Monday, May 30, 2016

TOUR: The Broken Crown

ISBN: 978-1500736873
Pages: 342
Source: YA Bound Book Tours
Publication Date: May 23, 2016
Initial Reaction:

Princess Emilia Aurelius was only seven when she watched her mother die at the hands of her father—martyred for believing in the God of the Atlas Empire’s Insurgo rebels. At seventeen, exiled to a military outpost where no one knows her true identity, she’s vowed to leave her royalty behind and explore the truth of the Insurgo rebels her mother loved. 
When the Emperor of Atlas summons the princesses from each of the provinces to the imperial city to choose a wife for the crown prince, Emilia must leave her military life behind to join a royal court rife with cunning and intrigue. Navigating the waters of court politics and budding love are treacherous on their own, but Emilia fears for her life should anyone learn of her Insurgo sympathies. 
With an unlikely ally in the captain of the emperor's guard, Emilia must uncover the truth of the Insurgos, start a revolution, and learn to become the princess she’s vowed never to be, all while protecting her heart from a prince who could sign her death warrant. 
This book brought back so many memories for me! Anyone else grow up reading The Princess Academy and absolutely wished they could be part of that? The Broken Crown follows Princess Emilia who watched her mother get executed for worshipping the rebels' God rather than following the religious cult that dominates the other kingdoms. She was exiled by her father to grow up in a military camp where she is trained and grows the believe in the faith that killed her mother. Then she is summoned by the Emperor of Atlas to arrive at the imperial city in order to join a "friendly competition" to become the wife for the crown prince. Life in the imperial city is more dangerous than the frivolous balls and she has to learn to become a princess again while keeping her faith a secret.

Okay, I don't know how I should begin but this book gave me major Princess Academy vibes. Emilia is thrust back into the world of royalty and there is a lot of scheming, rumors of rebellion, and jealous princesses. As if relearning all the rules of etiquette isn't enough, someone is planning on overthrowing the king and the rebellious Insurgos might be behind the plot. I absolutely adored following Emilia as she navigates her way through court and tries to figure out where her loyalties lie. 

I'll admit, there were some moments that made me want to face-palm myself. Emilia is such a kickbutt character but she only gets a couple of moments to really show off her skills. Also, whenever she comes in contact with the prince, she kind of loses her mind just a bit. She is definitely less ditsy than some of the other girls there but she loses the "strength of a soldier" that she has which sets her apart from the rest. Regardless, I still really loved her character.

We can't talk about this book without mentioning the "competition" itself. To be honest, it's not even close to a competition but rather it's an opportunity for the Emperor to pick a girl that will be submissive and provide the best alliance for the future. Prince Ronan doesn't really have a voice in the final decision. On the topic of the prince, he was a decent guy but my ship for this book puts Emilia with a certain Captain of the guard (Felix). I don't dislike Ronan, but I just love the relationship that she has with Felix and how they share more common interests.

The big issue of this novel centers around religion and politics which I found really fascinating. The Empire worships a group of gods while the rebellion called the Insurgos worship one god in a religion that resembles Christianity. It addresses the issue of a theocratic government and the lengths people will go to for power.

There were moments that just broke my heart and made me want to throw something but that just shows how much I enjoyed this book. I will definitely be keeping my eye on the sequel when it comes out because I need to know what happens next! 

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A tomboy with southern belle roots, Amryn Cross was born and raised in Tennessee where she learned the importance of God, family, Southern hospitality, and football. She’s loved the written word from the time she was a child, convinced the squiggly lines on top of the Hostess cupcake really spelled out a secret message. Amryn is a proud momma to two adorable puppies–Argo and Luna–who provide lots of laughs and kisses. She is also an active member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and My Book Therapy (MBT) and answers writers’ forensic questions at Jordyn Redwood’s Medical Edge blog.
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4 out of 5 stars

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