Thursday, June 8, 2017

#Review - Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau #YALit #Fantasy

Series: Dividing Eden # 1
Format: E-Galley, 336 pages
Release Date: June 6, 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Edelweiss/Publisher
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

A sweeping fantasy, by the bestselling author of The Testing, about two royal siblings forced to compete for the crown.

Twins Carys and Andreus were never destined to rule Eden. With their older brother next in line to inherit the throne, the future of the kingdom was secure.

But appearances—and rivals—can be deceiving. When Eden’s king and crown prince are killed by assassins, Eden desperately needs a monarch, but the line of succession is no longer clear. With a ruling council scheming to gain power, Carys and Andreus are faced with only one option: to take part in a Trial of Succession that will determine which one of them is worthy of ruling the kingdom.

As sister and brother, Carys and Andreus have always kept each other safe—from their secrets, from the court, and from the monsters lurking in the mountains beyond the kingdom’s wall. But the Trial of Succession will test the bonds of trust and family.

With their country and their hearts divided, Carys and Andreus will discover exactly what each will do to win the crown. How long before suspicion takes hold and the thirst for power leads to the ultimate betrayal?

Dividing Eden is the first installment in author Joelle Charbonneau's Dividing Eden series. The author is best known for her works on The Testing trilogy. Dividing Eden tells the story of twins Princess Carys, and Prince Andreus. After a series of unfortunate events that sees the King and his heir assassinated, a grand scheme of political machinations is created by The Council of Elders to force the siblings to face each other in a Trial of Virtuous Succession where anything can happen. 

The winner will be named the new Monarch, the loser may not live to see their next birthday. The twins are rather unique in that their births created a whole lot of issues. One is said to be good, the other is said to be the harbinger of darkness in the Kingdom of Eden. Nobody know who was born first. Nobody know if the prophecy is a load of crap to scare people. or a real possibility that may end up coming true. Carys is the silent and deadly one. She always takes the heat in order to protect her brother. Andreus is the one who, if he had his choice, would work with Windmills that harness the power to keep Garden City lit.

The Council comes up with a series of challenges, each exploring the so called Seven Virtues. Carys doesn't really want to be Queen. She's been happy being in the shadows, working to help her brother. Will she rise to the occasion and show her people she deserves to be the new Queen? Or, will
Andreus discover the motivation necessary to hurt the one he loves to rise above the fray and become the next King? There is one other factor to consider that leaves a bit of twisted intrigue. A factor so fraught with betrayal and intrigue, that if anyone manages to survive the trial, they will likely face an all out war against their enemies in Adderton.

The First installment in Joelle Charbonneau's Dividing Eden is highly entertaining and well worth the read. For me, my favorite character is Princess Carys. Carys is the kind of character who would cut out her own kidney and give it to her brother to save his life. She knows that there is something rotten in Denmark, but after a series of questionable events, she begins to wonder if there is another party pulling all the strings. Carys finds an ally in Lord Errik. To this point in the story, I have no reason not to trust his intentions, but I am not so sure of another characters (Garret's). 

On the other side, Andreus is a difficult character to like. He let's people sway him, push him, use him, and goad him into doing things that really are not kind. When all is said and done, a really good start to the series with a twisted ending that leave me hopeful for yet another exciting sequel.

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