The Immortal Crown by Richelle Mead


RMead--ImmortalCrownI have mixed feelings about The Immortal Crown by Richelle Mead, which is the second novel in her Age of X series.  I still love her writing (mainly because she has such a way that is very easy to read) and I do enjoy the storyline of The Age of X series, but I felt I just couldn’t connect as well with Mae and Justin in The Immortal Crown the way I did in Gameboard of the Gods.

Gameboard of the Gods introduced religious investigator Justin March and Mae Koskinen, the beautiful supersoldier assigned to protect him. Together they have been charged with investigating reports of the supernatural and the return of the gods, both inside the Republic of United North America and out. With this highly classified knowledge comes a shocking revelation: Not only are the gods vying for human control, but the elect—special humans marked by the divine—are turning against one another in bloody fashion.

Their mission takes a new twist when they are assigned to a diplomatic delegation headed by Lucian Darling, Justin’s old friend and rival, going into Arcadia, the RUNA’s dangerous neighboring country. Here, in a society where women are commodities and religion is intertwined with government, Justin discovers powerful forces at work, even as he struggles to come to terms with his own reluctantly acquired deity.

Meanwhile, Mae—grudgingly posing as Justin’s concubine—has a secret mission of her own: finding the illegitimate niece her family smuggled away years ago. But with Justin and Mae resisting the resurgence of the gods in Arcadia, a reporter’s connection with someone close to Justin back home threatens to expose their mission—and with it the divine forces the government is determined to keep secret.

To me, The Immortal Crown felt like it got off to a very slow start.  Now, that could totally just be me because 2013 was a huge pile of slump when it came to reading; and since I’d read Gameboard of the Gods early in 2013, I was very rusty on the plot and characters.  So, it did take a couple chapters for those cobwebs to shake themselves out and I remembered what in the world is going on.  To that end, I probably should have re-read Gameboard of the Gods.  While that may have helped, I still feel like the first 25% of The Immortal Crown  was sloooow. This is very unlike Mead’s prior novels/series.  Usually, once she establishes her world and the world building is complete, she doesn’t spend a lot of time re-hashing things and action starts pretty quickly. I don’t think The Immortal Crown really went back over things that happened in Gameboard of the Gods, but rather it wasn’t clear where things (plot-wise) were heading in The Immortal Crown for a bit.  But, once things started to move, I couldn’t put my e-reader down and The Immortal Crown finally gave me the writing style I’m used to from Mead–action and things within the plot building up–all while furthering the series arc and giving certain information and developments that will no doubt play a huge role in the series finale.

One of my favorite things about The Immortal Crownand really the Age of X series, is the mythology.  Mead takes a futuristic (what I would call a mashup of dystopian and post-acopalyptic) version of our current world and throws in various mythologies.  So far I’ve seen Norse, Viking and it wouldn’t surprise me if we get some Greek going, with reference to religion (I’m also sure there’s at least 1 God/Goddess I can’t place re: mythos wise). I love mythology and am really loving Mead’s twist and addition into a “modern” world.  I’m very intrigued at how book 3 will start/what it will give us. At the end of The Immortal Crown, there is the appearance of a god and I’m screaming at my e-reader “NOOOOOO, Mae, do NOT make agreements with them”….and no, I’m not saying who.  I will say I would much rather see her make a deal with the god/goddess (hey I’m not spilling the beans on gender!) who was helping her throughout The Immortal Crown.

All in all, once I got through that first really slow part of The Immortal Crown, I really really enjoyed it. If you love mythology and/or futuristic type novels, I def recommend The Immortal Crown. That said, if you haven’t read Gameboard of the Gods yet, you will need to do so.  Mead, a long time ago, became an “auto-buy” author for me, and it’s a decision I’ve never regretted.

Series Order:
Gameboard of the Gods
The Immortal Crown

About Nicole 146 Articles
Attorney by day, Publicist for Barclay Publicity and reviewer/LE (assistant) editor by night. I'm a huge book nerd and love to read. I have 2 dogs, both Labrador retriever mixed breeds, who are very rotten and think they run the house. Let's not lie, they totally do, I just can't them know it ha ha! My usual genre is romance or urban fantasy. I love all things having to do with paranormal, with the occasional good contemp/BDSM/erotica thrown in to spice it all up.

1 Comment

  1. I just finished Immortal Crown and can’t wait for number 3! I actually re-read GotG before I read IC because, like you, I kind of forgot the details of the 1st book. I see what you mean about it starting out slow, but I read it so fast that I feel like I got to the good part quickly. And then it was a lot of missed sleep for a couple days while I finished the book. Her writing style is so engaging and easy to read, and the story is so compelling and exciting, that I just couldn’t put it down.

    I also really like the various mythology mixed into her new post-apocalyptic world. I think it’s great that she is pulling from so may different pantheons (Greek, Egyptian, Norse and even Mayan). I’ve always been fascinated with myth and religions of the past cultures ever since I was a kid. So this part of the over all story arc is right up my alley. I think the idea of competing gods from various cultures and times competing for supremacy in this new world will make for an interesting book three.

    I can’t wait for said book three by the way. The end of the book is such a cliff hanger…..I won’t give anything away either but I was left just like you with my jaw dropped, yelling “WHAT?!!! IT CAN’T END THEIR!” I think that Mead did a great job of creating an exciting story that continues the overall arc but still leaves readers feeling like they have some closure….until the last three chapters! Where she starts to propel the story and characters into a whole other sea of trouble.

    Any idea when we can expect book 3? I’ve been to her web site but didn’t see any info on it yet. Also, I haven’t read any of her other series. Any recommendations that you or anyone else might have regarding her other series. I don’t really like YA but do love fantasy, SciFi, steam punk, urban fantasy, historical fiction and mysteries. Any input on her other books would be great!

    Oh! And thank you to Nicole for your great review!

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