I highly recommend reading Katharine McGee’s American Royals before reading this review because EVERYONE needs this YA royal contemporary read in their lives and while I will not be including spoilers for Majesty, I will be getting into spoilers for American Royals. Majesty is the second book in the American Royals series.
Summary (from the publisher):
Power is intoxicating. Like first love, it can leave you breathless. Princess Beatrice was born with it. Princess Samantha was born with less. Some, like Nina Gonzalez, are pulled into it. And a few will claw their way in. Ahem, we’re looking at you Daphne Deighton.
As America adjusts to the idea of a queen on the throne, Beatrice grapples with everything she lost when she gained the ultimate crown. Samantha is busy living up to her “party princess” persona…and maybe adding a party prince by her side. Nina is trying to avoid the palace–and Prince Jefferson–at all costs. And a dangerous secret threatens to undo all of Daphne’s carefully laid “marry Prince Jefferson” plans.
A new reign has begun….
My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Majesty was among my MOST anticipated reads of 2020 – honestly, it might’ve been my most anticipated YA release! – especially because book #1, American Royals, was among my top 3 favorite books of 2019. American Royals spoke to the lifelong Princess Diaries fan that I am, as the book takes place in a present day America that is a monarchy instead of a democracy. Majesty takes place a few weeks after the ending of American Royals, with the Washingtons back in D.C.
I really didn’t know what to expect from Majesty, given American Royals’ slight cliffhanger. Beatrice was my favorite lead in book #1 and she remained so in this sequel. There’s just so, so much to explore about Beatrice, between her love triangle and her future as the first queen of America. Katharine McGee has created my favorite kind of, but most tormenting love triangle, aka the type where I adore both love interests and don’t know who I should be rooting for! Beatrice’s storyline was well-balanced between her love interests and determination to be the best leader she can be, while grieving over arguably the most significant person in her life and trying to sustain a better relationship with Samantha. I wish we saw more interaction between Beatrice and Jeff, but at the same time, Beatrice and Samantha’s sibling dynamic is my favorite. We really get to see Beatrice coming into her role as queen while also getting to see more of her personality shine, partially because of her growing bond with a certain someone and also because she just seems to be growing more and more into her confidence. I loved the messages surrounding female leadership.
I really enjoy Samantha and Nina’s perspectives, but their storylines seemed super focused on their relationships. I didn’t mind Nina’s new beau in Majesty, but again like Beatrice, Katharine McGee has once again left me confused who I should be rooting for Nina to be with…or if she should be with anyone at all? I liked Samantha’s relationship with Marshall because it gives us more insight into this alternate America, as Marshall comes from a lineage of dukes in California. Like American Royals, Samantha is again trying to figure out her role and purpose in the royal family while coming to terms with her own love interests. And then there’s Daphne, the villain we all love to hate but also want to read more about. Daphne’s storyline is the second most complex, compared to Beatrice. There are so many points in the novel where characters call out Daphne’s selfishness and craving for the crown. Although she does have moments of self-reflection, she’s in her game of manipulation and gossip for the long haul.
Majesty gets a 5 stars in the pure enjoyment and being happy to reunite with this series categories (trust me, these are legit star rating parameters). But as much as I LOVED the ending and its female empowerment, its conclusion felt a little lackluster as compared to book #1’s ending. I didn’t expect to go into Majesty thinking that there would be a third book, but I guess I knew there would be potential for one? I know it’s not a legit spoiler, but I saw on a fellow American Royals fan’s IG story that there would be a book #3. Since American Royals had such a great cliffhanger ending, I thought book #2 would have a similar ending and not fall into middle book syndrome, which it ultimately did. I do like the way we end things with Beatrice, Samantha, and Nina. Honestly, if this has been the last book in the series, while I maybe I would have wanted more, I would’ve been happy with the way we left those three. While Beatrice must prove herself as queen to the government and the people, and Samantha & Nina have a lot to figure out about their next steps, I am the most intrigued to see how Daphne’s storyline begins and plays out in book #3. Competition for a crown, anyone?
Have you read Majesty? What are your thoughts?? Have you read American Royals? Share in the comments!