Book Review: A Choice of Crowns

choice

Olivia Geroux knew her king was reluctant to marry her, whatever the negotiations had arranged. But she never expected to find handsome, arrogant King Rowan obsessed with his stepsister instead. And before she can determine what course to take, she overhears her greatest ally plotting to murder the princess.

Olivia must act quickly—and live with whatever chaos results. As the assassin hunts his prey, a magic mirror appears to show Olivia the three paths that open before her . .

~ If she hesitates only a moment, the princess will die—and she will become queen.
~ If she calls for help, she will gain great power—but she must also thrust away her own happiness.
~ If she runs to stop the murder herself, she will know love and contentment—but her whole country will suffer.

As she lives out each path, her wits and courage will be tested as she fights to protect her people, her friends, and her heart. And deciding which to follow will be far from easy . . .

Pros – Olivia had an actual tough decision to make, personal sacrifice is neither glorified nor condemned

Cons – honestly speaking I’m going with none that are worth mentioning

Notes – There are spoilers for each path here. If you would like a spoiler free review, please head to my Goodreads review

Review – Oh I LIKED this ever so much.

I enjoyed the first book (Through a Dark Glass) quite a bit, though it had some problems with repetition, illogic at times and the fact none of the choices would have been BAD ones. Not overtly. There was pain, but in the end Megan’s choices were all more or less safe and had sacrifices which were acceptable.

Olivia? Well. She had three choices, all alike in basic sacrifices that largely did not greatly improve the happiness of her choice. Whereas for Megan choosing one brother over another led to a different brother dying and varying degrees of comfort and satisfaction in life, Olivia’s choice quite literally meant her country would flourish or be crushed by her choice of who she let die.

Despite the fact Olivia is not exactly “likeable” much of the time, I did appreciate that she wasn’t as passive as Megan in any life she chose. Whether she hesitated, acted with help or acted alone – they were choices Olivia made and that she understood the consequences for. She knew what her future would bring if she let the Princess live – failure and a sentence of death essentially because of the man her father chose for her as a back up husband. How she survives that however is what is most interesting.

As to the choices themselves, my reaction varies greatly about how things turn out.

Hesitating (and thus the Princess dies) means that Olivia is given the life she set out for (marriage to the King), but she finds the perks of that station are few and far between. She learns to content herself with what she can take joy in and finds a way to be useful in protecting her country.

Getting help (thus saving the Princess, letting the King die) means that Olivia finds herself a position of envy and a place to belong at the Princess’ side as they protect their country together…but she has to give up a love that she doesn’t know she needs.

Saving the Princess by herself ensures that the Princess marries the King, Olivia marries her love and lives a happy life…but at the cost of her country fighting a drawn out and bloody war.

Where I think Through a Dark Glass stumbled was offering real tension for Megan. In none of the choices she could have made does she suffer unduly. Yes in each one a brother could die, and also in each one there was a period of painfulness, but she ends up happy. fulfilled. I think Hendee was trying to put forth that Megan really wanted a child. In two of the three futures she would be childless (for different reasons), so it made sense why she chose the third choice.

This was not as cut and dry. In none of the futures Olivia could choose would she be sent home. In none of them would she suffer exactly. Her choice was put your personal happiness as a sacrifice to protect your country and help its ruler. And the Olivia who started the story? The one who went to the castle to become Queen, who wanted to hate the Princess but not enough to let her die, who yearned to be something MORE…I don’t know if she would have chosen as she did without the warnings the mirror gave her.

Though even in her ending choice she tried to manipulate the outcome to give her some better chance at having it all. Give the lady props she WOULD have her cake and eat it too.

Want to Know More?

Published by: Rebel Base Books
Release: January 6, 2018
Series: Dark Glass Book 2
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Connect with Barb: Twitter | Goodreads | Website

lexie

Lexie Words

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