Title: The Immortal Crown
Author: Richelle Mead
Series: Age of X #2
Date of Publication: May 26th, 2014
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
Age of X-Trilogy
2. The Immortal Crown
I find it difficult to write about what I thought about this book. I immensely enjoyed the setting, although at times I kept thinking "Really? A Sci-Fi world with religion and gods in the mix?". I mean, that's not something you see every day. Maybe that's why it works so well for the Age of X trilogy. But then Justin and Mae travel to Arcadia and ... oh boy.
Aside from them not keeping religion and state separate, they also have very... interesting ideas of how women should be 'kept' and treated. It basically boils down to men keeping women as more or less their slaves (housework has to be about as hard as possible to build character, concubines can be sold, men can buy multiple wives, etc.) while at the same time keeping them under lock and key, most of the time either in long dresses or even completely veiled (which I assume is a reference to the burqa). While I didn't find the cloistering very nice, obviously, I realise it's a common practice today and I'm not going to comment further on that. I'm aware that most women who wear a burqa are likely not treated like the Arcadian women.
But back to the plot! Aside from small ventures into Tessa's point of view (which were boring and not exactly relevant to the bigger picture) the plot kept me on the edge of my seat. I'm not very familiar with nordic gods and goddesses, but I thought everything was well done concerning them. Nehitimar - the god the Arcadians are subscribed to - on the other hand felt very one-sided. He was at one point described as "only taking, never giving" and it seems unlikely to me that such a big populace would believe in such a god. Well, and then there is the last god that is revealed. We don't know much about his involvement yet, but I have a bad feeling about this.
What I don't have a bad feeling about, however, is where this story is going. To me, this book is ten times better than Gameboard of the Gods and I enjoyed reading it very much. I'm definitely looking forward to the as-of-yet untitled third book!