Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:
Royal Replicas Series
Synopsis for Royal Replicas (from Goodreads):
“Princess Amelia is dead… and one of you will replace her.”
Seventeen-year-old Victoria Sandalwood has served the Duke and Duchess all her life. Over the years, she’s learned to make due with what she has and endure her surrogate father’s awful punishments. She dreams of escape, but never expected it to come in the form of a message from the Queen of Westeria.
Victoria learns that she’s the Queen’s daughter, the younger sister to Princess Amelia, and it’s time to come home and claim her birthright. When she arrives, she discovers she’s not the only one who received the royal message.
Victoria must compete with six other girls to earn the affection of both the Queen and a princely suitor… and to replace the secretly deceased Princess Amelia. If she fails to win the crown, Victoria may just have to fight for her life…
Series: Royal Replicas
Author: Michael Pierce
# of Books: 4 (Full Reading Order Here)
There is a prequel novella (#0.5) called Royal Reset
Book Order: Chronological
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Romance
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: First Person, Single (#1), Alternating (#2-4)
Publication Date: July 2017 – April 2018
Source & Format: YA Bound Book Tours–eARC (#1); Public Library–Audiobook (#2-#4)
**This post was originally published as a Fresh Friday/Blog Tour review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to include the newest publications in the series.**
Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:
While the cover drew me in, the synopsis had me wanting more. I love books with courtly intrigue or politics and throw in the idea that girls have to compete to be the next princess? I was so there!
I went in hoping for a book like The Selection but with a lead I could actually like and a story that actually went somewhere.
What I Liked:
–The Mystery of the Competition–
Trying to figure out the Queen of Westeria’s motivations for the competition truly had me eager for me. It kept me hooked and had me coming up with all sorts of conspiracy theories. I love books that keep me guessing.
Dystopian worlds all share the same basic foundations which can get monotonous over time. But this one still felt fresh to me. I think it’s because we don’t focus too much on its structure and keep our focus on Victoria’s journey. I’m hoping that we can expand this in the sequel(s).
What I Didn’t Like:
–The Choppy Romance–
While this wasn’t the main reason I picked up this story, I do like a solid romance in my reads. Unfortunately, this one was a little all over the place. I could forgive Victoria for her back and forth feelings given the situation(s) she finds herself in. I would be torn too. However, I really didn’t see the connection to either boy and her flip-flopping drove me NUTS because of it. The connections just seemed shallow and too quick for me to really “pick a team”.
–It Played Things Too Safe–
With some of the plot twists, I feel like they were revealed a little too abruptly. There were certain things that could have built or been taken to the next level to give this book the “wow” factor it easily could have.
The Novella, Royal Reset:
I read this after Royal Replicas and I feel like you could read it before or after. I found it didn’t give too much away in terms of a certain character (I actually had more questions than answers after I finished reading it–even though I had read the full novel). But, I do think it does a slightly better job of explaining Victoria’s home life and leads nicely into Royal Replicas.
My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:
I have so many unanswered questions that I’m curious to see what is going to happen next! I’m hoping now that the novelty of the romance is done, we can get back to the nitty gritty of the plot and trying to uncover what is at play.
–December 15, 2019– Book #2: Royal Captives
Not what I was really expecting but I’m liking the direction this is going. This lagged for me in the middle; it almost seemed a little aimless at times. And I’m still not on board with the romance. But the last few chapters were great!
Audiobook was good. At first, it seemed like all the characters had the same voice but it improved by the end.
–December 15, 2019– Book #3: Royal Threat
This book just flew by! I thought the plot was by far the strongest of the series yet. Lots of twists and it kept me on my toes. And the romance takes a bit of a back seat which is nice.
–January 8, 2020– Book #4: Royal Return
By far the best paced novel of the series. We didn’t spend time moping around; rather we jumped from event to event at a great rate. I honestly had no idea how things were going to wrap up so I enjoyed the journey. It was a solid conclusion, wrapping up all the lingering questions wonderfully.
My Rating: 3/5
[Royal Reset] 3/5 | Royal Replicas 3/5 | Royal Captives 4/5 | Royal Return 4/5
This is a lighter dystopian read packed with an addictive and suspenseful plot that is layered in mystery.
Read if You Like: dystopian, courtly intrigue, mysterious plots
Avoid if You: hate love triangles
- The Selection by Kiera Cass (The Selection Series #1)
- The Jewel by Amy Ewing (The Lone City Trilogy #1)