Saturday, January 12, 2013
The Essence by Kimberly Derting
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Songs for this Read: Northern Lights by The Dangerous Summer, and Warrior by Paradise Fears
To recap, Charlie, a vendor girl, has just defeated the evil queen Sabara and been pronounced queen herself. But she has a secret, the queen’s essence did not die with Sabara’s body, it is deep within her. Charlie has tried to keep her at bay but every day it gets a little bit harder. Now with a rebellion on her hands and an assassin out for her life she must flee her palace and set out for “the Summit” early. As Charlie and her friends head for queen Neva’s palace up north for the meeting of many queedoms, known as the summit, they realize the assassin is one of their own. And while Charlie is missing Max terribly, she meets an ambassador who makes her dizzy and conflicted about what to feel. As they make the long journey north, Charlie struggles to keep a grip on Sabara when she no longer can tell her own thoughts from the queens and must fight to see right from wrong. All Charlie really knows is that she needs Max and she would do anything to protect her family—Anything.
I love anything Kimberly Derting puts on the shelf at B&N. She is one of my favorites. The Pledge books never cease to amaze me because they are so unlike anything else out there. I could try to describe them by telling you they are something like a Shannon Hale book meets classic dystopian, but that really doesn't do them justice. These books are in a genre all of their own filled with Queendoms and revolutionaries and magic and so much more that really you just have to read to understand how well it all meshes together.
As everyone knows, sequels always cause me anxiety. It’s the middle book where, now that the story has been set up in the first, everything must go wrong in the second to be cleaned up in the third. And so I started this book with both excitement (because I love them) and trepidation (because I knew this was not going to be all rainbows and butterflies). I think one of the reasons I like I love Kimberly Derting’s writing so much is that unlike some other authors out there (i.e. Cassandra Clare) Derting doesn't torture her readers with every plot twist, there is a balance to her stories. Even when in one sense it seems all is lost, the next chapter will relight that flame of hope that there is still good in the world. That is probably the main reason why this is one of the best sequels I have ever read—ever.
And now for the character shout outs: To Charlie, she such a perfect heroine- she is strong but only human and her weak spots make her a beautifully dynamic character to read. Her best quality is that she is smart; I am never cursing her for stupid decisions. Next is Aron and Brook, these two really grew in this book and all I can really say is that they are some of the best friends a girl can have and that I love them. Thirdly, a quick round of applause for all of those crazy queens at the Summit, I loved all their eccentric queenliness, so fun. And then there is Zafir, who I would love to learn more about, he is quite the man of mystery. And finally, a shout out to my boy Max--> I think I'm in love with you. You wouldn't have to ask twice to be my king ;)
5 stars to Essence, one of the few sequels I have given 5 stars to. I would make it 10 stars if I could.
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