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Publisher's Summary

For generations, the princes of Ilara have married the most beautiful maidens from the ocean village of Varenia. But though every girl longs to be chosen as the next princess, the cost of becoming royalty is higher than any of them could ever imagine.

Nor once dreamed of seeing the wondrous wealth and beauty of Ilara, the kingdom that's ruled her village for as long as anyone can remember. But when a childhood accident left her with a permanent scar, it became clear that her identical twin sister, Zadie, would likely be chosen to marry the Crown Prince - while Nor remained behind, unable to ever set foot on land. 

Then Zadie is gravely injured, and Nor is sent to Ilara in her place. To Nor's dismay, her future husband, Prince Ceren, is as forbidding and cold as his home - a castle carved into a mountain and devoid of sunlight. And as she grows closer to Ceren's brother, the charming Prince Talin, Nor uncovers startling truths about a failing royal bloodline, a murdered queen...and a plot to destroy the home she was once so eager to leave. 

In order to save her people, Nor must learn to negotiate the treacherous protocols of a court where lies reign and obsession rules. But discovering her own formidable strength may be the one move that costs her everything: the crown, Varenia, and Zadie.

©2019 Mara Rutherford (P)2019 Recorded Books

What listeners say about Crown of Coral and Pearl

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loved it

very consistent dialect, relevant to her upbringing and good story, narrator is great at distinction

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  • McCall
  • 06-12-2019

Enjoyable but not perfect

The story was interesting and I was curious enough to finish the book but I will not being reading the sequel if there is one. The character all fell a little flat and the plot was a tiny bit predictable. It was a relief to finish so I could move on to put it simply.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Patticakes
  • 18-09-2020

Much better than anticipated!

When this book first started I was thinking how naive and ridiculous the character’s world was.. what they valued, how she saw her life and how the author wrote this it in such a childish style I thought I wouldn’t finish it. I thought maybe it was YA but really geared towards 12 year olds... I admit I’m 30 and still love YA, there was some moments at the beginning of the book I also found tortuously long, but it picked up and it really surprised me how much I couldn’t stop listening. The beauty of my actual annoyance with the main characters shallow and naive outlook was how much she grew throughout the plot. Probably one of the best character developments I’ve ever experienced. I’m super impressed with this book. I’m definitely longing for more and can’t wait for book 2. (Warning minor spoiler here)I definitely don’t believe it was that easy and it will be smooth sailing for them moving forward, so I’m excited to see how Mara crafts this upcoming story.

Notes of the narration- In the beginning I did find I had to adjust to her cadence because it felt clunky and awkward at times but as she read I grew to really like her! I will say this might be the most I’ve ever heard a narrator lick their lips and turn a page though. It didn’t bother me as it went on however, it made her human lol but it could be edited just a smidge better. I am desperately hoping they keep her on for the next book or that will really bum me out.

Great book and great narration. Thanks Mara!!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Rachelle
  • 23-01-2020

Extremely well written, fun, but verging on horror?

I really loved this story. The bond between the sisters is beautiful. The villain on the story however really is horrific. I couldn’t put the story down but at times i did feel a little queazy and wished for more moments of humor and joy to lighten the somber mood. Sometimes it just felt like the heroine was being suffocated one awful thing after another. That being said I’ve read many books in this genre and this one stood out. Its worth a read.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Anna Beth Jones
  • 20-01-2020

Just okay

Honestly, there wasn’t anything I loved about this book. Literally, the word that comes to mind for me is “meh.” It had potential, but I just constantly felt like I was left wanting more (not in a good, anticipatory way but let down). There’s definitely better out there.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Davides
  • 10-10-2019

Beautiful

Beautiful. This is a book about sisterhood, family and love, with a touch of fantasy. The narrator was perfect as well. I felt everything keenly.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 17-09-2020

Sequel????

The story was great. I really hope there is going to be another book because the ending was disappointing and left you wanting more.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Lotty
  • 07-08-2020

Enchanting

Beautiful Enchanting tale.  This book drew me in from the very first page.  It played with my emotions and just goes to show that you need to be very careful of what you wish for.

I fell in love with Nora/Zadie she is such a courageous, naive yet moral heroine  I loved this book it is so incredibly narrated it was a joy to listen to.  I will be adding it to my favourites collection.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Fall Between the Pages
  • 07-01-2020

Disappointing and lacked follow through

The initial start of the novel gave off a wonderful new world surrounded by water, heartache, and an strong sisterly bond. Yet as the story continued the relationship between Nor and Sadie becomes clearer; Nor being seen as imperfect all her life and with insecurities about her looks has a braver and stronger personality than her sister who has been raised as a princess since the accident. While Not is setup to be a strong character, smart, and brave, the author fails to place this in the remaining of the story. Now in Illara in place of Zadie, Not must navigate her way around the castle and the deadly secrets it holds.

There are several plot points about the novel I dislike, but to summarize, the insta love between Nor and Talin could have been development from beginning to end. Nor, while pretending to be Zadie fantasizes about Talin during crucial moments!! Instead of arming herself against sharing secrets with her hand maiden who she never suspected of being a spy for the cruel prince, Not talks and talks and has other people connect the dots for her. Although it's her first time on land and in a royal house, Nor gives into the prince's demands and tells herself she can't lie when all she did back home was lie to cover for her sister. Barely any of the personality traits carry over and the story goes from interesting, to boring, to telling not showing, and finally at the end everything comes together with a neat now without Nor being a spy or accomplishing anything but getting herself into trouble.

The ending could have been stretched out and made into the middle and a plot twist could have really been used to carry the story along to the end.

I had hopes for the book but it was disappointing 😔. Nice slow burn listen but the plot lacked the high stakes it is need to carry it forward.

2 people found this helpful

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  • caeria
  • 30-12-2019

The story was okay but major plot holes.

The story was an okay listen and I enjoyed it for the most part, but there were multiple plot holes that were left dangling (that may or may not be tied by with a second novel). The weakest point of the whole thing was the ending. I found it drab and a let down and way to pat. At most this was an "ehh, okay listen if you've got a long drive to make."

2 people found this helpful

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  • Dev
  • 09-10-2019

Loved it

This story was so much better than I had expected it to be. It was well written and the performance was pretty good as well. However the ending left a lot of questions and made the story feeling unfinished.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Gemma
  • 27-03-2021

Wow thank you Mara

Such beautiful writing, I was consumed from the first page and drawn deeper into a word so clearly expressed. The characters were so well described and developed, and the contrasting worlds were so well mapped and envisioned that I felt I was truly within the story.
The relationships were so beautifully illustrated also. My only criticism would be that I never wanted it to end and that possibly I wouldn’t have minded more time delved into Talin’s life. Perhaps in the second book which I will be straight onto next.
Honestly such an underrated book. A gem of the author’s talent. Wowowow.

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  • Victoria
  • 13-10-2019

Beautiful and Amazing

What can I say about this beautiful story other than I loved every second.

The writing gripped me and took me into the world of sea, pearls and castles, while emotionally attaching me to Nor. The way the author describes everything made my mind picture it as if I was there myself; making the story almost real to me.

I became so emotionally attached to the story I was giving the book evils everything a certain (I wish dead in the most gruesome way possible) villain was mentioned. Damn did I want him to dead in agony!

I cried, I laughed and I loved every page. If the blurb intrigues you I would recommend this book a hundred times over. I can't wait for the next in the series to come out so I can dive into this world all over again.

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  • Crumble
  • 15-09-2019

Full of suspense

I couldn’t stop listening to this! I’m not sure how to describe it.. fantasy with beautifully written scenery so vivid you could feel yourself there! And a very unique story centered around the sea/lakes and water. I loved the descriptions of society and the different way of life they had. There are lots of dark twists and turns as well and wonderful characters and a lovely romance. Looking forward to the next book 💛

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 15-09-2019

Just ok

The initial world building was pretty interesting but the characters and plot didn't live up to it unfortunately. It was a struggle to pay attention by the last couple of hours.

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