Tuesday, August 4, 2015

#Review - Crystal Kingdom by Amanda Hocking (Young Adult, Fantasy)

Series: Kanin Chronicles # 3
Format: E-Galley, 432 pages
Release Date: August 4, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Cast out by her kingdom and far from home, she's the Kanin people's only hope.

Bryn Aven - unjustly charged with murder and treason - is on the run. The one person who can help is her greatest enemy, the enigmatic Konstantin Black. Konstantin is her only ally against those who have taken over her kingdom and threaten to destroy everything she holds dear. But can she trust him?

As Bryn fights to clear her name, the Kanin rulers’ darkest secrets are coming to light… and now the entire troll world is on the brink of war. Will it tear Bryn from Ridley Dresden, the only guy she’s ever loved? And can she join forces with Finn Holmes and the Trylle kingdom? One thing is certain: an epic battle is underway—and when it’s complete, nothing will ever be the same…


friends & enemies

"So, what do you say, white rabbit?” Konstantin Black asked. “Friends?”
He sat on the stool next to me, his gaze unwavering. His thick eyebrows arched hopefully above the dark silver of his eyes, and the coal-black waves of his hair fell over his face as he tilted toward me.
All I could do was gape at him, too stunned to think or move. I didn’t even know if he was really there or not. It would make more sense that I had unknowingly passed out in a random diner in Missouri and I was suffering from a stress- induced nightmare or possibly a lysa.
There was no way that Konstantin could be here with me. Not after I’d spent five days on the run from Doldastam after being arrested for treason and accused of murdering the Skojare Prince Kennet Biâelse and my friend Kasper Abbott.
I’d done everything in my power to stay under the radar—I
only used cash and a burner phone, and I hadn’t even built up the nerve to actually use the phone and call anyone back home yet. I moved constantly and stayed off the grid in dive motels in small towns.
There was no possible way that anyone could’ve found me, not even Konstantin Black.
“Bryn?” Konstantin asked, since I’d done nothing but stare at him for the past minute.
Then, because I had to be sure he was real, I reached out and touched him, pressing on the black leather jacket covering his bicep, and he looked down at my hand in bewilderment. I half expected the coat to give way and him to disappear in a puff of smoke, but instead I felt the firmness of his muscle underneath.
“Are you feeling all right?” He looked back at me with what appeared to be genuine concern in his eyes, but I wasn’t sure if I could trust him. “You really look like death warmed over.”
“That’s how you’re going to sell the idea of friendship? By telling me I look awful?” I asked dryly.
Not that he was wrong. I wasn’t sleeping or eating much, so I was even paler than normal. My attempts at dyeing my hair black to help mask my identity left my normally blond waves an odd gray color, since dye never really took hold in troll hair. The swelling around my left eye had finally gone away, but the bruise had shifted to a putrid yellow color that I wasn’t able to cover completely with makeup.
“I’m selling it with brutal honesty,” he said with a wry smile. “I want you to know that you’ll get nothing but the truth from me.”
I scoffed. “There’s no way in hell I’m gonna believe that.” “Come on, Bryn. Try me.” He rested his forearms on the
counter, almost pleading with me.
“What are you even doing here? What do you want with me?” I demanded.
“I already told you—friendship.”
I rolled my eyes. “Bullshit. Everything is always bullshit with you.”
“How can you say that?” Konstantin shot back, incredulous. “I’ve been nothing but honest with you.”
“Sure, sure. You’ve been nothing but honest when you at- tempted to murder my dad or when you tried to kidnap Linnea.”
He pressed his lips into a thin line. “I already apologized about what happened with your dad.” I glared at him. “Not that anything I say will ever make that okay, but you know that I regret it.”
“How can I know that?” I shook my head. “I don’t really know anything about you.”
“Why are you being so combative?” Konstantin asked, his voice getting louder. “I’m only trying to help.”
“You’re a traitor who’s been working with someone that nearly killed me!” I yelled back, not caring how loud I was being in the small diner.
“Yeah, well, right back at you!” Konstantin shouted.
The waitress came over, interrupting our heated conversation, and set down in front of me the iced tea I’d ordered. She stood with her hand on her hip, eyeing us both with suspicion. Before, she’d looked at me with concern despite her weariness, but with my bad dye job and Konstantin’s agitation, it had to be obvious we were on the run.
“Is everything okay here?” she asked, her eyes flitting back and forth between the two of us.
“Yeah, it’s fine,” Konstantin replied curtly without looking at her.
“Well, you better keep your voices down, before you start upsetting the customers,” she said with a slight Southern drawl, and she slowly turned and walked away.
Konstantin waited until after she had gone to the other end of the diner before speaking. “And I tried to save Linnea.” He sat up straighter, indignant. “I did save her, actually. Without my intervention, she’d most likely be dead.”
From what Linnea had told me, that sounded true enough. Since I couldn’t argue with Konstantin, I turned the stool away from him and focused on my iced tea.
He sighed, then he leaned toward me, and in a voice just above a whisper he said, “I know what you’re going through. Four years ago, I was almost exactly where you are. I know how frightening and lonely it feels when the kingdom turns against you.”
I took a drink from my tea and didn’t say anything, so he went on. “You and I have been on opposite sides for a while,
and I’ve made a lot of wrong choices. But I’m trying to make up for them, and . . . now I’m alone, and you’re alone. So I thought we could be alone together.”
He leaned back away from me. “But I won’t force this. If you wanna go through this all alone, then be my guest. Take on the world by yourself. I won’t fight you.” He reached into his pocket and tossed a few dollars on the counter. “The drink’s on me.”
I heard the stool creak as he got up, but I didn’t look back. Not until I heard the door chime did I turn to watch him walking out the door, into the bright spring day. In a few more seconds he’d be gone, and I’d have no way to contact him or find out what he knew.
So even though I wasn’t sure exactly how this friendship thing would play out, or even if this wasn’t some kind of trick, I knew what I had to do. I cursed under my breath, and then I jumped off the stool and ran out after Konstantin.

Crystal Kingdom is the final installment in the Kanin Chronicles, and things are about to really heat up, and become more intense for protagonist, Bryn Aven. Having been declared a traitor and murderer by her own leaders, Bryn is on the run. She needs time to uncover the final piece of the mystery as to who is ultimately behind everything that has been happening to her, her friends, and her allies in Skojare. If you are looking for a time line update, Crystal Kingdom picks up exactly where Ice Kissed left off with Bryn being asked to make a choice to work with someone she has hated for years, Konstantin Black.

Had it not been for chapter 26's glaring editing and grammatical butchery that turned words into entirely different words that made no sense, this book would have been a full a whole lot better. As it is, I did enjoy this book more than the previous books. I enjoyed watching Bryn discover new allies in the Omte, and negotiating with Queen Wendy of the Trylle for help defeating the Kanin enemies. I enjoyed that Bryn does have friends like Ember and Tilda, and allies like Ridley that she can rely on, and yes, that does include a rather interesting relationship with Konstantin who has been given a raw deal from the very beginning.

I loved how things were tied up nicely without dragging things on, and on, and on. I loved how Bryn really stands up and takes down those who are a threat to her home. Sure she gets hurt a whole lot, again. But she also dishes out what she takes. I loved Bryn and Konstantin together as friends, allies, and yeah, I wouldn't have been displeased with a bit of romance had it taken place. I'm sad that the author kind of showed her cards in who ends up dying in the end. Perhaps there could have been a better way to play that out, especially since this poor character never truly got a chance at the happiness she found. 

Now that this series has been tied up, I wonder if Hocking will explore the Skojare further or maybe the Omte? I mean she went from the Trylle to the Kanin, right? Please don't pick up this book before reading Frostfire and Ice Kissed first. Otherwise, you will be missing a huge part of the background. You will miss why Bryn is so straight forward in what she wants out of life. I truly felt sorry for Bryn over the course of this trilogy. She was a lowly tracker, one of the lowest caste of the Kanin, but still wanted to serve her King.

She was treated badly for being blonde haired and blue eyes, and a half breed. She was put into a situation with her own boss of having to walk away from her career, or find love, finally. She has a friend who finds love, and stands up for her Kingdom, rather than running away. In the end, my favorite characters have to be Ember, and Konstantin. After reading this book, you will find out why.

**I received this book for free from (Publisher) via (NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

No comments:

Post a Comment