Book: The Rose Throne by Mette Ivie Harrison
Genre: YA Fantasy
For: Review and Support Local Authors
This is the story of two kingdoms who have been at odds with each other for a long time. In an attempt at reconciliation, the king from one kingdom is going to marry his daughter to the son of the other king. Sadly, the prince is only 13 years old and the princess is 17, and to top it off, she falls in love with the duke who has come to her kingdom to make the arrangements! Hate it when that happens! :)
There is also a princess in the one kingdom (sister to the 13 year old prince) who is having her own issues, one of which is her truly awful father, the king. The book flips back and forth from the points of view of both these girls... the princesses in each kingdom. Through them, we learn about the interesting magic system, which is that men and women each have a different kind of power. Women have a "gentle" magic that grows things and keeps things pretty and nice. The men have a more wild magic that helps them to hunt and be strong and aggressive If you are born with the wrong kind of magic... it's bad bad news!
One kingdom is ruled and guided by the men's magic, while the other is led by the women's. Will it ever be possible to join the two again? Will it the two magics ever have a chance to come together again? In fact, there is a prophecy that says just such a thing will happen.
And it may be that the doings and happenings of this story is that prophecy coming to pass. Or not.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It took me a bit to grasp the concept of the world and magic, but once I understood that, things started falling into place. I envisioned the one princess to be just like the girl in Brave, and the other was a much softer gentler sort, maybe like Belle or something. It was a fun contrast.
However, I wish I would have connected with these characters a bit better. I always find it interesting that in some books you just love them to death and feel so invested in them, while in others you like them okay, but really don't have much emotional attachment. Sadly, for me, I felt the second way with these guys. I wish I could put my finger on why that happens. Do we blame the writing? The story line Our own moods? I don't know!
It probably didn't help that I'd just read a Melina Marchetta fantasy. Nothing can quite compare to her characters.
That being said, I still found the book fun and engaging.
Bottom line: I enjoyed it!
This book induced some kind of delicious reading addiction for me. I wanted to know what happened - I was dying for the ending and I wanted to see all my characters resolutions. From One Librarian's Book Reviews
One thing I really liked about this story was that it wasn’t a light and fluffy princess story. There’s cruelty and a fight for power, characters that I absolutely hated, and some that I truly loved. From Reading in Winter
If the prose were more alive, and the magic system less sexist – or conversely, if Harrison had really explored how society would be affected by such a system, in addition to focusing on one man's abuse of power – I would have enjoyed the book more. From The Bookwyrm's Hoard