Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 1829
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

Launch (Rise of the Anointed #1)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In the biblical stories, Samson had great strength. The prophet...
The Mirror: Broken Wish (The Mirror, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old Elva has a secret. She has visions and strange...
How to Catch a Yeti
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From the New York Times and USA Today bestselling team...
Along Came a Fox
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The perfect story to encourage children to treat others as...
Rosa's Big Pizza Experiment (Rosa's Workshop)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Follow Rosa and her friends as they prepare pizzas! Each...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The sense of foreboding came out of nowhere. It was...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Evil is gathering strength. When she learns the truth, it...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
If you like sinister demons, warrior angels, supernatural powers, ancient...
The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
*AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER* ...
The Silvered Serpents (The Gilded Wolves, #2)
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Returning to the dark and glamorous 19th century world of...
Among the Beasts and Briars
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Ashley Poston, acclaimed author of Heart of Iron, returns with...
Warriors of Wing and Flame (Sisters of Shadow and Light, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In Warriors of Wing and Flame, the spellbinding sequel to...
Trouble Girls
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A queer YA reimagining of Thelma & Louise with the...
Sisters of Shadow and Light
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
From the acclaimed author of Defy, Sara B. Larson, Sisters...
Lightbringer (Empirium, #3)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The incredible conclusion to the Empirium Trilogy that started...
Foreshadow: Stories to Celebrate the Magic of Reading and Writing YA
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Thirteen Short Stories from Bold New YA Voices &...

Latest Member Reviews

Grenade
 
4.7
"Hideki is a 13-year-old Okinawan and Ray is a United States Marine. Both are play important roles in the "Love..."