I am so excited that I got to participate in TBR and Beyond’s tour of Kingdom of Sea and Stone! I loved Crown of Coral and Pearl and was so excited to see that there was a sequel! If you missed the other tour stops, check out the schedule here to see other posts!
Kingdom of Sea and Stone (Crown of Coral and Pearl #2) by Mara Rutherford
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publishing Date: October 6, 2020
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Ever since Nor was forced to go to a nearby kingdom in her sister’s place, she’s wanted nothing more than to return to the place and people she loves. But when her wish comes true, she soon finds herself cast out from both worlds, with a war on the horizon.
As an old enemy resurfaces more powerful than ever, Nor will have to keep the kingdom from falling apart with the help of Prince Talin and Nor’s twin sister, Zadie. There are forces within the world more mysterious than any of them ever guessed—and they’ll need to stay alive long enough to conquer them…
Jumping into this book was difficult. I hadn’t read Crown of Coral and Pearl in almost two years, so it was difficult for me to orient myself on what happened and where we were.
But I managed to find my way. Thankfully, Mara put some backstory at the beginning to help remind readers what was happening. I always appreciate when authors take the time to incorporate that into their books rather than just diving in and letting us sink. We get a quick recap between Nor and Zadie back home, which was brief but enough to remind me what happened. Once I knew what was going on, I was interested to see where we were going.
Going into this book, especially with the events that happened in Crown, I was ready for the violence. But violence I did not get. This book was way more about politics than even the relationships. While new, I felt like it slacked on building Nor’s relationship with Talin and Zadie. Instead, we focus on restoring Talin’s younger sister, Zoi, as Queen and making the country better. We meet new characters from a new country and then basically leave them after working up relationships between the two groups. I could see what Mara was trying to do, but it didn’t feel right to me reading.
I wanted new relationships, old relationships to build, and other connections between characters. While I did like the magical element of the plot, it didn’t line up well with everything going on on the sidelines. I almost feel like there should have been another book so this one could be spent on the emotional and magical aspect between people and then moving into political, rather than trying to cram it all into one.
But, there are also a lot of things that I really liked too! I liked Nor’s continuing development. I liked that we got to see new cultures and people. We get more history and mystery with magic. And, we get an interesting political battle that I know I was looking forward to in Crown of Coral and Pearl.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and thought it was a great end to the series. Though I still wish there was another book. This is // 5 stars for me!
Mara Rutherford began her writing career as a journalist but quickly discovered she far preferred fantasy to reality. Originally from California, Mara has since lived all over the world along with her Marine-turned-diplomat husband. A triplet born on Leap Day, Mara holds a Master’s degree in Cultural Studies from the University of London. When she’s not writing or chasing after her two sons, she can usually be found pushing the boundaries of her comfort zone, whether at a traditional Russian banya or an Incan archaeological site. She is the author of CROWN OF CORAL AND PEARL (2019), its sequel, KINGDOM OF SEA AND STONE (2020), and LUMINOUS (2021).
TBR and Beyond Tours will be giving away a finished copy of Kingdom of Sea and Stone on their site. This giveaway will end on October 13th
Here is the link to enter: Rafflecopter