Book: The Crown of Gilded Bones
Series: Blood and Ash Book #3
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
645 pages, Paperback
First published April 20, 2021
“The Crown of Gilded Bones” is the third book in Armentrout’s Blood and Ash series. The world of magical creatures unfolds even more. If you thought Armentrout was done, you’ll be pleasantly surprised as the collection of fantastical creatures gets even bigger.
I’ve decided not to gripe about how racy the book is in this review. I’m going to focus more on the plot itself here.
The book started with a bang. A strong beginning. Armentraut showed a side of herself that I really liked and raised the bar quite a bit. The events were a whirlwind that piqued my interest and I couldn’t tear myself away.
Poppy’s story continues literally without pause. Book two ended with an open ending, and if you didn’t like it, you won’t like this one either. The feelings between her and Casteel are now clear. It all seems too good to be true. The only goal left is to free her brothers and save the peoples of Atlantia and Solis.
And then came the slow middle
Jennifer L. Armentraut stirs up an even bigger mess. If there were already a lot of unknowns about Poppy’s past, now it gets even worse. And just as all the possible options were running through my head, the pace slowed down. The middle of the book was pretty slow. There was no resolution. Lots of new players showed up. We’re introduced to new fantastical creatures and their powers. Overall, there is a lot of description and expansion of the world the characters live in.
The world in The Crown of Gilded Bones
Armentraut doesn’t stop with the first book. If I had previously lived with the idea that the world building takes place in the first book, this book shattered that notion. in The Crown of Gilded Bones, we learn many new things. The author’s imagination for these things is amazing. It’s as if when she invented the book she said to herself, “Wait a minute, I don’t have any dragons… let’s put one in here.” What an incredible collection of fantastic creatures.
I’d like to offer a few thoughts on the fleshing out of the main character. The girl becomes a fearsome force, but also retains her vulnerability. The heroine’s inner struggle and her desire to be free and make her own choices. She’s confronted with difficult decisions. And her past continues to torment her. It’s hard to decide what you want to be when everyone thinks you’re a child of monsters.
Poppy’s power grows at Casteel’s expense. To show how powerful she’s, the main character Armentraut cripples Casteel. As a character in this episode, even Kieran stood out more than Cass, which is a shame. The Dark One remained in the background and took a supporting role.
Answers in The Crown of Gilded Bones
The Crown of Gilded Bones answers a lot of questions we’ve been asking ourselves since the first books. It was a challenge for me to fit all the creatures Armentraut incorporated into his story into the bigger picture. Sometimes I felt like she just wished she had them. In the end, though, she managed to bring them all together. We get the final piece we need to see the whole picture. But don’t get ready for a happy ending, because the ending was more than open-ended. If by the middle of the book you’re fed up with all the descriptions and slow development, I don’t think there’s any way you can skip the next book after the ending.
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.