SEEKER OF THE CROWN, by Ruth Lauren, Bloomsbury USA Childrens, April 3, 2018, Hardcover, $16.99 (ages 8-12)
Seeker of the Crown, by Ruth Lauren, is the sequel to A Prisoner of Ice and Snow, which was one of my favorite novels of 2017.
Prisoner of Ice and Snow was billed as Frozen meets Prison Break, and it was full of suspense and action. The book followed twin sisters — one who was unjustly incarcerated (Sasha) and the other who gets arrested on purpose (Valor).
Seeker of the Crown takes place one month after Valor broke Sasha out of jail. But the person really responsible for Sasha’s imprisonment, Princess Anastasia, has disappeared. When the queen asks Valor and Sasha to find Anastasia, the two accept without hesitation.
If only finding Anastasia were the only problem. Shortly after accepting their mission, the queen disappears. Now, Valor must find Anastasia and her mother, all while keeping her friends and family safe.
While I was utterly swept away in Prisoner of Ice and Snow, Seeker of the Crown didn’t have quite the same effect. I enjoyed the novel, and was glad to reenter the queendom of Demidova, Seeker of the Crown had a grander scope and lost some of the intimacy I felt with its predecessor.
And while it’s exciting to see the world Ruth Lauren has created expand, it felt as if the rich narrative was strained under the expanse.
That’s not to say I didn’t like Seeker of the Crown. Valor is a complex and exciting main character, and it was nice to see her sister and friends grow, as well. I’d like to go back and read the two books together and see if that would change any of my perceptions. I think a good bit of continuity was lost in the yearlong wait for Ruth’s second book.
Despite my criticisms, Seeker of the Crown is still one of the stronger middle-grade novels out right now, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it and its predecessor.
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