Review of The Crown of Gilded Bones (Blood and Ash #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Thank you to Blue Box Press and Social Butterfly PR for sending me an early copy, in exchange for an honest review.
She’s been the victim and the survivor…
Poppy never dreamed she would find the love she’s found with Prince Casteel. She wants to revel in her happiness but first they must free his brother and find hers. It’s a dangerous mission and one with far-reaching consequences neither dreamed of. Because Poppy is the Chosen, the Blessed. The true ruler of Atlantia. She carries the blood of the King of Gods within her. By right the crown and the kingdom are hers.
The enemy and the warrior…
Poppy has only ever wanted to control her own life, not the lives of others, but now she must choose to either forsake her birthright or seize the gilded crown and become the Queen of Flesh and Fire. But as the kingdoms’ dark sins and blood-drenched secrets finally unravel, a long-forgotten power rises to pose a genuine threat. And they will stop at nothing to ensure that the crown never sits upon Poppy’s head.
A lover and heartmate…
But the greatest threat to them and to Atlantia is what awaits in the far west, where the Queen of Blood and Ash has her own plans, ones she has waited hundreds of years to carry out. Poppy and Casteel must consider the impossible—travel to the Lands of the Gods and wake the King himself. And as shocking secrets and the harshest betrayals come to light, and enemies emerge to threaten everything Poppy and Casteel have fought for, they will discover just how far they are willing to go for their people—and each other.
And now she will become Queen…
WELL. If that wasn’t an EPIC ending, I don’t know what is. 🤭😵🔥
If you’re hoping to get a coherent, non-rambling review in which I carefully examine all of the themes and crafty bits of this book … you’re out of luck. 😂 Instead, you’re going to get me straight up FREAKING OUT because this book has left me IN A STATE … of awe, of disbelief, of adoration … I’m feeling all the things, y’all.
“There cannot be equality in power if there is no choice.”
This book has more of everything that I loved from the previous books. More plot twists. More Poppy annoying Kieran. More world building. More Kieran begrudgingly answering Poppy’s questions. More mythology. More readings from Miss Willa’s books. More hilarious banter. More stabby Poppy. More new characters (and some familiar, but “new” ones). More of Cas on his knees, “bowing” to his Queen. 🤤 And more Casteel/Poppy/Kieran moments. 😉
I fully expected this book to start off with a bang, as AKOFAF leaves us reeling with a major cliffhanger, but this book really does jump right into it! SO MUCH HAPPENS. I’m telling you, some chapters in this book had me stressed but I was also happy to endure the pain.
“Common sense. That must be a new thing for you.”
“I’m really imagining kicking you in the face now.”
Kieran is still bae, and I just love how PRESENT he is in this book. He is still somewhat of a mystery at times, but we get some really great moments between Poppy and Kieran in which he opens up more about himself and they were some of my favorite moments in the book.
“You are the foundation that helps me stand. You are my walls and my roof. My shelter. You are my home.”
I also loved the softer Casteel and Poppy moments. It’s important to me that Casteel is so aware of Poppy’s choices and autonomy and can easily go from being this completely badass deadly force to soft and compassionate and caring. Their love for each other is so clear and noticeable in this book, it jumps off the page. Also, bravo to JLA allowing Casteel and Poppy (and others) to be so openly in love and affectionate with each other and not leave it as something that is only behind closed doors.
We also learn sooooo much more about the worlds of Atlantia and Solis. SO MUCH. And we finally see characters that have only been mentioned up til now! There’s a certain plot twist involving a character that has mostly only been mentioned up until now that I really, really loved. It helped the story come full circle and I am excited to see more of them in future books.
There is a bit of a lull in the middle third of this book, in which I felt conversations dragged too much or became repetitive and there wasn’t enough moving about. It’s truly the only flaw I see in this book though and everything that happens before and after that made up for it.
Several of my theories from way back in FBAA even ended up being true, but let me tell you … the plot twists went beyond anything that I could have expected and the final third of the book is just inundated with them!
If you thought Poppy had moments of badassery before this, you’re not prepared for what she is capable of now. Hats off to Poppy for standing her ground and not letting people’s intimidation tactics control her actions.
Finally, this book has left me so much more excited for A Shadow in the Ember and when you read it, I think you’ll be left feeling the same way. *wink*
ABOUT JENNIFER L. ARMENTROUT
#1 New York Times and #1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. She spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, hanging out with her husband and her Border Jack Apollo. In early 2015, Jennifer was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a group of rare genetic disorders that involve a breakdown and death of cells in the retina, eventually resulting in loss of vision, among other complications. Due to this diagnosis, educating people on the varying degrees of blindness has become of passion of hers, right alongside writing, which she plans to do as long as she can.
Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Tor, HarperCollins Avon and William Morrow, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her Wicked Series has been optioned by PassionFlix. Jennifer has won numerous awards, including the 2013 Reviewers Choice Award for Wait for You, the 2015 Editor’s Pick for Fall With Me, and the 2014/2015 Moerser-Jugendbuch- Jury award for Obsidian. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA. Her adult romantic suspense novel TILL DEATH was an Amazon Editor’s Pick and iBook Book of the Month. Her young adult contemporary THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER is a 2017 RITA Award Winner in Young Adult Fiction. She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.
She is the owner of ApollyCon and The Origin Event, the successful annual events that features over a hundred bestselling authors in Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult Fiction, panels, parties, and more.
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