Monday, May 13, 2013

Gold Star Review: The Essence

The Essence 
by Kimberly Derting
Pledge, book two

*Description contains spoilers for book one, The Pledge
At the luminous conclusion of The Pledge, Charlaina defeated the tyrant Sabara and took her place as Queen of Ludania. But Charlie knows that Sabara has not disappeared: The evil queen’s Essence is fused to Charlie’s psyche, ready to arise at the first sign of weakness.

Charlie is not weak, but she’s being pushed to the brink. In addition to suppressing the ever-present influence of Sabara, she’s busy being queen—and battling a growing resistance determined to return Ludania to its discriminatory caste system. Charlie wants to be the same girl Max loves, who Brook trusts, but she’s Your Majesty now, and she feels torn in two.

As Charlie journeys to an annual summit to meet with leaders of nearby Queendoms—an event where her ability to understand all languages will be the utmost asset—she is faced with the ultimate betrayal. And the only person she can turn to for help is the evil soul residing within. (description from

This is another sequel that I read while I was on vacation.  Book one of the series, The Pledge, was the first book that I gave a GOLD STAR review to in 2012. Now since it had been almost a year and a half since I'd read the first, I was a little worried that I would not remember exactly what happened, and while to an extent that was true... (I'd forgotten the names of a lot of the characters, but Derting managed to reintroduce everyone extremely well) there were events and pieces of the world that were still etched so deeply into my brain that I sort of fell right back into Charlie's story without a hitch.  

I was immediately creeped out again by the idea of Queen Sabara being in Charlie's head.  I was fascinated by the language barriers amongst the social classes, and how some reveled in their new equality while others passionately rebelled.  I was immediately drawn back into Charlie's love for Max, her best friend Brooklyn, and her baby sister.  

Then Derting took it another step further and I just loved the world even more.  To find someone else who has an ability that is going to throw Charlie's world into complete chaos.  To have her begin to be emotionally torn as she begins to feel for Sabara.  To have rival Queens...both as allies, and as women who might want to see Charlie dead... 

Everything was ramped up one more notch.  The readings went from 10 to an off the charts 11... I WANT MORE!! When, oh when is book three due??? Why, 2014, of course... long to wait. 

For making me itch to be back there IMMEDIATELY.  For making me hate Derting *just a little bit* for not being able to pump out three books a year (LOL)... I give this book a GOLD STAR. 


*Sigh* And now, I have to sit back and wait for book three... *taps foot impatiently...* 

Full disclosure: Book purchased for my Nook

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