Book Reviews, YA book reviews

Ember Queen (Ash Princess #3) by Laura Sebastian – ARC Review

 

My Rating ~ Five Stars

RELEASE DATE:  4 February 2019

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

Format: Paperback

Pages: 512

 

Blurb

The thrilling conclusion to the series that began with the instant New York Times bestseller “made for fans of Victoria Aveyard and Sabaa Tahir” (Bustle), Ember Queen is an epic fantasy about a throne cruelly stolen and a girl who must fight to take it back for her people.

Princess Theodosia was a prisoner in her own country for a decade. Renamed the Ash Princess, she endured relentless abuse and ridicule from the Kaiser and his court. But though she wore a crown of ashes, there is fire in Theo’s blood. As the rightful heir to the Astrean crown, it runs in her veins. And if she learned nothing else from her mother, she learned that a Queen never cowers.

Now free, with a misfit army of rebels to back her, Theo must liberate her enslaved people and face a terrifying new enemy: the new Kaiserin. Imbued with a magic no one understands, the Kaiserin is determined to burn down anyone and everything in her way.

The Kaiserin’s strange power is growing stronger, and with Prinz Søren as her hostage, there is more at stake than ever. Theo must learn to embrace her own power if she has any hope of standing against the girl she once called her heart’s sister.

 

 

1

Review

Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan Australia and the author for providing me with a copy of Ember Queen!

 

As this is book 3 in the series, there will be spoilers for the first 2 books in my review!

 

After the cliff-hanger ending in Lady Smoke, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Ember Queen!  I admit, I’m usually nervous starting the next book in a sequel, when I read the last a while ago – because I spend half the book playing catch up, trying to remember what has already happened!  But for some reason, that’s never happened to me with this series – I find myself immediately immersed back into the world and characters each time.

Theo has emerged from the fire mine, alive but changed.  She doesn’t remember much of what happened when she was down there, but knows her magic is stronger than ever, and…different.  As she plans to confront the Kaiserin and take the throne that should be rightfully hers, she starts to meet the Kaiserin in dreams, and those dreams seem to be a little more than night time terrors.  With the prince gone, and no word of whether he is by the Kaiserin’s side willingly or held in the dungeon, Theo needs to find a way to win the war and do what’s best for Astrea, while somehow protecting those she cares about.

I have loved this entire series and especially enjoyed the way a side character in the first book ended up a main character by the last book.  I feel like the pacing has been consistent in each book and this one gave me that true ‘battle strategy with a journey’ feel, that I like all good fantasy series to end with.  Theo definitely grew as a person on her travels from Ash Princess to Ember Queen, but I really appreciated the author not turning her into a cookie-cutter unrealistic, fearless hero.  She was still vulnerable.  Still affected by her life with the Kaiser.  Still questioning her every step and feeling out of her depth with decisions she needed to make.  It was much more realistic.  As the book progresses, and Theo starts to remember the events that transpired in the mine, it just tied up so many of the loose ends from the first two books for me.  It gave us so much insight into her past that really rounded her out as a character.

All in all, a fantastic series I’d highly recommend!

 

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