Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara Rutherford

Five stars for the first thirty-five percent, three stars for the second thirty-five percent, and two stars for the last thirty percent. So… two and a half stars, I guess.

When Nor was in Varenia I loved the writing and the characterization. I was drawn in and read quickly just to learn more about the world. As soon as Nor arrived in the mountain the novel took a sharp downturn and by the time of the climax I was just flipping pages because it was nearly done and I was curious if it would pick up again.

I don’t know that I can fully recommend this. It wouldn’t even be that bad except that I know the writer can do so much better but for whatever reason didn’t. Still, it had a very interesting premise with an entire race of people confined to living on the ocean, never to touch land under penalty of death. It was a mix of native people subjected to the castle royalty with fantasy elements like fast healing and blood mysticism.

However, the plot dragged at the end until Rutherford seemed like she didn’t know how to seal the end especially since there is supposed to be at least one more book. I most likely won’t read it unless I can see that the writing is on par with the beginning of this book. If the writing had gone down but the story had at least some sensibility and flow it would have been one thing, but instead both plot and writing hit the dirt and didn’t recover.

I’m not mad that I read it, but if it had just continued with the same quality it began with then I could wholeheartedly recommend this book. As it is, shrug.

I really want this author to keep writing because I know she can recapture the style and voice necessary to be a great writer.

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