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Goddess Wars #2

Of Darkness and Crowns

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The moon goddess has taken up residency within Prince Caben, darkening his mind and soul. Now he hunts the very women he sacrificed his life to save, his conflicting desires for love and power raging a battle within him. Kaliope possesses the key to setting Bale free, and Caben will stop at nothing to see his goddess restored. Even if that means destroying the kingdom he’s sworn to protect, and the infuriating woman who torments his thoughts.

Kaliope, now the leader to the newly formed Nactue Guard, has vowed to save Caben. But with a traitor lurking among her people, and powers she’s unable to fully control, Kaliope’s mission becomes shrouded with doubt. Her new role as watcher over Caben’s kingdom brings a burden she’s unable to bear alone, and appointing the right person in charge of the prince’s affairs has turned a kingdom against the Nactue leader. Saving her stubborn, willful prince from the darkness overtaking him will be the battle of her life, and she needs people she can trust by her side. But bad blood between members of the Nactue obscure Kaliope’s journey, while her feelings for Caben cloud her judgment.

When the time comes to do what she must to destroy the goddess of chaos, will she be able to if it means losing Caben forever?

Book two of the Goddess Wars is told in dual point of view from Kaliope and Caben. New Adult Dark Fantasy, intended for readers 17 years of age and older.

First published March 19, 2014

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Trisha Wolfe

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USA Today bestselling romantic thriller author. From an early age, Trisha Wolfe dreamed up fictional worlds and characters and was accused of talking to herself. Today, she lives in South Carolina with her family and writes full time, using her fictional worlds as an excuse to continue talking to herself.

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Displaying 1 - 16 of 16 reviews
April 4, 2014
Guys, Trish sure knows the way to my heart. Withing the first couple of pages, we have Kalliope, our kick ass heroine, in the midst of battle cutting off someones head. That definitely had my attention! Trisha’s books are some of the few Fantasy books I’m willing to read mostly because I know I’m in for a tough girl MC and a hot guy. I was such a big fan of Of Silver and Beasts last year, and after that killer ending, I’ve been waiting for this book to come out. Despite the somewhat-reading schedule I was trying to follow, I pushed all of it aside the moment this arrived in my inbox. I’d read a few chapters last year and was especially looking forward to this because this time we get Caben’s POV’s. I’m doing my best at keeping this spoiler-free so forgive my vagueness…

After the shocking ending of Of Silver and Beasts, Caben is not the same guy that Kal fell in love with in the the under realms. The fact that Caben is determined to kill Kaliope is putting a damper on their relationship. But, no worries because Kal is prepared to kill Caben if necessary. Or she tries to convince herself of that at least. Even though Caben is under otherworldy influences, his commands to kill Kal are underlined by his love. One moment he wants her, the next he wants to kill her. Having someone in your head will surely fuck you up. I loved that we got Caben’s POV scenes this time around because we got to see his internal struggles. Even though this thing is demanding he destroy Kal, a bigger part of him still loves her. But is that part powerful enough to overcome his inner demons? I wasn’t sure how having Bale, the evil and powerful Moon goddess, in Caben’s head « Hide Spoiler was going to turn out. Trisha sure pulled it off! In fact, Cabe’s chapters became my favorite to read and some of his under Bale’s command « Hide Spoiler evil thoughts became my favorite quotes. We slowly get to see Caben fight the darkness a little bit more each time. But this might end up costing him his sanity and his life…or Kal’s…

Caben isn’t the only one struggling. Other than trying to not let the guy she loves kill her, Kal is facing the possibility that ending Caben’s life might very well be the only possible outcome. When her loyalties are tested, Kal starts to question everything her beliefs and who she can trust. Of Darkness and Crowns takes us on a dark journey into Kal and Caben’s oh-so-complicated relationship this time around. Some of these scenes between them had my heart pounding! I’m glad Trisha pushed the envelope with this one because we need more books like this. Even when they hated each other and were trying to kill one another (actually especially when they were trying to kill each other) the chemistry between these two was so hot!

I wasn’t aware that there would be another book planned in this series and I was getting a little bit worried when the end was coming up and we didn’t have a complete resolution. Even though this didn’t end the way Of Silver and Beasts did, the ending still leaves you wanting to read the next book! My only issue with this was the final battle at the end. While it was a good one with plenty of twists, I thought it maybe dragged on a little. Or it could be the fact that I have a very short attentions span. Or the fact that I was dying to get to the next part to see what happens next. Either way, Of Darkness and Crowns was a very thrilling book and a worthy sequel. In a market flooded with contemporary NA’s, it’s so refreshing to see a New Adult Fantasy book. Looking forward to the next book!

Some of my favorite non-spoiler quotes from Of Darkness and Crows:
-A sudden flash of a smiling, laughing Kal blurs my vision, and I shake my head. There’s only one way to rid my thoughts of that woman. Kill her.

-Games. Oh how I love them. And with Kaliope? It’s the ultimate sport.

-Desire to own her, body and mind, consumes me. And I’m almost saddened that I must end her. Almost.

-I extend her hand to caress her dark hair. She flinches yet holds her stance as my fingers take in its softness. I sigh. ”You only claimed I’m not leaving here. Not that I’m not leaving here alive. You’re not ready to kill me, love. You can’t.”

-Us, together, bound by love and violence. We’re the spark at the center. Two halves fighting for dominance. Both light and darkness.

Read more of my reviews at Mostly YA Book Obsessed
371 reviews1 follower
December 8, 2018
What an epic. This book was better than the first one, and I'm out of breath reading it. This book starts with an amazing war, and we get a lot more politics, intrigue and nuanced emotional understanding. This book uses mysticism to outline a love for the ages.

It's hard for me to review properly without spoilers. I will say that the best part of the book is how the author uses good and evil to define humanity...and then destroys the basic idea by talking about the in between. The goddess Bale was in charge of both in man, and it arguably turned her evil. Caben was still Caben, but he was able to tap into the evil in himself. Perhaps Bale just made it ok? But love conquers all, and Wolfe doesn't make it easy. The book is like a study in human relations with a thrilling adventure backdrop. The title and cover need updating to tell the reader it's fantasy, but other than that, it's Totally unique in every way.
260 reviews104 followers
February 21, 2016
Spoilers for those who haven't read the first book.

It was a long wait for this book. And when it finally came - imagine me staring in shock and then clapping manically when I saw Trisha Wolfe's name in my inbox at this point - I did a very silly thing. Rather than spreading it out, savouring it, as I should have done, I devoured it in a matter of hours.

Totally worth it, though.

Bale, the dark moon goddess, is still in Prince Caben's body, and Kaliope, leader of the Nactue Guard, is even more determined to track him down and save him. But it seems as if the odds are stacked against her. Bale's influence on Caben is destructive, both in terms of the literal war he is now waging and on his mental state. Kal is now a weakness to him. On her side, she's struggling to bear the responsibility of the kingdom that Caben entrusted to her, and the traitor in their midst. Her link to Bale is greater than she realised, and her determination to defeat the goddess through whatever means necessary is clouded by her feelings for Caben. If she hopes to destroy Bale, she may have to destroy Caben, too. It's a choice that may prove to be impossible, but either way it'll come with unbearable consequences.

As soon as you start this, you are plunged into war, with the sound of sword meeting sword and heads being chopped off. Not a bad way to start. This set the tone for the rest of the book, with armies and fighting and politics taking the focus. Depending on your preference, this isn't actually bad. Of course there were emotional moments interspersed throughout - this is Trisha Wolfe, after all - but I thought for this middle instalment, it was quite appropriate for these things to be only complementary, seeing as they were in the middle of a war. Those emotional moments were further well placed, breaking up the tension at just the right times and creating tension of a different kind. I also quite liked that, because this is dual PoV, we get to see both sides of the war. (Oh, hush. I don't just mean that we get more of Caben.) It was good to be afforded extra insight into how the kingdoms work, improving my feel for the world I became part of. Not only that, it was interesting to see Kal and Caben actually fighting against each other.

The first book left me with the pain of Bale possessing Caben. The pain increased here, where it was only too clear how much Bale's presence was destroying his mind. The darkness was one thing. Playing host to such a dark being was sure to have a corrosive effect, but to see him try and struggle with Bale, only to be severely punished for it, was not easy. And having two minds in one head is never conducive to sanity. This Caben, unlike the confident yet charming prince that we meet in the first book, is truly quite dark, his heart and mind filled with all sorts of shadows. His battle with himself and with Bale was not easy, and I'm glad in this Wolfe made him a combination of weak and strong.

The same was with Kal, although her strength dominated, which I approved of. She has different battles going on, not only with Caben and Bale, but also within the political structure she thought she knew and could handle. I could appreciate her struggle to cope with all the responsibility that had been placed on her; I certainly wouldn't know what to do with it, being just as afraid as her of letting people down or making things worse. She had to confront her relationship with her father, the empress...and herself. Since Caben became part of her life and Bale was brought back, everything changed, and now, for her, everything is being challenged once again.

Of Darkness and Crowns was a highly satisfactory sequel. Perhaps one of the things that might have made it better was if it was longer. While the pace was good, I was expecting to be in for a longer haul. Nevertheless, it didn't fail to elicit all those feelings that reading a Wolfe book usually creates. Yet again, this author delivers, and it goes without saying that I'm front in line waiting for the next book.

This review is also posted on my blog.
Profile Image for Just a person .
995 reviews294 followers
March 30, 2014
I have been eager to read Of Darkness and Crowns since I finished the first Goddess Wars book. It left me needing to know what happens to Caben after he allows himself to the be the vessel, and I was feeling so much for Kal because she now has the responsibility of trying to see if he can unpossess Caben to have the man she loves back, guarding the Empress as well as running and helping Prince Caben's country while he can't.

I love Trisha's writing and Of Darkness and Crowns is no exception. She jumps right into the action and picks up where the last left of. She faces Caben more than once and it is so hard around him, there is a romantic pull, hard to seperate what she sees and remembers as well as something dark from the moon goddess inside his mind.

We also get Caben's point of view, and you can tell the lust for power and wild need to dominate and subdue Kal is all from the dark goddess, but he is also warring with the goddess because what he, drunk from power and madness wants and the shard and need to be free that the goddess wants.

In Of Darkness and Crown, Trisha really shows us the different layers of Caben and of Kal. Through power some of their desires, the best and worst parts of them are brought to the surface. Also, the parts that aren't them and are the madness, provokes responses--anger, fear, resolve in the other.

The romance is in a weird place in this one, obviously, because of the possession and Kal's fear of having to kill him in order to banish Bale, but also her strong fight and what she'll do to keep her vow to save Caben. But there are still some really hot scenes, never fear. It wouldn't be a Trisha Wolfe book without some serious swoon. Though these scenes are ones that make you think, while you can't blame them from giving in to the lust and the attraction between them, I was also glad when they found the strength to say no, until they could be with each other without a goddess of insanity and darkness in the back of his mind.

Not only does Kal face war torn nations, trying to save the man she loves, but also changed relationships. Lilly is hard on her mind, but with Kal's priorities, she can't give her the time that she wants, and we see things shift some in that regard. Also, Kal's faith in the goddess as well as in Iana are tested in this one. While I understand to some extent where Iana was coming from, I totally felt the loss with Kal of the trust, closeness, bond and loyalty shifting with certain actions and conversations, decisions made that Kal doesn't agree with or understand.

Of Darkness and Crowns leaves us in an okay spot, but it is one that you know the characters will have to do a lot of healing and a lot of growing in order to overcome. There are still big obstacles in front of them before personal, relational and political freedom can be attained, but they are in a relatively peaceful holding point until the next shoe drops for the third book. I will definitely be continuing this series, buying and devouring anything that Trisha writes, and falling in love with her writing, characters and stunning worlds.

Bottom Line: Great second book that left me longing for more in the series.
Profile Image for Kelsey Ketch.
Author 12 books351 followers
May 9, 2014
And here I thought I’d just take my time, relax, and read Of Darkness and Crowns, the sequel to Of Silver and Beasts. Yeah, right . . . I was like on the edge of my seat—my foot tapping impatiently—only a few chapters after I got started. LOL.

I swallowed this novel, becoming obsessed, particularly for Caben and his new point of view. He brought me over to his side. The dark fantasies and his lust for control. I just couldn’t get over him and the greed that consumed his thoughts. He was the best part of the entire story, even when he was being a jerk. I sometimes couldn’t believe—or understand—how Kal could actually resist him and his new found power. I wanted her to fall under his spell, just like I had. Yet she kept strong, which for the plot, was outstanding!

Then there was Caben’s emotional and mental struggles: love or power; protect or kill; serve or rule; sacrifice or die. I LOVED them! I loved understanding him. Understanding the darkness that everyone tries to hide. It might’ve not been his true self, but it wasn’t as if the goddess Bale changed him. She just brought to light a mindset he suppressed. And it was interesting to see how his conscious battled it.

Kal, on the other hand, didn’t impress me this time. Mostly because I felt she was constantly making the wrong choices and wasting time. First off, five months!! Honestly? I don’t think I could let the Caben I knew before Bale took him suffer what he did for that long. If anything, I would have used every minute of every day to research. In five months, I would have learned everything known to mankind about Bale. What were her weaknesses? How long it would be before Caben would be lost to her darkness? Was there a cure or ritual to break her hold on him, or at least suppress her? Anything!

Also, she put her faith in the wrong people. I never felt that the Empress was wise or really someone to follow without question. I’m just not like that—ask anyone. But if I was Kal, I would have at least broken my ties with her after she declared Julian the new ruler of Caben’s kingdom in Kal’s place. The Empress seriously showed a lack in judgment on that call, and a lack of faith in her own Nactue Guard leader, which made me so made.

The one thing I did enjoy about Kal, however, was that she was more human. Yes, she obviously made mistakes, as I pointed out. Who doesn’t? She was loyal to Caben even in his darkest hour. She was optimistic that she could reach him. Maybe cure him. And she was willing to show that she was vulnerable, with or without him. She really grew up in my eyes.

Finally, I’m also very glad the novel didn’t take the turn I thought it would at the end. Based on Caben’s mother’s plan—if it took the direction I thought it was going to—I had the whole third novel written in my head, and it hasn’t very thrilling. Yet the final turn during the last battle was perfect. Now I’m excited!!! Sure, I’ll miss certain aspects, but the challenge is much greater and far more risky.

Hope to see book 3 out in the next year or so.
Profile Image for Farrah.
1,249 reviews207 followers
March 30, 2014
An absolutely amazing sequel, Of Darkness and Crowns was a brilliant New Adult read. After the epic ending of book 1, I had high hopes for book 2, and it definitely didn't disappoint. From the romance, to the twists, to all of the thrills, this book was fantastic.

Kaliope was such a badass. I thought so in book 1, and book 2 proved it even more. Her loyalties are tested in this book, when her oath to her empress is put against her promises to the man she loves and that made for some interesting conflict. She was utterly determined to save Caben and ultimately showed the she could be wise as well as strong. I liked her in book 1 and I liked her even more in this book.

Caben was a very interesting character in this book. His mind has been overtaken by Bale and, rather than just controlling his thoughts, she distorted them until he became a much darker version of himself. But, the Caben we all loved was still there and putting up one hell of a fight to keep his kingdom and the woman he loves safe. I absolutely loved his character in this book. I already adored him, and this book turned him into an enigma that made things very interesting.

The romance was lovely. Even with Caben under the influence of Bale, his feelings for Kaliope, no matter how distorted they became, were still there. I thought it was so sweet how, despite the most dire of circumstances, their feelings for each other still endured. They were wonderful together and I can't wait to see how things turn out for them in the next (and final, I believe) book in the series.

The plot was fast paced and I was totally hooked the entire way through. There were tons of thrills and twists that I never saw coming, and they all kept me on the edge of my seat. I loved the story and the ending was amazing. I can't wait to see what happens in book 3!

Of Darkness and Crowns was a brilliant New Adult read. I absolutely loved this book! It was thrilling, romantic, and definitely a worthy sequel to Of Silver and Beasts. Fans of book 1, you won't be disappointed with this book. And, romance lovers, this is a series not to be missed.

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*I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review
Profile Image for Naomi.
1,303 reviews58 followers
March 28, 2014
I knew this would be a difficult journey for Kal and Caben after the dramatic ending in the first book, Of Silver and Beasts. Kal and Caben didn't part on the best of terms, but their connection is so strong they are continually drawn to one another. Of Darkness and Crowns was pretty exciting because there’s a lot of plotting and confrontations throughout, as both sides are preparing for war and the arrival of the goddess - Bale.

I enjoyed seeing how deep Bale’s hold is on Caben. He struggles with her dominating his mind at times, but he manages to find a way to dull her for a while. His passion for Kal is still strong and he is not sure whether he wants to kill her or love her. One thing is certain; he does not want Bale to have her…

Kal is protecting Caben’s kingdom from the Prince himself, but she wants to save him no matter the cost. She knows that he is still in there with Bale, and can see sparks of him when they are together. Kal also struggles with her faith for her goddess and empress. She is not sure if they are doing the right things and is unsure of what they want from her.

Kal and Caben did reunite a few times throughout this book and I was excited to see the tension and passion that still exists between them. But with Bale still inside Caben, they struggle to hold that connection again. It was also exciting to see a lot of the characters from the first book returning too. They support Kal with everything she does, whether it’s good or bad.

Trisha weaved some darker elements into this story, due to the evil that is trying to take over the world, and at times it may leave you gasping! Do not allow it to sway you… The story is not over yet! There were some components revealed that have opened my eyes to the depth of the plot and that the whole situation has had centuries to unfold. I have enjoyed the direction of the story so far and I am excited for the dramatic show down…

Complimentary copy provided by the Author in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Kirsty (Amethyst Bookwyrm).
630 reviews73 followers
October 6, 2014
This and my other reviews can be found at Amethyst Bookwyrm

Bale, the moon goddess, is residing in Prince Caben, darkening his mind and soul, causing him to hunt down the woman he loves and sacrificed himself for. But he is still hearing his old self telling him that he still loves Kal and that Bale is causing him to want to kill her. Kaliope, the leader of the reformed Nactue Guard, has vowed to look after Caben’s kingdom as well as finding a way to save him. With a traitor within her midst and her powers growing which she cannot control, her mission to save Caben causes conflict in the Nactue and may be clouding her judgement. When the time comes to destroy the goddess of chaos, will Kaliope be able to do it if it means losing Caben?

Of Darkness and Crowns is a very good new adult sci-fi/fantasy novel with action, a warped romance and unexpected twists. This book was told from the POV of both Caben and Kaliope and it is very addictive as I could not put the book down.

Kal is still strong and protective, but her loyalties are tested and she struggles a lot in this book with both with her responsibilities and with what happened to Caben. Caben is a really interesting character in this book as he is very dark and not the good guy we know from the last book, but you could still see hints of the old him, which makes you doubt if it is Bale which has changed him or if it is how he would react if he got power. I didn’t like the romance as much as the last book as they did not spend much time together and it was very twisted.

While I slightly preferred Of Silver and Beasts more than this book it is still really good and I am looking forward to the next book. I would recommend Of Darkness and Crowns to fans of Trisha Wolfe’s other books especially the first book in The Goddess Wars series, Of Silver and Beasts.
Profile Image for Tiffany.
91 reviews25 followers
March 31, 2014
First we have Kaliope's point of view! She has her feelings for Caben, being the Nactue Leader, her oath to the Empress and now watching over Caben's kingdom. What is a girl to do with that much to handle. Well for Kaliope it's hard she don't want to break her promise to Caben all she thinks about is how to save Caben from the goddess Bale. At the same time she don't want to break her oath to the Empress and she is trying to be the best Nactue Leader. Then you have Caben's kingdom she don't know who to leave in charge cause she is having trouble on who to trust. The questions you will ask yourself is will she make it time to save Caben? Will she break her oath to the Empress just to save Caben on her own? Who will end up running Caben's Kingdom? Will the Nactue follow her or will she be on her own?

Now you have Caben's point of view! He keeps thinking of is power, Kaliope and making sure his mother is safe. At times he can think for himself but other times all he hears inside his mind is the Goddess Bale. Caben wants Kaliope for himself and he also wants to save her from Bale. Bale just wants to end Kaliope so Caben does the best he can so that doesn't happen. The questions you will ask yourself. Will Caben give into Bale? Will he be save or will he die?

Trisha Wolfe I'm looking forward to the next one and see what happens next!
July 12, 2014
Did I enjoy this book: Yep!

As with the first book, Of Silver and Beasts, I finished it quite quickly. While I’m beginning to understand Wolfe’s stream of consciousness writing style, I still think she’d do well to enlist a professional editor. Regardless, I was just as addicted to Book 2 of the Goddess Wars series as I was the first, and I can’t wait for the third installment. It turns out I’ve developed a bit of a soft spot for Caben and Kal . . .

Would I recommend it: Yes. Look past Wolfe’s fragmented writing style and you’ll fall in love with her story.

As reviewed by Melissa at Every Free Chance Books.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Profile Image for Stephanie.
477 reviews27 followers
August 29, 2015
This was so GOOD!!!

I absolutely loved the first book in this series when I read it a few years ago, but this book has completely topped that! I am in LOVE with this series and I'm already feigning for book 3! Karl and Caben have been through so much for each other so far, and it's awesome to finally see them together again!
I never felt bored during this reading or that the story was lacking anything. I was wholly swept into it and it was completely worth it!
Profile Image for Alicia.
390 reviews
October 9, 2014
I love the sequel as much as the first one and I really loved the first. There really isn't a thing about this series I do not love. There is no shortage of action and romance and intrigue! I can't wait for the third book!
2,281 reviews
February 3, 2016
Did not clear up much

Galileo has Caben back but things are still wrong. I still don't like this story and I really do not enjoy Kaliope. NTYFYA challenge, Erin's list.
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