The Essence by Kimberly Derting (Pledge #2)
My biggest regret about this book is that I didn’t read it sooner. I loved The Pledge and the concept of language being social power, but I just never got around to it. Boy was I surprised! Even though I barely remembered the ending of the first book, the author Derting was kind enough to give readers gentle reminders of how the first novel ended. We open with Charlaina (Charlie) as Queen of Ludania, having supplanted the evil dictator Sabara. What her people don’t know is that Sabara’s essence still exists within Charlie, and the young queen is constantly fighting to keep her nemesis in check. What I especially appreciated about this title is watching Charlie grow into her role as queen. Even though she led the revolution, there are still forces trying to attack the new government, and even assassinate the queen herself. Her closest friends and confidents, Brooke, Max and her personal royal guard Zafir, feel like the only things standing between her and the counter-rebellion forces, who feel closer and closer and she makes her way to the summit of Queens in a nearby land.