Thursday, February 8, 2018

Thursday #Review - A Choice of Crowns by Barb Hendee #Fantasy

Series: Dark Glass # 2
Format: E-Book, 273 pages
Release Date:  February 6th 2018 
Publisher: Rebel Base Books
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Fantasy / Paranormal

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 . . .

A Choice of Crowns, by author Barb Hendee, is the second installment in the authors Dark Glass series. I will open my review by stating that each of these books are standalone's. You have a beginning, middle, and an ending. If you've read the first book, Through a Dark Glass, you know that a 3-way magical mirror appears at a crossroads in the central character's life. The mirror gives the central character the good and the bad of each of the consequences she will face if she chooses a certain path. 

Each avenue is shown in its entirety and then the chosen is told to choose what pathway they think will be best for them. This is 18-year old Olivia Giroux's story. Olivia is the youngest daughter of Hugh Giroux. She is told that she has no choice but to marry King Rowan since it has already been negotiated between him and the Dowager Queen. But, of course, there are caveats that I won't spoil. During a pivotal moment in the story, when Princess Ashton is facing death at the hands of Olivia's only real ally and an assassin, a 3-way mirror appears to her. 

The mirror tells Olivia that she is at a crossroads. She is told that she will live out three outcomes of three different choices but won't remember them after her choice is made. 

1. If she hesitates and doesn't do anything to stop an assassin from killing Ashton, she will die, and Olivia will become Queen.  

2. If she calls for help, another character will die, Olivia may gain great powers, but her own happiness might be put in the background.

3. If she runs to stop the assassin from killing a key character, she will know love and contentment, but her entire country will face ruination at the hands of the person who rules the country.

Olivia thoroughly struggles to keep her promise of marrying Rowan even though he clearly favors his step-sister Ashton. Olivia and Ashton quickly become friends. Even though there is an ICK factor when it comes to Rowan's obsession with Ashton, it is Olivia's choices that really separate her story from Megan, the previous story's protagonist. I do declare that the idea behind being given three choices, and then deciding what path you think will fit for your own happy ending is intriguing to me. Many times in life we get to a point in the road what if you turn left, life may have been a bit easier for you. If you turn right, well, you find out that free choice can sometimes be a real bitch.

The third installment in this series, A Girl of White Winter, releases in November 2018. The author and publisher have offered up a teaser, of sorts, introducing the newest character. Very interesting indeed. 

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