Tuesday, March 16, 2010

THE PRETENDER’S CROWN The Inheritor’s Cycle Series Book 2 by C. E. Murphy

Publisher: Ballantine Books/Del Ray
Date published: April 2009
ISBN: 978-0-345-49465-8
Obtained by Publisher
Reviewed by Dawn

Belinda Primrose knows stealth and seduction in her line of work as a spy of Queen Lorraine. A pawn in the political game, she goes where her spymaster father and Queen mother tell her to go, even as her past deeds haunt her. Politics, magic and more play their hand as Belinda finds a secret power she never knew she had even as the stakes are much higher than ever. Can Belinda find a way to survive if her secret gets out?

In THE PRETENDER’S CROWN, we find Belinda determined to be no pawn to anyone anymore. With her newfound Witchpower, she is walking a fine line of darkness and light for either way she goes can have the unlikely of consequences. Political intrigue at their finest, Ms. Murphy delves back into her world of schemes, politics, assassins and more in the next installment of her Inheritor’s Cycle series with gusto. The action is on full throttle and the reader is sucked into the world Ms. Murphy created. I do have to mention you must read Queen’s Bastard first to understand this next book. Full of twists and turns plus some “OH MY GOD!” moments that will leave you speechless. Get ready for one wild ride in THE PRETENDER’S CROWN.

You met Belinda in the first book, The Queen’s Bastard. In the latest installment of the Inheritor’s Cycle, we see how much she has grown as a character and her shift from being a pawn into being a player as political intrigue kicks up a notch. Here you find some returning characters from the first book popping up as well as some dark secrets that rear their ugly heads and turn lives upside down in the process. I found Belinda a bit more likeable this time around. She has grown up a bit and the reader can see the fine line she walks as she keeps her witchpower a secret while being seduced by the dark magic. It was a fast paced ride from start to finish and Ms. Murphy really delves deep into the characters’ hearts and souls in this latest story. The character development is wonderful here as you can tell if you read The Queen’s Bastard as many of the characters are now more multi-dimensional and enjoyable this time around.

THE PRETENDER’S CROWN is solid, fast paced reading adventure from start to finish. It has mystery, intrigue and more all rolled within its pages and will leave the reader eager for more. If you enjoy a different story/series then I highly recommend Ms. Murphy’s Inheritor’s Cycle series. Ms. Murphy is a masterful storyteller and I love her work from her other series books. Run; don’t walk to grab this and the first book, The Queen’s Bastard, and settle in for a wild ride from start to finish. I look forward to seeing if this author will continue the series in the future.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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