Pearl of Meissa – Cloey Kinney

Wanna know something, guys? Being asked to review a book is one of the best feelings in the world. Knowing someone trusted me to read their story and be fair about it is always a huge mood boost for me, more than choosing something to read on an ARC site could ever be. I will be forever grateful to the authors who think of me, be it as a reviewer or as a beta reader.

Books make me happy.

As you might have guessed, it’s review time! I’ve been reading Pearl of Meissa by Cloey Kinney, and while I’m quite conflicted on some points, I feel this author has a lot of great potential.

This is the story of a young Orion, Althea, who is commanded by her queen to travel to a distant reign to secure a royal wedding between the princess and said reign’s prince. Once in Bayer though, she realizes a war against monsters is imminent, and their only hope to win it is to find a mythical sword.

In her trip to Bayer, Althea leaves Monture along with some fellow Orions: her twin brother, her boyfriend, and a young guard called Grayson. Despite her being in a relationship, her dynamics with the prince, Sebastian, are among my favorite.

Yes, let it be known that the enemies to lovers trope is life. It’s something I simply can’t put down, and I will always love reading about it. Always. There’s no turning back.

At first, Sebastian is beyond rude with Althea, but their relationship changes, shaped by the journey they make together. There’s no happy ending in sight for them though, because he’s soon to be engaged to Monture’s princess and Althea is going to marry her boyfriend. Knowing all the odds are against them makes me love this pairing so much.

Moving on, I really liked how Cloey Kinney developed the Bayer plot line. The characters were great –Duanna and Sebastian are my favorite– and I was curious to know more about them and their secrets. I also appreciated the plot twist about their identities, it was quite unexpected and I’m glad I’d got it all wrong. I love being surprised.

Another character I enjoyed reading about is Grayson. I really want to know what the future holds for him.

The whole plot was interesting and original, but I have a couple of issues with Pearl of Meissa that made me take more time than necessary to finish it. The main one was that while I appreciate how refined the author’s style is, I also feel that sometimes it took from the story itself. Especially during the action scenes. I got distracted by the language more than once, and couldn’t focus properly.

I get how important words are, I truly do. And I do appreciate literary fiction. The first example that comes to my mind of literary done perfectly is The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue. It is elegant, and never over the top; every word has its own purpose. Given how young Cloey is, I’m sure she’ll learn to master this skill as well with practice.

Purpose is one of the things I look for when reviewing a book. Everything needs to fit together, like pieces of a puzzle, or players in an orchestra, or… Well, you know the drill. As I read this novel, I kept asking myself what Maximillian’s purpose was, aside from being Althea’s boyfriend. I wish his character developed into his own person instead of revolving around Althea as if she were the sun.

In fact, everyone besides queen Marie (and some characters I won’t name to avoid spoilers) who meets Althea seems to instantly love her or ends up loving her anyway, and I can’t see why. I mean, she is brave, sure, and she is kind, but I find it hard to believe that being admired by everyone is possible.

All in all, I feel this book would have benefited a little more editing in order to be a really nice read. For this reason, I’d rate it 6/10 or 3 Goodreads stars.

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