Today’s book review is going to be on The Princess in the Opal Mask by Jenny Lundquist. I’ve been meaning to read this one for a while, and I finally got a chance to do so. With such a beautiful cover, I just had to have this on my bookshelf, and as for the book itself, it’s quite a nice read.
Synopsis. The book revolves around the lives of two girls, and each chapter switches from their points of views. It starts off with Elara’s story line where she is an orphaned girl living a Cinderella-like life with an abusive mistress. She knows nothing of her past, so when her teacher gives her a book from her mother, she knows she must follow this lead. It leads her to the royal capital where the Masked Princess is having a masquerade. The story line switches to that of the Masked Princess, otherwise known as Princess Wilha. Princess Wilha has been made to wear masks ever since she was a child, and she has no idea why. For this reason, rumors surrounding her have surfaced such as her having the power to either kill or heal people with her eyes. The girls meet face to face after an assassination attempt and so begins their journey of finding out the secrets that have been kept from them.
Plot. The plot of this book was nothing groundbreaking, but it was a nice, quick read. It was terribly predictable, but I still cared enough about the characters to continue on, and I don’t regret finishing the book. If you’re a fan of fairy tales and stories like the Princess and the Pauper, then this is a book you should definitely check out. I will say, however, that overall this book feels a bit incomplete and has a lot of loose ends. I know it’s the first book in the series but I expect it to have a level of coherence and completeness which I felt was a bit lacking in this story.
Characters. This is where the story shines for me. I love the two main characters, Elara and Wilha. They are so different, and the dynamic between them is absolutely brilliant. You feel the bitterness. You feel the sympathy. It’s great. The characters completely make up for the lack of depth in the story for me. They are just so believable and real. Their personalities completely match their backgrounds. Elara, being from an abusive family, is guarded and cunning while Wilha, having been sheltered within the castle walls, is obedient and naive. Another great aspect of this book were the relationships between the characters. They were not rushed and were allowed time to develop, and you find yourself rooting for the characters all the way.
Romance. This is a young adult novel, so the romance was definitely toned down. There were kisses and fluffy moments, but I like my books to be more intense with the chemistry and tension. However, it does fit in with the whole tone of the book and fairy tale aspect, so I can’t necessarily say that it’s a bad thing. For that reason and the fact that the writing style is very simple, I recommend it to younger readers. It is quite an innocent book for the exception of one lecherous character. Overall, the romance was nice and sweet. A little bit boring for me but to each his own.
Anyway, I would definitely recommend this book to lovers of fantasy and romance. I had quite a fun night reading it because it’s a very cute story and it’s a very easy read. I’m glad to say that I shall be reading the next installment of the series when it comes out next year. What did you guys think of this book?