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.
I think the ending, the cliffhanger, influenced my rating on the first read more than it did this time. I still really enjoyed the read, but it felt much slower and longer on the reread. I appreciate the level of planning and that the planning rarely goes as planned – still so rare in books like this – but there is a lot of talking over the same things repeatedly.
Angry Poppy is my favourite Poppy. Not fake, flirty angry that both Casteel and Kieran enjoy way too much. But vengeful, eather mass-murdering Poppy is incredible because it’s when she believes in herself the most and takes strong action to protect the ones she loves. I can’t remember if I included this in my last review, but Kieran gets better and better with each book. I know I get it; Poppy and Casteel are ‘meant to be‘ and ‘so perfect for each other‘ but…. Kieran and Poppy have great chemistry, and I really enjoy their friendship. Or maybe more than friendship? There. I said it. Don’t hate me.
Casteel stopped, turning to me. His fingers touched my cheek, just below the scars. He guided my gaze to his. "You've faced Craven and vamprys, men wearing masks of human flesh, creatures without faces, and stared down Atlantians who wanted to harm you with the kind of strength and bravery most lack," he whispered. "Remember what you are. Fearless."
Fingers touched the other side of my cheek, and Kieran's pale eyes locked with mine. "You are a descendant of the gods, Poppy. You run from no one and nothing."
My breath caught as my gaze held Kieran's and then shifted to Casteel. The center of my chest hummed. A heartbeat passed, and then I looked at the closed doors. It was okay to be nervous. Who wouldn't be in my situation? But I wasn't afraid.
Because they were right.
I was brave.
I was fearless.
And I ran from no one and nothing—and that included a crown.
The last few chapters really pull together all the decisions and plans made throughout the series so far, and I’m once again very excited to read The War of Two Queens. At least this time, I don’t have to wait as long to do so.
My [ORGINAL] Review:
December 5, 2021
Casteel Da'Neer bowed before me and stared up at me as if I were the only person in the entire kingdom.
Abso-fucking-lutely loved The Crown of Gilded Bones. I thought it was bad when I stayed up until 3am by accident when reading A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire… In this case, I picked up my Kindle and started reading, and the next time I looked up, I realised the room was getting lighter, and I could hear birds chirping, and, yep, it was 5am. I was totally transported into this world and living for Poppy. I’ve always found her interesting, but in The Crown of Gilded Bones she became a fucking force of nature.
I'd spent the better part of my life clothed from chin to floor, and more than half of my face covered. I knew how to hide. I was only now learning how to be seen.
So. Much. Happened. I love how unpredictable this book, and this series, has been. Sure, the themes and tropes are expected in this type of fantasy novel, but the mechanics are unique and interesting. It is so rare for characters to make plans and have things fall apart entirely or fail or just not work, repeatedly. There is so much planning and plotting and replanning, and I love the reality of it all.
Bravery is a fleeting beast, isn't it? Always there to get you into trouble, but quick to disappear once you're where you want to be.
The hinting at threesomes is becoming more insistent as this series continues – I reckon it’s only a matter of time until Kieran joins in the fun, right? Besides this, I love Poppy’s relationship with the wolven; they come off as overprotective older brothers most of the time. The joking-judging-loving relationship is beautiful and funny and wonderful. However, I’m a bit scared Armentrout is setting this all up for Kieran’s eventual death, and even the thought of this makes me incredibly distraught. I hope he at least gets his threesome first…
"I…I tried to eat Kieran."
"He won't hold it against you."
"I tried to eat Kieran while I was naked."
"That's probably why he won't hold it against you."
There are some excellent twists and surprises in store for new readers.
One of my favourites is Willa showing up and ending up being super helpful – who saw that coming?! So delicious.
I was dreading reaching the end – however long I have to wait for The War of Two Queens to come out is way too long. I am dying to read the next book; two powerful women going to war against each other – what’s not to be excited for? I love vengeful Poppy – she is fucking brilliant.
"You will bow before your Queen." Casteel eyed the Atlantian coolly. "Or you will bleed before her. It is your choice."