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Twins Carys and Andreus were never destined to rule Eden. With their older brother next in line to inherit the throne, the future of the kingdom was secure.
But appearances—and rivals—can be deceiving. When Eden’s king and crown prince are killed by assassins, Eden desperately needs a monarch, but the line of succession is no longer clear. With a ruling council scheming to gain power, Carys and Andreus are faced with only one option—to take part in a Trial of Succession that will determine which one of them is worthy of ruling the kingdom.
As sister and brother, Carys and Andreus have always kept each other safe—from their secrets, from the court, and from the monsters lurking in the mountains beyond the kingdom’s wall. But the Trial of Succession will test the bonds of trust and family.
With their country and their hearts divided, Carys and Andreus will discover exactly what each will do to win the crown. How long before suspicion takes hold and the thirst for power leads to the ultimate betrayal?
Okay, I’m going to go ahead and say it: Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau is one of my top three favourite books of the year so far. I was excited to read it but nothing could’ve prepared me for how much I would fall in love with this world! After hitting the 100 page-mark, I was fully invested in the characters and couldn’t put it down, so I finished it in one sitting (which, while fasting, is a huge achievement for me!)
The story is told from the perspectives of both Carys and Andeus, and I found myself beginning to empathise with both characters. They both have their struggles which continues throughout the story and creates obstacles for them in the Trial of Succession. Not to mention that they are both grieving from the loss of their father and older brother, as well as the sudden loss of their mother who was driven mad by her grief. So, you’d assume that in this time of loss they would stick together, right? Right? WRONG.
Carys has spent her entire life protecting her brother’s secret, even if that meant she would be punished for her actions. Andreus is her number one priority and her best friend, and it’s clear that she would do anything to protect him at all costs. Andreus is a little more… grey-area-ish. Having always been pushed aside by his brother, Micah, he’s quite enjoying all of the attention and love from his people. The twins’ relationship becomes fraught with tension as the trials grow more difficult and secrets are discovered. Not to mention the plots that are happening just under the surface in the rest of the Court with the Elders and the Seer, and basically everyone within distance of the palace is manipulative and selfish.
Dividing Eden was everything I could hope for in a YA, high fantasy, and more. It had everything from court politics, romance, friendship, to MAGIC AND MONSTERS(!!!). The story was both captivating and elegantly written, and the characters complex, raw and to a certain extent, even damaged which only made them more real. In fact, I was enjoying the story so much that I was a little worried about the ending and how, if not done well, it would leave me feeling let down. But there was no need to worry because the story ended on a note of closure but with enough questions left unanswered that I cannot wait to get my hands on the next instalment.