The Broken Crown
by Amryn Cross
Publish date: May 23, 2016
Genre: YA Fantasy
Princess Emilia Aurelius was only seven when she watched her mother die at the hands of her father—martyred for believing in the God of the Atlas Empire’s Insurgo rebels. At seventeen, exiled to a military outpost where no one knows her true identity, she’s vowed to leave her royalty behind and explore the truth of the Insurgo rebels her mother loved.
When the Emperor of Atlas summons the princesses from each of the provinces to the imperial city to choose a wife for the crown prince, Emilia must leave her military life behind to join a royal court rife with cunning and intrigue. Navigating the waters of court politics and budding love are treacherous on their own, but Emilia fears for her life should anyone learn of her Insurgo sympathies.
With an unlikely ally in the captain of the emperor's guard, Emilia must uncover the truth of the Insurgos, start a revolution, and learn to become the princess she’s vowed never to be, all while protecting her heart from a prince who could sign her death warrant.
In The Broken Crown we have the story of religious persecution by the Emperor and those who serve him, reminding me a lot of the early days of Christianity. Anyone caught practicing the religion of the Insurgos is put to death. One girl will try to change it all and fight to allow everyone to worship their own God.
Emilia is my kind of heroine princess. She's strong in so many ways; physically, mentally and in spirit. She can kick butt just as well as any many, but as she enters the court to vie for the prince's affections, she finds she knows so little of court politics and how to be a lady. The stakes are high in this game she plays, yet she doesn't know all the rules.
I enjoyed watching Emilia grow as a person. She's comfortable in her role at the military outpost her father exiled her to, but as soon as it's disrupted she puts on her big girl pants and makes the best of a new situation. She knows she's meant for something greater, she just doesn't know how or what yet.
As to the romance in The Broken Crown we have two contenders, the commander and the prince, Felix and Ronan. There's no insta-love in this book, thankfully, and I spent most of my time going between wanting one, then the other, to win her heart. But you'll have to read to find out what happens. Felix and Ronan have a great bromance that I enjoyed reading about.
My only complaint, and why I rated it 3.5 stars, is that this book is highly religious; more so than the blurb would lead you to believe. Sometimes, I felt I was back in religion class being preached at. In my opinion there are too many prayers and too many discussions along the same lines. I found myself skipping over those parts pretty early on in the novel. I would have been happy with a quick sentence that said she sent up a quick prayer before XX happens, rather than having to read the entire prayer as she said it in her head. As I said, I felt I was being preached at a lot. However, take that with a grain of salt. I spent my entire life being preached at, so I'm at odds with religion on most days.
With being said, The Broken Crown was well-written; I'd be hard pressed to find more than a few errors in this novel. The characters at interesting and in-depth, and the world building was great. Overall, it's definitely worth the read and I'll be waiting for the next book in the series to see what happens.
** I was provided a copy of this book in return for an honest review
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About Amryn Cross
A tomboy with southern belle roots, Amryn Cross was born and raised in Tennessee where she learned the importance of God, family, Southern hospitality, and football. She’s loved the written word from the time she was a child, convinced the squiggly lines on top of the Hostess cupcake really spelled out a secret message.
Amryn is a proud momma to two adorable puppies –Argo and Luna– who provide lots of laughs and kisses. She is also an active member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and My Book Therapy (MBT) and answers writers' forensic questions at Jordyn Redwood’s Medical Edge blog.
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