Series: The Rose Throne #1
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Young Adult
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?
Mette Ive Harrison is an author whose books I’ve wanted to try for many years now so I jumped at the chance to request THE ROSE THRONE on Netgalley. When I first started this I was a little unsure of it. Fortunately it didn’t take long for me to start enjoying the characters, the world, and the story and now I can’t wait for more.
The best part of THE ROSE THRONE was easily the magic system of the world. Men and Women have different magic. Men’s magic revolves around war and destruction. Woman’s magic around life and growth. In one country both magics are accepted and practiced widely, in the other women’s magic is basically ban and any person who has the wrong magic (men with the women’s magic, or a female with the make magic) is executed and burned. One world is kind and lovely and ruled by a kind man, the other dangerous and violent and ruled by a terrible king. I loved how different both countries and magics were. It made for a great setting for the plot.
The two main characters of THE ROSE THRONES are the daughters of the two kings. They themselves contrast each other really well, just as the magics and the worlds do. Both have very different personalities as a result of having grown up in the two separate countries. Ailsbet is hard, silent, strong and has a really good pokerface. A disappointment to her father for she has no magic, she’s waiting to see who he marries her of to. Ailsbet was the character I liked most of the two mains. Issa was just as interesting though. She has strong magic and is used to being honest and showing emotion. She’s has never had to worry about a dangerous court where saying the wrong thing could get you killed.
Most of the plot revolves around the growth and development of these two princesses as they learn more about the world about them and have to start making decisions for the future of their countries. Action is not a major focus, though there are some great scenes that the end that make me really excited for what may come in the future. The lack of action does not make THE ROSE THRONE boring. I was much to interested in the magic and the characters (and not just the two mains. There were plenty of interesting side characters that I loved as well).
Despite what the summary seems to indicate, romance isn’t a super big thing in THE ROSE THRONE. Ailsbet doesn’t really have any romantic plot lines. She’s fine with herself and just hopes that she may grow to love whoever is chosen for her in a political marriage. Issa on the other hand does have a romantic interest. I wasn’t 100% sold on this romance. It is a nice romance, but I just don’t really care for it as a relationshiop. When reading I never really saw it develop in a romantic manner, I thought it was more of a friendship. This could be because I sort of shipped Issa’s love interest with Ailsbet for a while *cough* (don’t take that as it’s a love triangle. It’s not. Ailsbet has no romantic interest in the man).
THE ROSE THRONE is not an action packed fantasy, but it’s definitely an interesting and unique one. The magic system and countries in this world are very much contrasts of each other, and our characters are trying to unite them again. Character development is the main focus of the plot, but I can see some great action coming in the future. I am very, very eager for more of this world and its magic.