Willow North is a thief, and despite her secret magical talent for sensing worked metal, she has never wanted to be anything else. But when her former fiancé appears on her doorstep with the eight-year-old King of Tremontane in tow, she is drawn into the political conflict surrounding the boy King's ascension. His uncle, a powerful Ascendant with the magic of manipulating the elements, murdered the old King and intends to kill young King Felix.
Willow intends only to take the boy to safety, but as the days pass, she finds herself increasingly attached to Felix and unwilling to leave him once he's safe. But the pretender to the Crown has a long reach, and as his men close in on the fugitives, it seems nowhere may be safe.
About the Author
Melissa McShane is the author of the novels of Tremontane, beginning with SERVANT OF THE CROWN, the Extraordinaries series beginning with BURNING BRIGHT, and the Convergence trilogy, as well as the standalone titles EMISSARY, THE SMOKE-SCENTED GIRL, and THE GOD-TOUCHED MAN. She lives in Utah with her husband, four children, one niece, and three very needy cats. She wrote reviews and critical essays for many years before turning to fiction, which is much more fun than anyone ought to be allowed to have.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Pretender to the Crown is the first installment to Melissa McShane’s series, The Saga of Willow North. It is the first introduction for me to this author’s work. I thought it was pretty good. I loved the characters, setting, and plot. I found it to be charming and magical. I would give it 4 ½ stars and recommend it. I look forward to reading more in this series in the future. I received this book from the author, but was not required to write a review. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
The magic system is unique and the heroine's power different than any I have read previously. The characters are full of life and complex personalities, and I loved them all. (They even made me like a small child, and anyone who knows me knows how annoying I usually find them in stories.) My only quibble is minor. As the heroine spends a significant portion of the story in a land not her own, during her interactions with people of another culture, the verisimiktude of their broken version of speaking her language made them sometimes hard to understand. Thankfully she translated them after the fact usually, but it still slowed me down a bit. I cannot wait for the next book!
This is a prequel to The Crown of Tremontane series. I haven’t had a chance to read that series yet, and am looking forward to it even more after reading this book. I love the worlds Melissa McShane creates! And she always has great characters! I really liked Willow and Kerish. They are so different, and it’s cost them, but their chemistry is undeniable. Felix is precious. He is so sweet and has a great desire to be a good king. I loved watching Willow’s motivations for helping Felix grow and change over time. Apart from the main characters, the book is full of unique and interesting people. The Eskandel culture was intriguing and I look forward to learning more about how their society functions. There are so many twists and turns. I was so caught up in the story. When I thought I could finally take a breath…bang…something else would happen. I am so curious to see where the story goes from here. Willow’s life has definitely taken a different path than she ever expected, and I want to see how she handles it all. This book is part of a series, and does end with a cliffhanger. It’s a good separating point for the books, but if you like a complete story, wait until the whole series is out. :) I received a copy of the book, which I voluntarily reviewed. I have given my honest opinion.