Friday, December 28, 2012

The Essence Review

352 pages
Release date: January 1st, 2013

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.

Review (ARC):
I liked this novel a bit less than the first one in this series. Charlie annoyed me in this novel because of her tendency to keep secrets and general weakness. I feel like Charlie was much stronger in the previous novel but was very unsure of herself and her friends in this one. The fact that Sabara still remains in Charlie's psyche doesn't help at all. We learn a lot more about Sabara in this novel and some of the other kingdoms as a whole. I don't feel like we get to learn as much information about the other queens at the summit, everything moves too quickly. Despite that it is soon made clear who the betrayal comes from. Charlie's relationship with Max isn't a major focus in this book and we don't see as much of him as I would have liked. Other than that the action and adventure of traveling to another country makes this book entertaining. Everyone is out to get Charlie now that she is Queen so her being a target attracts all sorts of danger. I enjoyed this novel especially since it answered a lot of questions I didn't know I had. I definitely recommend reading this but only if you read The Pledge first.