Review + Excerpt: The Crown of Gilded Bones - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

Bow Before Your Queen Or Bleed Before Her…

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout comes book three in her Blood and 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…

Series:

Blood & Ash

Book 2

Book Type:

Fantasy / Romance

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The Crown of Gilded Bones
By Jennifer L. Armentrout

Review + Excerpt: The Crown of Gilded Bones

In the face of shocking truths and on the brink of war, Poppy must decide whether to seize the gilded crown in Jennifer L. Armentrout’s explosive third book in the Blood & Ash series—THE CROWN OF GILDED BONES.

Poppy carries the blood of the Gods and by birthright, the crown is hers. But the choice to reign over Atlantia as the Queen of Flesh and Fire is far more complicated. Finally free of the shackles that once bound her, would the crown tether her yet again? Would it force a fate upon Casteel he would not choose for himself? And even as the weight of the decision haunts her every moment, there are those who’ll stop at nothing to ensure that crown is not hers to take.

Worse yet, the blood-drenched specter of the past re-emerges with truths that change everything and a threat no one saw coming. With her powers awakened and thrumming within, and with her heartmate at her side, Poppy readies a kingdom to march against the Queen of Blood and Ash, in a war hundreds of years in the making.

Armentrout really ups the stakes in this third installment. Much of the narrative—particularly in early parts of the novel—felt expositional (and perhaps slower in pace) as we learned more about Poppy, about the secrets tightly hidden by so many around them. The connections and confessions foundationally set us up as the action, tension (and pace) began to crest, culminating in scenes that had me clamoring for more.

We also see Poppy and Casteel’s relationship continue to evolve. Love and hate, loyalty and betrayal no longer battle between them, the struggle they must fight is beyond, and they must now face it united as a couple, and potentially, as King and Queen.

Exhilarating, taut and teeming with jaw-dropping surprises. Get ready!

I drew in a stuttering breath and whispered, “I didn’t want any of this.”

Tension bracketed Casteel’s mouth. “I know.” His voice was rough, but his touch was gentle as he placed his palm over the cheek that didn’t feel swollen. He lowered his forehead to mine, and the shock of awareness his flesh against mine brought was there, rippling through me as he slid his hand into the tangled mess of my hair. “I know, Princess,” he whispered, and I squeezed my eyes shut against a stronger rush of tears. “It’s okay. It will all be okay. I promise you that.”

I nodded, even though I knew it wasn’t something he could guarantee. Not anymore. I forced myself to swallow the knot of emotion that rose.

Casteel kissed my blood-streaked brow and then lifted his head. “Emil? Can you retrieve clothing from Delano’s and Kieran’s horses so they can shift and not scar anyone?”  “I’ll be more than happy to do that,” the Atlantian answered.

I almost laughed. “I think their nakedness will be the least scarring thing to happen today.”

Casteel said nothing as he touched my cheek again, gently tilting my head to the side. His gaze then dropped to several of the rocks still littering the ground at my feet. A muscle popped along his jaw. His eyes lifted to mine, and I saw his pupils were dilated, only a thin strip of amber visible. “They tried to stone you?”

I heard a soft gasp I thought had come from his mother, but I didn’t look. I didn’t want to

see their faces. I didn’t want to know what they felt right now. “They accused me of working with the Ascended, and they called me a Soul Eater. I told them I wasn’t. I tried to talk to them.”   Words spilled out in a rush as I lifted my hands to touch him, but I stopped. I didn’t know what my touch would do. Hell, I didn’t even know what I would do without touching someone. “I tried to reason with them, but they started throwing stones. I told them to stop. I said it was enough, and…I don’t know what I did—” I started to look over his shoulder, but Casteel seemed to know what it was I searched for. He stopped me. “I didn’t mean to kill them.”

“You were defending yourself.” His pupils constricted as he caught my stare. “You did what you had to do. You were defending yourself—”

“But I didn’t touch them, Casteel,” I whispered. “It was like in Spessa’s End, during the battle.   Remember the soldiers who surrounded us? When they fell, I felt something in me. I felt that again here. It was like something inside me knew what to do. I took their anger and I—I did exactly what a Soul Eater would do. I took it from them and then gave it back.”

“You are not a Soul Eater,” Queen Eloana said from somewhere not too far away. “The moment the eather in your blood became visible, those who attacked you should’ve known exactly what you were. What you are.”

“Eather?”

“It’s what some would call magic,” Casteel answered, shifting his stance as if he were blocking his mother from me. “You’ve seen it before.”

“The mist?”

He nodded. “It’s the essence of the gods, what’s in their blood, what gives them their abilities and the power to create all that they have. No one really calls it that anymore, not since the gods went to sleep, and the deities died off.” His eyes searched mine. “I should have known.

Gods, I should’ve seen it…”

“You can say that now,” his mother spoke. “But why would you have even thought that this would be a possibility? No one would’ve expected this.”

“Except for you,” Casteel said. And he was right. She’d known, without a doubt. And, granted, I had been glowing upon her arrival, but she’d known with unquestioned certainty.

“I can explain,” she said as Emil appeared, carrying two saddlebags. He gave all of us a wide berth as he dropped them near Jasper and then backed away.

“Apparently, a lot needs to be explained,” Casteel remarked coolly. “But it will have to wait.” His gaze touched on my left cheek, and that muscle throbbed along his jaw again. “I need to get you somewhere safe where I can… Where I can take care of you.”

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