Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara Rutherford
I was given an Advanced copy of this book by NetGalley in exchange for my honest review
Nor and her twin sister Zadie have grown up in an ocean village and have never once stepped foot onto dry land. For generations the most beautiful girl in their village of Varenia, has married the crown prince of Ilara. Nor has always dreamed of exploring the world, but an accident has left her scarred and she knows there is no chance of being chosen to marry the prince. Her sister, Zadie, on the other hand is very likely to be chosen, but wants to stay and marry her childhood sweetheart. Zadie and Nor are left to make some very difficult choices, and Nor soon discovers that being chosen to marry the crown prince might not be the blessing her village thinks that it is.
This story is incredibly well written. My favorite thing about this book is the back story of Varenia and Ilara and how both countries came to be. Varenia is a floating ocean village comprised of wood from sunken ships. Their main currency are the blood pearls that they find in the oysters that grow on the blood coral near their home. Ilara the country nearest to them trades fresh water, which is scarce in Varenia, with the blood pearls. It’s an incredibly interesting and original system and with an incredibly cool back story.
Zadie and Nor are both incredibly realistic teenage girls. The roles that they are forced to play, are not the roles that they want, and they both act to change their destinies.
Anyone interested in a YA fantasy, especially one involving a lot of sisterly love!
The society that the girls have grown up in is one that puts a high value on physical beauty, to the point where a small scar on her face makes Nor nearly an outcast. The story is told in such a way that it is clear that this is wrong, however, if reading that makes you uncomfortable, you might want to skip this book!
Wanting to live in an ocean village made of boats- that would be awesome
Really wanting to go to the beach and also eat seafood
This is a great read! It ends on a cliffhanger, so I can’t wait to read the sequel.