Monday, October 2, 2023

All Things Halloween Review of The War of Two Queens

The War of Two Queens (Blood & Ash, # 4)

By: Jennifer L Armentrout

Publication: March 15th 2022 by Evil Eye Concepts, Inc

628 pages

Genre: New Adult, Fantasy, Vampire, Werewolves

Source: Borrowed from the e-library

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

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Goodreads description--From the desperation of golden crowns…

Casteel Da’Neer knows all too well that very few are as cunning or vicious as the Blood Queen, but no one, not even him, could’ve prepared for the staggering revelations. The magnitude of what the Blood Queen has done is almost unthinkable.

And born of mortal flesh…

Nothing will stop Poppy from freeing her King and destroying everything the Blood Crown stands for. With the strength of the Primal of Life’s guards behind her, and the support of the wolven, Poppy must convince the Atlantian generals to make war her way—because there can be no retreat this time. Not if she has any hope of building a future where both kingdoms can reside in peace.

A great primal power rises…

Together, Poppy and Casteel must embrace traditions old and new to safeguard those they hold dear—to protect those who cannot defend themselves. But war is only the beginning. Ancient primal powers have already stirred, revealing the horror of what began eons ago. To end what the Blood Queen has begun, Poppy might have to become what she has been prophesied to be—what she fears the most.

As the Harbinger of Death and Destruction.

Spoilers for previous books ahead. Proceed with caution.

I usually procrastinate starting books where one of the main characters is separated from the other at the end of the previous book. A new book starting off where the characters are in a bad place frustrates me because I never know how long it'll be before they're in a better/happier place. But I understand why these books and situations are necessary.

Jennifer L Armentrout has led the reader and the characters towards one specific event in this series for several books. She's been dropping hints and straight up telling everyone what was coming. I was hoping she wouldn't go in this direction, but I know that authors don't bring things up unless they're used in the story. Casteel being captured by the Blood Queen was necessary for Poppy and Kieran to advance in their relationship. I didn't mind this because it felt natural. Except, I was pretty sure I knew the reason behind it all. I had to skim "the scene" because I'm not down with polyamory. And honestly I'm not sure if JLA is going in that direction or if that was a mostly one time thing because it didn't seem that way from the rest of the book. And I'd really hate to abandon this series so far in.

Since I'm complaining, I'll mention my other issues with this series. I have a lower tolerance for physical scenes. Poppy and Casteel are always going at it. JLA is descriptive whenever they're together. I find their interactions less than believable quite often. My other issue is that who Poppy really is keeps growing with each book. She's the Maiden. No, that was a lie. She's going to be a Princess. No queen. Oh, but now she's Ascended, and she's become a god. No wait, just kidding now she's more than that. Ok I must stop because I'm getting into spoilers for this book. But Poppy continues to grow stronger, and so does the Big Bad she's fighting. One last complaint was the language. The f-bomb is all over this book. It's definitely Casteel, Kieran, and Reaver's favorite word.

At this point, I'm most interested in Malik and Millicent than anything else.

One big positive for me was that I mostly didn't want to put this book down. With over 600 pages, I read The War of Two Queens in 5 days. And that's with 3 kids (7 years old and under) guys. Any free minute I had was reading this book during those 5 days. Granted, I skimmed a few parts: the joining and a few other scenes.

The places I highlighted were placed I saw potential foreshadowing, but I did find this quote interesting:

-“Mortals are easily influenced. They can be convinced of anything by nearly anyone. Take from them, then give them something or someone to blame, and even the most righteous will fall prey to that.

The War of Two Queens hooked me. And I mostly enjoyed the journey. I was sure events were leading toward an inevitable direction, but I held out hope that JLA might choose a different path. She didn't. She went exactly where I was afraid she was going. And because of that, I'm not sure how much I'm going to enjoy the series from here. I plan to read the next book with the option to DNF at any point if it gets too much for me. I definitely had my struggles with this book, but I feel like most of them come in the analysis rather than the experience. The War of Two Queens gets 4 Stars. Have you read The War of Two Queens? What did you think? Let me know!

This review is part of my All Things Halloween event--a month of fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, mystery/thriller, etc reviews and books.

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