It's here!! TCOGB has finally been released into the wild! I am fortunate enough to be part of JLA's review team and was given an ARC for TCOGB, so I am excited to share my thoughts so early after release!
I have attempted very hard to make this spoiler free, but as always, read at your own risk. It will absolutely not hurt my feelings if you wait to read this until later!
A side note: If you have a physical copy of the book, check out the back cover! Your girl is on there as a blurb!!!!
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…
"Bow before your queen or bleed before her."
Before I start this review, I once again want to thank JLA and Steph Brown (@ideallyinspiredreviews) for the ARC as part of JLA's review team!
TCOGB picks up immediately where AKOFAF leaves off, with Poppy and the others in the Chambers of Nyktos after the nasties threw rocks at Poppy and she made the sky bleed.
This one is much more fast paced right out of the gate. It slows down slightly in the middle of the book before picking up again at the end, but overall, this book is much more steadily fast-paced than the first two books.
Poppy growing more comfortable in her own skin is such a great feeling. It's inspiring to others who have body insecurities to see her so powerful and being able to learn to love herself as she learns earth-shattering truths and uncovers heartbreaking lies.
Poppy is a freaking badass. I didn't think it was possible for me to love her anymore than I already did, but this book just solidified her as one of my favorite characters ever. Also. I want a thigh sheath and a dagger. It's happening.
There's treachery afoot, and people aren't who they seem... from the first page to the last page. There's twists and turns throughout this entire book, and while some of them are predictable and somewhat expected... others are decidedly not.
We get to meet some new characters, we see more of our favorite characters (hello Kieran *heart eyes*), and we even get to meet some new paranormal creatures. We also get to meet a certain...romance author... that Poppy and Cas enjoy. Best parts of the book.
The intricate world building continues in this book, adding on to the existing mythology and world that we've been introduced to in the first books. Again, Jennifer does a fantastic job of explaining the world through Poppy's eyes and the descriptions never felt out of place or stiff.
Poppy and Casteel give me life. Their love is so pure and genuine and tooth-achingly sweet. Despite all the action and evil the two are facing, they still manage to make time for each other and make each other happy.... or bleed. Sometimes at the same time. This book is steamy and loving and funny and Poppy and Cas's relationship makes my heart swell. It's glaringly obvious how much they care for each other and how much they would do for the other. As Poppy says, the sword and the arrow should be equal. And they are. It's beautiful.
TCOGB has the most steam so far in the series, and it's beautifully done. It adds to the story and develops the relationship. It's not spice for the sake of spice and doesn't detract from the story. It's also just sooo well written.... I had to go fan myself a few times. Whew.
Once again, JLA has left me screaming at the last page of this book. She is the queen of cliff hangers and I CANNOT WAIT for the next book. This cliffhanger is heart wrenching and empowering and exciting all at the same time. Ugh. I need to know what happens next. I would give an organ to see what happens next immediately.
Yet again, this is my formal recommendation to READ THIS SERIES. If you like powerful females, handsome males, sassy best friends, a little bit of romance (*cough* a lot *cough*), and some magical mayhem, this is the series for you.
Once you've read this, let me know what you think!!