Friday, April 19, 2013

Review: The Rose Throne by Mette Ivie Harrison


Richly-imagined fantasy romance from the author of Princess and the Hound, a tale of two princesses--one with magic, one with none--who dare seek love in a world where real choice can never be theirs. For fans of Megan Whalen Turner, Catherine Fisher, and Cassandra Clare.
Ailsbet loves nothing more than music; tall and red-haired, she's impatient with the artifice and ceremony of her father's court. Marissa adores the world of her island home and feels she has much to offer when she finally inherits the throne from her wise, good-tempered father. The trouble is that neither princess has the power--or the magic--to rule alone, and if the kingdoms can be united, which princess will end up ruling the joint land? For both, the only goal would seem to be a strategic marriage to a man who can bring his own brand of power to the throne. But will either girl be able to marry for love? And can either of these two princesses, rivals though they have never met, afford to let the other live?

I found the first part of this book quite boring, but it's a good thing I continued reading because the second half of the book got quite interesting.

In The Rose Throne, the focus is on two princesses from neighboring kingdoms and a prophecy which could unite their kingdoms for the benefit of all. However, things aren't quite as simple as they seem, as people's loyalties and alliances are easily shifted.

The setting, elements and the overall vibe of the book reminded me of Tamora Pierce's novels. I'm a huge fan of Tamora Pierce's Song of the Lioness and Protector of the Small quartets so any book that I read that reminds me of them tends to get compared to these books. Unfortunately, the first half of The Rose Throne did not excite me at all. It didn't help, I guess, that I didn't really like Ailsbet or Issa. Issa felt like a typical naive princess to me and while she showed her powers at the end, by then, I was so not interested in her that I felt no awe or cared what happened to her. Ailsbet, on the other hand, I didn't like at first but as the novel wore on, it was easier to understand her and I liked that she wasn't so preoccupied with boys and her storyline seems to be promising in terms of the future books in the series.

Thanks to NetGalley and EgmontUSA for the e-ARC. Publication date of The Rose Throne is on May 14, 2013.


  1. The book gets better as you get deeper into it.
  2. The worldbuilding is promising.
  3. There are some interesting characters.


  1. Some may find the first chapters boring.

The feast took four hours from beginning to end, though Issa could only take small bites of the most delicate dishes, roasted fish and poached eggs or fruit compotes.

  1. You like fantasy books with forbidden romance.
  2. You like unfeminine heroines.
  3. You liked Tamora Pierce's books but want a little more romance than the books had.




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