• Crown of Coral and Pearl

  • By: Mara Rutherford
  • Narrated by: Amanda Dolan
  • Length: 13 hrs and 3 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (459 ratings)

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Crown of Coral and Pearl  By  cover art

Crown of Coral and Pearl

By: Mara Rutherford
Narrated by: Amanda Dolan
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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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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

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.

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7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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.

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7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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!!

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6 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

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4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

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.

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4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

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."

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Juvenile

This should absolutely be labeled as YA. The premise is juvenile, the MC is very naive - which can be fine but in this case just makes her come off as supremely basic (in the most pejorative sense of the word) and one dimensional. The relationships were not well developed nor particularly realistic- we are expected to believe that the MC is willing to sacrifice anything for the family that was horrible to her and perpetuated a monomaniacal focus on physical attributes to the exclusion of all else? The mother is honestly much more of a villain than the evil prince, and the father is equally culpable for letting it happen.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

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2 people found this helpful