I was given an ARC version of the second instalment of The Pearl Wielder Trilogy by Hannah Reed, for a review as I love supporting independent authors. Check out Hannah’s Instagram page @Hannah.Reads!
Essentia, for me, was a really enjoyable read, with lots of intricacies surrounding politic, action, romance and mystery. I have conducted a review on my YouTube Channel so go check it out and subscribe and tickle the bell icon for notifications on my other new videos that I have scheduled!
So, let us see what I thought…
When following Connor throughout the book, it really came to my mind that he is more of a puppet for his mother, right from the start I had a bad feeling about her sudden appearance back into his life. Especially with her trying to teach him about how she see things, which is a little distorted: Tenebrasco wielders need to be back on top, which would mean politically that April would have to give up her place on the throne. I wish he had a little foresight as to be able to see how this would upset April, if not the balance in her world. But Connor is so besotted with her, and overwhelmed by his mother turning up in his life that he doesn’t think straight, which of a young lad might be possible. When your heart is clouded it’s difficult to get the head straight.
The relationship that is shared between Ethan and Alex is a really nice love triangle, as the social expectation is that Princess April is Ethan’s love interest. After all, it is in the tabloids so it must be true! Ethan becomes gravely ill, through which Alex supports him, gets him nursed back to health and there is a little spark blossoming between them – which I like as it’s not thrust into the readers’ face and the main plotline isn’t drowned out by an unnecessary romance. I did worry about Ethan towards the end of the book, as there were a number of chapters before the end where he and his illness wasn’t mentioned – I fully expected him to die or something really bad to have happened to him when April came back to the palace and was actually putting measures in place so then I wouldn’t be completely crushed if this happened!
This leads me onto my next point: April’s journey to find herself. She travels across the seas to discover how to control her Tenebrasco powers as no one can teach her, and her powers appear to be taking her over and controlling her. We know from the first book: Tenebrasco, that if a Tenebrasco wielder goes through particular ‘changes’ in their early twenties their powers are uncontrollable and they need to find solace in a pearl cave to ground them and help them stay safe whilst their powers go haywire. It’s alike to puberty in humans, but with mer as their powers are intricately linked with their mental health and psyche.
Seeing the relationship between April and her sister Kayla disintegrate and then get built back up towards the end of the book was really nice. Kayla has her own struggles with her powers, and mental health, which I thought was relatable, even if she is the meritia leader she has times of weakness and ‘normal’ problems. Following on from this, I really enjoyed the political aspect of the story: Kayla needs to have a strong connection with her pearls and powers to be the meritia leader as this shows her people her strength. But she loses her powers after Tenebrasco and there is a struggle for power within the meritia. It adds realism to the story, we build up feelings for Kayla, of which I felt that she just needed a really strong coffee! I hope she regains her position, and fully her powers but I sense that in the next instalment Kayla may blame herself for April being ‘mer’ ‘napped!
One thing I did expect is that the American President to snatch April while her Tenebrasco powers were playing up so much – I wasn’t far off! I felt that when he experimented on her in Tenebrasco, and all his research about the pearls and mer was leading to this event… but it didn’t.
I shan’t ruin it more than that, if you’re interested you really should read Tenebrasco and Essentia! These books are not stand alone novels, you need to read them in order otherwise it’ll be too confusing and bits of the story will not make sense due to meeting characters in certain times and places as Essentia does reference back to these characters regularly!
Overall, it was an enjoyable read and would be a great choice for those who prefer to read young adult fantasy/fiction. While these books are fantasy by nature, they do cross over into the modern world with technology, gizmos and gadgets which was fun to read about! You can visit Hannah Reed’s website to find out what she’s got on for sale, what event’s she is taking part in – she has been doing lots of things online so check those out!
Read on my dears, and together we can create a whole world of imagination!