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The Opal Crown Paperback – October 28, 2014
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
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From School Library Journal
Gr 6–10—The unresolved events at the end of The Princess in the Opal Mask (Running Pr., 2013) involving intrigue in a royal court smoothly segue into this equally gripping sequel. Identical twin princesses Wilha and Elara, who were separated at birth because of an ancient family prophecy, were reunited in the previous installment of this duology that riffs off Mark Twain's The Prince and the Pauper and Alexandre Dumas's The Man in the Iron Mask. Now, a year later, Elara has continued to pretend to be Princess Wilha and even begun to fall for Stefan, while her twin secretly lives in the village as an ordinary seamstress. After their father, the King of Galandria, dies and their younger brother Andrei assumes power, he reveals their deception and declares them traitors. As Andrei fails to win over his citizens, Wilha dreams of ruling jointly with Elara, but Elara's hatred of Andrei makes her determined that she would make the better ruler. Narrated in alternating chapters by the sisters, the novel is full of surprising plot twists. Elara isn't always very sympathetic and Wilha can appear too passive, but Lundquist effectively portrays how they both grow and change for the better. Fans of Jennifer A. Nielsen's "Ascendance Trilogy" (Scholastic) should enjoy this.—Sharon Rawlins, New Jersey State Library, Trenton
"[F]ull of surprising plot twists . . . Fans of Jennifer A. Nielsen's 'Ascendance Trilogy' (Scholastic) should enjoy this."School Library Journal.
[S]uited for fans of romance . . . this concluding story will also satisfy those looking for 'clean' reads.”
Fans of the first title will appreciate the satisfyingly logical plot flow, compelling characters, and strong feminist roots.”
[Lundquist's] characters are distinct and accessible.... Fans of fantasy romances will enjoy getting to know Wilha and Elara in an action-packed foray into this world.”
Top customer reviews
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I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and the story. Elara and Wilha both are trying to become Queen of Galandria, jointly. They return to Galndria as traitors. Elara goes into hiding, while Wilha returns to the castle to sit alongside her brother, Andrei. What they don't realize is that old enemies are made known and "guiding" Andrei on ruling the kingdom behind the throne. But things start to go terribly wrong for all those involved, and people start to reveal their true selves.
I really didn't want this story to end, but when the conclusion came, I was very happy with it and thought that this ended on a really great note. I highly recommend this series.
I’m a sucker for dual-perspective novels as well as heroines that aren’t the typical warrior-princess so when I read Princess in the Opal Mask last year I was not surprised at how much I enjoyed it. My one qualm with the book was the rampant use of ‘okay’, which was jarring in a world that otherwise felt very Renaissance-y. Because of this I gave PitOM only 4 stars.
I am pleased to report that Opal Crown surpassed it’s predecessor and has earned a glowing 5 star review!
Not only did ‘okay’ make a several scant appearances the plot was much more exciting because, unlike in Opal Mask, I honestly didn’t know what was going to happen. (Er- well, I thought I did, then I didn’t, then I did again. It certainly kept me guessing.)
I spent most of the books alternately internally yelling WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOING ELARA?!? and WHILA I WANT YOU TO TRUST YOUR SISTER BUT I ALSO REALLY DON’T.
Unlike most readers I always liked Whila better. I loved how she accurately portrayed someone who has lived under an ever-present thumb her whole life. I was annoyed at Elara for being so flippant about Whila’s perspective and impatient with her, she didn’t seem to understand that she’s not the only twin who was abused as a child.
That being said I love, love LOVED that it took so long for Elara and Whila to become friends. I felt like it was realistic for them to be wary of each other and it made the journey of the book much more intriguing.
The letter was a huge surprise for me. I think I even had to set down the book for a moment to recover before rereading. That and the sudden “those characters you liked are dead BTW” scene set the book apart from the first one for me. Jenny Lundquist made some moves that made me respect her more as an author. She showed that she’s not just writing a cute princess story. These are realistic conflicts and in conflict people die. In conflict things are not always black and white. The grey areas where their brother Andrei was concerned interested me especially; it made me wonder how I would react in a situation like that.
I liked the way both the girls’ romances were back-burner for most of the book and then emerged rather sweetly at the end. I’m especially a big fan of WhilaxPatric because I loved them from the first chapter of Opal Mask.
All in all it was a good sequel that kept me guessing well into the night because I simply couldn’t put it down!