Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Book Review: The Essence by Kimberly Derting

The Essence
Author: Kimberly Derting
Series: Pledge (Book 2)
Publication: Margaret K. McElderry Books (January 1, 2013)

Description: “Danger, dread, mystery, and romance” (Booklist) continue in the second book of The Pledge trilogy, as Charlie’s reign is under siege from the most unusual of enemies.

At the luminous conclusion of The Pledge, Charlaina defeated the tyrant Sabara and took her place as Queen of Ludania. But Charlie knows that Sabara has not disappeared: The evil queen’s Essence is fused to Charlie’s psyche, ready to arise at the first sign of weakness.

Charlie is not weak, but she’s being pushed to the brink. In addition to suppressing the ever-present influence of Sabara, she’s busy being queen—and battling a growing resistance determined to return Ludania to its discriminatory caste system. Charlie wants to be the same girl Max loves, who Brook trusts, but she’s Your Majesty now, and she feels torn in two.

As Charlie journeys to an annual summit to meet with leaders of nearby Queendoms—an event where her ability to understand all languages will be the utmost asset—she is faced with the ultimate betrayal. And the only person she can turn to for help is the evil soul residing within.

My Thoughts: This second book of the Pledge trilogy has Charlie facing enemies from within and from without. She is battling Sabara for control of her own body. She is also battling her friend Brooklynn's father who is the leader of the rebels who want to return Ludania to its previous class system.

Charlie also has to travel to a summit meeting and meet some of the other queens. She is worried about learning the proper protocols and about reforging alliances that will bring her country into the modern world. She doesn't know that assassins have been chosen to keep her from reaching the summit.

She also meets a man who has loved the Essence that is Sabara for countless ages and who wants to be with her. Having Niko near causes major problems with Max and causes lots of conflict for Charlie too.

This was a successful middle book in a trilogy that will engage fans of fantasy.

Favorite Quote:
Sabara's voice filled my head like liquefied hatred. Loathsome and wretched. It seeped through my veins like bile and I braced myself against the mirrored vanity, leaning closer and trying to see past my own eyes—to see through myself—to get a glimpse of her. I wanted to know if she was in there, somehow watching me from the other side of the looking glass.
I bought this one on Jan. 3, 2013. You can buy your copy here.

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