Dividing Eden (Dividing Eden #1) by Joelle Charbonneau ~ Review and Character Interview


Dividing Eden (Dividing Eden #1)
Hardcover336 pages
Expected publication: June 6th 2017 
by HarperCollins
Source: ARC Provided by Author
Rating: 4.5 Out of 5 Stars

Synopsis:

A sweeping fantasy, by the bestselling author of The Testing, about two royal siblings forced to compete for the crown.

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?

Review:

Thank you Joelle for sending me a copy of Dividing Eden to review. This in no way affected my opinion.

When Joelle told me she was writing a fantasy novel I was so excited. I love her writing and ever book the writing was always so consistent. Dividing Eden was no different. Joelle created this magical world and I was completely swept up in it. 

The dynamics between Carys and Andreus felt so spot on for twins. I was so happy to read a twin book that got it right. I have only found one other so far that taped into that bond but also how the bond can be cracked. In my experience as a twin we love each other more but we also hate each other more. It is like all feeling and emotions are stronger and Joelle shows that.

The ending will leave you wanting more and needing to know what will happen next. This is a must read for fantasy fans. 


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Character interview with Joelle Charbonneau


1) (Carys) what do you love most about Andreus?

His curiosity.  He loves to figure out how things work, especially the windmills.  The creaking of the gears is just noise to me, but to him it is like music.  And like any musician he is determined to make it the best song possible.

2) (Andreus) what do you love most about Carys?

I love my sister's determination.  There is no one more stubborn in all of Eden.  Of course, I'd rather not be around when she gets disappointed because she can be prickly when she wants to be, but she is also someone who can do anything she puts her mind to.  

3) (Carys) what irritates you the most about your brother?

That answer is simplicity in itself.  My brother hates being wrong or to bee seen as anything less than perfect.  I swear it is the very reason why Andreus catches any woman---lady of the court to scullery maid--that throws herself at him.  They make him feel as if he is the most talented and important person in the world.  But considering everything we're dealing with, I wish he'd realize there are other more important things that he should be worried about.


4) (Andreus) what irritates you the most about your sister?

Well, we are siblings, so I supposed I should be able to say there is something that irritates me about my sister.  Carys is known to rub people the wrong way and she'd gotten herself in a great deal of trouble from some of the choices she's made, but I understand her better than most so those things don't bother me.  I guess I'd like it if she and our mother were closer so I didn't always have to be the one mother wants to talk to.  And it would be nice if she was the one who... No.  Never mind that.  Carys is always there for me.  I love her exactly as she is.  

5) (Carys) why would you be a better ruler?

The last thing I want is to be forced to sit on the Throne of Light.  But I might not have a choice.  It might be the only way to make sure the kingdom and my brother are both safe.  Andreus is more trusting than I am.  The Council of Elders might use that against him.  Andreus is often too concerned with being liked and that could get him in trouble. As for me, I do what I think is right and have little care if anyone agrees with me.   I guess I am my father's daughter in that way.  He was a strong king.  Perhaps I would be strong as a ruler as well.

6) (Andreus) why would you be a better ruler?

My sister would be a fantastic queen, but I do think her stubborn temperament would not make the throne an ideal fit.  I admit that the idea of ruling the kingdom is daunting, but exciting and I'm good at dealing with people.  I've worked with the Masters of Light and I rescued Max and brought him to live in the palace so the people here in Garden City know I understand them.  And because I understand them, I have a lot of ideas about how to rule.  My father was never interested in my ideas to improve the windmills or the lights that protect Garden City's walls.  He was a soldier focused on the war with Adderton instead of the people here inside our boundaries.  If we improve the windmills, we could teach others to use the wind power in new ways all around the kingdom. I could make Eden a better place.  I would be a great king if given the chance.  


7) (Carys) what was your favorite memory of Micah?

Because he was several years older and the crown prince, Micah didn't have much time to spend with Andreus or I.  But I remember once when I was five or six, I snuck away from my mother and her ladies and watched Micah learning sword technique from the captain of the guard.  When it was over, I told Micah how unfair it was that he got to use a sword when the only thing I got to stab into anything was a needle with some thread.  He walked around until he found two big sticks.  He gave me one and said the only thing that was stopping me from using a sword was knowing how to do it.  Then for the next hour we cracked sticks together and laughed until Elder Cestrum came and called him away.


8) (Andreus) what did you resent most about Micah?

Micah was a great swordsman.  I envied the skill he had, but I also resented how everyone said that his ability with a weapon would make him a great king.  Micah didn't care about the windmills and he never bothered to learn more than the most basic of facts about the wind power that makes the orb globe and keeps the walls safe.  He just assumed they would always work and that the people who maintained them were beneath his notice. I worked on the windmills.  I deserved to be noticed. 

9) (Carys) can your relationship ever be the same with your brother?

Andreus is my twin, but we can't go back to what we once were.  No matter how much we might want to.  Nothing will ever be the same.

10) (Andreus) can your relationship with Carys ever be repaired?

Ask Carys that.  After all, my sister is the one that said she had a plan.  She's the one that swore I could trust her.  I can't repair a relationship with someone that I can't trust.  My sister has changed.  Or maybe I just never knew her at all.



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About the Author:

Joelle Charbonneau has performed in opera and musical theater productions across Chicagoland. She is the author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Testing trilogy as well as two adult mystery series. Her YA books have appeared on the Indie Next List, the YALSA Top Ten Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers list, and state reading lists across the country. Her standalone YA thriller Need has been optioned for a feature film and is currently in development.


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