I haven't been this excited in a long time!
I'm not saying that this one is so much better than the first book, because they're both equally great. And the first half of this book that had to do with politics and such got a bit tedious even if it was necessary. And it took a while for the adventure and the story to progress.
But I loved this book so much more that I am officially so hooked it's not even funny! The first book was good (excellent, even), but it just didn't seem to hit that "OMG! This is awesome stuff!" level. Don't get me wrong. I still loved it. But after finishing this second book, just... Let the excitement begin!
Of course, this second book wasn't all great. The beginning was a little haphazard and I found myself wondering when the official story would finally start. Just a bunch of attempted assassinations and greedy lords trying to get rid of the child queen for their own gain of power and greed. A bunch of typical court conspiracies and issues--nothing to write home about.
The latter half of the book, however, made up for everything that seemed to drag from the beginning of the book!
With some political court intrigue going on, a blooming angsty romance, old friends and new friends coming around, people vying for her throne, and a war with Invierne on the brink, I love that Elisa doesn't lose her head too much. Sure, she strikes out on a journey with only God and faith as her back-up, but Elisa comes out of this entire journey with ten-fold development and growth, and so much more kickass than she had been before (and she was pretty kickass to begin with)! And at the risk of giving away too much about this book, I really just LOVE the new and improved kickass Elisa who comes out of this chaotic mess of a journey!
Did I also mention that I love how Elisa's first priority isn't romance or boys? I think I mentioned that in my review of the first book. And food is still mentioned in much detail because it is a VERY important part of life!
Also... little Prince Rosario! Hugs all around!
I'm already starting the next book. I want to know where the rest of the story leads.
And yes, this review is kind of short and rough, because, really, the first half of the book DID drag quite a bit, even if it was still enjoyable, so there isn't much to say about it. While the build-up might have been necessary, I found that I didn't care for it and was hoping to see Elisa and her entourage off on a journey soon. And when the journey started, I got excited and the rest just rolled on from there.
So yes, I do forgive this book's monotonous beginning because of the ending's appeal.
And now, onto the next book!
I... may or may not return and refine my review a little bit, but more than likely, I'll just put in all of my opinions at the end of the series.