This Book Is "The Essence" of Intrigue

The Essence (The Pledge, #2)Title:  The Essence
(The Pledge #2)
Author:  Kimberly Derting
Format:  Print ARC
Length:  352 paes
Publisher:  Margaret K. McElderberry

“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.  -Goodreads

My Thoughts
While it is true that Sabara and now Queen Charlaina are linked.  That doesn't seem to pose the eminent danger that one might think.  It seems that more than a few people are not too happy about all the changes that are being made since the young queen has come to power...and people are dying.

Couple this with the fact that Charlaina is trying to balance the girl that she was with the royal that she is becoming.  There is a maturity in this book that was not there in the first read.  Not so much so that it overshadows the young woman that readers have come to know from the first book, but enough to make her believable in her new role.

Max and the gang have all fallen in to their expected roles, although Aron has still manged to be little more than the after thought of the bunch. 

There is a lot more intrigue and a lot more secret plots in this reads.  Charlie is never safe and it is fascinating to to see just where the biggest threat lies.  Her life or her sanity?

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