The...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sage Sassafras’s life is cursed! No, really. Since birth, Sage...
Naked Mole Rat Saves the World
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Can Kit’s super-weird superpower save her world? ...
The Brokenhearted
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
teenage girl is transformed into a reluctant superhero and...

Latest Member Reviews

Voyages in the Underworld of Orpheus Black
 
3.3
"VOYAGES IN THE UNDERWORLD OF ORPHEUS BLACK is a story about brotherhood, war, and the power of art. Harry is..."
Firebrand: The Initiation of Natali Presano (Firebrand, #1)
 
5.0
"This comic book is an interesting print form of a webtoon series that captures season 1. Natali Presano was born..."
Tiger Queen
 
5.0
"All Kateri wants to do is impress her father, become the queen she's meant to be, protect her people, and..."
Cracking the Bell
 
4.7
"Isaiah's family has struggled after the death of his sister in a car accident that wasn't her fault. The parents..."
The Haunted
 
3.7
"THE HAUNTED is a really fascinating YA horror that follows Hendricks, a teenage girl, after she moves into a haunted..."
My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life
 
3.3
"Sixteen-year-old foster kid Elle Zoellner's life turns topsy turvy when a father, she never knew about, wants her to move..."
Truly Madly Royally
 
3.0
"I’d be lying if I didn’t say that half of the reason why I read this was because it’s a..."
Finding Esme
 
3.3
"Esme feels alone. Her much-loved grandfather died, her dad deserted the family, her mom has mentally checked out, and her..."
House of Salt and Sorrows
 
4.3
"Annaleigh just wanted to be in charge of the lighthouse close to her island home. Rumors circulate on the island..."
Wreck: A Novel
 
4.3
"WRECK is a heart-wrenching story about a teenage girl on the brink of college as she discovers her father's life-altering..."
Reverie
 
5.0
"REVERIE is a captivating and unique YA fantasy without adequate comparisons. The book follows Kane, a teenage boy who was..."
Coral
 
3.0
"CORAL is not a fairytale retelling of THE LITTLE MERMAID- while it may have been inspired by some of the..."
You Are The Everything
 
4.0
"YOU ARE THE EVERYTHING is an intriguing stream-of-consciousness style read that follows Elyse Schmidt, a 16/17 year old girl who..."
The Last Hope
 
4.7
"I honestly don’t know where to begin! The Last Hope by Krista & Becca Ritchie picks up thirty days after..."
 
4.0
"Most books about a school shooting would start with the horrific event at the center of story, but EVERY MOMENT..."
The Bone Houses
 
5.0
"THE BONE HOUSES is a beautifully crafted and full engrossing YA fantasy with some horror aspects. Aderyn (Ryn) is a..."
The Silence Between Us
 
4.7
"THE SILENCE BETWEEN US is an #ownvoices story about Maya, a senior in high school who has just moved with..."
Beasts of the Frozen Sun
 
4.7
"BEASTS OF THE FROZEN SUN features lush world-building, compelling characters, and a captivating plot that make it an engrossing read...."
Snow & Rose
 
5.0
"NOTE: Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own."
Where I End and You Begin
 
4.0
"All Ezra wants to do is ask his crush Imogen to the prom. But when he and his friend Holden..."