"Heartwarming story of love and redemption!"
When we last left Lea and Shadrael, Shadrael had just
finished killing off the rest of the men attempting to
rescue Lea. After killing Captain Hervan, Shadrael offered
Lea her necklace of gli-emeralds and her freedom. Since Lea
saw her future was with Shadrael in sevaisin, she refused to
This story starts with Shadrael having decided to give Lea
to the Vindicants instead of his brother. They made Shadrael
a better offer. Instead of money, Urmaeor offered Shadrael a
soul—something Shadrael has been craving more and more since
he met Lea. See, Shadrael doesn't realize he still has a
soul; he believes he lost it in a ceremony. And so Shadrael
is leading his men to the Vindicants in Ulinia. Not
surprisingly, the miscreants harass Lea every chance they
get, slowly changing her into a different person. She's no
longer the naïve innocent young woman she was when she was
captured. Her soul has become tainted by shadow. When
Shadrael turns Lea over to Urmaeor, she is shocked, having
hoped he would have changed his mind. Even when she pleads
with him to kill her rather than turn her over, he refuses
to relent. No big shock, but Urmaeor reneges on his
agreement with Shadrael. Not that he's willing to let
Shadrael go—he wants Shadrael to lead his troops against the
Emperor's legions. Shadrael refuses.
Meanwhile, in the Vindicants' clutches, Lea suffers
mightily. She is taken the presence of their leader, Lord
Barthel—an obese, rotting lump of what was once humanity.
Just being in his presence sickens Lea and weakens her.
Exactly what do the Vindicants plan to do with Lea? How will
Caelan react when he finds out his beloved sister is in the
Vindicants' evil clutches in Ulinia? What will Shadrael's
brother do when he realizes Shadrael delivered Lea to the
Vindicants instead of to him? Is there any hope of
redemption for Shadrael?
THE CROWN BOOK 2 OF THE PEARLS AND THE CROWN is a
heartwarming conclusion to this duology. Deborah Chester
does a wonderful job of tying everything together with a
heartfelt sigh at the end. Both characters go through
tremendous changes—Lea with being forced to deal with shadow
and Shadrael with learning to see the light. While
Shadrael's change is much more dramatic, Lea also realizes
that not everything is light and in harmony and must adapt
herself to her circumstances. This is a very satisfying read
and I highly recommend both THE PEARLS and THE CROWN.
Reviewed by Chere Gruver
Posted April 23, 2009