As you would've seen at the beginning of the year, I quickly became obsessed with the From Blood and Ash series by Jennifer L. Armentrout (reviews here and here). The third installment, The Crown of Gilded Bones, was one of my most anticipated releases this year, and well.... you'll see.
|Pub Date: 4-20-21|
New Adult - Fantasy/Romance
Poppy has lived the majority of her life on other people's terms. First, as the Maiden then as a pawn in a play to take down an entire kingdom. The only thing she has ever truly chosen for herself is Prince Casteel. Poppy didn't intend to fall in love with the heir of Atlantia, the kingdom she's been taught to fear, but shedding her veil has opened her eyes to the lies she's been fed and that the true enemy was the same Queen who raised her since she was young. When Poppy and Casteel cross into Atlantia, they discover another part of Poppy that's been hidden away: the blood of the King of Gods flows through her veins, and by rights, the crown and kingdom are hers.
The thought of being queen terrifies Poppy, but she knows to help those in need, she'll have to claim her birthright and become the Queen of Flesh and Fire. But with the crown comes a dangerous threat from a long-forgotten power. The greatest threat to both Poppy and Atlantia comes from the west, where the same Queen who cared for Poppy is preparing to bring war right to their doorstep. Poppy and Casteel have no choice but to journey to the mystical Land of Gods and wake the King himself, but their quest leads to even more shocking secrets and betrayals, and Poppy will have to decide just how far she's willing to go to claim what's hers.
I don't want to say I'm disappointed, but I'm a little let down by this. I think I just went in with high expectations since I loved the other two books so much, and it just didn't live up. That's not to say I didn't enjoy it, but it felt very info-dumpy which made it so hard to get through. Some bits felt so frantic and chaotic, but then others dragged and felt so boring. Only a small percent of the plot felt relevant to the story and the rest just felt like filler. All the questions that you were left with after the second book were barely answered, and you were left with even more than when you started. You do get to learn a bit more about Poppy's background, but so much is thrown at you and it gets a bit confusing, especially with the whole god/deity business. There were a few things I enjoyed, namely the relationships between Poppy and Casteel and her and Kieran, which will always be a highlight for me, but I think if this was cut down a bit and the plot more focused, I would've liked it more. Despite this not being as great as I'd hoped, I'll still pick up the next because I'm still interested to see how this is all going to play out.