Ailsbet loves nothing more than music; tall and red-haired, she’s impatient with the artifice and ceremony of her father’s court. Marissa adores the world of her island home and feels she has much to offer when she finally inherits the throne from her wise, good-tempered father. The trouble is that neither princess has the power–or the magic–to rule alone, and if the kingdoms can be united, which princess will end up ruling the joint land? For both, the only goal would seem to be a strategic marriage to a man who can bring his own brand of power to the throne. But will either girl be able to marry for love? And can either of these two princesses, rivals though they have never met, afford to let the other live?
For some reason, I got my authors mixed up when I requested this on NetGalley. I vaguely thought this was a new novel by Eva Ibbotson. After thinking Ms Ibbotson’s writing wasn’t anywhere near as interesting as I remembered, I realised my mistake.
It turns out The Rose Throne is by the same author of Tris and Izzie, a book I thought was pretty poor and said so two years ago. Had I known, I wouldn’t have requested this one for review, but I did, so I felt obliged to give it a go. However nowadays I’m much less inclined to continue reading a book I’m not interested in and at 19% I’m moving on from this one.
I don’t think it’s really fair to give a full review of The Rose Throne having read so little, but I will say that I do think this is a better book than Tris and Izzie. The two main characters are bland, and don’t seem to really react to anything, but on the up side, they don’t inspire feelings of complete disgust in the short time I spent with them.
That being said, I don’t see any signs of this being a great book either. The writing is just too emotionless for me, something I recall bothering me in Ms Harrison’s previous work. Unfortunately, it’s a bit like reading one long monotone. There appears to be two types of magic taweyr and neweyr, in Harrison’s world. The author kind of dumps the reader in the middle of all this without cohesively explaining it, but from what I can gather, neweyr is a female power, connected to new life, growth and nurturing, while taweyr, the magic of death and war, is a male power. The existence of taweyr in a woman, or neweyr in a man is deemed unnatural and those with the wrong weyr are despised, hunted down and killed. Not being at all confident this author could explore this uncomfortably sexist magical system in a satisfactory way and being completely bored by the prose, I swiftly decided The Rose Throne, sadly, wasn’t for me.
As with Tris and Izzie, I really do love the cover though.
Many thanks to Egmont USA and NetGalley for making this ebook available.
*Please keep in mind that this review is based on an Advanced Review Copy from NetGalley and therefore some of the narrative and dialogue may change before publication.*