"At the luminous conclusion of The Pledge, Charlaina defeated the tyrant Sabara and took her place as Queen of Ludania. But Charlie knows that Sabara has not disappeared: The evil queen’s Essence is fused to Charlie’s psyche, ready to arise at the first sign of weakness.The Pledge came out in 2011 and I read it a couple of months after that and it left me wanting more, but when I finally got my hands on The Essence I wasn't really in the mood for it anymore. I really wish I hadn't waited. I really enjoyed reading this book. The feels that it left me with is...just mean. I really was so mad that we were left off like that. I really needed the next book ASAP.
Charlie is not weak, but she’s being pushed to the brink. In addition to suppressing the ever-present influence of Sabara, she’s busy being queen—and battling a growing resistance determined to return Ludania to its discriminatory caste system. Charlie wants to be the same girl Max loves, who Brook trusts, but she’s Your Majesty now, and she feels torn in two.
As Charlie journeys to an annual summit to meet with leaders of nearby Queendoms—an event where her ability to understand all languages will be the utmost asset—she is faced with the ultimate betrayal. And the only person she can turn to for help is the evil soul residing within."
While I started this series thinking romance would play a somewhat big role in this book I was wrong. There is romance in this book but it is kind of left on the back burner to simmer and just excite us. The romance doesn't play a big role in this series as much as I love Maxon. (Maxon is so freaking dreamy!!)
While I am the type of person who reads 95% of books that revolve romance, I really think that this book would have been great with or without the romance. Maxon and Charlie's chemistry is obvious and you can easily see how much they belong together, but Sabara being the lead role in this book is really worth focusing on without the romance.
I found the characters in this book to be well-written and strong. They each handle things as a real human being would probably handle things which made them all very realistic.
The end of this book just left my feels everywhere and I'm still trying to recover so it just tells you how strong the writing is and that I will be picking up the next book ASAP.
I really do think that Kimberly Derting is a very strong, talented writer and I really enjoyed reading this sci-fi/dystopia/fantasy or whatever it is. (I'm really bad at telling what genre books are.) I highly recommend reading this series, if you love whatever genre this is. It is kind of a dark novel and I don't read many dark books so this was kind of new.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars!