Devouring the From Blood and Ash series? Here’s my take on it and my The Crown of Gilded Bones review.
Reading The Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennifer L. Armentrout is like rediscovering a dessert you’d forgot you loved, then devouring it far faster than you’d have liked, at the same time enjoying every bite.
I was late in joining the JLA bandwagon. I’d seen a few of her books here and there and even tried reading one at one point, but I jumped in at the wrong point and it turned me off.
Then news of From Blood and Ash started exploding in my Facebook group of YA Fantasy Addicts and a JLA book made it onto my radar once again. I ignored it, assuming it would be similar to the book I didn’t like.
It wasn’t until some time after the release of Kingdom of Flesh and Fire that I realized this wasn’t at all what I initially thought and decided to give it a try.
I still remember the day I finished A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire and the immediate desire I had to get my hands on Book 3. Only to discover that it wasn’t releasing for another 3 months.
I decided to inquire and see if an ARC was available, as it’s fairly typical for ARCs to be out that early. But it wasn’t in this case. By the time one was available, my memory had faded and the intense drive to continue wasn’t there anymore.
I actually put off reading The Crown of Gilded Bones after receiving the ARC, partly due to the lateness in receiving it, my large backlog of previous commitments, and a lack of motivation brought on by the passage of time since reading AKOFAF.
But once I began, I found myself using every available moment to read, spending a few nights in a row reading way past my bed time and paying for it the next morning as I got up for work. But I wouldn’t change a thing if I had to do it again.
The Crown of Gilded Bones Review
A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire Recap
If it’s been awhile since you’ve read A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire, here’s a brief summary of events.
Casteel had “kidnapped” Poppy with the intent to use her to rescue his brother Malik from the clutches of the Ascended. Of course he fell in love with her and that changed things, but Poppy found it very difficult to forgive him and much of Book 2 is about the embattled relationship.
Towards the end of the book, the two marry. At first, it was arranged out of necessity to accomplish both of their plans. But by the time the day rolled around they did so out of a choice for one another.
Others in Atlantia weren’t so thrilled and staged an assassination attempt that ended poorly as Poppy’s powers manifested and laid waste to her attackers.
This was followed by the revelation from Casteel’s mother that Poppy was at the rightful Queen of Atlantia.
The Crown of Gilded Bones Summary
Before we jump into my The Crown of Gilded Bones review, I’ll give you a brief overview of what to expect in this book (completely spoiler-free of course!).
Book 3 picks up right where Book 2 left off. And that’s something I really appreciate about JLA. There’s no time gap or orienting yourself to a new setting. The moment Book 2 ends is right where Book 3 resumes.
Without spoiling anything, the bulk of Book 3 revolves around Atlantia, whether Poppy and Casteel will become it’s King and Queen, and ultimately what Atlantia will do with the mounting situation against the Ascended.
The attempts on Poppy’s life don’t end with the one that closed out Book 2, something that’s used to create tension in an otherwise tensionless exposition on the innerworkings of Atlantia.
That sounds incredibly dull when I write it, but it’s not. Each page is engaging and kept me glued to my phone (my preferred reading device of choice).
Half of what makes The Crown of Gilded Bones so wonderful is all the deceptions, half-truths, and revelations that occur throughout the book.
You never can tell if something you just learned was a lie. Even if the speaker didn’t believe it to be a lie, you can never be sure that person wasn’t lied to or mislead. Much of the foundation of this world is lies built upon lies that lead Poppy to question everything she’s ever known as well as everthing she’s being told.
JLA uses this device to slowly unveil information, while providing bait and switch techniques that leave you shocked and satisfied when the truth finally reveals itself.
There are many such moments to look forward to in The Crown of Gilded Bones, namely surrounding Poppy’s powers, her heritage, and what it means for Atlantia and Solis both.
Sex & Romance
Of course, in the YA Fantasy crowd (this is not YA Fantasy mind you, it’s just very popular in our circles), one of the biggest draws to the From Blood and Ash series is the sex.
I refuse to use a four letter word that is often used to refer to the sex in a book partly because I find it debasing and partly because it’s a etymological inaccuracy.
In this area, The Crown of Gilded Bones excels. Personally, I skip these scenes as I’m not reading the books for the romance. I do love a good romance, but I don’t need everything described to me in great detail.
Those looking for that sort of thing will rejoice and devour The Crown of Gilded Bones.
You’ll also be happy to know that the frustratingly absurd back and forth love/hate romance from Book 2 is gone, replaced by a romantic plotline similar to Rhys and Feyre from Sarah J. Maas’s ACOTAR. And by that, I mean a couple that is fiercely loyal to each other and that will tear apart the world to protect one another.
Final Thoughts on The Crown of Gilded Bones Review
I’m not sure there’s much left to be said other than READ THIS BOOK.
I imagine that if you are reading this review, and you’re thinking about reading The Crown of Gilded Bones that you’ve very likely already read From Blood and Ash and A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire.
I also assume that means you don’t really need my advice to read The Crown of Gilded Bones because you’re likely as addicted to this series as I am.
The Crown of Gilded Bones receives an easy 5/5 for me.
Check out my review of The War of Two Queens next.