Title: The Protection of Ren Crown (Ren Crown #2)
Author: Anne Zoelle
Publication Date: May 9th 2014
I received a copy from the author for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion in any way.
Barely surviving her first term at college, all Ren wants to do over break is relax and bond with her roommate—not get eaten by a sentient building or attacked on the street. But with increasingly open warfare brewing between the magical factions and Layers of the world, this time, Ren will not fail in making sure everyone she loves stays safe and protected.
That includes doing things like filling her parent’s house with personal art heavily embedded with wards, bubble-wrapping her increasingly imperiled roommate, and even making sure that a certain sexy thorn-in-her-side continues to breathe free air.
Finding herself on duty protecting the entire university alongside campus god Alexander Dare…was not what she’d had in mind.
But this time it’s not only her life on the line. And Ren will do anything to protect those she loves.
I was so happy to dive back into this world! Ren Crown is such a well-drawn, developed and intriguing character, who seems to attract trouble like a magnet, often of her own cause but not always.
Things are heating up in the war between the magical factions and Layers and everyone is looking for someone to blame, even the students at Excelsine. Some are beginning to suspect Ren and she has to do her best to blend in and divert their attentions elsewhere but with her magic being so volatile and unpredictable. that’s easier said than done.
There isn’t too much focus in this book on world-building since we got that in the first book, except for bits and pieces of details where necessary, usually in the guise of supplementing Ren’s knowledge. Since she wasn’t brought up as a mage. she is lacking a lot of basic knowledge especially about their history which marks her as a feral; a dangerous kind of mage to be with the current mood.
It is admirable to see ,and it speaks volumes for the author’s writing ability, how much the characters have grown. They really learn from their mistakes and try to do better or improve.Ren is busy cementing friendships which is actually really smart of her. She, unlike so many protagonists I’ve come across, recognise that even though she has all these powers. she can never know everything at its always good to have some people wo are firmly on your side to watch your back.With fear of discovery being ever-present. using Origin Magic though necessary is risky and will put scrutiny on Ren from the worst possible mages. But Ren does whatever she needs to do to protect herself, her circle of friends, Excelsine and the world.
Honesty and openness endears her to her circle of friends even though there are a few that not above using her for their own means. She is perhaps too trusting but that one her most attractive flaws. which makes her so relatable.
Olivia was particularly interesting in this book. She has shown the most development of all the characters. She is now out of her shell, loyal to a fault to Ren and is reluctantly allowing Ren to include her in whatever protective measure she can come with. She has really thawed and I no longer see her as the Ice Queen.
The plot is character driven this time around but there are outside conflicts too which keeps it interesting and moving along at a fast pace. There are a few twists and unexpected turns of events which have added another dimension to one of Ren’s friends and it was interesting to see how this turned out, and what it means for their friendship in the future.
With loads of tension, intrigue. magic and danger-filled moments complemented by underlying themes of friendship amidst betrayal, The Protection of Ren Crown is a stunningly immersive sequel which left me practically salivating in anticipation of the next books. I highly recommend picking up this series if you haven’t already. It is simply amazing.
Devastated by the loss of her twin–and consumed by the realization that magic actually exists–art student Ren Crown illegally enrolls in a fantastical university determined to bring her brother back to life. But caught in a time of war, and as a mage with abilities that both sides want to harness and use, Ren finds herself an unwitting pawn in a larger game.
Needing to hide from those who wish to enslave her, Ren gambles everything on her determination to succeed, putting herself in plain sight of those who could capture her. Constantly needing to figure out who to trust–a cold, powerful roommate, a genius magical engineer, the most powerful combat mage of their age, a mysterious muse, a cunning and brilliant tactician, a charming terrorist, an influential politician, or the voice of her brother…the hardest thing may be trusting her own heart.
Reeling from what the students at Excelsine University are calling “Bloody Tuesday,” Ren is determined to regather her magical family. But the events of the attack were not without multiple costs. Magically broken and exposed, Ren is ripe pickings for multiple factions that want to use and chain her, and the Department is the scariest of the pack.
With only a limited amount of time to save her friend, and confined with the rest of the student body awaiting their fate, Ren stands a mere hairsbreadth from losing her freedom completely with each and every decision she makes.
Anne Zoelle has loved books about fantasy, magic, math, wit, and imagination since devouring A Wrinkle in Time, Phantom Tollbooth, Alice in Wonderland, and the Chronicles of Narnia as a child. Split between the midwest and west coast, she writes books for all ages, as well as for furry monsters, sentient libraries, and adventuring aliens.
Anne Zoelle is the pseudonym of a USA Today Bestselling Author. She is currently working on the fourth book in the Ren Crown series.