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Monday, 31 July 2017
Review: Dividing Eden
Buy or Borrow: Borrow
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher!
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 have to say, I've changed my ratings for this multiple times, putting it up and putting it down before finally settling on 3.5. It took me a while to get in to this, and I really wasn't sure about it at first. I actually was close to abandoning it, I was a few chapters in, I hadn't been grabbed and I was a bit iffy about it...but then I re-read the synopsis and decided to push on with it because I remembered how excited I was for it when I stumbled across it back in December...so I gave it another chance.
The world is interesting, and I was intrigued by it and it's history and I really want to see more of it. I feel like there could have been some more information about it to make it more vivid. This is quite short for a fantasy book, and I think it could have had a couple hundred more pages to flesh some things out, the world, the characters and so on.
I really felt for Carys, her brother wasn't there for her when she needed him and she always covers for him and protects him and sticks up for him, and deals with the consequences of that and he just seems like kind of a crappy brother right from the start. Carys for me, was the strongest character of the book. She's got her flaws and her vices, but she's relatable, you can empathise with her and root for her. I really felt for her more than once because of how she feels. I really loved watching her grow and change over the course of the book and realise she could do this, people do like her, she can fit in and so on. My love for Carys could be why I didn't like Andreus or Imogen much at all. Even before they where shady.
Andreus I was curious about for a couple of pages before I lost my patience with him and then had no time for him. I was curious about his problem, and I still am as it was vaguely hinted at but we still don't know what the deal is with it. I feel like towards the end of the book his problem was forgotten about and it was like it didn't exist anymore. I really didn't like Andreus. Carys protects him at her own expense and takes care of him but he really doesn't care, he's quick to think the worst of her, he doesn't return it all, he's childish and quite honestly, more than a little bit pathetic. I didn't care for his relationship with Imogen either.
When I went in to this, I was expecting to have these two strong characters, both characters I loved and that it was so, so hard to choose between. I was expecting to watch the Trial slowly throw up obstacles for them, and between them, and to see them slowly pull apart until they ended up clashing or something and all the time really struggle to pick who's side I was on. But right from the start I knew who's side I was on and I hated Andreus. I was quite disappointed to be honest. I feel like the pacing was off. For me, I found the beginning to be slow and then it went too fast. I genuinely feel like more could have been fleshed out and the trial could have gone a bit slower, and when I thought of the Trials from the synopsis I was expecting harder Trials to be honest. I don't know.
Another of my big problems? I found Imogen to be completely transparent. Imogen was snakey. So snakey. And I could tell as soon as she made her first appearance. I knew something wasn't right with her and I knew she was dodgy. I wasn't at all torn by Andreus, like I said, I immediately didn't like him and I had no sympathy for him whatsoever. He just kept going further and further down in my estimations. Whereas I loved watching Carys becoming stronger and stronger, and battling her problems and picking herself up again every single time and winning over the people....Andreus just kept being a crappier and crappier character. So I was disappointed it wasn't a closer call between the two, to have Andreus so unlikeable from the outset was disappointing.
There's a couple of other interesting characters, Lord Errik and Garret. I'm curious about them, I'm hoping they're not bad guys but to be honest, it's been so obvious who's dodgy and who isn't that I'm feeling quite good about the two of them. I have a little niggle with Errik like he's a bit too good to be true but we'll see.
Towards the end, things really picked up and I got way more invested in it. After the ending I'm intrigued for the next book, to see who's plotting what and what's up with Errik and Garret and how Carys is going to turn things around and so on. I'm also really hoping Andreus gets what's coming to him too.