The Ring and the Crown (Ring and the Crown Series #1)

The Ring and the Crown (Ring and the Crown Series #1)

by Melissa de la Cruz

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Overview

The Ring and the Crown (Ring and the Crown Series #1) by Melissa de la Cruz

Magic is power, and power is magic...

Once they were inseparable, just two little girls playing games in a formidable 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."

This character-driven novel has fabulous balls, glitzy gowns, and plenty of drama and plot twists, making it hard to put down."
-School Library Journal"

The historical fantasy has it all: preening royalty, a touch of magic, and dramatic betrayal. What's not to love?"
-Teen Vogue

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781423157427
Publisher: Disney Press
Publication date: 04/01/2014
Series: Ring and the Crown Series , #1
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

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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The Ring and the Crown 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
chapterxchapter More than 1 year ago
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.
majibookshelf More than 1 year ago
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. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thank goodness there is a second book coming up. I absolutely LOVE Melissa de la cruz's work. I am a die-hard fan. But this book did not give me the same feeling as her other books at all. It left me so upset, and I feel so cheated by the revelations at the end. Virtually everyone is left unhappy, and alll that it's chalked up to is 'Your life is not your own, so you better make everyone else happy. There was so much focus on 'love', and in the end everyone just decided love wasn't worth the trouble. I disagree so much. The rest of the book was, as usual, wonderfully written, but I feel like there are two versions out there and this one was the dark/depressing/giveuponlife one, and everyone else is reading an uplifting, inspiring novel. 
bookoholicDV More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book, not the ending I was hoping for and what we have gotten used to happily ever after, but it is realistic.  I saw a couple comments about the ending being fatalistic, like their lives were not the own. But they were royals, and during that time their upbringing and society where like that, they couldn't always just follow their heart, if poor their only chance was to marry for money and  royalty had put kingdom first, at least the good ones. And I think the characters at the end, after fighting for what they wanted did what they should have, what was correct and could live with  but trying to make to best of it, of what they got.  So I find it realistically refreshing without being fatalistic, although it wasn't the ending I would have like it's  refreshing and ironic, I mean in a magical world and they couldn't just use a magic wand, would have been to easy! What was really sad was the story of Isobelle! My favorite characters where Wolf and Ronan, and of course Perry and Archie! But since I really love happy endings I hope the second book have more happy endings!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Shawscribbles More than 1 year ago
This book was unlike quite anything else I've read in a very long time. Set in the early 1900s England but a different England than we know, de la Cruz weaves history and fantasy together seamlessly. The storyline flits between characters' points of view, which one would think may be annoying but actually works in this book. I think it works because the character development is so well done. Having said that, I found the ending of the story a bit irritating. For me it felt that the author just wrapped things up a bit too neatly, patiently explaining to reader why everything that happened had happened. It would have been far stronger if there had been foreshadowing throughout the novel to lead to the conclusions that came. That was a real disappointment for me. Overall, though, I did enjoy this book. It was different and new.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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 :) 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Books4Tomorrow More than 1 year ago
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)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was way better than i expected, but there was just too much scandal and too much chaos for me.
Sarah_UK1 More than 1 year ago
(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.
Alyssa75 More than 1 year ago
***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 like, but one thing that occasionally stuck out was the anachronisms. By now, you all have probably figured out that when it comes to historical fiction, I'm extra hard on authors. If the genre (or one of them) is historical, then you better get your facts straight (unless of course, you're manipulating history, or something like that). In this case, it was the speech that was a bit anachronistic.  I get it - you want your readers to be able to read and understand the story, and not feel like they're drowning in Old English. I understand that. BUT, at the same time, you can't just have modern day colloquial slang left and right. For example, the phrase "Why don't we seal the deal... - I feel like that's too modern for this time period (which is the late 19th century, early 20th century? Somewhere around there). And there was one about "the short stick of the bargain", or something like that. There are historical phrases that are KIND OF similar to the phrase (like "worst end of the staff", or "wrong end of the stick"), but that particular phrase is modern. There was a really obvious that I didn't bookmark (for whatever reason), and I can't quite come up with it at the moment, but it was obvious. In any case, I feel like there are other ways to convey a phrase, with less modern day colloquialisms. Instead of "sealing the deal", how about "coming to an agreement", or "finalizing the accord", or something like that. Right? Right. Would I Recommend It: DEFINITELY! If you're a fan of historical fiction, or fantasy, or both (like me), then there is a good chance that you will like (or love) this one! Also, as stated before, the book has a very modern feel, in terms of all the scheming and threats and messy relationships. Of course, historically speaking, that happened all the time, but it felt very Gossip-Girl-like or 90210-like, in terms of the drama. Which, in my opinion, was a positive thing, not a negative thing. But take that as you will. I think this book is fantastic, and I definitely recommend it. I'm sure it will be a hit! Rating: 4 stars. I seriously loved this book! Okay, it didn't get five stars from me. But I was not disappointed at all! I cannot wait to see what happens next in the series.