The Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennifer L. Armentrout is book 3 in the beloved From Blood and Ash series. It follows the continuing adventures of Poppy and Hawke along with their gaggle of loyal (and unloyal) friends.
This third installment in the series is excellent. Where From Blood and Ash seemed a little frenzied at times with a veiled maiden and a veiled story line, The Crown of Gilded Bones throws things wide open and we see all the problems bubbling to the surface.
Our favorite crew of stabby, bitey, ferocious little creatures is facing another round of potentially deadly obstacles in this newest story from Jennifer L. Armentrout. Be prepared, it’s a wild ride. And in true JLA fashion it’s also got a pretty fierce ending that will leave you wanting more (as if we’d ever be able to say we’ve had enough of Poppy, Hawke, and Kieran).
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This is a mostly spoiler free review. I say mostly because some of the things I will discuss here may spoil From Blood and Ash as well as A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire. So if you haven’t read those yet…proceed with caution.
What is The Crown of Gilded Bones about?
The Crown of Gilded Bones follows Poppy and Casteel as they head back to Atlantia, back home. Shortly after arriving back in Atlantia Poppy is attacked and taken hostage…we find out pretty quickly that they’ve been betrayed by someone close to them.
This is just the first in a series of obstacles standing between Poppy and her brother Ian and Casteel and his brother Malik. Their objective throughout the book is to get back to the two of them and free them…but along the way there are some startling discoveries.
We know that Poppy is descended from the gods…but who are her parents?! We find out (of course there’s a twist though) and then when that twist is done we get another one 😉
From Blood and Ash and A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire focus on the sins of Solis and the Blood Queen but in The Crown of Gilded Bones we’re seeing a lot of the history of Atlantia and things aren’t much rosier over here! We learn a lot about the King and Queen (Casteel’s parents) and the things they’ve done over the years in the name of loyalty and protecting their kingdom.
We also see Poppy grapple with the decision to either claim the throne and fulfill her birthright or walk away entirely. She knows that they can’t stay in Atlantia if she refuses the throne but is she willing to stay and rule over people when all she has ever wanted is to rule over her own life?
What did you love about this book?
I loved a lot of things about this book. There’s plenty of spice so if you are here for the sexy stuff you won’t be disappointed. I think it’s actually a refreshing take on the usual fantasy smut (as my husband calls it) that I usually read.
Poppy has been so sheltered that she’s discovering everything and Casteel is hysterically unabashed…Miss Willa makes an appearance once again which is so delightful. It’s gorgeous. I was also pretty excited to see more of Kieran and the Wolven in this one. The connection between Poppy and the Wolven is so intriguing 😉 and her discovering how to use that connection was a fun part of the book.
I liked that we got to meet some new characters. Vonetta and Delano are stand outs for me. Meeting Kieran’s family and seeing him at home with them is enough to melt even the coldest, blackest hearts, like mine!
I’ve read some reviews that claim this one meandered or went on too long, I didn’t find myself bored with this book so I can’t really speak to that. I feel like some of the side adventures that they had to take were necessary. If you want the story to grow and continue on there needs to be development, which is what we got.
There was plenty of fighting in this one. I was glad that we didn’t see Poppy fall in love and turn to a mush puddle. She’s still a force to be reckoned with and holds her own against any number of different opponents in this one (yikes to all the creepy new villains we encounter).
What did you not love about book three in the Blood and Ash series?
I knew we would get a cliffhanger ending…of course we do. But I hate it anyway. Really I’m just being petty, I just need to know what happens now!
Another thing I wanted but didn’t get was more Poppy, Casteel, and Kieran. I don’t want to spoil anything but the beginning of this book takes us to a place that I wouldn’t mind going back to…once you read the book you’ll know.
These three are so much fun together and I can’t wait to see them reunited and battling gods know what in the next installment.
Will you read more in the Blood and Ash world?
Absolutely. At the end of this book there’s an announcement page for the next book that is coming out in the Blood and Ash world. It’s actually a storyline for Nyktos and his Consort and it feels like it will be a kind of look into the past and how their relationship has shaped things for our current characters.
I will devour anything that comes out in this world without complaint. I love these characters and the world is so unique and interesting. I love the connection to mythology and the gods, the way the magic system works, and of course I love to see fierce characters who are also witty and sarcastic…JLA does all of this so so well.
Overall opinions of The Crown of Gilded Bones:
This was a 5 / 5 star read for me. No shocker there. I’ve been really lucky to read so much stuff that I have loved this year so far and you know I’m not usually one to complain unless there are glaringly obvious issues with characters or plot 🙂
I read From Blood and Ash, A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire and then this one back to back. I forced myself to wait until all three of the first books were out so I could do a full blow binge and it was worth it. I got to live in this world for that much longer (tho to be fair I would have happily re-read them before the release).
I loved the development we get for Casteel and Poppy but also for Kieran and some of the other new characters that we hadn’t met yet. Seeing Casteel and Poppy deal with some of the issues of their past (before new issues pop up) is refreshing from a mental health point of view. We know they both have to be carrying around scars that we can’t see so it’s nice to see those acknowledged.
One of the scenes that I really loved is the day that they spend out exploring Atlantia. It was just a nice, normal, happy moment for these characters and while the stabbing and biting and sniping is fun, it was also a nice change for a gushy heartwarming chapter for them.
Finally, Poppy’s interaction with Nyktos. Can we just revel in that moment for a bit. How fierce do you have to be to sass the King of the Gods even if he is related to you?!
The Crown of Gilded bones had it all, I liked that we got a little bit of a peek into a “normal” life in the palace for Poppy and Casteel as newlyweds even if we were also dealing with war, captured siblings, lying parents, demonic undead warriors, and creepy queens on the side!
Where can I buy this book for myself?
You can buy the paperback copies on Amazon. If you are insane like me and need hardcovers as well those are available exclusively (I believe) through Barnes & Noble.Kindle Unlimited Membership Plans
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