Dividing Eden. Joelle Charbonneau. Young adult/Fantasy. 2017. 336 pages. 5 stars.
She needed him now. She’d trusted he would be here for her so they could grieve together and so he could help her as she had just helped him. And he had chosen to be with someone else.
Twins Carys and Andreus were never destined to rule Eden. With their older brother next in line to inherit the throne, the future of the kingdom was secure.
But appearances—and rivals—can be deceiving. When Eden’s king and crown prince are killed by assassins, Eden desperately needs a monarch, but the line of succession is no longer clear. With a ruling council scheming to gain power, Carys and Andreus are faced with only one option—to take part in a Trial of Succession that will determine which one of them is worthy of ruling the kingdom.
As sister and brother, Carys and Andreus have always kept each other safe—from their secrets, from the court, and from the monsters lurking in the mountains beyond the kingdom’s wall. But the Trial of Succession will test the bonds of trust and family.
With their country and their hearts divided, Carys and Andreus will discover exactly what each will do to win the crown. How long before suspicion takes hold and the thirst for power leads to the ultimate betrayal?
Reign meets An Ember in the Ashes. That’s what I thought of this book. Reign is a TV series that had a lot of court intrigue, which Dividing Eden had a lot of which makes me understand why people never finished this book or rated it lowly if they did. I, however, loved this book. I’m a big fan of monarchial books and court intrigue. Naturally, I fell in love! An Ember in the Ashes comes into play when it came to the Trials the twins had to compete in to find out who will rule Eden because no one ruler can be name if there are two or more equal contenders–because, hello, they’re twins!
I do have to point out that the synopsis only takes place around 100 pages into the book. So be warned. The first few chapters rely on world building and establishing the characters and their respective roles. Again, this makes me understand why people disliked this book. Latching on is hard if you’re not into juicy court intrigue or learning about the history of the universe of Eden. It’s not as action packed as the synopsis made it out to be. It’s detailed-oriented and did not fight its battles through brute force. They were fought through secrets, cunning, and scheming.
Characters wise, I wasn’t that invested in them except for a few, namely Carys, Larkin, Errik, and Garret. Everyone else was either annoying or forgettable for me. We could see right through Imogen and it was clear that Andreus was a weak contender compared to his twin sister. I couldn’t find it in me to care or feel bad about them.
The first half of Dividing Eden may be slow paced but I guarantee you that it will pick up really quickly especially near the ending! I was thinking of rating this book 4 stars but then that happened so it bumped it up to 5! The ending left much for me to anticipate so I can’t wait for Book 2!