The Rose Throne | Mette Ivie Harrison | Book Review

Oh you guys, sometimes as a reader, I just really need a solid fantasy book to sink my teeth into. I love those long books that have this whole world that basically absorb you. I am a big fan of fantasy royalty as well. There’s something so cool about characters who sit on a throne. At this point, you can probably surmise that I had expectations for The Rose Throne by Mette Ivie Harrison. While it was a fine enough book, I never felt a love spark or caught feelings for it.

The Rose Throne by Mette Ivie Harrison | Good Books And Good Wine

So basically in The Rose Throne there are two different kingdoms in which the kings who rule are very different from each other – Rurik and Weirland. Ailsbet is princess of Rurik and seems to think she is unweyr, meaning that she does not hold the female magic neweyr that connects her with life and the earth. Marissa is princess of Weirland and she has Neweyr in spades. As she has plenty of power and is eligible, she ends up betrothed to Ailsbet’s younger brother, Edik and so must travel to Rurik to do her duty. Only, y’all, Rurik is a violent place where the King is totally unstable and kind of murderous. Also, Marissa ends up getting feelings for Kellin, one of the dukes in Rurik.

I liked Ailsbet and Marissa and how different they were. Ailsbet comes across as sort of an ice queen, but that is because she has a secret that could put her life in danger. Also, she doesn’t have neweyr so she is unable to forge a bond and connection through elemental life magic with other women. HOWEVER, Ailsbet has this deep passion for music which was cool to read about. I love when characters have hobbies and interests and passions. As for Marissa, she’s a very kind and level headed person. She has been raised with love unlike Ailsbet. So, it’s a challenge for her to go to Rurik which is so different from Weirland. She must be on her guard at all times as her marriage alliance could form peace between the two island nations. Unfortunately, she cannot help her heart and her feelings.

Unfortunately, I did feel distant from this book. I never felt truly invested in the characters. Plus the names and the magic system name kept tripping me up causing this weird cognitive dissonance in my head because they never rolled off the tongue, ya know? I kept thinking about how to pronounce the weird names instead of you know, the story or how the magic and such worked. However, the dual magics – neweyr and taweyr were cool because they were gender based and represent different things. I thought that was a fairly creative aspect, just because I find various magic systems to be interesting and fun to read about. ALSO, I want to put right here that I thought the villain of the book, King Haikor, was totally over the top. It was definitely a bit much for me as a reader.

Straight up, I thought the romance in The Rose Throne felt kind of forced. I mean, Marissa and Kellin barely even know each other before Marissa begins to have feelings for him. I would call it insta-love, but I had a hard time seeing why there was an attraction. For a romance to work for me, it has to make sense and I have to feel real chemistry between the characters. Unfortunately, I did not.

Alas, Mette Ivie Harrison’s The Rose Throne was not quite the fantasy book I had hoped it would be. It was slow paced with odd names for pretty much everything, and a world that I never truly felt immersed in. I think that there’s potential for this book and that there is definitely an audience, just I am not really the sort for it. I think people who are into sprawling reads will enjoy this one.

Disclosure: Received for review via Netgalley

Other reviews of The Rose Throne by Mette Ivie Harrison:

Reading Lark – “Another fascinating component of this novel was the magic.
One Librarian’s Book Reviews – “I was ultimately disappointed
Sim-Sational Reviews – “I thoroughly enjoyed this one

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. I’ve read a couple of books by this author and haven’t fallen hard-reading your review makes me feel better about missing this one.

  2. When I was reading your summary, and came across the names for the magic bits, I thought to myself “I would have a hard time with this book because I would be stumbling with how to pronounce those words.” And then you said the same thing.

    Sorry this book didn’t really connect with you. On a different note, I think the cover is super pretty, and that girl reminds me of Emma Stone. Totally random, I know 🙂

  3. I think you put it well. I read it and didn’t hate it, but also didn’t love it. I had a lot of issues with the names and I didn’t feel like their was enough explanation of where the magic came from and why only two kingdoms have it. I think if I understood the magic more it would have helped.

  4. Hmmm. This does sound interesting. But I think the names and such would also be difficult for me.

  5. I’ve read 4 of Mette’s books and I have to say, I think I feel the same way about all of them… There is a lot of potential, and they are well done and well written, but there is just… something that is missing, something not there. It makes me sad, because there is just so much possibility, but there is just some disconnect.