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Review: The Essence by Kim Derting

“Danger, dread, mystery, and romance” (Booklist) continue in the second book of The Pledge trilogy, as Charlie’s reign is under siege from the most unusual of enemies.
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.

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.

My thoughts
I won't say too much about this book for fear of spoiling either this or the first book in the series. I must say I did enjoy getting back to the world of the essence and finding out more about Charlie's story. I do wish I had had the time to reread book one before starting this as I'm sure there were certain parts of this of the book which were lost completely on me.

I did feel a bit like this title had a bit of second book syndrome about it which left me a little bit disappointed but I am still excited to read the final book in the series to finish it off.  I do really enjoy the twist this series has in that the world at large is based on a matriarchal society and the historian in me loves all the tradition and bits at court.

Looking forward to seeing where the story finishes up


I liked getting into this book but felt like I had forgotten so much about the first that it wasn't as meaningful as it might have been. I wish I had been able to read them back to back.