Hello! I’m back! I’m reviewing things! Life has been crazy and I have neglected my to-review pile! I feel horrible. This review is days late but I did read the book on time. I just didn’t get around to writing it and crossposting it everywhere… anyway, also apologies for the really rough look our blog is sporting right now. It’s going to get a new look soon (I’m hoping, let’s see how great my Googling/coding skills are) so please bear with us! Anyway, enough PSA’s!
Note: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
The Movement of Crowns is the first book from Nadine C. Keels’ Movement of Crowns series about a young princess and the burdens being a monarch entails. Personally, I’m all about stories about princesses and how they can actually use their power besides being the royal bargaining tool because hello absolute monarchy = lots of power for monarchs! It was definitely very refreshing to see a young princess know that she is so much more than a potential royal broodmare for another country… more on that after the cut!
[note color=”#DD96BC”] At the point when kingdoms’ ideas of humanity differ… The nation of Diachona is celebrating the twentieth birthday and rite of passage for Constance, the Diachonian king’s daughter and heir. Yet, the pause for festivity doesn’t erase collective doubts about Constance’s aspiration for a place with the men on the National Council, nor does it eliminate fears roused by oppressive threats from a neighboring, powerful empire. Amid increasing rumors of war and personal misgivings about her own future, Constance deems this an inopportune time to be falling in love with one Commander Alexander.[/note]
I know books are supposed to transport you to a different place temporarily when you read, but some books require more imaginative effort. With The Movement of Crowns, however, you don’t need to put as much imaginative effort because you are just immediately transported. Every scene is detailed so beautifully seriously, all you need to do is read and bam you’re in Diachona. And it sounds like a gorgeous kingdom. And just not the world-building part, but Nadine C. Keels seems to excel at writing emotions. The first chapter deals with a rather sensitive time, especially without the technologies we have today, and while I had no idea what was going on for a good part of said chapter, I just wanted everything to be okay! (And it was, so whew.) I especially loved reading about the Council meetings! While it’s not the pretties of scenes (because really, for those of you living in a state with a parliamentary system, Question Period is not pretty), I thought it was just charged with like… badassery, I don’t know I thought Constance kicked ass and she should be a princess role model kids should look up to.
Let’s just get the parts of what I didn’t like out of the way, so I can keep talking about Constance. Alright, this book didn’t have as much dialogue as I wanted. It was mostly told through Constance’s perspective and while it was all well-written, I’m the type of reader that likes to read dialogue. There is some, and I thought that the dialogue was smartly used for this story because it often signified an important event happening but the lack of a dialogue gave me a hard time reading the book. I finished it, it’s not long, but I found myself taking more breaks than I usually do when reading? I’m the type of person that will continuously read until it’s finished, so when I take breaks, it means that I’m constantly getting distracted because there’s not enough break in the story. I’m not making any sense. Moving on.
What I really, really really, really loved about this story is Constance. I have just taken a women’s studies class and, as you’ll see this coming Monday, both Fran and I are big feminists and we both love it when heroines ooze AWESOMENESS. Before I get totally sidetracked, let me just say that it was wonderful to read and get to know Constance. She is Diachona’s king’s only offspring and therefore the immediate heir to the throne. Of course, the Council is having troubles since she’s a young woman. She’s supposed to marry and create more royal babies and not you know… lead. No, she isn’t a radical heroine.She’s not the Strong Female Character we see so much of these days either because she’s just a normal 20 year old trying to figure out how to be useful not to her family and country while having a love life. And she knows her strength is her brains and she utilizes that to a great degree. I just loved Constance.
And while we’re talking about her, I thought Constance’s love story with Staid Alexander was adorable. It was a more quiet and subdued type of love that developed from childhood and honestly, I think their story is what kept me going. I kept looking for interactions between these two (what can I say, I love my romances) and was overjoyed when they got their happy ending!
Bottom line is that I thought that while the Movement of Crowns was fantastic, it was a bit short for me. It wasn’t rushed and it was paced perfectly, but I think I just wanted to read more. I’m giving it 3.5/5 because there were also some parts where I had to give myself a pep talk to continue reading. It’s not that it was boring, there was just a distinct lack of dialogue that I think I wasn’t used to. What is fantastic though is that you’ll get sucked right in and transported to Diachona and you will just cheer for Constance all the way through! I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to inter-kingdom politics like this and I definitely wouldn’t have minded reading more. Overall, it was a great read! It both satisfied my need to read some romance and reminded me why I study what I study. 😉