Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Essence (The Pledge #2) by Kimberly Derting


Being a Queen is never easy.

Title: The Essence
Author: Kimberly Derting
Series: The Pledge
Publisher: Allison and Busby, UK
My ratings: 4 out of 5 stars
Released: 27 January, 2013
The Essence is the second book in The Pledge(click here to read my review) series by Kimberly Derting. This book left me in two minds. It had many aspects I enjoyed and some which had me rolling my eyes like a 15 year old. After the confrontation at the end of The Pledge, the epilogue which gave us an inkling of what to expect from The Essence which continues on from where the first book ended. Charlie may have thought that she managed the evil grasp of Queen Sabara but she is wrong. It seems that the queen is still there, quietly whispering secrets and Charlie is afraid. She doesn’t know whom to share this burden with but she is slowly losing control and it may only be a matter of time before Sabara takes over. Charlie is struggling to keep her country in order where everything is still in a state of chaos with her ruling taken in a variety of ways.

“He closed his eyes, inhaling sorrowfully as if I’d just said the sweetest word ever spoken. I was glad he could no longer see me, because just saying the name – his name- made my throat ache like it had been dragged from the pit of my soul.” 

Like The Pledge, it had a slowly beginning. Some events which took place were sad but it helped build us a better understand of the affairs and the trouble Charlie has to face in her ascent to the throne as Queen of Ludania. Somehow, I managed to feelCharlie more this time. Her inner struggle and her battle with herself to keep Sabara at bay gave me insight at what kind of person Charlie was and who would be a fine queen indeed. Her relationship with Max wasn’t explored as much as I’d have liked but I was happy was the amount of page time he got.

“Loathsome and wretched. It seeped through my veins like bile and I braced myself against the mirrored vanity, leaning closer and trying to see past my own eyes – to see through myself – to get a glimpse of her.” 

The side characters really came to life in The Essence. I had complained how Brooklyn seemed selfish at first and even if her actions were later explained she still hadn’t endeared herself to me. In this book, we get a few POV by Brooklyn and Aron which were insightful and heartwarming. Brooklyn really seemed to care about Charlie even if her Dad really needs some sense punched into him.

“My pulse raced as his mouth traced my jawline and he whispered against my ear, his breath hot and teasing and filled with yearning, yet I couldn’t understand a single word he said. I didn’t matter, thought. I understood his meaning well enough.” 

The story is progressed by the means of many POV’s but Charlie’s narration remains key to the progress of the story. We get to see many new and interesting characters and my favourite was Niko. His true motives seem a mystery. I’m not sure if he can be trusted and we all know what a sucker I am for mysterious, dangerous and sadly, untrustworthy men. Sigh….

“Black coils of invisible smoke enveloped me, twisting and spiraling through and around me, until they were all I could see or hear or even breathe. I was suffocating in Sabara’a insidious grasp.” 

We also learn so much more about Sabara but I’m not sure how I feel about her. At first I thought she was evil incarnate but slowly she is being moved into a grey area making things more interesting along the way. The world building is getting better and explanation were given as to why the world is they it is. The Essence is does a good job of as a sequel which not only moves the story forward as the plot thicken but also gives us character development that we all craved from The Pledge. I’d recommend it to all dystopian fans who want to continue with a series which seems to be getting better as it goes on.

ARC provided by Allison and Busby, UK


1 comments:

Alexa on February 14, 2013 at 3:53 AM said...

I really loved this book. I really enjoyed seeing more of Sabara because I feel she is a really strong character and I really want to know more about her now.

I'm glad you enjoyed this book, thanks for the great review!

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