Review: The Immortal Crown
The Immortal Crown by Richelle Mead
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When the gods and goddesses are restless, mortals beware. This is quite apparent as Mae and Justin are now the pawns of other supernatural entity. This one is allied to Justin's patron god. The latest quest they are sent on contains multiple purposes with a supposed win-win outcome. Ms. Mead never makes it easy.
Mae and Justin receive about equal time in this book railing at their patron or matron god. While Justin still fights the inevitable, Mae is just starting to be drawn into the fold. Mae successfully fought off the last dark goddess who wanted her. This new one is giving her something she desperately wants. Not only is this new goddess dangling an irresistible bribe, she's paving the way to achieve Mae's secret desire. Mae wants to bring her niece back and when she learns what her niece will suffer if she's not saved, Mae will do anything to save her.
Ms. Mead's world building increases in this second book. It reminds me of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale mixed with the socio-political style of Sheri S. Tepper's The Gate to Women's Country. The atrocities committed against the women in Arcardia is a thinly veiled commentary against chauvinistic patriarchal societies. Specifically, one could easily look to the Middle East to see where Ms. Mead received her inspiration. The misogyny in this story is almost overwhelming and more than I could bear. Many times, I wanted to be like Mae, a super solider capable of destroying all the males in this godforsaken hell hole run by a disgusting megalomaniac. A country run as a theocracy can be dangerous when the god they worship is petty, malevolent and finds human servants just as vile.
The males in this story are pretty bad. For the most part, I wanted to capture them and torture them for years. The amount of hatred generated by the scenes in this book is rare for me. In addition, I was in constant rage throughout most of the book. Ms. Mead did an excellent job with invoking emotion in her readers.
This book is more than a collection of women hating perverted abusers. It also shows the fickleness of both gods and mortals. It is disappointing to see the lack of faith a human will place in their matron or patron god. The unreasonable requirements and proof a mortal requires of their god is anathema to me. This is purely based on my own religious beliefs. Still, I can understand and appreciate the dilemma for Mae and Justin raised in a godless environment. This book didn't spend more time blending the different mythologies. Instead, it hinted at more gods and goddesses without confirmation or enough detail. This is a bit frustrating.
What I really enjoyed about this book other than the world and character building is the plot within plots. There are multiple strands which Ms. Mead is threading into a bigger picture. A reader needs to pay attention to even a minor character to catch what may unfold. Even the smallest item mentioned, such as a pins and needle sensation in one's extremities is a clue to something further down the line. I like authors who are capable of slipping in little details here and there only to be brought up again later on as something important. Multiple stories in parallel which merge into one cohesive storyline stimulates my mind. Ms. Mead does this consistently in this series. She also leaves the story in a terrific reveal and cliffhanger. I'm riveted and must read the next book. This book is recommended to those who enjoy not so subtle cultural commentary and fickle mortals in the hands of an angry god.
*provided by Edelweiss
View all my reviews