Crown of Oblivion
Author: Julie Eshbaugh
Publication Date: November 12th, 2019
Synopsis: Astrid is the surrogate for Princess Renya, which means she bears the physical punishment if Renya steps out of line. Astrid has no choice—she and her family are Outsiders, the lower class of people without magic and without citizenship.
But there is a way out of this life—competing in the deadly Race of Oblivion. To enter the race, an Outsider is administered the drug Oblivion, which wipes their memory clear of their past as they enter a new world with nothing to help them but a slip of paper bearing their name and the first clue. It’s not as simple as solving a puzzle, however—for a majority of the contestants, the race ends in death. But winning would mean not only freedom for Astrid, but citizenship and health care for her entire family. With a dying father to think of, Astrid is desperate to prevail.
From the beginning, the race is filled with twists and turns. One of them is Darius, a fellow racer Astrid meets but isn’t sure she can trust. Though they team up in the race, as Astrid’s memories begin to resurface, she remembers just who he was to her—a scorned foe who may want revenge. Astrid also starts to notice she has powers no Outsider should—which could help her win the race, but also make her a target if anyone finds out. With stakes that couldn’t be higher, Astrid must decide what is more important: risking her life to remember the mysteries of the past, or playing a cutthroat game in order to win her—and her family’s—freedom.
This book was really good! I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect, but I really loved this. It was amazing. There was so much going on in this book and the pacing was still perfect – it kept me interested through the whole thing, from the beginning to the end, without any slow parts that didn’t feel like they belonged.
I think my absolute favorite part of this book was the world building. Since I really love world building in fantasy novels, I was so thrilled that this one offered such a brilliant, well thought out design that made me feel like I was actually in the book. It was so awesome to get a really great picture for what the author had in mind while reading this – I got to think for myself, of course, but I also really got to see what she had in mind while writing.
The characters were pretty well fleshed out, too. I liked Astrid’s character the best – she was not only the main character, but she just felt the most real to me. The whole idea of a surrogate who has to bear the punishment of the princess when she steps out of line is kind of interesting and refreshing. I don’t remember reading anything like this before, and if I did, it wasn’t quite as memorable as in Crown of Oblivion.
The plot had so much going on that it was pretty much impossible not to enjoy it. I loved reading this one – and I got done with it pretty quick, too. I had read through this quicker than anticipated because I had a hard time putting it down.
If you like fantasy, this is a great book to pick up. There is a lot going on here that just really captures your attention and will have you feeling pretty great about reading it!
Note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
Julie Eshbaugh is a YA writer and former filmmaker. She made two short films and then spent several years producing an online video series for teens which received several honors from the Webby Awards. Her new YA fantasy standalone, CROWN OF OBLIVION, is coming from HarperTeen November 2019. IVORY AND BONE (HarperTeen 2016) and OBSIDIAN AND STARS (HarperTeen 2017), her prehistoric fantasy duology, are out now. You can learn more about Julie’s writing escapades by visiting www.julieeshbaugh.com.
Prize: Win a finished copy of CROWN OF OBLIVION by Julie Eshbaugh (US Only)
Starts: November 12th 2019
Ends: November 26th 2019
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