Review: The Crowning
Title: The Crowning
Series: The Crowning #1
Author: Nattie Kate Mason
Date Published: February 28th 2019
Genre: YA Fantasy
An heir to the magically gifted Kingdom of Aleria must be chosen. The shape-shifting Prince Alexander is favored to claim the title. The fire-wielding sisters, Princess Anastasia and Princess Alecia, feel one of them will take the crown. However, the eldest potential heir, Princess Agnes has other plans. The current ruler of Alearia, Queen Amealiana, a gifted sage and seer, has a hidden secret that will change everything.Rivalry, magic, betrayal, healing, death, hope. In the pursuit of power, only one may be crowned Heir.
The book is centered on the royal family and the siblings all preparing to compete in the crowning ceremony to determine who would be awarded the title of ‘heir’ to one day rule the land of Alearia.
I loved the premise of the story and the idea of each of them having a ‘gifting’ (a magical power) and that the land was full of power with giftings of varying types and strengths. The different powers were interesting to read about and how they affected each character differently. The book was written with multiple POVs from the different princesses as well as the Queen and the occasional other POV. I enjoyed this style of writing and it was great to get an insight into each princess and how they thought/ what kind of people they were. I especially liked that we got the Queen’s POV regularly as it’s less skewed than any of the sisters, so that was a great addition.
The character of Anastasia was a great way for the author to represent mental health, showing us a character can be strong even when they have a complex relationship with anxiety, trauma, and grief. I thought the author handled this very well and showed us a strong character we can love, that also struggles with a lot of problems we also struggle with. I loved seeing this represented and I look forward to seeing more of this in the following books.
The story flowed well, and each scene brought us something new and interesting to read, either to further the plot or to build up the characters and show us what they were getting up to in secret. It was easy to read however, whilst the writing was good, it was quite formal, especially in the dialogue. This didn’t detract from the story and it was still easy to read but it just felt as though it would have been better if the writing had been a bit more relaxed.
The only other thing I would say is that it was a bit confusing that all of the characters had very similar names – Alecia, Anastasia, Analyse (x2), Amealiana, and Agnes - I understand that this was probably done to show them connected as a family but this was rather confusing to start with, as we get sections from each of their POVs. It would have made it a bit easier to keep them all separate if there were more differentiation in names but once I got used to it then it wasn’t a problem.
Overall, it was a great story with a dynamic cast of characters, each with its own stories and desires. I was very happy with how it ended and am very intrigued to see what happens in the next books based on the events that ended this one! The story gave us great pacing, a good mix of action/ intrigue as well as a good amount of character growth and development.
Rating: 4 Stars