Review of THE CROWN OF GILDED BONES (Blood & Ash #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
“You need to understand that I will do anything and everything for my wife.” Casteel’s gaze latched on to his father‘s. “No risk is too great, nor is anything too sacred. Because she is my everything. There is nothing greater than her, and I do mean nothing.”– The Crown of Gilded Bones
Jennifer L. Armentrout
The last 200 pages of ‘The Crown of Gilded Bones’ saved this book from becoming a painful and boring continuation of the Blood & Ash series
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.
The Crown of Gilded Bones immediately continues on the cliffhanger from the end of A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire. Everything was still fresh in my mind, and I was also happy to fly right back into the book and finally get some answers.
I was hugely looking forward to what was going to happen with Casteel and Poppy and couldn’t wait for the exciting battles and other action-packed scenes. So, The Crown of Gilded Bones starts out very strong but quickly drops to a slow pace where almost nothing happens. This book is over 600 pages long, and it felt like the first half was just filler. I put the book down several times and only picked it up again later. Yes, we find out a bit more about Poppy and her origins in The Crown of Gilded Bones. Any doubts about what/who she is are now completely erased (and believe me when I say no one saw this coming), but the real confirmation also doesn’t come until the end. Throughout the book, there are speculations, but nothing concrete. There is a lot of information dumping in the first half, which also slows the pace of the storyline.
To me, The Crown of Gilded Bones could have easily been about two hundred pages shorter. Armentrout tries to fill up the boring scenes and make them more interesting by adding a lot of sex scenes. And by a lot, I mean a lot. It felt a bit forced at times.
Poppy also feels a bit overpowering. She is so powerful and can do exactly anything. I was missing some weaknesses in this book. Poppy has never been normal since she was raised as the Maiden, but she’s not perfect either. In each book, Poppy becomes a lot more powerful and the characters realize she is even stronger than they thought. I would like to see the strengths of the other characters come out a little more.
The last 200 pages of The Crown of Gilded Bones is where things really get interesting. That’s when everything kicks into gear and Poppy, Casteel and our favourite Wolven go through quite a bit. As a result, the action scenes at the end of the book are tremendously exciting, making me read the book’s second half quickly. The storyline finally picks up in those pages and everything becomes clear. Many things come to light, some revelations you could already predict, but others were so unexpected. So I really like the direction the book is going in and everything adds up for me. I am glad that the story and the pace of The Crown of Gilded Bones has improved in the second half.
Will I read the next part – The War of Two Queens? Yes, no doubt about it. I’m committed to these characters and want to see where the story goes.
Would I recommend it?
Yes, the last few pages are worth getting through the dull middle.
Alcohol, assault, attempted murder, blood, bones, deception (side characters, off-page, discussed); death of child (off-page), death, decapitation, stunning, fire, gore, kidnapping, murder, pregnancy (side character, not very detailed), profanity, self-mutilation, sexually explicit scenes, skeletons, snakes, terminal illness (off-page, described), violence
Characters of colour
Fantasy (new adult)
April 20th 2021
Blue Box Press
About the author
Jennifer lives in Charles Town, 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 Jack Russell Loki. 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.