So, confession time. I received this book as an ARC, and never got around to reading it. I then borrowed it from the library, and once again never had a chance to read it. I finally ended up borrowing it as an audio book, because I'd listened to the narrator before and enjoyed her readings. That finally prompted me to finish this. I'm fairly proud of myself right now, if you must know. This book had massive love thrown at it, back when it first came out, and I always felt a little left out for not having read it. Now? Well, I've read it.
The beginning of The Ring and The Crown had my attention. The hints at Merlin, and Avalon intrigued me. Marie-Victoria grated on my nerves a bit, but I was willing to forgive her frailty because of the way she was raised. Then more characters came into the picture, and still more, and still more yet. Suddenly this book was being told from so many perspectives that it made my head spin. Worse yet, it began to go off the rails more quickly than I could have anticipated. What started as a Fantasy story of the sort I generally enjoy, soon turned into a gossip magazine filled with all manner scandal and drama. If I had been hoping for a more fluffy read, I don't think I would have minded so much. As it stands, I was a bit blindsided and it threw me off.
Wolf and his roguish personality was what kept me reading on. I love his type of character. The "bad boy" for going against what his family expects of him, but secretly the type of man who has charm and kindness to spare. If this whole story had revolved around him, I would have been in heaven. Instead, he had to share the spotlight with his awful brother Leo, whiny Marie-Victoria, and Aelwyn who I never really grew to like. This book ended up being a huge case of "falling for the wrong guy/girl" and doing what is right for the masses rather than yourself. I can tell you, no one ended up happy here. Not a one. Which wouldn't have been that bad, except that the ending really felt like it was an afterthought. After so much build up, and as much character building as this book could provide, the ending was disappointing.
I likely could have lived without reading this book which, once again, is pretty disappointing. At least it has a lovely cover.