Review: Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau

June 3, 2017 Book Review, Young Adult 2 ★★

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Dividing EdenDividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau
Published by HarperTeen on June 6th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: ARC
Source: Edelweiss
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From the author of the New York Times bestselling Testing trilogy comes a sweeping new fantasy series, perfect for fans of Victoria Aveyard and Sarah J. Maas.

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?

I’m not really sure how I feel about this book, to be honest. I adore the concept – a kingdom left in disarray when the king and crown prince are murdered leaving the decision of their new ruler in question as the next in succession are a set of twins, Carys and Andreus. Trials are set to test the virtue of each and decide who the new ruler may be – but I didn’t love the execution.

Part of my problem was the worldbuilding. There’s mention of the virtues, the orbs of light, windmills, and Seers that control the wind and read the stars to tell the future but I just didn’t get a clear picture on how it all came together to form the kingdom. It all felt very much like telling instead of showing with the potential to be something great that just fell flat and lackluster.

I was very interested in how the brother/sister dynamic would play out. Carys and Andreus were very close and Carys especially was willing to go above and beyond for her brother no matter the cost to herself. Andreus was a little weak-minded and unable to see the extent of his sister’s dedication to him and I grew very frustrated with how easily he allowed lies and deceit to filter into their relationship. Though lacking a true connection to either character, I did find Carys to be quite admirable and the most intriguing with layers we just start to peel back by the very end.

I felt like I wasn’t really given a chance to know any other characters, really, besides the two. I was interested in the plot enough to continue to the end and the last 25% held my attention better than what preceded it, but so much was left unclear by the close. I can’t deny the part of me that want to know the secrets and lies that were left unanswered and what is still to be revealed but I’m just not sure I am invested enough to continue at this point. So again, great concept just not the follow through I hoped for.

About Joelle Charbonneau

I am a storyteller at heart. I have performed in a variety of operas, musical theatre and children’s theatre productions across the Chicagoland area.

While I’m happy to perform for an audience, I am equally delighted to teach private voice lessons and use my experience from the stage to create compelling characters on the page. I am the author of the Rebecca Robbins mystery series (Minotaur Books), The Paige Marshall Glee Club mysteries (Berkley) and The Testing YA triology (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).

Sara @ Forever 17 Books

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