Book Review – The Crown of Gilded Bones

Hello hello and welcome to my review of the third book in the Blood and Ash series. This has swiftly become one of my favourite series, and I’ve read all three of them this year. In fact, I waited up until midnight on release day for this one, waiting for it to load onto my Kindle. You can find my review of From Blood and Ash (book one) here and A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire (book two) here.

As always I’ll be doing my best to keep my review spoiler free, but with this being book three in a series, there may be some spoilers in the synopsis and review that are beyond my control when talking about the book.

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…

I think this has ended up being my favourite of the books so far. In three words: Utterly brilliant chaos.

The start of the book didn’t even pull any punches, picking up seconds after where book two had finished and utterly blasting through any possibilities that this might ease into drama slowly. I think I was awake until 2am when the words started blurring because there wasn’t a place to stop that the action even paused at. I’m still on the adrenaline high I think.

As always, the writing was intense and the characters were so vivid that they could have been in the room with me. My health prevented me from binge reading, but in the week it took me to read the book, I thought of absolutely little else, and getting very annoyed (put mildly) when anyone tried to interrupt me reading, or even thinking about reading, the book.

There was some brilliant character development in both Poppy and Casteel, and in them as a couple, having had time to grow together, in a lot of ways. It was also wonderful to see more development in the connection with the Wolven, and to see the adventures that the trio (Poppy, Cas, and Keiran) got up to. The emotional rollercoster throughout the pages was genuine and the emotional turmoil is real; I’ve been left with my brain stuck in Atlantia and my dreams of what might happen next.

I was so proud of Poppy in particular in this book. She honestly had so much to cope with, things being thrown at her from all sides, that I was amazed with the cool, calm, and collected way with which she navigated herself – all while still being genuinely ‘Poppy’; character development, not character derision.

In so many ways, one of the main themes of the book was betrayal, and repeated betrayal at that. There were so many secrets that came to light, and just when the truth seemed to be becoming clear, another layer was added on top. Even as a reader it was a lot to process, and maybe the only thing I would say is that this is a complicated book. I love a book that gives me plenty to think about, and this certainly does just that!

I’m sorely tempted to started reading the books all over again as the book hangover is a serious issue, but I honestly cannot put enough emphasis on what an amazing book this was, and what a fantastic book series it’s turning out to be.


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