[Review] The Essence

Monday, January 14, 2013

Title: The Essence
Series: The Pledge #2
Author: Kimberly Derting
Format: Hardcover, 352 pages
Genre: YA, Dsytopian
Publication Date: January 1, 2013
Publisher: Simon and Schuster

| Chapters | Book Depository

At the luminous conclusion of The Pledge, Charlaina defeated the tyrant Sabara and took her place as Queen of Ludania. But Charlie knows that Sabara has not disappeared: The evil queen’s Essence is fused to Charlie’s psyche, ready to arise at the first sign of weakness.

Charlie is not weak, but she’s being pushed to the brink. In addition to suppressing the ever-present influence of Sabara, she’s busy being queen—and battling a growing resistance determined to return Ludania to its discriminatory caste system. Charlie wants to be the same girl Max loves, who Brook trusts, but she’s Your Majesty now, and she feels torn in two.

As Charlie journeys to an annual summit to meet with leaders of nearby Queendoms—an event where her ability to understand all languages will be the utmost asset—she is faced with the ultimate betrayal. And the only person she can turn to for help is the evil soul residing within.

My Thoughts
In this sequel to The Pledge we find Charlie is a very difficult position. Not only does she have to keep Queen Sabara in check, but she also has to deal with an uprising in defense of her new rules.

I absolutely loved this sequel because it had everything in it, action, adventure and love that is pushed to the brink. Charlie is a very flawed character and that is she ois relatable, even if the situation is something we as readers can not comprehend. She is young and asked to do things that are not meant of a teenager. She has the wishes of a Nation on her shoulders and the safety of her Family to think about.

What i found really interesting was the relationship that was being built between Charlie and Sabara. It is a complicated one but an interesting one one the less. It allows for readers to see a different side of Charlie, one that isn't so strong and isn't as sure about everything. And I really liked that.

Charlies relationship with Max was one of my favorite things about The Pledge. Not because in my head Max was smoking hot (which he was) but because it felt real. It did not happen right away and it started as a distrust more than love at first sight. And in The Essence I loved that their relationship grew. As things became more complicated for Charlie, their relationship was tested. Realism is an aspect of YA that I think gets put on the back burner in exchange for great sexual tension but we should never forget that if two characters feel real, them we are more likely to relate and therefore feel for them as they grow. And I thought that Kimberly Derting did an amazing job with that, and I cannot wait for the third installment.

4/5 Stars

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