Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Review - The Essence (The Pledge #2) by Kimberly Derting

The Essence (The Pledge, #2)Title: The Essence
Author: Kimberly Derting
Series: 2nd (The Pledge)
Pages: 352
Published: January 1st 2013 by Margaret K. McElderry 
ISBN: 9781442445598
Source: Personal Copy

Description: At the luminous conclusion of The Pledge, Charlaina defeated the tyrant Sabara and took her place as Queen of Ludania. But Charlie knows that Sabara has not disappeared: The evil queen’s Essence is fused to Charlie’s psyche, ready to arise at the first sign of weakness. Charlie is not weak, but she’s being pushed to the brink. In addition to suppressing the ever-present influence of Sabara, she’s busy being queen—and battling a growing resistance determined to return Ludania to its discriminatory caste system. Charlie wants to be the same girl Max loves, who Brook trusts, but she’s Your Majesty now, and she feels torn in two. As Charlie journeys to an annual summit to meet with leaders of nearby Queendoms—an event where her ability to understand all languages will be the utmost asset—she is faced with the ultimate betrayal. And the only person she can turn to for help is the evil soul residing within.

I Give This ...

This is one of those time that maybe it was too long since I read the last book in the series.  It's not the the events were unfamiliar.  It's more than the story seems different that how I remember the first book being.  

 I was indifferent to Charlie and her struggles as a new queen.  It seems the book glossed over some of the parts that might have made us better understand her.  She's put all these new policies into place, but I was surprised to read how much some of her people are unhappy with her changes.  I wasn't really expecting her to all of a sudden be the most popular Queen.  But, she doesn't seem to have a very strong hold of her kingdom.  I didn't ever even really get a feel that she was ruling in her right.  

The book picked up the pace a little when Charlie makes it to the summit.  But, this seems to be a party not a place for alliances to be made and broken.  There's a lot of talk on the proper way to greet each Queen and what everyone is wearing.  I found it kind of exhausting.

But, there's always something that sets you up to read the next book.  First, Sabara is still hanging on to Charlie.  And interestingly enough, she's not happy with a backseat role.  There's a couple instances were Charlie loses control and its Sabara pulling the strings.  Plus, there's a traitor in their mists, and that person may or may not be working for someone Charlie considers a friend.

Sadly, this book has that dreaded second book problem.  It's necessary to the storyline or you won't understand what happens next.  But, in the end it's likely to be my least favorite book in the series.   

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