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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Seeker of the Crown by Ruth Lauren - Book Review, Interview & Giveaway

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Review by Suze

Valor managed to free her sister Sasha from an unjust jail sentence, but the person who put Sasha in jail is still out there. Princess Anastasia was captured only for a short while and she's now hiding somewhere. Valor knows Anastasia hasn't stopped planning to take her mother's throne. The queen of Demidova asks Valor to find her daughter, but Valor can't properly start her search because the queen disappears. Valor knows someone's captured her and is now determined to find the queen as well as Anastasia. In order to do so she needs to release prince Anatol. Will she be able to pull this off?

Valor's mission is too hard to handle without her friends and sister. A new queen has taken the throne, but can they trust her? Together with Sasha and Anatol she keeps searching. Which mission is more important and what will they find when they finally have a lead? Can Valor prevent a terrible war from breaking out and can she save her country or is it already doomed because she couldn't discover Anastasia's whereabouts quickly enough?

Seeker of the Crown is a fantastic gripping story. I love Valor, she's strong, smart and resilient. She manages to find a way out of every tricky situation. Valor is a skilled strategist with a good heart. She's such a wonderful admirable main character and that makes her story an absolute joy to read. She has a difficult road ahead of her, but Valor isn't afraid. She does what she has to do to succeed and I find her sense of duty endearing. She's truly fabulous and I can't praise Ruth Lauren enough for coming up with such a great heroine.

Ruth Lauren has written another terrific suspenseful story. Seeker of the Crown is a real page-turner, I couldn't put it down and read this amazing action-packed story in one sitting. Valor and her friends are having the most surprising adventures and I loved every single one of them. The world-building is impressive, which makes the story come to life incredibly well. I like it when a book enchants me in many different ways. Seeker of the Crown has plenty of intriguing layers and is a worthy successor of Prisoner of Ice and Snow. I can't recommend this series enough.

Advice

If you love gripping fantasy you should definitely read the Prisoner of Ice and Snow series. It's meant for the 8-12 age category, but is gripping and multilayered enough to be read by anyone. I'd advise you to read the books in their correct order.

About Ruth Lauren


Ruth Lauren lives in the West Midlands in England with her family. She likes chocolate, walking in the woods, orchids, going to the movies, and reading as many books as she can. She's had lots of other jobs, but she likes writing best.

Links

Website // Twitter // Instagram // Goodreads

Interview

1) Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself?

Hi, I’m Ruth Lauren, author of middle grade fantasy Prisoner of Ice and Snow and its sequel, Seeker of the Crown. I live in the West Midlands in England with my family. I used to teach, but at the moment I write full time. Thanks so much for having me!

2) How did you get the idea for The Prisoner of Ice and Snow series?

The idea began when I was watching Prison Break with my son. I wondered what that kind of story would be like if it was about two young sisters instead (and then if it were set in a fantasy land where I could add all sorts of interesting challenges and twists).

3) Can you tell a bit more about Demidova and the inspiration behind it?

I wanted a very cold, snowy, frozen world where the elements themselves could cause problems for the characters and bleed through into every part of the planning Valor has to do to try to break her sister out of prison. I imagined a very unforgiving climate and terrain and went searching for images on Pinterest. I make boards for every idea that I have and I find it really helps me to visualize the world and individual scenes if I can link them to a picture.

4) Your stories are adventurous. What are the key ingredients of a good adventure?

Characters who make you root for them, high stakes—both personal and external, and a crossbow doesn’t hurt either.

5) Valor is a strong and resourceful girl, what’s the inspiration behind her character and what do you like the most about writing about fabulous fierce main characters?

This is the list of attributes I wanted Valor to have and why I like her so much:

1) She’s fiercely loyal and protective of her family, particularly her twin sister, Sasha, who she’s attempting to rescue from an impregnable fortress prison of ice and stone.

2) She’s strong and physically capable—she can ride and hunt and she’s extremely skilled with all types of bow (as she’ll show anyone given the slightest chance).

3) Valor doesn’t always think before she speaks and she doesn’t always say the right thing, but she’s always driven by motives of loyalty—to her family, to her friends, to the royal family she works for, and to her beloved country, Demidova.

4) She can be stubborn, but that also means she never gives up. Valor perseveres even when things don’t go her way and I think that’s the thing I like best about her.

6) What’s the most fascinating about writing for children?

Books were my world when I was a child. I still love my old favourites, but in a different way to how I love books as an adult. I wrote PRISONER OF ICE AND SNOW because I thought it would be fun—and it was. I hope it’s as much fun to read. And if readers wanted to notice all the brave, determined girls in the story I don’t think that would hurt anyone either.

7) How did your writing journey start?

I’ve been writing for about eight years now, and that started with a (terrible, will never see the light of day) YA urban fantasy. I got an agent with the next book, a YA contemporary and eventually sold a MG fantasy (Prisoner of Ice and Snow!) in 2015.

8) What do you like the most about fantasy and what makes a story magical?

I’ve always loved fantasy. I really should have thought of writing it sooner, but actually most of the previous manuscripts I wrote were contemporary. With Prisoner I loved being able to delve into another world and bring it to life. I think doing that is what makes fantasy magical.

9) You read a lot, how did your love for books start and what kind of books do you like to read?

I do! I can’t remember not being able to read—it’s just something I adored right from the start. I loved going to the library! I’ve always enjoyed fantasy books, but nowadays I’m drawn to anything with an unusual premise no matter the genre, and anything with characters I find fascinating (not necessarily likeable). Three of my favourites I read last year were Jellicoe Road, Archivist Wasp and Roll by Darcy Miller.

10) What are your plans for the future?

I’d love to carry on writing—and maybe branch out into writing for young adults too. You can’t really plan anything in the publishing world, but if I could, I’d plan seeing a young adult contemporary on the shelves at some point in the future!

Giveaway

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One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a signed copies of Prisoner of Ice and Snow and Seeker of the Crown by Ruth Lauren.

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The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

15 comments:

  1. This sounds like a fantastic adventure with exciting characters!

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  2. I been planning reading this series for a while but I just didn't get there yet.

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  3. Love the sense of adventure the review gives, will be defo taking a look at reading!

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  4. These would be great for my highschool niece to read :)

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  5. Loyal, strong, and stubborn sounds like my kind of heroine, I definitely want to read about Valor.

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  6. Thanks for the review and giveaway!

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  7. These look like great books to own- thanks for the chance

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  8. Seeker of the Crown sounds like an amazing, action-packed story full of adventure and peril.

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  9. NOthing like a good ya series to get into and spend all weekend reading

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  10. I think perhaps teachers are the best people to write YA books!

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  11. Gosh, I'd love to win it to read it. I need it :) The cover it amazing.

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  12. Thank you for a great giveaway!

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