Friday, January 3, 2014

The Princess in the Opal Mask - Jenny Lundquist

The Princess in the Opal Mask Jenny Lundquist book cover
The Princess in the Opal Mask by Jenny Lundquist
Series: The Opal Mask #1
Publisher: Running Press Kids
Publication Date: October 22, 2013
Source/Format: Publisher (Thank you!) || Paperback
[I received this book from the publisher. This in no way affects the thoughts expressed in my review.]

Orphaned as a child in the crumbling village of Tulan, Elara is determined to learn her true identity, even if it means wielding a dagger. Meanwhile, in Galandria's royal capital, Princess Wilha stands out as someone to either worship or fear. Though no one knows why the king has always made her conceal her face--including Wilha herself.

When an assassination attempt threatens the peace of neighboring kingdoms, Elara and Wilha are brought face to face . . . with a chance at claiming new identities. However, with dark revelations now surfacing, both girls will need to decide if brighter futures are worth the binding risks. (from Goodreads)

It's been a while since I've read a fantasy novel. While The Princess in the Opal Mask is fantasy light, at best, and fairly predictable, I definitely enjoyed it. The inclusion of fairytale elements, the build-up to an intriguing twist and the ending certainly caught me off guard in the best way possible.

My favorite thing about this novel is that it is written in two points of view: Elara and Wilha, who are completely different in upbringing but have the same character traits. I honestly couldn't decide who I liked more by the end! Elara was brought up in a way that taught her how to stand up for herself, to fight and find strength, and to put on a brilliant show. Wilha, on the other hand, was a pampered princess identified only by her guise. Both girls, however, slowly learn that they are worth much more than they think they are and that changes a lot of things for them. 

There is, surprisingly, not so much action in this novel, but I thought it was engaging. It felt a bit more like a character study, rather than an adventure. In fact, I really felt like the adventure only started happening towards the latter half of the novel. Still, I couldn't stop myself from turning the pages, if only because I was very invested in our two narrators and what would happen to them.

The Princess in the Opal Mask is a steady start to a new series. I'm certainly wondering how the author will continue the story, particularly after she decided to end this novel the way she did. There's much more in store for both Elara and Wilha, and I can't wait to see if they succeed in their future adventures (and hopefully find a little romance, family and friendship to tide them over too).

8 comments:

  1. Hello there!
    This type of storyline has been so many times but I feel this book may be the only one which will do it the right way. I am definitely intrigued.
    - Annie

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    1. It really has been done by so many authors! Even though a lot of them are well-done, I also think that few manage to really reel readers in. And this just happens to be one of the books I liked!

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  2. We have this book at the library where I work, and that cover caught my attention immediately. I'm glad to hear that it was a satisfying read, even if it was a little predictable. Honestly, I like predictability sometimes. It calms me down a bit. Thanks for the review.

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    1. It is such a pretty book, don't you think? The cover is so gorgeous. I also really liked the story! It was just a nice reprieve for me, if that makes any sense to you.

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  3. Great review! I do love a good fantasy lite book; sometimes fantasy overwhelms me. I'm really intimidated by super high fantasy most times. And that cover? Gorgeous!

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    1. The cover really is gorgeous, especially if you see it in person! Fantasy light can be a nice break from the heavier stuff sometimes, so you should definitely try this if you're in that sort of mood.

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  4. This one sounds like a really character driven book which I love. My biggest pet peeve is when I can't connect to the characters in a book. If I can't connect to them, the plot has to be seriously good for me to still like the book. This one definitely sounds interesting and I like the whole idea of them possibly switching places. That's what it sounds like will happen. I do prefer high fantasy over light fantasy, but I think I may pick this one up! Great review!

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    1. I really liked the two main characters, Wilha and Elara. Each girl was going through her own struggle with identity and growing up, and I love that it was set against a fairytale backdrop. I really hope you enjoy this one if you get around to reading it!

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