The most recent book in the Blood and Ash series, The Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennifer L. Armentrout picks up right where the last book left off, with Poppy being handed a titular crown of bones. I liked this better than AKoFaF, but still felt it was a little lacking in some areas… but per usual, not the cliffhanger!
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IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE BOOK, STOP READING! SPOILERS AHEAD
After surviving an assassination attempt by the Wolven (or were they…), Poppy is apparently now the rightful ruler of Atlantia. The weird comments Cas made about her blood being old? Yeah, it’s because she’s directly descended from the gods.
Speaking of the gods: I am SO HAPPY we are moving away from the weird vampire creature fantasy and into deity fantasy. Much more my speed.
Cas now has to not only defend his choice of wife to his mom and dad, who are King and Queen of Atlantia, but now has to defend Poppy’s right to rule.
Alastair IS sketchy, and I am so glad this is cleared up for us. Also proud of myself for picking up on this last book! I do not like him one bit.
Cas and Poppy decide to still rescue their respective brothers, and while Ian is probably fine, Malik could be dead. Despite the odds, they set off on this book’s biggest adventure.
Overall, I knew there had to be more to the story between Atlantia and Poppy’s Queen. This is eventually explained, and I feel like this drama is so… dumb??? Two women were bitter about a man, and so all these hundreds of thousands have died??? I instantly texted my friend, “What did I just read?”
With the major twist at the end, we find out Malik was working with the Blood Queen this entire time??? I feel like maybe he was just buying his time, and will end up being loyal to his family after this, and it’s a front? As much as having his brother be his true enemy and “The Dark One” would do a lot to Cas and his character development, I don’t really know if it’s been set up that way.
I have multiple other thoughts that could end with more question marks about so many aspects of this book. Kieran being in love with Poppy? Poppy’s father being alive? Why are we constantly talking about Poppy stabbing people?
I really did enjoy this book, and I liked it a lot better than its predecessor. I’m hoping some loose ends are sorted out in the next book, and this series can grow stronger as a result.
- we are into deity fantasy territory!!! woooo
- I appreciated the world building
- plot twist during the Malik rescue mission
- more cringe moment, especially the spice scenes tbh
- the misogyny of this entire war being women fighting over a man
- let Kieran be happy!!! not with those two!
IMHO, 3.5/5. There is a prequel coming out early next year, with 2/3 more novels after.
BLOOD AND ASH
2: A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire