The Ring and the Crown

( 8 )

Overview

Magic is power, and power is magic...

Once they were inseparable, just two little girls playing games in a mighty castle. Now Princess Marie-Victoria, heir to the mightiest empire in the world, and Aelwyn Myrddyn, a bastard mage, face vastly different futures.

Quiet and gentle, Marie has never lived up to the ambitions of her mother, Queen Eleanor the Second. With the help of her Merlin, Eleanor has maintained a stranglehold on the world's only...

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Overview

Magic is power, and power is magic...

Once they were inseparable, just two little girls playing games in a mighty castle. Now Princess Marie-Victoria, heir to the mightiest empire in the world, and Aelwyn Myrddyn, a bastard mage, face vastly different futures.

Quiet and gentle, Marie has never lived up to the ambitions of her mother, Queen Eleanor the Second. With the help of her Merlin, Eleanor has maintained a stranglehold on the world's only source of magic. While the enchanters faithfully serve the crown, the sun will never set on the Franco-British Empire.

As the annual London Season begins, the great and noble families across the globe flaunt their wealth and magic at parties, teas, and, of course, the lavish Bal du Drap d'Or, the Ball of the Gold Cloth.

But the talk of the season is Ronan Astor, a social-climbing American with only her dazzling beauty to recommend her. Ronan is determined to make a good match to save her family's position. But when she falls for a handsome rogue on the voyage over, her lofty plans are imperiled by her desires.

Meanwhile, Isabelle of Orleans, daughter of the displaced French royal family, finds herself cast aside by Leopold, heir to the Prussian crown, in favor of a political marriage to Marie-Victoria. Isabelle arrives in the city bent on reclaiming what is hers. But Marie doesn't even want Leopold-she has lost her heart to a boy the future queen would never be allowed to marry.

When Marie comes to Aelwyn, desperate to escape a life without love, the girls form a perilous plan that endangers not only the entire kingdom but the fate of the monarchy.

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  • The Ring and the Crown
    The Ring and the Crown  

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

The talented tale spinner who gifted us with the Blue Bloods is back with a new historical fantasy series about royal court intrigues that involve the perfect mix for success (and an urgent call for a sequel: magic, romance, and an insatiable craving for power.

Publishers Weekly
03/24/2014
De la Cruz (Frozen) launches a series set in the late 1920s of an alternate Earth where magic is real and the Franco-British Empire holds dominion over much of the world. While Princess Marie-Victoria faces imminent betrothal to Prussian Kronprinz Leopold, her childhood friend Aelwyn has returned from Avalon to take up a position as a court magician. American socialite Ronan Astor plans to use the season to land a wealthy, noble husband to revitalize her family's finances, and French noble Isabelle hopes to steal her lover Leopold away from his future wife. Romance, intrigue, betrayal, and magic are interwoven in this complex and somewhat overwrought drama, which also plays out in secret love affairs, hidden identities, and desperate conniving. The magic-dominated society de la Cruz creates has a certain faded charm—part Gatsby, part Downton Abbey—but the ending suffers from pacing problems, with several developments and resolutions taking place offstage or in exposition. Likewise, the use of sex as a tool and a weapon lends an unsettling undercurrent to the story. Ages 14–up. Agent: Richard Abate, 3 Arts Entertainment. (Apr.)
VOYA, August 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 3) - Deborah L. Dubois
Marie-Victoria, princess and heir to the Franco-British Empire, is expected to marry Prince Leopold of Prussia to cement the truce between their warring nations. He seems perfect to everyone, but Marie remembers him from childhood as a bully, and he is worse as an adult. She prefers Gill, one of her guards. Aelwyn is the bastard daughter of one-thousand-year-old Merlin, who is the power behind the throne. Aelwyn is destined to serve Marie as her mage, although they were brought up almost as sisters. Isabelle of France, engaged to Leopold from birth, is forced to release him so he can make the political match. He continues to use her for sex even after their engagement is ended, in spite of her protests. Ronan Astor from New York has come to London to find a rich husband to repair the family fortunes. On the journey, she falls in love with Wolf, Leopold’s brother, masquerading as a commoner. She turns down his proposal, not realizing that he is everything she is looking for. The cast of characters and their intertwining relationships are complicated, but de la Cruz focuses each chapter on a different character, which helps to keep them straight. The intrigue and plots in the royal court change these relationships in unexpected ways, and the end will surprise readers. This book will appeal to historical romance readers, more than to sword-and-sorcery fantasy readers. Reviewer: Deborah L. Dubois; Ages 15 to 18.
School Library Journal
04/01/2014
Gr 9 Up—In an alternate 20th century, the world is controlled by a united Franco-British Empire and backed by a Merlin. Aelwn Myrddyn, the beautiful and powerful daughter of Merlin, returns from exile to find that her childhood friend, Marie-Victoria, the sickly daughter of the Empire's Queen, will be engaged to Prussia's Prince Leopold in order to solidify a peace treaty. Isabelle of Orleans, royalty from the formerly independent France, is forced to break off her engagement to Leopold. Tragically, she had been raped by her guardian as a child and is continuously taken advantage of by Leopold. The royal engagement has made London's coming-of-age season all the more glamorous, and for Ronan Astor, a feisty New Yorker invited to attend, it means a chance to marry rich and save her family's decaying status. On her way to Europe, she meets Wolf, Leopold's younger brother. Wolf is a total flirt but, unlike his brother, has strong morals. Bestselling author de la Cruz expertly writes from five different perspectives, allowing readers to emotionally invest in the protagonists' lives. Her vivid descriptions are just enough to transport us into the world without bogging down the narrative. This character-driven novel has fabulous balls, glitzy gowns, and plenty of drama and plot twists, making it hard to put down. Unresolved issues hint at future books.—Marissa Lieberman, East Orange Public Library, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
2014-03-17
The lives of five teens intersect in turn-of-the-20th-century London, the capital of the Franco-British Empire. Aelwyn Myrddin, daughter of the Merlin, the magical power behind the throne, has just returned from exile in Avalon. Princess Marie-Victoria, sickly daughter of the 150-year-old Queen Eleanor, reluctantly awaits her marriage to Leopold, Kronprinz of Prussia and wielder of the magical weapon that brought the mighty empire to its knees. Wolf—short for Wolfgang—Leopold's rapscallion younger brother, has just boarded the Saturnia, on his way to London from New York. Ronan Astor, beautiful scion of the impoverished colonial family, is also on the Saturnia, hoping to snag a rich, titled lord. And Isabelle de Valois, whose family would rule France had the British not defeated the witch Jeanne of Arkk 500 years earlier, heads across the channel to salvage her engagement to Leopold. Intrigue and heartbreak ensue. De la Cruz effectively plaits real-world history together with what-ifs both magical and political to create a fizzy period soap opera. So much attention has been spent on worldbuilding, in fact, that the actual plot takes forever to start and then resolves both abruptly and all too conveniently. Moreover, incompletely explained inconsistencies with regard to the length of Aelwyn's exile will drive some readers crazy. Readers captivated by the setting may enjoy this novel-length setup; they will hope for more plot in the next installment. (Historical fantasy. 14 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781423157427
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 4/1/2014
  • Series: Ring and the Crown Series , #1
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 60,532
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Melissa de la Cruz

Melissa de la Cruz (www.melissa-delacruz.com) is the author of many best-selling novels, including all the books in the Blue Bloods series: Blue Bloods, Masquerade, Revelations, The Van Alen Legacy, Keys to the Repository, Misguided Angel, Bloody Valentine, Lost in Time, and Gates of Paradise. She lives in Los Angeles, California with her husband and daughter.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 27, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I¿ve been a huge fan of Melissa De La Cruz ever since I read her

    I’ve been a huge fan of Melissa De La Cruz ever since I read her Blue Bloods novels way back when I had just started getting into YA. Getting to read The Ring and the Crown was something I was seriously excited about and I couldn’t wait to get started. It sounded so mysterious. Royalty. Historical fiction. Some fantasy elements? A really beautiful cover? Count me in.

    The Ring and the Crown has over five different main characters who all benefit the main plot. First there’s the Princess Marie-Victoria and Aelwyn. Princess Marie-Victoria is Queen Eleanor’s daughter who is expected to wed so that the Franco-British Empire can continue to thrive. But Marie doesn’t want to marry Prince Leopold, not when her heart has been stolen away by a boy she can never be with.

    Aelwyn is the bastard daughter of the Merlin who has left behind her home to serve the Crown. Re-united with her childhood friend Princess Marie, the two girls quickly fall into a plot for the lives they desire that will involve Aelwyn’s magical abilities. If the girls are caught, however, they will be accused of treason and no doubt punished with the utmost severity.

    At the same time an American woman named Ronan Aster has gone overseas to London to attend the Ball du Drap D’or. While on her way to the city she meets, and falls in love, with a man she meets on the boat. A man who she believes she will never see again after their little fling. A man named Wolf who she doesn’t know is the Prince Leopold’s relative who could easily marry Ronan into the rich, lavish life she desires.

    Lastly there’s Isabelle of Orleans, Prince Leopold’s original fiancé and now his current lover. Isabelle’s strong emotions toward Leopold cloud her mind and drag her into an unwanted situation where Prince Leopold uses his manipulative ways to control her.

    Right from the get-go I was already immersed in The Ring and the Crown. I was a bit nervous when I started reading because there was way more main characters than I had anticipated but De La Cruz does a fantastic job of keeping them from getting confusing. Every single one of the characters is different than the other and has their own subplot that coincides with the main storyline. For readers that want a novel that has a well-rounded story I’d point them in The Rig and the Crown’s direction.

    My whole time reading I did like all of the different parallels between the characters and noticing the foreshadowing of how one event would impact the other. There is a bad guy in the novel (yay, bad guys!) and I don’t think anybody expects his identity or how much action comes into the novel nearing its end. The Ring and the Crown is obviously set in a different time period but the way that fantasy and historical fiction is woven together was done really well. There are Merlins, magical devices like the Pandora’s Box. It was all pretty freaking cool guys.

    By the time I reached the novel’s conclusion I was satisfied with the ending and dying to get reading book two (I need it). Still, while I loved reading The Ring and the Crown (because it was pretty much like getting to read a version of Reign because of the characters being royalty set in a historical time period) there was something missing. Maybe it’s because I read the Blue Bloods series and expected that same level of addiction? I’m not sure why but there was something missing that made me unable to think as highly about this novel as I do the author’s other works.

    I would recommend The Ring and the Crown to readers who want a novel that is romantic, magical and sexy. To any fans of Reign (pick up the book right now) and to any readres who want a historical fantasy that you’ll love.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 15, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Whatever you do, don't bother reading the synopsis of The Ring a

    Whatever you do, don't bother reading the synopsis of The Ring and the Crown because it has nothing to do with the book.. at all. Throughout the whole book I was waiting for when whatever was written in the synopsis and it never happened. Only 10% of the synopsis happened.. 250 pages IN THE NOVEL. I'm sorry but whoever wrote the synopsis must have read a different book because all I got from the novel was girls obsessing about getting married.. that is all. The magic was just a quick backdrop for the world so as not to label it a contemporary. There was so much cheating and obsessing and sleeping around.. and they were all 16 years or younger! The synopsis promised a prophecy.. a conspiracy.. magic.. power! but we truly got none of that until the last 20 pages where everything went even more downhill.. at least before that I could understand the direction of the novel.. but that ending? I was so furious and seriously thought I wasted my time reading it. I don't know what Melissa De La Cruz was trying to convey with this novel because I got nothing.. nada.. zero. This is not a memorable book and one I would like to forget.. it wasn't a great reading experience and it is truly a shame because the cover of The Ring and the Crown is one of my favorite covers of 2014. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 8, 2014

    Set in a world with a vastly altered history, where magic is use

    Set in a world with a vastly altered history, where magic is used in warfare as well as in place of technology, The Ring and The Crown is a light, relaxing read. Princess Marie-Victoria, soon to marry Leopold, crown prince of Prussia, and Elwyn, daughter of the great mage, Emrys Myrddyn, the Merlin, had been friends since early childhood. Now Elwyn must help Marie achieve the impossible while securing a place of power for herself. Only, with the hustle and bustle of the London season as well as the interference of several malicious individuals, things don't quite work out the way Marie and Elwyn had imagined it would.

    Although this book reads a bit like a regency novel meets celebrity gossip tabloid, the effortlessly flowing prose and forward moving plot made it a pleasure to read.

    This book boasts several colorful key characters. I, however, couldn't really identify with the two main characters, Marie and Elwyn. Rather, I found myself drawn to Ronan who came from New York with her mother's express command/threat: bring home a rich husband to save the family fortunes, or else. Determined to do just that, Ronan did not take into account that she might just fall in love for real.

    Of the male characters in the story, Wolfgang, brother of crown prince Leopold, was my favorite character; closely followed by the hilariously funny gay couple, Perry and Archie. To say much more about the gentlemen in the story, poses the danger of giving spoilers. 

    The romance, or should that be the imaginings and actions of multiple hormonal and thoroughly horny teenagers, was too exaggerated for my taste. Although the plot develops throughout the book, the story really only becomes truly suspenseful and thrilling towards the end. Said end is, of course, not at all what one would have predicted.

    Taking the reader from tea parties, dinners and balls, to the secret activities of bedrooms and dungeons, this is a tale of political intrigue, illicit meetings, and ultimate sacrifice to fulfill responsibilities. If paranormal romance with a healthy dose of intrigue is your reading preference, this is the perfect book to kick back and relax with. (Ellen Fritz)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2014

    Better book than I expected. The book has more than one narratio

    Better book than I expected. The book has more than one narration, which usually I am not a big fan of reading different chapters from different characters of the story but this method works well , especially toward the ends when you see how every character fits in with each other. So in the beginning I thought the story was extremely slow (even thought of giving up) and wondering why so many characters narration, etc. It wont be until you finish the book, you will think " hmm..not bad and everything makes sense now." The book has your comedy romance, action, bad guy, and a twist at the end. I just wish there was more background information in the start of story for better character development than learning more about the characters toward the end . Def. recommend this book if you like some fantasy, historical princess/prince kind of story :) 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2014

    Four Stars

    This book was way better than i expected, but there was just too much scandal and too much chaos for me.

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  • Posted April 12, 2014

    (Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a re

    (Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Disney Book Group and Netgalley.)
    Marie-Victoria is a princess, and her mother wishes for her to marry Leopold – a Prussian Prince, whether she likes it or not.
    Will Marie wed Leopold? Or will something happen to change things?


    This was an okay story, but it dragged a lot.

    Marie was an okay character, although her plan at one point to abandon her crown did not seem to be in keeping with her general demeanour when it came to her position.
    Wolf was a good guy, and probably my favourite of the lot.
    Leopold was awful! He was just horrible, and was quite happy to screw people over whenever he got the chance; literally, and figuratively.
    I liked both Aelwyn and Ronan, they were both good characters and did what they thought best.
    I did think there were a heck of a lot of characters to try and keep track of in this book though, and having the evil Leopold in there did not do this book any favours.

    The storyline in this was okay. The book started out introducing a lot of characters all at once, and I felt like it was really difficult to get a feel for them right off. The beginning was incredibly slow, and the first 30% of this book just dragged, and I was bored. The book did improve a bit after this, but it seemed that most of the book was simply about who was having sex with who, and behind who’s back they were doing it! I have to say that I expected a little more from this book that who was shagging who, but ultimately that was what it came down to.

    There was romance, but again, this book was basically all about who was shagging who, and most of the time the people doing the shagging shouldn’t have been doing it. Leopold was quite obviously the worst for this. He seemed to go after anything in a skirt, and had his way whether his rutting partner liked it or not. I have to say that I really disliked Leopold, and was insanely pleased when he got what was coming to him.

    The ending to this was the best part of the book. I liked that Leopold got what was coming to him. I liked that all the little trysts were revealed, and justice served, and I liked the marriage at the end. Considering everything that this lot had been through to get to that point though, it was one heck of a tangled web!
    Overall; a bit slow and dull, but the ending saved it,
    6 out of 10.

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  • Posted April 1, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    ***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** The Ring and

    ***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***




    The Ring and the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz
    Book One of The Ring and the Crown series
    Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
    Publication Date: April 1, 2014
    Rating: 4 stars
    Source: ARC sent by the publisher




    Summary (from Goodreads):




    Princess Marie-Victoria, heir to the Lily Throne, and Aelwyn Myrddn, bastard daughter of the Mage of England, grew up together. But who will rule, and who will serve? 




    Quiet and gentle, Marie has never lived up to the ambitions of her mother, Queen Eleanor the Second, Supreme Ruler of the Franco-British Empire. With the help of her Head Merlin, Emrys, Eleanor has maintained her stranglehold on the world's only source of magic. She rules the most powerful empire the world has ever seen. 




    But even with the aid of Emrys' magic, Eleanor's extended lifespan is nearing its end. The princess must marry and produce an heir or the Empire will be vulnerable to its greatest enemy, Prussia. The two kingdoms must unite to end the war, and the only solution is a match between Marie and Prince Leopold VII, heir to the Prussian throne. But Marie has always loved Gill, her childhood friend and soldier of the Queen's Guard. 




    Together, Marie and Aelwyn, a powerful magician in her own right, come up with a plan. Aelwyn will take on Marie's face, allowing the princess to escape with Gill and live the quiet life she's always wanted. And Aelwyn will get what she's always dreamed of--the chance to rule. But the court intrigue and hunger for power in Lenoran England run deeper than anyone could imagine. In the end, there is only rule that matters in Eleanor's court: trust no one.




    What I Liked:




    Oh how I LOVED this book! I had a very good feeling that I would, because it's historical fiction AND fantasy, it's by Melissa de la Cruz, it's a Disney book (I seem to really enjoy Disney's books), and it has a very intriguing synopsis! Not to mention a beautiful cover. I enjoyed de la Cruz's Blue Bloods series (what I've read, anyway), and my favorite genre ever is historical fantasy (which describes this book perfectly). The cover is the icing on the cake. And guess what? I really enjoyed this book!




    The book is actually a lot more complex than it sounds. The princess, Marie, doesn't want to rule. She is the only heir to the throne, and her mother is getting ready to give the throne to Marie and Marie's future husband (e.g., Marie needs to find one). The most eligible suitor is Leopold, Crown Prince of Prussia. But Leopold is currently having relations with and is engaged to Isabelle, a French noblewoman (she might be a princess or duchess or something, I can't remember). Also infatuated with Leopold is Aelwyn, the powerful sorceress and daughter of Emrys, the current Merlin of the current Queen. 




    Throw in the fact that Marie is in love with a soldier, and the fact that Leopold's troublesome younger brother falls in love with a broke (but trying not to act broke) American heiress. Or the fact that Leopold isn't who is seems, and Wolf (his younger brother) is more than he thinks he is. Isabelle must sign away her marriage with Leopold, but he has her caught in an affair - literally - but she doesn't want to be a mistress. All the while, someone is plotting against the Lily Throne, and difficult choices must be made. Aelwyn and Marie must save the kingdom - together - and in the process, discover terrible and powerful truths.




    Complicated, no? Trust me - you have no idea. The lines get so blurred in this book. Every watched Gossip Girl, or 90210? Those shows were this girl thinks she is in love with this guy, but then a few months later, she's totally smitten with some other guy. Relationships aren't concrete in this book, but truthfully, that's how things were, historically. When it came to nobility and royalty, marrying into money and power was more important than love. Keeping up appearances was everything. If the one you loved was royalty, he/she would have to marry royalty, and the best you could hope for (if you weren't eligible) was being a mistress (or lover, whatever the male version of mistress is).




    That's probably one of my favorite things about this book. I know, it's weird that I LIKE the fact that the romance is weird and triangular and square and rectangular and circular and all kinds of shapes. I kind of want to draw a map of what is going on with the romance! Or lust. Or relationships. It's confusing, it's complicated, but that's life in the court. Nothing is easy. Everything is heartbreaking. Just wait until you get to the end of the book. Nothing turns out as one would like it. 




    So I won't comment on the romance any more than I have. Like, I won't name any pairs that I liked or disliked, for fear of revealing things. I didn't mention a few of the love interests or pairs. However, I will talk about the characters.




    There are SO MANY characters, and I can't even say that most are secondary characters. In terms of perspectives, there were Marie, the princess, Aelwyn, the sorceress/close friend of the princess, Isabelle, the French noblewoman and former fiancee of Leopold, Wolf, the second prince of Prussia, Ronan, the rich-but-not-rich American... I think that is it for the ones whose perspectives were featured. This book is written completely in third person, but third person limited.




    I think I liked almost all of the characters. Marie is gentle and kind, but she has a certain fire in her, a bit of steel in her backbone. Aelwyn is serene and intelligent, and probably one of the most stable characters in the book. Isabelle - I felt so bad for her, and I don't blame her for disliking Marie. Isabelle ALWAYS got the short end of the stick, unfortunately (remember that phrase, for the next section). I could not hate Isabelle. Ronan is a delight to read, because she is so different from the English and the French. Wolf is definitely my favorite character. He is mischievous and devilish, but he is also mature when he needs to be. I love his roguish charm. He deserves the best, of all the characters.




    Leopold does not have his own perspective in this book - thank goodness. To be honest, I'm not a fan of him. I usually dislike the pretty boy, the golden boy, the boy who is seemingly perfect, but is actually ruthless and a total player. It's one thing to have all the ladies running after you. It's another to act like a pig and flirt with all of them, and lead them on. Jerk. But he definitely is a Crown Prince, and a natural leader.




    I already mentioned the complicated romance, but with that is the complex plot. The romance seems to take up most of the book, and it's important. One pair's relationship directly affects others. Marie's feelings for the soldier. Leopold and Isabelle's affair. Aelwyn's infatuation with Leopold. Believe it or not, everyone affected everyone. This made the plot vastly tangled. Add in the underlying plot of the threat to the kingdom, which TOTALLY sneaks up on you. You would never guess who is behind it all. There are many villains in this story, directly and indirectly. But there are also many heroes (and heroines). But seriously - the depth of complexity really blew me away. When I finished this book, I was like, this book was awesome! Crazy, but awesome. Because it really was awesome, and crazy! It's amazing how intricate everything is, how de la Cruz sets everything perfectly, and intertwines everything to fit absolutely. Truly amazing, in my humble opinion.




    Perhaps I've said enough? I hope I've done a good job of convincing you all to read this book. The next section is my "negative" one, but I feel like in this case, it consists of complaints about which only I would complain. All in all, this is an excellent start to a new series, and definitely my favorite of de la Cruz's published books to date!




    What I Did Not Like:




    There weren't too many things that I didn't l

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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