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Blood and Ash #3

The ​Crown of Gilded Bones

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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Fantasy (2021)
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.

645 pages, Paperback

First published April 20, 2021

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About the author

Jennifer L. Armentrout

132 books122k followers
Hey Guys! Please note: I don't send out ARCs for review. If you're interested in reviewing a book of mine before release date, please contact the appropriate publisher. I also do NOT check my Goodreads email.

To email me, please use the below addy.

# 1 New York Times and # 1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Charles Town, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki. In early 2015, Jennifer was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a group of rare genetic disorders that involve a breakdown and death of cells in the retina, eventually resulting in loss of vision, among other complications. Due to this diagnosis, educating people on the varying degrees of blindness has become of passion of hers, right alongside writing, which she plans to do as long as she can.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Tor, HarperCollins Avon and William Morrow, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her Wicked Series has been optioned by PassionFlix. Jennifer has won numerous awards, including the 2013 Reviewers Choice Award for Wait for You, the 2015 Editor’s Pick for Fall With Me, and the 2014/2015 Moerser-Jugendbuch- Jury award for Obsidian. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA. Her adult romantic suspense novel TILL DEATH was a Amazon Editor’s Pick and iBook Book of the Month. Her young adult contemporary THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER is a 2017 RITA Award Winner in Young Adult Fiction. She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

She is the owner of ApollyCon and The Origin Event, the successful annual events that features over hundred bestselling authors in Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult Fiction, panels, parties, and more.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 21,986 reviews
Profile Image for naz.
375 reviews378 followers
April 21, 2021
4.5 stars

plot heavy + romance heavy + smut heavy = TOP TIER

I finished this last night and fuck me, I’m still reeling from everything that happened. I just have one question: HOW THE HELL DO I GO ON WITH MY LIFE NOW?

honestly, I just came for the romance and romance only. with a side of plot😊 and i was not disappointed! usually by the third or fourth book in a series, the romance is the main thing for me. when I’m so in love with a ship and adore them with all my heart then everything else is just background noise. I mostly want soft moments, domestic bliss and all of that. But the plot(s) in tcogb??? yeah I was actually invested!

“The dimple in his right cheek appeared, and he dipped his head, kissing just above my brow and then lower, over the scar. “Princess?”
My lips curved up. What had started as a nickname had become a reality. “Yes?”
His mouth moved over mine. “I love you.”
The smile on my face grew as my heart did a little skip in my chest. “I love you.”

The crown of gilded bones is action packed but is still character driven that had me feeling ALL the emotions. My heart was racing, I was happy, crying, hyperventilating, screaming, swooning, melting and blushing. And that is just the first 18% of the book!! I’m actually having serious withdrawal symptoms today and I’m two seconds away from rereading all three books. I can’t stop thinking about that ENDING. POPPY IS A FUCKING BAD ASS. BOW DOWN TO THE QUEEN🔥🔥 God. JLA and her third books in every series are always so damn painful!!
I’m not even going to try to talk about the plot because I have two braincells and I cannot summarise the beautiful chaos that is tcogb. And I didn’t even attempt to read this in one sitting, I rarely do with long ass fantasy books because sometimes I get either bored or overwhelmed with the world building! There are many chapters in the middle of this book that are quite slow and repetitive which is why taking breaks helped me. a few chapters could have definitely been cut from tcogb and the info dump had me confused at times but it didn't take away from how much i enjoyed the story.

“Clasping his cheek, I guided his gaze back to mine. “You are a King. My King. And you will always be my everything, but never will you be a thing.”
Casteel moved fast, pinning my back to the bed with the warm weight of his body. “I love you.”

I don’t think anyone understands how much I fucking love when one character is fatally injured and the other character is ABSOLUTELY BROKEN, voice is shaky and hoarse whilst telling their love interest everything will be okay and are willing to do ANYTHING TO BRING THEM BACK including sacrificing themselves. The sheer amount of pain and the desperate declarations of love in these scenes give me so much fucking serotonin. These scenes are truly perfection because it still possesses all the delicious angst and undeniably raw pain of a death trope but without the literal death of the main character.. yes, i’m very aware I need therapy. Jla loves pulling her characters back from the brink of death and I EAT IT UP EVERY TIME. GOOD FUCKING SHIT!!😍😍

“He was crying.
Casteel was crying.
Tears streaked his cheeks, creating glistening tracks in the dried blood as they rolled and rolled…and I knew…I knew I was dying. Casteel knew it, too. He had to. There was so much I wanted to say.

He threw back his head and roared. He roared, and the sound echoed around us, through me. Under me, the stone cracked and opened. Thick, ropey roots spilled out, the color of ash. Kieran fell back on his ass as they came down over”

brb, crying all over again.

Oh and Casteel, my stupid tree bear, was still surprised and couldn’t believe it when poppy finally said she loved him!! He thinks he isn't worthy and shocked she could ever love him!! This scene was so beautiful that I cried and now lives in my mind rent free.🥺🤩

“He drew back enough that his forehead rested against mine. “I didn’t…” He cleared his throat as I ran my fingers along his jaw. “I mean, I…I thought you did. I believed that—or maybe I needed to believe it—but I don’t think I really knew.” His voice roughened again as he reached between us, wiping away a tear that escaped.”

"The only thing I have ever chosen is your son.”
Casteel’s head tipped back, and his chest rose with a deep breath, but he remained quiet, letting me speak for myself.”

TCOGB included kinky shit that exists only in fantasy settings. Everything he said he would do in akofaf wedding night chapter... HE DID IT and I screamed with pure happiness🥵
Also, let’s not forget the long-awaited shower scene and poppy reading willa colyns sex diaries whilst casteel is going down on her<3 gave me such a buzz, all I wanted!🤤

side note: "lift your ass, my queen" gave me the same feelings as "lift your hips for me, love" did when i first read unravel me and that's on morally corrupt, dark +blonde haired guys with tortured pasts who don't believe they are worthy but actually are excellency. yes my legs are wide open for both warner and casteel and what about it?

“Don’t move.” Casteel shot me a heated look, and I froze. He withdrew the all-too-familiar leather-bound book. Straightening, he cracked it open. “Pick a page, my Queen.”
Was he going to read to me? “I…I don’t know. 238.”
“238, it is.” He found the page and then turned the book over to me. “Read to me. Please?”

Ummm.. was anyone upset that casteel didn’t call poppy “princess” as much as the last two books☹+ we barely got any scenes of cas being jealous

some other things i loved:

-casteel being mesmerised from seeing poppy laugh and when she calls him 'cas' and also him getting a boner from it🦋
- kieran and poppy's friendship blossoming even more!
- poppycas FINALLY declaring their love for each other. SO SWEET✨
- the bond between the wolven and poppy🙌🏽
-poppy and cas both ready to KILL and do everything in their power to save each other!🥳
- OMG I think we manifested too hard because the ICONIC miss willa colyns actually made an appearance in the book and basically had a hand in bringing poppy and casteel together in the beginning of fbaa!!

threesome: poppycaskieran DOES NOT happen. BUT there is a scene where poppy and casteel have sex and Kieran is in the room and holding her waist because she might suck every drop of blood from cas. Also poppycas watch Kieran getting a blowjob.

As much as I love this series, I’m not sure plot wise how three more books will work. Just like this book, I know there will be a lot of filler, repetitiveness, and long monologues. unless.. poppycas.. having babies?? Because FUCK YES I AM HERE FOR THAT. Poppycas being the best parents??? The cute moments??? Cas being even more protective over poppy whilst shes pregnant??? cas holding his baby so gently because hes scared he might hurt them?? God yes, I need it.

“If you think that what I did was a shock, then you need to understand that I will do anything and everything for my wife.” Casteel’s gaze latched on to his father’s. “No risk is too great, nor is anything too sacred. Because she is my everything. There is nothing greater than her, and I do mean nothing.”

my hopes for book 4:
-poppycas obviously reuniting.
-BUT ALSO PREGNANCY TROPE. probably an unpopular request but jla, i am begging🧎🏽‍♀️


i'm so ready for casteel to call poppy "my queen", my soul will melt every. single. time.

update 6/09/20:

it's the way i already know this is going to be the best book of 2021. AND THAT'S ON POPPYCAS SUPREMACY

✨✨✨ manifesting poppycas to recreate scenes from the diary of miss willa colyns ✨✨✨
Profile Image for Nicole.
750 reviews1,937 followers
August 11, 2021
From Blood and Ash: ★★★★
A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire: ★★★

2 1/2 stars

The Crown of Gilded Bones was one of my most anticipated books this year. These books are like junk food for me. High quality? No. But very enjoyable. And sometimes that’s all we need. The first book was tons of fun. I had a few issues with the second book but I still enjoyed it anyway. However, this installment simply wasn’t as good as the first two.

This book continues directly from the cliffhanger of AKOFAF and the first chapters (which were released as a sample) made me very excited to read this book. Well, suffice to say it started with a BAM. Then from 15% to 55% (approx.) almost nothing happens…

I have no idea why JLA decided to stretch this series into 6 books. Considering that these books are so long and just like in AKOFAF, there was little progress on a considerable chunk of the book, it could’ve been easily a trilogy. Some speculated that the 3 other books might be a spin-off but no. This book ends with somewhat of a cliffhanger (an event unresolved but not like the one in AKOFAF). Maybe because of the success? I don’t know but I certainly hope she stops at book 6… or makes the books shorter at the very least because we’re talking here about 600+ pages where not much happens for the most part!!

Spoilers for the first two books from here. I’ll be writing pros and cons (but oh mostly cons list)

The characters were the highlight of this book for me. I care about Poppy, Cas, Kieran & co. I like these characters and care deeply about them, something I’ve been struggling with lately with other books. Even though I’m complaining about 6 books, as long as Poppy and Cas stay awesome, I don’t think I’ll get bored reading about them (unless we still have 1800+ pages about them, then I don’t know).
The book started with a bang. For the first 4-5 chapters I couldn’t put the book down (I read the sample though first). It also ended on a high note for me too.

- This book definitely lacked the addicting quality I loved in the first two books. Mind you, not always. Like I mentioned above, I couldn’t put the book down at the beginning and then towards the ending I finished it quickly, but I struggled with the middle because little -if anything- was happening.
- While I like that it’s not a simple fantasy like it started, as I said in AKOFAF, this series did not set up the stage for such a level of fantasy.
- The thing I love about these books the most is the fun and while some parts were fun to read, I had to push myself to read some others because of some of the cons I’m going to talk about later.

The cons
✘ Remember everything you (not everyone but many still) and I have complained about in book 2? If you don’t let me wrap them up for you:
➻ the repetitiveness
➻ stabbing people! How hot!!
➻ Casteel telling anyone who would listen about Poppy’s favorite book.. uhm what
➻ the abundant unnecessary details about Poppy’s day-to-day life
➻ the indecent inappropriate stuff Casteel wants to do to Poppy
Well, in case you assumed we got our fill (and then some more) of these ridiculous comments, YOU’RE WRONG! JLA did not have enough! While Cas barely made any comments about the questions, Kieran did. A lot.

This really annoyed and tired me because these comments were abundant.

Let’s talk about the fantasy genre. What makes a fantasy book actually good? Well, the world-building is definitely an important aspect of the book. The magic system. The fantasy elements. And how do you usually introduce them? Gradually in book 1, you prepare the reader. Not in freakin book 3. What makes them even better is the FORESHADOWING. So we have a map now and I’ll give you a very simple example: Iliseeum. It’s an area in the East and important in this book. I searched in AKOFAF for one mention of it but got 0 results. And yes, Casteel knows of it. It could’ve been casually mentioned just to say it was not invented in this book. but nope. Seems like JLA is figuring out stuff as she goes along.. I mean please this is speculation and not a spoiler, of course, Poppy will win and survive and this can be done in numerous ways. Well, JLA is deciding the "how" as she progresses.

The info dump in a third installment. I cry. This annoyed me in book 2 but JLA really wasn’t planning for such a complex fantasy but hey who cares? We can still pull off this shit now. The whole god/deity thing for example was so vague and confusing. And Poppy’s ancestry was debated so much with each time a different result that when the “plot twist” in this regard happened, I was thinking please be the last. I don’t think I can take another different parentage.

JLA Mudded things enough that when yet another plot twist about Poppy was revealed, she was able to get away with it because of the vagueness I mentioned.

✘ Speaking of which, Poppy is overpowered much?? No training no nothing with her new abilities yet she can do everything?? The same day she discovers them?! Also: I (as in Poppy) literally, thought oh I have these abilities but I can’t do this… then but who said I can’t? And of course, she was able to do what she had in mind.

✘ I found the whole thing with the Queen of the Ascendents pretty illogical

The writing… style. I don’t… I don’t know what to say about… it. CAN POPPY STOP USING … IN HER (countless) INNER MONOLOGUES? This was also getting common in SJM’s books, is this a new trend? It’s annoying af. Fine I wouldn’t have minded in dialogues but otherwise?? I really.. really… really….. don’t like it.

✘ Again, I mentioned already how this book dragged. 200 could’ve been cut out easily. Especially since the pace wasn’t consistent at all. If only Poppy’s monologues weren’t so detailed.

✘ In the second half, something is said. I understood its implication right away and was surprised when the characters didn’t until much later. It was pretty obvious to be even considered a plot twist.

Overall, this was a disappointment from the previous books. I decided to lower my rating to two stars because the cons outweighed the pros by far and while I was mostly subjective regarding the first two, since like I said I’m only reading them as a light fantasy + romance, I simply wasn’t impressed at all with installment. That being said, I’m still definitely going to read the sequel. I also still am excited about it because I really want to know what happens next.

Since many asked me about it, does the joining happen?

Thanks to Social Butterfly for sending me an e-arc.

Profile Image for spring ~♡.
426 reviews534 followers
November 20, 2021

I thought From Blood and Ash had ‌zero plot. Or maybe the plot was invisible. Then I tried the second book and realised this one has even less plot than the first one. After that, I tried this trash. And guess what! Turned out this one has even ✨less✨ plot than the second one which I thought wasn’t even possible. Did I mention the first book has no plot?

Ugh, this book made me realise I'm not giving enough credits to my history classes. Seriously, those never-ending history lessons were less boring. I know, you're probably thinking how can I judge a book I didn’t even finish but I did..I mean I read about three hundred and fifty pages and I believe I gave this book a fair chance. And it's just so boring I can't believe I actually managed to read that much.
So the plot:
Wait there is some inner jokes you might like.
Cas: 👁️👄👁️
Poppy: Oh,my gods! That is so inappropriate!

Me: dramatic much?

Also, this:
Poppy: I have a question.
Kieran: NoBoDy iS sUrpRisEd bY tHaT.

And this:
Cas: Poppy remember that one time you stabbed me in the first book?
Poppy: yeah. What about it?

Cas: ThAT wAs sO HoT.
Poppy: .....
My lost braincells: .....

Don't forget this:
Poppy: *gracefully breathing*

Look we get it Poppy is SO BADASS and stabbed you. But GET OVER IT!! IT’S BOOK THREE FOR GODS SAKE!

Also, Readers: So how powerful is Poppy?
Jla: YES.

Poppy is such a special snowflake, she has every kind of power. And she's like expert at every single one of them. I wonder if she can fly. I bet she can if she just put her mind into it. And everybody would be like: "oh my gods you are so special and we are so unworthy of you." give me a break!

Meanwhile there were some history lessons nobody cares about. It’s like JLA suddenly discovered these books are getting so popular why not start dragging them to six more books huh? Everything is so repetitive it's not even funny. Same jokes, same dialogue, boring QaA between Poppy and Kieran it's just awful and a hot mess.

I heard the last 10% are really good and probably some things actually happens but I refuse to waste more time of my life on this book. It's not worth it.
I can't believe people are "murdering trees" in order to publish this not so long book. My condolence to those trees.
Profile Image for Marina &#x1f30a;.
172 reviews
April 23, 2021
If you see me giving 5 stars to a book that hasn’t released yet. Mind your business. Me & Kieran’s wolven senses smell the excellency 💅🏻


I just finished.

1. I love Kieran.
2. I love Kieran. Give me more of him please.
3. Poppycas supremacy 🔥
4. A lot of info-dumping :/
5. Repetitive sometimes.
6. Predictable ending. Am I still upset? Yes, I am sangry. How do I recover. Send help.
7. Poppy’s family tree gave me whiplash. What is the truth Oprah. C’mon
8. Give me book 4 now.
9. I enjoyed it. My rating remains the same. I miss poppycas.
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.6k followers
March 14, 2022
well, im now deceased. the vamprys have sucked me dry and ive officially ascended.

please respect my privacy during this difficult time.

P.S. cant wait for you all to join me in the afterlife on the 20th. 🖤


holy crap. i got an ARC! you have no idea how fast i rushed home to start it - usain bolt could never. lol.

im so sorry for everyone else who has to wait a few more weeks. buuuuut the first three chapters are available as a preview in apple books here !

5 stars
Profile Image for She-who-must-not-be-named .
180 reviews1,242 followers
February 17, 2022
Before you ask: There's no Joining.


“Bravery is a fleeting beast, isn’t it? Always there to get you into trouble, but quick to disappear once you’re where you want to be.”

I love and respect you immensely, Jennifer L. Armentrout because of which I really want to be biased and rate this book five stars straightaway. But I'm afraid I don't want to mislead people. I want to convince you all to read it (especially for the last 20 chapters) but I'm afraid you might resent the middle, slow parts.

my ECG while reading this book:

First ten chapters :
Chapters 11-28
Chapters 29-44
Chapters 45-50

Major spoilers for A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire and extremely major spoilers for From Blood and Ash

The Crown of Gilded Bones picked up right where Book 2 ended. No sooner had Poppy set foot in the Kingdom of Atlantia than she realised that she has been betrayed in the harshest possible manner by her very confidante. Reeling from the betrayal, Atlantians' distrust and meeting with Prince Casteel's parents who may or may not like her, Poppy has to endure a long yet rigorous journey to help Atlantia free their other Prince, Malik. As she embarks on her journey, she learns more about her heritage, parents, power and also the Rise of Gods and the History of Atlantia (most of which I skipped).

She is also faced with the responsibility of overtaking the throne to become the next Queen but even before she takes the decision, truth bombs and shocking revelations are thrown her way, and she has to decide what to place first- her unconditional love for her husband or the future of Atlantia. She also has an important decision to make: Instill war and watch many of her own die or ensuring peace and watch her enemies survive.

“Unrest and unease are two very powerful destabilizers of any society. No matter how great one is, they can be taken apart piece by piece from the inside, often weakening the foundation to the point of collapse before anyone realizes what is happening.”

Is it just me or was Poppy depicted as super powerful beyond any existing measure? I mean I get that she has the blood of gods running through her blood vessels (I need to wear a rubber band on my wrist and pull it whenever I say this, honestly), but I felt like Casteel's power was downplayed constantly to show her extent of strength. He is the Prince of Atlantia for a damned reason and I just couldn't help but feel like his role in this book was mostly that of a hype boy for Poppy.

Also, I'm glad that we got more Kieran-time in this installment. Without him, I'd probably have skipped the middle portion of the book completely, no kidding. I'm glad to have witnessed another angle, a whole new facet of his character that I didn't in books one and two. He came off as extremely caring, affectionate and emotional and I can't help but swoon over him.

“The heart doesn’t care how long you may have with someone.” Kieran looked over at me, his eyes sheltered. “It just cares that you have the person for as long as you can.” 

If you want to read this book, I won't promise you that it's going to be all daisies and rainbows and unicorns. If you hated books 1 and 2, then don't even give this book a try. You'll hate it with all fringes of your consciousness. I'm sure of it.

But for those who liked/loved the first two books. Hold on to the book, despite the few chapters in between. Because when you read the last few chapters, you will poetically wax on about it for hours together.
Profile Image for • Lindsey Dahling •.
325 reviews643 followers
May 16, 2021
Trying to decide if I need to begin mourning one of my favorite series or not.

1. The book starts off strong.
It was very much like the series I know and love. There was action. There was tension. There was suspense. We hit the ground running.

2. The middle draaaaaaaaags.
And by middle, I mean the middle 80%. I’ve never read War and Peace, but I imagine it feels something like this did. I kept falling asleep after a few pages and then started actively avoiding reading altogether. Nothing happens. And, unfortunately, the book no longer has the will they/won’t they sexual tension to balance out the sloth-paced plot. So, it’s several hundred pages of going back and forth over the mountains without accomplishing anything.

3. It’s the same old jokes over and over.
Yes, we get it. Poppy was stabby in book one. She also asks a lot of questions. Of course she does. She didn’t grow up in this world. She grew up in a cage of lies where she fought off craven. Of course she’s stabby and questions everything. There was no fresh banter, which made the dragging worse.

4. Two characters were just completely thrown away.
WHAT WAS EVEN THE POINT?! I’m so pissed. That was a waste of time. Thrown away FOR NOTHING. And they’re thrown away in the exact same scene. How neat.

5. Poppy is becoming too powerful.
We need to calm down on the new reveals about her familial relations and powers that happen every other chapter. It’s too much. They think she’s one thing, then realize she’s an even bigger thing, then even bigger, then...etc. It’s getting to the point where Casteel and Kieran’s abilities are completely irrelevant.

6. The big reveal at the end really wasn’t much of a reveal.
We all knew it was coming. We really didn’t need a supervillain’s monologue for it. Seemed out of character for said villain.

7. The spice was fine.
But Cas and Poppy do the same thing every time. I’m going to need them to switch it up. Try some new positions here, people. Try saying some new things. You’ve got 500 pages of filler to do so, I think you can find the time to get a bit creative here.

I’m still going to read book 4. But I will hand myself over to the Skotos Mountains mist if it goes as poorly as book 3.
Profile Image for Briana.
380 reviews528 followers
May 5, 2021
Hear me out: Poppy, Cas, and Kieran & that’s all i’m gonna say about that 👀

New Review:

OKAY. First half will be spoiler free and second half will have spoilers.

This book was so freaking epic. Books 1 and 2 left us with so many questions they hurt my head and then the real purpose of Book 3 was to answer all those questions (which gave me an even bigger headache tbh). Do I love this series for the world-building and the plot? No, not really because i’m three books in and only now starting to understand it (ish). Do I love this series for the characters??? HELL YESS.

I have said it once and I will say it again: JLA is the queen of banter. Every time Poppy was in a scene with Cas, Kieran, or both of them I was one of three things (1) swooning (2) smiling so big my cheeks hurt (3) laughing out loud 🥵😍❤️ I can’t wait to see how Poppy kicks ass in the next book!!


JLA WAS TEASING US SO FREAKING HARD WITH THE JOINING IN THIS BOOK. Every time Kieran was in a room with Poppy, he was closer to her and more touchy than he’s ever been before (and i’m so here for it). And it really does make sense that we didn’t get it in this book. How the hell can we expect for JLA to write sex scenes for a 6 book series and keep it interesting if she hits us with the joining in book 3?? But y’allllll i can feel it in my gut that it’s going to happen 👀🥵 Poppy is so curious, and Cas is open to it. He legit says he’ll do whatever she wants. AANDDD our queen is a literal GOD!!!!! Which means that her lifespan >>>> Cas’ and so the only way for them to all live as long as her is ✨the joining✨ ahhh I love it here 😌❤️

Poppy, the new Daenerys Targaryen?????? Holy duck yes 🥵 IM SOOO HERE FOR DRAGONS!! I can’t explain to you how much I love the thought of Poppy riding a dragon to free the love of her life and burn a castle to the ground 🔥

BUT. What the hell was that ending?????? Cas did NOT need to sacrifice himself for Poppy, it made no sense. Absolutely none. Everybody knew that the Blood Queen NEVER EVER wanted Poppy dead, so why the hell did Cas think to hand himself over to save Poppy from something that everyone knew wasn’t going to happen???? Poppy was in pain and was probably just going to pass out lmaoo not die?! Totally unnecessary. 60% of this book was them FINALLY being open and honest with one another, enjoying life blabla, which made Cas being taken kind of the obvious direction for the plot. Argggg im annoyed 😤
Profile Image for Ashlee » libraryinthecountry.
781 reviews679 followers
April 23, 2021
WELL. If that wasn’t an EPIC ending, I don’t know what is. 🤭😵🔥

If you’re hoping to get a coherent, non-rambling review in which I carefully examine all of the themes and crafty bits of this book ... you’re out of luck. 😂 Instead, you’re going to get me straight up FREAKING OUT because this book has left me IN A STATE ... of awe, of disbelief, of adoration ... I’m feeling all the things, y’all.

"There cannot be equality in power if there is no choice."

This book has more of everything that I loved from the previous books. More plot twists. More Poppy annoying Kieran. More world building. More Kieran begrudgingly answering Poppy’s questions. More mythology. More readings from Miss Willa's books. More hilarious banter. More stabby Poppy. More new characters (and some familiar, but “new” ones). More of Cas on his knees, “bowing” to his Queen. 🤤 And more Casteel/Poppy/Kieran moments. 😉

I fully expected this book to start off with a bang, as AKOFAF leaves us reeling with a major cliffhanger, but this book really does jump right into it! SO MUCH HAPPENS. I’m telling you, some chapters in this book had me *stressed* but I was also happy to endure the pain.

"Common sense. That must be a new thing for you."
"I'm really imagining kicking you in the face now."

Kieran is still bae, and I just love how PRESENT he is in this book. He is still somewhat of a mystery at times, but we get some really great moments between Poppy and Kieran in which he opens up more about himself and they were some of my favorite moments in the book.

"You are the foundation that helps me stand. You are my walls and my roof. My shelter. You are my home."

I also loved the softer Casteel and Poppy moments. It’s important to me that Casteel is so aware of Poppy’s choices and autonomy and can easily go from being this completely badass deadly force to soft and compassionate and caring. Their love for each other is so clear and noticeable in this book, it jumps off the page. Also, bravo to JLA allowing Casteel and Poppy (and others) to be so openly in love and affectionate with each other and not leave it as something that is only behind closed doors.

We also learn sooooo much more about the worlds of Atlantia and Solis. SO MUCH. And we finally see characters that have only been mentioned up til now! There’s a certain plot twist involving a character that has mostly only been mentioned up until now that I really, really loved. It helped the story come full circle and I am excited to see more of them in future books.

There is a bit of a lull in the middle third of this book, in which I felt conversations dragged too much or became repetitive and there wasn’t enough moving about. It’s truly the only flaw I see in this book though and everything that happens before and after that made up for it.

Several of my theories from way back in FBAA even ended up being true, but let me tell you ... the plot twists went beyond anything that I could have expected and the final third of the book is just inundated with them!

If you thought Poppy had moments of badassery before this, you’re not prepared for what she is capable of now. Hats off to Poppy for standing her ground and not letting people’s intimidation tactics control her actions.

Finally, this book has left me so much more excited for A Shadow in the Ember and when you read it, I think you’ll be left feeling the same way. *wink*

Thank you to Blue Box Press and Social Butterfly PR for sending me an early copy in exchange for an honest review!

Original Post, Pre-Release:
More of Cas on his knees, bowing to his Queen, please and thank you.
Profile Image for alluringB.
241 reviews136 followers
November 13, 2021
1.5 stars

This was just as info-dumpy as AKoFaF—no it was worse actually. But I have a feeling that if i had known it was gonna be like this prior to reading, I would’ve liked it a tiny bit more(?). Like I once said, i like to be mentally prepared for what i’m getting myself into. So that’s a lesson learned for the next books in the series—I’ll just wait for the reviews instead of diving in head first.

That being said, this was just exhausting af. It felt like the world building and info dumping was never going end and I was right, even in the last couple of chapters it didn’t end! There’s no doubt there’ll be more in the next books but goddammit if JLA uses the same lazy formula of ‘Poppy ask, Kieran answers’ again...*inhales deeply*
It was honestly too much and at some point i just didn’t give a damn anymore and pretty much zoned out most of the time Kieran was babbling abt history, ancestors and shit—and that’s almost 70% of the book. yea go read it and see if i’m exaggerating 😌

I loved Cas and poppy in the previous books but not in here. I guess i liked them better when they were at the push/pull stage of their relationship. I didn’t mind the steam tho ofc aha bc yeap it was hot but even that wasn’t enough to compensate the drag. Plus, them being all about each other felt cringey tbh idk. I seriously hope book 4 will do better bc I actually do want to go back to liking this series as i did before.

Here are my choppy notes :

🥱 15-80% is a snooze fest imo

🙄 Kieran deserve new friends deadass (i’m ready for his book letsgooo)

🥱 Cas’ charm doesn’t work on me anymore. Man’s too playful for my taste :/ (Chapter 7 was good tho). If you’re only here for the romance then u’ll at least have that to look forward to but since i’m now turned off by Cas, nothing’s working

😤 not to be dramatic but if POPPY ASKS ONE. MORE. QUESTION, she’ll earn herself a cute permanent handprint on her left cheek to complement her scar on the right from yours truly
( ˘ ³˘)♥︎

🥴 JLA’s wack world building; uses the same formula.
Seriously, i want someone to create an encyclopedia for this whole mess bc i don’t see myself rereading this series for the sake of understanding its ‘world’. Watch as we FINALLY understand wtf is going on only at book 6, with Kieran wasting his saliva, explaining it all to us.

🙄 we seriously didn’t need another cliffhanger dammit. JLA already has a strong fan base for this series so she doesn’t need to worry if people will pick the next books up.
just stoP IT and don’t be annoying🤚🏻

😂 Cas and Poppy being a ‘great king and queen’ is so fucking laughable bc nooo!??—they’re OTP but they’re not good leaders ok hahaha

(spoilers ⚠️)
I couldn’t stand the discussions abt them being King/Queen. How is Casteel a good King?!

“But this isn’t just about you and your needs anymore—”
“That’s where you’re wrong,” Casteel cut in, his eyes hardening to chips of amber. “It is about her needs, and they come first.”
“Son,” his father began, “I can respect your desire to care for your wife’s needs, but the kingdom always comes first whether you’re the Prince or the King.”
It’s a damn shame if you really believe that,” Casteel replied-

yet HE’s fit to be a KING?! He’s the one who’s going to be a ‘great King’?!

mf didn’t even care if his people get killed along the way as long as his WCW breathes 😭
It’d be nice if he knows how to balance his role as a future King and a husband but this dude put ‘emotional lover’ on auto pilot instead 💀 it’s such a turn off bc it shows how lousily immature and unwise he is ew neXT

I wouldn’t have a problem if they were just regular people being deadly in love w each other but the fact that they’re taking up huge roles as King/Queen and have a whole ass kingdom depending on them but yet they make emotional decisions and have a way of reasoning that’s so faulty simply bc they’re sO in love w each other...Someone pls pop their bubble i’m begging. I liked them but dammit the non-stop ‘oh love made me stupid’ in here was too much for me

🤠 anyway I’m officially a low class hoe bc i can’t believe it’s the ✨smut✨ that’s got me contemplating if i should give this series another chance.
i hate myself.

#1 Fom Blood and Ash 3.75★
#2 A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire 4★
#3 The Crown of Gilded Bones 1.5★
Profile Image for ❀ Rose ❀.
315 reviews246 followers
October 29, 2021
2.5 stars.
WARNING: rant coming your way. Enjoy.

🔹 Overall feelings:
〰 *Le sigh*...
Here’s the thing, this wasn’t necessarily a bad book. It was however, an incredibly boring one. Seriously.
I think that this was a tiny bit better than the second installment in the series in the sense that the repetitive conversations were less repetitive this time around but it still does not deserve more than two stars in my opinion because, as I said, it was mind numbingly boring.

🔹 The characters:
Poppy and Casteel:
〰 No development or anything interesting happens with them in my opinion. We are reminded every two pages that they are in love but other than that, I feel like nothing is worth noting.

Kieran and other secondary characters :
〰 I like Kieran but if he mentions one more time that Poppy asks a lot of questions I might just have to combust (I will talk about this again once I discuss the dialogue). The other secondary characters were also fine. The king, queen and Jesper were intriguing. I also want to see more of Perry for some reason.

〰 I really like Gianna and I’m kind of hoping for her to get with Kieran to be honest. They just vibe well together. Other than that, I’m glad that we were finally able to see Malik in this (it’s about time).

🔹 The dialogue:
〰 Oh my ever loving God. Although the dialogue wasn’t nearly as repetitive in this book as it was in A kingdom of Flesh and fire, it was still a big issue in this installment. In order to truly be able to convey just how repetitive and annoying this aspect was, I decided to show you a few examples of this:

“I imagine you had a lot of questions about that.” “I did not,” I snapped. “I don’t believe that for one second,” Kieran stated, a half-grin forming. (227)

“I have a lot of questions.” One side of the wolven’s lips tipped up. “I’m so shocked,” he murmured, pale eyes gleaming with amusement. (126)

I have a question.” “I am so thrilled.” Only the light in Kieran’s eyes told me that he was glad I was alive and able to ask questions. (137)

“Did you actually get some rest, or did you spend hours asking Cas question after question?” “I slept,” I told him as I plucked a chocolate-glazed strawberry from the tray. “After asking a few questions.” “A few?” Kieran snorted. (226)

“Kieran?” “Yeah?” “I have a question.” He sighed, but there was a slight curve to his lips. “What is your question, Poppy?” (230)

“I have another question for you.” He leaned back. “Of course, you do.” (235)

“I have a lot of questions,” I announced the moment Casteel ushered me back into our room, and King Valyn left. “Not a single person in the entirety of either kingdom would be surprised by that,” Kieran stated as he closed the veranda doors behind him. “Not even remotely.” (254)

“Can I ask you two a question and have you give me an honest response?” “Can’t wait to hear what this will be,” Kieran murmured... (317)

〰 Please keep in mind that these are just a few examples of this never ending conversation. I kid you not when I say that I’m genuinely convinced that the word “question” is the most used word in this entire series. Dear author, it was funny the first time. Hell, it was even amusing the second and third time, but after that? It just makes us readers question why you keep repeating this same conversation over and over again. I actually have a theory when it comes to that which brings me to my next point...

🔹 The plot:
〰 I think it comes as no surprise that this book has no plot. That said, you might be wondering; “but ma’am, this is a 600+ page book. If the author did not write an actual plot in so many pages then how did she manage to make this book so big?” And to you dear readers, I say this: the only reason this book is this big is because the author recycled the same conversations repeatedly and tried to make it seem like this was a running joke between the characters by pretending that Poppy’s incessant need to ask questions and to stab people adds humor to the book and gives Poppy a ✨ personality.✨

〰 The truth however? The author decided that this series would include 6 installments. Since she had obviously not planned for this series to be this long when she first published From Blood and Ash, she now finds herself at a loss to how she could possibly fill four extra books. That’s why A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire and The Crown of Gilded bones are both filler books in every sense of the word. That is also why I can already tell you that the next two installments in this series will also have absolutely no plot and will also be filler books. And here’s my biggest problem: why make these installments so long?? If you want to add four books, that���s fine but why feel the need to make every single one of them 600+ page books? I genuinely don’t understand that. If this book were 300 pages long then I honestly think that I might have been tricked into thinking that this had a real plot...*shrugs*. That said, this also leads me to my next point:

🔹 The info dumping:
〰 No because at this point, I can honestly say that I have completely given up on trying to memorise or even understand all the different random species in this series. I updated you guys when I got to the 50% mark saying that I was just waiting for the history lesson to end. I have now finished the entire book and can confidently say that it doesn’t. This is another tactic used to make these books bigger and justify the fact that this is a 6 book series (7 if you count the one written in Casteel’s point of vue— which is utterly unnecessary if you ask me). How to justify making these books so big? Add as much information and creatures as possible to make it seem like you’re expanding on the world building. I literally felt like I was reading a history textbook at one point which annoyed me to no end. You can definitely justify info dumping in a first installment but once you get to the third book in a series, your readers need to have a good grasp of the world that you have built. Feeling confused in a third installment is not normal. I understand that you’re trying to develop the worlds and prepare for an epic battle but you could do that by seemlessly inserting the additional information that you want your readers to know. Instead, we received the extra details of the world by having Poppy ask question after question which left me feeling incredibly annoyed and bored.

🔹 Threesomes, foursomes and polyamorous relationships: :
〰 Miss Jenny😃 I cannot believe that I even have to mention this but can we stop mentioning any sort of threesomes (or, as mentioned in this book, foursomes please 😃). I genuinely thought that the joining was traumatizing enough only to get talk of foursomes in this book. It’s completely ridiculous and genuinely makes no sense. I’m sorry but if you were planning on turning this into a reverse harem situation then I think you should have told your readers beforehand.

🔹 Final thoughts:
〰 Nope. Incredibly boring. At this point, I’m convinced that I could skip book 4 and 5, read book 6 and still fully understand everything without feeling like I missed much. Despite the info dumping, nothing of import is happening plot wise in these installments which is why I don’t know if I will be continuing on with this series. I’ll have to see once the next book comes out I guess *shrugs*. The first 10% and the last 10% of the book were interesting but that wasn’t enough considering the fact that I spent the remaining 80% of the book bored out of my mind. That said, I personally no longer recommend this series because I genuinely believe that the first installment was the only book worthy of a read. If you end up reading this however, then I hope you enjoy it!

”I am the Queen of Flesh and Fire, and the gods’ guards ride with me. Tell the Blood Queen to prepare for war.” (646)


Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rose_books2/
Profile Image for Lia Carstairs.
413 reviews2,319 followers
May 19, 2021
That ending completely wrecked me.

I went from being punched in the guts to screaming to silently sobbing to cackling like an insane lunatic.

Oh how I can't wait to see the chaos that's coming and more dragons

The Crown of Gilded Bones was far from perfect yet I still wholeheartedly loved it. The expansion of the world and it's creatures was just amazing. Surprisingly, me—who's horrible at keeping up with too many new terms thrown in books, actually was able to follow through all that was going on and being said. That literally never happens. I seriously loved learning more about the world and seeing how this will connect with A Shadow in the Ember ... ohmygod I'm so excited.

But even though I didn't mind the info-dumps, I will say that it did... drag on. It was around the middle of the book where I lost some of my focus and took some breaks in between reading. So yes, some parts were pretty boring but honestly those scenes where Poppy, Cas, Kieran and the rest of the cast just had fun made up for those slow parts. Still, the pacing could've been a lot better.


"Bravery is a fleeting beast, isn't it? Always there to get you into trouble, but quick to disappear once you're where you want to be."

No matter how many times I say this it will never feel enough, but seriously—Poppy, Casteel, and Kieran—I love this trio so much. Their friendship with each other is so raw and beautiful. The teasing and bantering they have. The many arguments they had but held with so much love... it makes me feel alive.

"Friendship was a far stronger bond than even something the gods could create."

The bond between Cas and Kieran, especially—ohmygod it's amazing I swear can't get over the loyalty and love they have for each other. And every time, they call each brother, omg my heart🥺🥺

And here, Poppy and Kieran's friendship grows even more. I love it *sobs* THIS PLATONIC FRIENDSHIP IS SUPERIOR TO EVER OTHER RELATIONSHIP IN THIS BOOK. Yes, even Poppy and Cas (they come in really close behind tho). Although I love them with all my heart, Poppy and Kieran's relationship was just way too heartwarming and hilarious. I will never get over the intriguing convos they'd have with each other too ahaha omg.
My chest warmed. "You know what?"

He raised a brow as he looked down at me. "What?"

I reached over and patted his chest. "You're more than okay."

"Now that I know you think I'm more than okay, I can sleep well at night." His tone was as dry as the Wastelands, but I grinned.

okay but Kieran mentioning the Joining when Cas and Poppy called him to talk about being their advisor was hilarious. omg why was that the first thing he thought of being called for??? Kieran, you're killing me😭😭 and then he made everything so awkward omg I couldn't stop wheezing bahahaha

“You will bow before your Queen.” Casteel eyed the Atlantian coolly. “Or you will bleed before her. It is your choice.”

And so then there's my Queen and King—Poppy Balfour Da'Neer and Casteel Hawkethorne Da'Neer. After all the lies, betrayals, and many changes their relationship has gone through, the truth is finally out and their love for each other is so beautiful.🥺
“I love you, Penellaphe. You. Your fierce heart, your intelligence and strength. I love your endless capacity for kindness. I love your acceptance of me. Your understanding. I’m in love with you, and I will be in love with you when I take my last breath and then beyond in the Vale.”

Cas telling Poppy for the first time that he loved her broke me. And then Poppy saying it to him and Cas thinking he isn't worthy?!?! STOP, NO *sobbing*

And can I just say that the cheesiness was so sweet??? omg I literally lived for those stupid but cute lines Cas would say to her. So many scenes I was just grinning like an idiot and a *certain* scene, I seriously couldn't stop laughing omg. But seriously, the amount of times I swooned because of the things Cas would say??? ohmygod I love them so much.
“I do not want to be party to forcing you into yet another role you did not ask for nor desire. I will not replace the veil you loathed with a crown you hate. If you do not want to take the Crown, I will support you,” he swore, and the intensity in his words captured me. The irrevocable oath he was making. “And if you decide you want to take what is yours, claim the throne, I will set this entire kingdom on fire and watch it burn if that ensures that the crown sits on your head.”

I jolted. “You love your people—”

“But I love you more.”

please, stop Cas😭🤚

Okay but the banter between the whole group of them—Poppy, Cas, Kieran, Emil, Delano, and Vonetta—on their journey to Ilisseum was just perfection. They're all such idiots and I'm so in love with them all. That one scene where they're battling the skeletons omg I can't-
Vonetta shouted, unsheathing her swords. “Couldn't you have said that you saw skeletons in the hole?”

Casteel cursed as another bony hand appeared, this one clutching a sword in its grip.

“Armed skeletons!” Vonetta yelled. “Couldn't you have said you saw armed skeletons in the hole?”

“Sorry.” Emil unhooked his swords. “I was kind of taken aback by the sight of fully functional, fucking skeletons with weapons. My apologies."


"Cutting off the head does not work," Emil shouted, and I turned to see a headless skeleton tracking the dumbfounded Atlantian. "I repeat. It does not work!"

Vonetta whirled, thrusting one sword through the chest of a soldier, and her other blade through the headless skeleton. "You," she said to Emil, "are a mess."

"And you are beautiful," he replied with a grin.

OMG I SHIP. I'm not the only one who ships Emil and Vonetta, right?? I love them so much omg😭

I will shrivel up and die if any of them are killed. which will probably happen bc JLA likes to play with our feelings🤡

Now, I need to start screaming about something else...



I swear the heart attack I got when I read the first 100 pages—

was JLA trying to destroy us so early on in the book???? Because it worked💀 a lot

Cas crying at the beginning of the book?!! Just no. Stop. I thought that was heartbreaking BUT THEN JLA GOES AHEAD AND HAS HIM BEGGING AT THE END TOO. AND BOTH TIMES FOR POPPY *sobbing* The first time because he was watching Poppy die and then the last time because he was again watching Poppy die-

what the hell omg Jennifer you're a monster. I love you but I hate you. That's nothing new though. Typical relationship between reader and author.🙂🔫

But omg Cas let himself be taken by the Queen *cough* Isbeth, knowing he'd be tortured again and I'm sorry, but I died.

Honestly though, it was pretty obvious something like that was going to happen. I had a feeling either Poppy or Cas would be captured, mostly Cas bUT ALL THOSE OTHER PLOT TWISTS??!! I did not see any of that coming????

Poppy's father isn't King Malec??? Poppy is a god??? Isbeth is Queen Ileana???? Ian's death??? omg omg omg I can't. I just knew that the cave cat would secretly be Poppy's father but that was me thinking it was Malec, not Ires??? omg he was RIGHT THERE.

sdfsfsfs okay but that last scene was perfect, it's the way I was literally cackling. POPPY BEHEADING KING JALARA AND SENDING HIS HEAD TO ISBETH BAHAHAHAHHAAHAHA revenge is so sweet :))) I wish I could see the Isbeth's face.

Oh also I adore Casteel's parents. Or well, maybe not so much anymore because of what they kept to themselves at the end but still, they're awesome ahhhh their acceptance of Poppy omg and Valyn's words to Poppy were so sweet🥺🥺
"My son is a very lucky man to have found you and made himself yours."

His words embraced my wounded heart, and acceptance behind them choked me. It took a moment to speak. "It is I who is lucky to have been found by your son and have become his."

Valyn reached over, cupping my cheek with his gloved hand. "And Eleona and I are even more lucky to have you as our daughter-in-law."

OMG WAIT ALSO SEEING THAT WILLA COLYNS IS REAL AHAHAHA ONE OF THE BEST SCENES EVER. I had a feeling she was the Seer in the first book who told Poppy to go to that room Cas was in at the Red Pearl. Miss Willa, you are amazing <3

Also, Reaver I love you already. Burn them all to the ground muahahahaha



I already know that I missed a lot of other things that happened but omg this review will never end if I continue. Literally still can't get over the ending. Which fool thought it was smart to finish this book in one day??? And now to wait until 2022 for book 4??? Thank god ASITE is coming out this year. Nyktos and his consort sdfgdsfsfs I'm so excited. I can't wait to meet Sera ahhhh!! And see more draken ehehe and see Nyktos, the scary god, fall in lovee.

I must say though, as much as I love these books I'm wondering how JLA will write 3 more books in this series?? It honestly feels like this series only needs one more book but I'm sure she has something planned👀

2022 will be the ⚔️War of Two Queens⚔️ and I am ready to see a certain queen wreak havoc *cackles*

Profile Image for Phuong ✯.
631 reviews5,844 followers
March 7, 2022
1st read April 2021: 3.5 stars
2nd read March 2022: 3.5 stars

I needed a refresher in preparation of The War of Two Queens and now I'm ready.
"Isbeth may have her Revenants, her knights, soldiers, and those who support her." My grip tightened. "But I have the draken."

this quote has the same energy as

Meghan Trainor - What If I

One thing for sure, if you didn't enjoy A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire , you will sure as hell not enjoy A Crown of Gilded Bones , because it's as slow-paced with a lot of info dumping again. 🤷🏽‍♀️

Personally, I thought the book started out strong, right where the second book left off. I would say until chapter 10 it's pretty well paced after that it started to drop and has the same vibes of AKOFAF with not much happening tbh, just Poppy and Casteel going from one place to the next one and talking to people and then then the last 20-25% are INTENSE. I'm still stressed just thinking about everything that happened. *googles how to find your inner zen*

The fact that we have to wait a year until the next book comes out.. nothing screams masochist louder than reading fantasy series that are still on-going. 💀
My first.
My guard.
My friend.
My betrayer.
My partner.
My husband.
My heartmate.
My everything

SPOILER WARNING : you know the drill. everything from here includes spoilers for the book and I have actually a lot to unpack and didn't hold back with the spoilers. sorry in advance if this is a mess, I'm just writing all my thoughts down without any structure. 💫



I want to say something about that topic first, because I was so stressed about the potential of it and how it would ruined the romance for me. Therefore, I'm so fucking relieved to say that there is no threesome/joining happening in TCOGB or not not as we would expect LMAO. There is a threesome, but neither Poppy nor Casteel are take part in it. Poppy and Cas attend a wolven wedding, after a while things get heaten, because apparently wolven like these public affections. So Poppy and Cas watch how Kieran and another girl get it on and also see a threesome between strangers.

As far as the joining, it was only mentioned like one or two times in the whole book and idk if it will happen or not, because Poppy is already bonded to all the wolven and the only reason I'd see the joining happening is maaaaybe when they want extend Cas lifespan, cause Poppy is prob going to live longer than he is, but that's a big maybe and honestly, I can't see JLA doing that. Blood and Ash is the 5th series by JLA that I've read and she has never done anything remotely sharing and I hope she wont start now and cave to the demands of the fans who want to see the joining so badly, cause that's a NO from me.

Now that's out of the way, let's get to the rest

════ ⋆★⋆ ════
════ ⋆★⋆ ════

King Casteel Da'Neer

credits @theclever.crow

credits @dominiquewesson

He who is born of the First Kingdom, created from the blood and ash of those who fell before him, the second son of the former King Valyn and Queen Eloana—Casteel Hawkthrone Da’Neer, the King of Blood and Ash.

That man. I– I just love him. He would do anything to protect Poppy, come hell or high water, nothing is going get to her. There is just something about a Hero who would gladly sacrifice the whole world, if that means that his love is going to life. He's so unapologetic about it has 0 fucks to give and I love him for it.
Casteel was faster, reaching him in the blink of an eye. He shoved his fist into the man’s back and jerked his arm back sharply, pulling out something white and smeared with blood and tissue. His spine. Dear gods, it was the man’s spine.

Excuse MEE, but that was hot!! 🥵🥵🥵 He can rip out my spine anytime he wants if he does it with such passion. 🥵

And one last fanart, because it's 🔥🔥🔥

credits @jeleynai

Queen Poppy Balfour

credits @theclever.crow

She who carries the blood of the King of Gods, the Liessa, and the true heir of Atlantia—Penellaphe Balfour Da’Neer, the Queen of Flesh and Fire.

Poppy is getting more powerful with each book. To be honest, I don't think Poppy needed all the power that she got, because even without it she would have been kickass with her dagger.

What plays a central role in this book is Poppy's heritage and birth parents. It was giving me a headache. My head is turning at all of the reveals... it was a lot to take in.

One of the best part of this book is Poppy putting people in their place when they disrepect her. LIKE YES QUEEN. 👏🏽👏🏽 A huge aspect of Poppy's whole development is finding her voice and stop being silent and does it verbally and physically. When Poppy unleashes her power, you know shit is getting real. That last scene when she sends the Queen her message? That was so badass and I love it.

The romance

credits @nessiarts

“I love you, Penellaphe. You. Your fierce heart, your intelligence and strength. I love your endless capacity for kindness. I love your acceptance of me. Your understanding. I’m in love with you, and I will be in love with you when I take my last breath and then beyond in the Vale.”

The day this series will stop working for me is when I get tired of Poppy and Casteel's romance and that hasn't happened yet. That's the reason why I don't mind the snail pace when nothing is happening, cause I read this series for the romance anyway and not for the history lessons.
“You are the foundation that helps me stand. You are my walls and my roof. My shelter. You are my home.”

They are so cute and make me feel all kind of emotions. 🥺 after two whole books without any love confessions, we get all the 'I love you's in TCOGB FINALLY!! Especially that first one hits so hard, because of what happened to Poppy and when Cas decide to Ascend her. That one hurt. 😩
I looked down at my hands and then up, finding Casteel. “I guess I am the Queen of Flesh and Fire.” Casteel nodded as he stalked toward me, his eyes a heated amber. “I know you’re the Queen of my heart.” Blinking, I lowered my hands as he stopped in front of me. “Did you seriously just say that?” One dimple appeared as he clasped the back of my head and lowered his head to mine. “I sure as fuck did.”

THE HELL??? They are so cheesy sometimes and I love it. Sick sick sick why do they have to be so in love and make me feel lonely? Poppy and Cas had so many dumb banter (I say dumb in the most loving way) that had me smiling from ear to ear.

TCOGB must be JLA steamiest book (that I read), cause uhhh Cas and Poppy getting it on quite a lot. 👀 I mean that shower scene and table scene where he fucks her while she has to read passages from Willa's diary out loud hot damn.

credits @_ellieoo_

And please let them reunite quickly in Book #4. I hate it when the couple separates for long. Poppy better save her man as fast as possible from that deranged person. I'm scared what is going to happen to Cas.

credits @arda.arts


credits @theclever.crow

It's time that JLA stop killing off all his love interest. First that girl that he loved and lost and now this Lyra girl. Kieran deserves better.

Kieran is such a good side characters who is featured a lot in this book. He a great friend to both Cas and Poppy and he deserves all the happiness. I'm excited to see what's in store for him.

Poppy & Kieran's friendship
“I imagine your mind to be a constant cyclone of questions, one fighting the other in a deathmatch to see which one has the honor of being asked.”

Does Poppy asking a lot of question and Kieran acting annoyed at her thousand questions get old? Yes.. Occasionally it's getting on my nerves. But I come to accept that it's just their dynamic. Let's pray that they find another form of conversation in the next couples of books. 😬

I love that they are developing a deeper relationship and how they starting to care for each other a lot (all platonic or like brother/sister). Poppy is now another person that Kieran would defend with his own life, not just because he is bonded to her, but because he cares for her as a dear friend.

the plot thickens

It's debatable if the story moves fast enough or not, but I feel like we're finally getting SOMEWHERE. I still have a million questions and with every question answered, ten more are knocking at the door, BUT I'm so glad that I finally got to know about Tawny, Malik and Ian's whereabout.

I'm so glad that Tawny is fine and hasn't ascended. I'm curious what role she is going to play in the upcoming books, cause I don't think she has any power since she is only a mortal. Could she be a potential love interest for Kieran?

I'm super sad about what happened to Ian. I was looking forward to Poppy and Ian's reunion and while happened it was too short, before it ended in another tragedy. Poppy deserves a break form all this shit!!

Malik seems fine though...seems like he is working together with the Queen of Solis, but my theory is that he pretending. But I wouldn't be too sad if he's imprisonment turned him truly mad either.

Are we about to get a bitch fight between Eleona and Isbeth?? I find Eleona pretty suspious and I hope she is trustworthy. Would hate for Cas to lose a parent. Where the fuck is Malec? What's with his twin brother? SO MANY QUESTIONS 💀

════ ⋆★⋆ ════
════ ⋆★⋆ ════

the information dumping continues

JLA hasn't done herself any favors with the world she created. It's overloaded with creatues... like if vamprys, craven, wolven, deities, gods, mortal, ascendend weren't enough.. now throw in draken, the revenants, gyrms, the unseen, primals and I'm throwing hands. JLA couln't decide which fantasy aspect to include so she just threw in EVERYTHING. The person who has to update/write these wiki articles for the blood and ash series. RIP.

at one point it got so bad with the history lessons that I got a headache and had to put the book down. For those chapters in the middle, I decided to get the audiobook and it was the best decision EVER. I can 100% recommend getting the audiobook if you're struggling a little all the information. It was way easier to process listening someone reading the story instead of reading the textbook. This is also the reason why I just can't give this book a higher rating. I really loved the beginning (chapter 7 is superior!) and I love the last 20% of the book, but everything in between ehh i don't know about that.

What more does JLA wants to cover in the next 3 books???? Is this going to be more history about the gods and deity? There is still the spin off series about Nyktos and I have no idea how much more the author wants to expand this world. I'm just praying that by the end of this book I still like the characters and that the series is not getting dragged through the mud like the Shatter Me series.

repetitive dialogues

while I'm glad that JLA lessen the Poppy being stabby remarks, there are still a lot of dialogues that are repetitive, like Poppy and Kieran's asking questions or Cas saying 492849x that he is in awed with Poppy. BOY I GET IT OKAY. You're whipped and completely trash for her, but I can't hear it anymore. 🤚

Also if I hear someone saying that Poppy is has the blood of gods one more time I'm going to scream. There were more things that were repetitive and could've been easily cut, but I'm too tired to remember them.

════ ⋆★⋆ ════
════ ⋆★⋆ ════

➴ Isbeth that bitch. Wow I really really really hate her. Even though I hate her sm, I'm glad I feel something towards her.. because most villains are kinda bland. She's a cunning & ruthless bitch. Does it make any sense that I kind of admire her, but at the same time just want to see her die a painful and slow death? I can't wait for Poppy to cut her up into tiny little pieces 🗡️🗡️🗡️

════ ⋆★⋆ ════
════ ⋆★⋆ ════

Hello Daddy Nyktos. 😌

I love his cameo in TCOGB and it made me a little excited for the spin off series! He seems so unbothered by everything and I love his attitude LOL.
“And I gave you two my blessing,” Nyktos added. “Yet, you dare to enter Iliseeum and wake me. What a way to show your gratitude. Should I kill all of you before I learn why, or do I even care enough to discover the reasons?”

October, here we come with Nyktos and his consorts.
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════ ⋆★⋆ ════

Was this my favorite book in the series? No, but I still enjoyed it a lot, because I love the characters and the romance and that's the most important part. The book was tedious at times, especially during the middle. At least I kind of know what to expect now from this series... with 3 more books, the pace is not getting any better, I just hope that JLA stops with the world-building, cause this series doesn't need any more creatures. It already has plenty of them.


#1 From Blood and Ash3.75 stars
#2 A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire4 stars
#3 A Crown of Gilded Bones – 3.5 stars
#4 The War of Two Queens – tbr
#5 (....) – tbr
#6 (....) – tbr
Profile Image for myo ⋆。˚ ❀ *.
823 reviews6,890 followers
June 12, 2021
2.5 stars if i’m being frank.

whoever told me this book was “sooooo good” i want my personal own rounds with you.

i can very much tell at this point JLA wants long drawn out series because besides for 200 pages, literally nothing happens in this fucking book. she keeps using the same jokes from the first book, the same lines like mentioning hawke’s dimples constantly. kept trying to figure out who she was a descendant of, which is fine but in this book they would go so far trying to figure out how and it would be wrong. it’s just so obvious she was trying to reach a word count because this deadass couldve been edited down and everyone who hyped this book to me, what the fuck?

i’m never trusting yall again.

I’ll be reading Nytos book but i swear if jennifer doesn’t get her shir together by book four i’m going to be so done with her. i’m so upset right now like this literally was my favorite series and now i just feel like JLA is trying to copy SJM by having a long drawn out series.
Profile Image for Lucie V..
1,014 reviews2,068 followers
June 15, 2022
“The villain is always the hero in their story, aren’t they?”


I'm still reeling from the last part of the book. The ending completely wrecked me. But at the same time, Poppy is so fucking awesome... 😭😭😭

✅ Strong badass main character
✅ Amazing secondary characters
✅ Perfect love interest
✅ Sweet and sexy romance
✅ Funny banter
✅ Plot and pace
✅ Action
✅ Gods and mythology
✅ Drakens!!!! 🐉
❗️❗️ Huge cliffhanger 😩


While I am madly in love with the characters and the world-building, I like the new places they explored in this book, and don’t even get me started on the drakens, the kickass trio that is Cas, Poppy, and Kieran, and that cruel ending… I also have to admit that some parts near the middle dragged on a little and some conversations were a little repetitive or were the easy go-to strategy to explain any new piece of information or new concept that was introduced. But I still loved this book SO MUCH! That’s why I am hesitating… The rational part of me says 4.5 stars, but the biased part that is in love with this series says 5 stars…

On the other hand, this book has more plot twists, more Kieran and Poppy interactions, more Kieran overall, more sexy hot moments, more mythology and Gods and it even has drakens! We also get to see more of Atlantia and learn more about Atlantia and Solis’ history…

“The heart doesn’t care how long you may have with someone.” Kieran looked over at me, his eyes sheltered. “It just cares that you have the person for as long as you can.”

Get ready for an EPIC adventure. This series keeps on getting better with each book. So many things happen in this book, so many plot twists, so many feelings! It was a real roller coaster, I laughed out loud, I wanted to scream and punch something. I went through so many emotions, but I loved it.

Casteel tossed the body to the ground and looked up at another man, blood streaming from his mouth. “What?”
The masked man spun and ran.
Casteel was faster, reaching him in the blink of an eye. He shoved his fist into the man’s back and jerked his arm back sharply, pulling out something white and smeared with blood and tissue. His spine. Dear gods, it was the man’s spine.
Kieran’s eyes met mine. “He’s a little angry.”
“A little?” I whispered.
“Okay. He’s really angry,” Kieran amended,

Objectively, this book is probably not perfect, but I don't care.

This book starts off really strong as it jumps straight into the action and picks up exactly where AKOFAF ended. Casteel and Poppy have a lot of work to do to prove to the people of Atlantis that Poppy is worthy of their respect, while also trying to elaborate a plan that would allow them to get Malik and Ian back, and get rid of the Blood Crown once and for all… And just as we thought they finally had things under control, it all went to hell, and here I am now, still reeling from the last 10% and anxiously waiting for the next book.

The world-building is expanding and we get to know new creatures (and I can't wait to see more of them in the next book). Vonetta, Delano, Naill, and Emil are more present and the dynamic between their group is so so so funny. They made me laugh out loud so many times. They added a humorous touch in between (or in the middle of) the fighting scenes and political scheming.

I twisted to find Kieran at our side. He reached up, grasping my arms.
“Do you have her?” Casteel demanded of Kieran.
“Always,” he replied.

I said it many times, but I'll say it again: I love Kieran. 💙 He is an amazing secondary character, and I wished we’d have more of him. He is a steady and reassuring presence next to Poppy all throughout the book and he balances some of Casteel and Poppy’s most impulsive or reckless ideas. The interactions between the three of them are perfect (and sexy sometimes), and their banter is soooooo funny and delightful to read. I could probably read a whole book just about Poppy, Casteel, and Kieran going through their everyday life and being silly and snarky and I would still give it 5 stars. The friendship developing between Kieran and Poppy is also so sweet and heartwarming... and hilarious too!

My first.
My guard.
My friend.
My betrayer.
My partner.
My husband.
My heartmate.
My everything.
Casteel Da’Neer bowed before me and stared up at me as if I were the only person in the entire kingdom.

I wanted to remember what it felt like to be in his arms, to hear his voice and feel his mouth against mine. I wanted to remember the way he smiled when I threatened him, and how his eyes lit up and warmed whenever I challenged him. I wanted to remember the pride I felt from him whenever I silenced those around me with words or by blade. I wanted to remember how he touched my scars reverently as if he wasn’t worthy of them—of me.

Poppy and Cas are also perfect in this book. 🖤 Poppy is such a strong, resilient badass girl, and Cas... well he's Cas. I don't need to say more. I love Poppy, Cas, and Kieran so much. Their friendship is so beautiful. The teasing and arguments they have are so funny and so full of love. I want more of it (and just more of Kieran). Ok... I'm done talking about them (for now).

“I don’t think I’ll ever get used to seeing that,” I whispered.
“Which part?” Casteel asked. “The shifting, or Kieran stripping?” Naill snorted as he righted himself on the saddle, shoving Kieran’s clothing into his bag.
“Neither,” I admitted, my gaze lifting to the trees as we entered the woods.

Things are also getting sexier. There is a lot of nakedness, whether it’s between Poppy and Cas (oh yeah, we have many hot steamy scenes between them), Poppy being randomly naked (or half-naked) in front of people, or people getting naked in front of Poppy. I’m not complaining though, it did create some funny moments, and some hot moments too.

“I have a feeling I’m going to want to stab you by the end of the night.” Kieran snorted.
“And how is that different from any other night?” I sighed.

“You’re safe here,” he told me as he placed the dagger beside my hand. “But just in case, if anyone comes in here, stab first and ask questions later. You should be familiar with that mentality.”
“Why does everyone act like I run around stabbing people?”
Casteel stared back at me and then looked pointedly at his chest.
“Whatever,” I muttered. “You deserved it.”

Rest assured that Poppy still has an unhealthy liking for pointy objects, and Casteel has to endure daily stabbing threats from her (although he deserves it most of the time). I think for them, stabbing is the equivalent of a good warm hug for us normal people… At that point, it’s just a running gag in the series, but it still makes me smile every time.

**Mild spoiler in the next quote**

It was Casteel’s father. He was here. Maybe it was hunger or the residual panic of being seconds away from being in the clutches of the Ascended once more. Perhaps it was everything that Alastir had told me. Either way, tears climbed my throat as I stared at King Valyn. He was here, fighting to free me.

I like that we get to see Casteel’s parents in this book and that they are part of the plot too. I whooped out loud the first time Kind Valyn got involved in a fight just because I could imagine him and Casteel fighting side by side and it was epic in my head.

The next book promise to be epic. The badass Vengeful Goddess Poppy is ready to make fire and blood rain on Solis. It’s going to be AMAZING.

⚠️ SPOILERS below. ⚠️

From Blood and Ash ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Gorgeous Fanarts by Dominic Wesson, JoPainter and TheCleverCrow

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Profile Image for Val ⚓️ Shameless Handmaiden ⚓️.
1,861 reviews30.1k followers
Shelved as 'purgatory'
November 18, 2021
DNF @ 10% - No Rating

I’m gonna press pause on this one…

I am just bored, quite frankly. I didn’t love the first two, but kind of wanted to at least find out how this ended; however, I was just made aware that this is still not going to be the concluding book…so I’m out. I can’t see myself sitting with these characters, this story, and this writing for another 1000+ pages. I don’t hate read and I think I’ve decided this just isn’t for me.

Maybe I’ll pick it up again later, maybe not. Happy this series is a hit with so many though. Happy reading.
Profile Image for dd (danerys).
473 reviews225 followers
March 13, 2022
dnf @ 56% l 2%

i tried. i really, really tried to get through this shitty mess of a book but i’m not putting myself through this torture any longer.

can i just say that
booktok has some serious issues🤡🤡

my opinions from the second book still stand so if you want to see me attacking this series in all it’s glory, i recommend going to my review of the second book as well.

but, dare i say it, this book has been the worst out of all three.

but before i get started, i’d like to say that i would love to give you guys some huge elaborate theory on why people like this series, but the truth is, i honestly. don’t. know.

i don’t understand why so many people love this and i can’t even get through it. i understand it when people like books that others deem as ‘trashy’ or that don’t have good writing but are enjoyable to read. and i understand when people don’t like certain genres or certain tropes and that is just not their thing. i understand how people can have a wide range of what works for them and what doesn’t, but for the goddamn life of me, i cannot figure out how so many people like this book.

i swear it’s a cult or some shit because at this point i am hella confused

but i digress.

why, you might ask, is this book so bad?

here’s why. i’ll make a list.

reason number 1: this book is nothing but info dumping. i swear to you, absolutely nothing happens in this book besides info dumping and the occasional half-hearted “battle” or smut scene. i cannot go two pages in this book without someone explaining something to poppy for 10 pages. half of the stuff is not even relevant. i am not even sure that any of it is relevant. and clearly the info dumping isn’t even working, because i have no fucking clue what is going on. as far as i’m concerned, everything the characters are talking about are completely made-up concepts and they are children playing games. the author did not think these concepts through or make them into a real story, and it feels like she is trying to explain to herself and reason what is going on in her own book series. there are hUgE rEvELaTiOnS that happen every other page until they cannot in any way shape or form be hUgE rEVeLaTiONs anymore. i honestly do not see the point of these huge info dumps if everything is going to change five seconds later. and no, it isn’t ‘shocking’ when things change every page. i am just bored and confused. and i also, simply, do not care. these info dumps take up paragraphs that reach whole pages and nothing ever happens besides that. things never happen without there being a huge info dump right afterwards. this is such a lazy method to convey information in the first place, these are not good writing skills. and it certainly does not capture the attention of the reader.

reason number 2: the dialogue is the same dialogue that has been going on since book one. see my other review for emphasis on this, but i don’t need to hear about poppy stabbing people again. it wasn’t even funny the first time. is this what “humor” looks like now? somebody look me in the eyes and tell me that this isn’t what humor is like now, because if it is then i have lost all fucking faith in humanity. i also do not care that the thought of poppy stabbing someone continually turns casteel on. i do not need to hear about that. it isn’t hot and it isn’t even that funny because poppy literally felt so betrayed so she stabbed him to get away and save her life. how is that even funny? someone explain because i literally do not get it. i also do not need to hear about how special poppy is for asking questions. guess what? if i were poppy i would also be asking questions, you know why? because having been sheltered as the maiden and then all but kidnapped by a guy who betrayed you, i would be a little bit confused about the world around me that supposedly changes with a hUgE rEvELAtiOn every other page. i would be confused, and so would poppy, and so would every single other person ever. asking questions does not make poppy special and casteel and kieran need to get their heads out of their asses and realize that. and right there, basically, is all the dialogue that happens during this book. making jokes about poppy stabbing people, making jokes about poppy asking questions, and info dumping are the 3 only things that make up the dialogue in this book. what a literary masterpiece am i right 🤡

reason number 3: there is no plot. deadass. there is nothing. there is barren landscape with a tumbleweed blowing by. that’s our plot. i swear nothing happens in these books. i would call this book a filler book but then i think back and notice how every other book in this series is also a filler book. and that’s just embarrassing. that’s just a whole ass scam right here.
this book, a summary:
❥ there is a “battle” between so and so: vampyrs or wolvens or the AscEnDeD or whatever the fuck else there is
❥ everyone who is supposed to be likable almost gets killed and has sEvERe injuries that last 0.2 seconds
❥ 20 pages of info dumping and telling poppy how special she is
❥ smut scene with blood-sucking kink 💀
❥ walking around castle grounds or riding on horses to get to some destination because apparently it’s a rule that they can’t stay in the same place for more than a quarter of the book, & more info dumping
❥ more info dumping
❥ cas and poppy have sex again but in an iNtEResTinG place this time (see: shower or semi-public garden)
❥ more info dumping
and that is where i stopped reading for the sole reason that i hate this book.

reason number 4: the writing is bad. the writing in this book either makes no sense or it is literally the cheesiest thing i have ever read. and it really needs some editing because there is so much that isn’t necessary and why the hell is this book more than 600 pages long. jail.
every single word in this book works against the quality and good-ness of the book. there is so much unnecessary information and unnecessary dialogue and unnecessary thought processes poppy has that are absolutely downright stupid, and then there is the fact that the writing doesn’t flow together at all and contradicts itself and is very choppy and all over the place, and, well, it’s a mess. also, much like sarah j maas, this author has a severe problem with em dashes. ma’am, you need to stop using these. you also need to stop using ellipses, because i swear i have read reviews where the reader counted the number of ellipses used in the book and trust me, the numbers were not pretty.

reason number 5: the characters are so dumb. and i mean “dumb” in absolutely every way. they make dumb decisions, they are developed dumbly with no complexity whatsoever, they act dumb, they think dumb, the things they say are dumb, and i don’t like them. am i the only one who thinks that the characters progressively got worse? by the end of book one, i hated casteel or hawke or whatever the fuck is dumb ass prefers to be called. by the end of book two, i hated poppy as well. and by 56% through book three, i hate every single character in this goddamn series. not even kieran can save this for me anymore guys. i’m done.
i don’t like how casteel is portrayed to be all ”perfect” but also hAwT but also a bAd bOi 🤡
he’s dumb is what he is. he’s a shitty character in every way, i don’t like the way he treats poppy it feels weird to me and i don’t like it idk i don’t like how he is so cocky and makes stupid jokes at the worst times and his character doesn’t make any sense and he makes me shudder. (and since poppy probably always talks about shuddering in a very different sense, i on the other hand mean shuddering in a bad way.)
i don’t like poppy either. she has no clue about how the world works, she thinks everything is all fairies and rainbows, and instead of other people calling her on it, they think it makes her sPeCiAL. no. it doesn’t. it just makes her dumb. i find her inner monologue absolutely insufferable as well. her thoughts don’t make sense and they’re really stupid half the time. (most of the time, actually.) (ALL OF THE TIME FKDJDKJF) i also hate how she just gets more and more special & she just sits there eating that shit up.
in conclusion, i don’t like these characters and i don’t care if they all get eaten by vampyrs.

reason number 6: poppy and casteel’s romance is stale and boring. despite the author’s best effort to spice up their relationship with a blowjob and semi-public sex, they are still as bland as soggy cardboard. i don’t care for their “banter” which is only cas making fun of poppy for willa’s diary, which literally i don’t even understand why he makes fun of her for that he needs to chill, i don’t care for their smut scenes, and i don’t care for how they supposedly lOvE each other. i guess they deserve each other because i dislike both of them with a passion, but i honestly get so sick of reading about their stale little romance. it just feels really awkward whenever they are in near proximity to each other and i’m absolutely not here for it. (& i can tell that they make everyone around them uncomfortable too.)

i could go on and on and on. there are so many things wrong with this book, but i am tired and i am sick of talking about a book i hate.

when someone solves the mystery of why everyone is obsessed with this series come let me know.

✨also: i’m surprised not many people have noticed the lack of diversity and representation in this series?? the rep is bad. it’s actually nowhere to be seen. i mean this is almost worse than sjm’s books
Profile Image for Maryam Rz..
220 reviews2,751 followers
August 4, 2023
EDIT: There was no Joining but, damn, did I love the theme of that backstory reveal and ofc the amount of fun. Review to come.


I appreciate how JLA understands that she’s left us all hanging off the cliff edge with that ending and intends to publish this in April 2021.

Y’all, just “hang” in there for six more months. (terrible pun absolutely intended fight me)


Companions: Playlist & Related Reviews

Book series playlist: Spotify URL

Books in series:
The Red Pearl Bonus Scene (Blood and Ash, #0.5) ★★★✯☆
From Blood and Ash (Blood and Ash, #1) ★★★★✯
A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire (Blood and Ash, #2) ★★★★✯
➴ The ​Crown of Gilded Bones (Blood and Ash, #3) ☆☆☆☆☆
Profile Image for Melanie.
1,174 reviews98.8k followers
April 30, 2021

1.) From Blood and Ash ★★★★
2.) A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire ★★★

the way i really thought this was the last book of the series lmaooooo! but so much just.... didn't happen after that amazing start and before that really powerful (& omg all the twists) ending. but i had a good time for the most part while reading this, even with so many lulls throughout. but i am begging for kieran to just get his own book.

content and trigger warnings: blood depiction, captivity, violence, gore, talk of death of a child/murder, talk of children being hurt, talk of loss of a loved one in the past, snakes/ophidiophobia, and war themes.

Blog | Instagram | Youtube | Ko-fi | Spotify | Twitch

Buddy read with Maëlys! ❤
Profile Image for Arini.
857 reviews1,773 followers
January 15, 2023
2nd Read, Nov. 2021 — 4 Stars
1st Read, April 2021 — 3.5 Stars

#1 From Blood and Ash — 4 Stars
#2 A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire — 4 Stars

I’m building a shrine for MISS WILLA COLYNS to show my appreciation for all the hot and sexiness TCOGB/her diary served me with. 🔥👅 😈

“You are the foundation that helps me stand. You are my walls and my roof. My shelter. You are my home.”

The first 10% was SOOOO GOOODD, but the rest was still as info dumpy as ever with repetitive dialogues and a snail like pace. Not to mention, Poppy’s heritage was so un-decided it gave me a whiplash.

HOWEVER, it was also a whole lotta STEAMY-ER and there was no “Joining” in sight. Furthermore, the last 30% was INTENSE and full of twists and new revelations as per the one and only JLA could deliver cause that’s her MO.

Lastly, just when you thought Casteel Da’Neer couldn’t be more perfect—

[insert all the heart-and-panty-melting things Cas said and did]


I just—

*I’m Sansa and Poppy is Arya.

So yeah, all ~THAT~ (the good, the bad, the boring, and everything in between), I’d call it a WIN. Looking forward to the prequel series and the next installment!!! ♥♥


𝗣.𝗦. There’s no “Joining,” but there’s a new variation of this scene: 🧛‍♂️🐺👅


*Cas feeding from Poppy with Kieran present. (Ch. 26 AKOFAF)

In this book, it’s the same activity but with a slight twist and different positions. (Ch. 8 TCOGB)

Poppy is feeding from Cas (which later escalates to sex) while Kieran is standing guard and keeping an eye on them to make sure Poppy doesn’t lose control cause she’s going through a “transition” (not ganna explain this one). Later on, there’s a scene where Cas and Poppy are watching people enjoying themselves and “getting it on” (which includes a threesome, but neither Cas nor Poppy are the participants) during a wolven wedding celebration. So, technically, there is a threesome. Just not what you’re probably thinking or expecting. 😏

“I love you, Penellaphe. You. Your fierce heart, your intelligence and strength. I love your endless capacity for kindness. I love your acceptance of me. Your understanding. I’m in love with you, and I will be in love with you when I take my last breath and then beyond in the Vale.”

Happy reading!!! 💕

(Read as an Audiobook)
Profile Image for Ayman.
213 reviews85.1k followers
July 29, 2021
ok well damn.
i could go on and on about this book but i’m gonna keep it concise. no spoilers, however it’s my thoughts and opinions at the moment

it’s no secret that JLA can write a very addictive book and it’s also no secret that this series is definitely heavy romance over plot. in fact most of this was hearts and butterflies and that last 30% was action. i’m honestly fine with this but i wish we were introduced to it earlier in the book. it was pretty slow in the beginning and not as fast pace as the previous 2 were. the angst was definitely a bit lack luster since poppy and casteel have made it official. however, it was actually pretty nice to read poppy and casteel just living peacefully for once.
as far as character development, poppy’s was definitely the strongest. she’s honestly the only person i care for in this book. the only person i connected with and im overall happy at the growth that came to her character by the end of this book. JLA knows how to keep the reader engaged and wanting more. so i can’t wait for the next books!

-there were a few things however that i didn’t vibe with in this book and that is poppy’s lack of relevant sex education. poppy has been sheltered all her life so it’s expected that she doesn’t know sexual terms or understand sexual remarks. in previous books and in this one, casteel pokes fun at poppy’s not-knowing of sexual remarks or sugar coded sentences he says. for example: the foresome term. i feel like casteel and those around poppy could have safely educated poppy on sex positions, sexual terms, ect. instead of making fun of her for not knowing what it is and leaving her in the dark to guess. poppy’s only form of sex education was miss willa diary. why couldn’t those around her safely educate her on safe sex?
-i really enjoyed how all of the questions and theories we’ve been asking since day 1 have been answered. but now we are just left with another set of questions and theories that need immediate answering
-i appreciated the better understanding of terms and world building that was brought to this book. now it feels like i know everything and i don’t need to rely on the map or a guide.
-miss will was the lady at the red pearl?!? gah damn!
-yes! we finally get to see the characters we’ve been anticipating for but lmao surprise they’re “evil”
-poppy is badass and a fucking GOD! game changer ladies and mistakes!!
-but damn the way this ended....i won’t be able to not think about it for days :)
Profile Image for Becky.
155 reviews330 followers
April 1, 2021
I would first like to thank Jen and Steph for sending me this ARC and for being a part of JLA Reviewers.

Spoiler free review

When I started this book, I knew a lot of things were going to happen, it begins straight from where the last book ended and so much stuff had already gone down. What I did not expect was that my jaw would be dropping with the first four chapters. I haven’t read a book in a while where at the beginning something major happened in the beginning chapters, it was a nice change. With the big reveals in the beginning of the book I guesses it would happen when I was reading the second book but Jen has that way of writing where even if you know what happens you still feel A LOT of emotions.

After reading Jen’s books I knew I would be feeling a lot of major emotions while reading this book, I was not disappointed. This book was; heart-breaking, shocking, magical, heart-warming, steamy and made me tear up a number of times. Jen has the great skill of not info dumping in the first couple of chapters, all the info you need to be reminded was spread out nicely over chapters and you weren’t wanting to skim read what you already knew.

As always Poppy and Cas are just adorable together. They’re dealing with just getting married, Poppy’s puzzling powers and the looming choice she has to make with becoming Queen. But with all that going on you still got the cute, sexy scenes that just made the book better. The lengths that Poppy and Cas went to for each other in this book was beautiful and at some points crazy. You finally get to see them as a full-blown couple, with all feelings on the table and basically in the honeymoon period of they’re lives. They do go through a lot together and separately in this book but both are there for each other. Now the steam in this book was defiantly HOTTER than the past books, and perfectly spread out the book where you get enough throughout. I do wish that there was a bit more steamier scenes but there was a lot of other stuff going on that I can see why.

There were so many reveals and shocking twists that my jaw was permanently dropped. There was some I was happy about and some where I wanted to scream into my kindle too. I think this book was so perfectly balanced, and had the right amount of everything. There were also a few teasers for the prequal series that Jen is writing that made me super excited for that too. The last few chapters where the most shocking for me, I had so many emotions of shock, anger and disbelief. There is a cliff-hanger at the end, so be warned! But it wasn’t as bad as the last book. Overall, I loved this book. I think its defiantly my favourite so far out of the series but I feel like it will change with each new release. I cannot wait for the next book and I pray it won’t be too long till release date!
Profile Image for Lacey (laceybooklovers).
2,073 reviews10.5k followers
April 7, 2021
I wish I could shout about what happened at the end of this book because SO MUCH IS GOING ON, but I will just say I’m so freaking excited for everyone to read TCOGB. It’s another fantastic installment in this fantasy romance series that I just can’t get enough of! We learn more about Poppy, her powers, Cas’ family, the Ascended, the war between the two kingdoms, the gods.... there's A Lot. And in the midst of this is our favorite power couple who are now married(!!!) and being all cute and hot as husband and wife. For the Kieran fans, you will be very happy to know he’s constantly by their side.

Full review to come!

(I cannot WAIT for ASITE to release in the fall and to see how that series will (eventually) connect with this one! NYKTOS + HIS CONSORT 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼)


i need this in my veins immediately. *adds to my i-will-die-if-i-dont-have-this shelf*
Profile Image for SK.
312 reviews2,772 followers
July 16, 2022
4.5 stars🌟

This was pretty close to perfection and definitely my favourite so far in the series. It started with a bang, also noticed how well written (in the beginning) it was compared to the previous books in the series. Plot wise? I found it to be much more interesting and I appreciated how there was always something going on while maintaining a sort of balance of light hearted conversation and of course, smut.

I noticed people were not happy with Poppy's powers leveling up so much. WHY?! She is such a badass, how can y'all not enjoy that?! She's such a likable character. I would definitely like to see more of Cas, more of him contributing. With Poppy now being elevated to a whole different status, Cas felt a bit overshadowed. Some of the focus needs to go back on him.

The reason I did not give it a full 5 stars, is cause the humor is highly repetitive, Poppy's questions seem to never end and that's the only way through which the author explains us the plot. The writing got back to what it was in the previous books soon enough but regardless, I enjoyed it a lot.

I can't wait to start with A Shadow in the Ember . I have heard such high praises from you all, it's hard not to be excited. Ahh the ending in this one was so good I'm screaming!!!
Profile Image for ✩ Yaz ✩.
522 reviews1,657 followers
December 10, 2021
4 - ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This will be spoiler-free so I've got you!

So yeah.. let's talk about The Crown of Gilded Bones, it's the third installment in the Blood and Ash series.

What the hell was that ending JLA!?

It started with a bomb
It ended with a nuclear explosion

This book was more intense than its predecessors. It was such a thrilling experience.

More political intrigue
More world-building
More romance (10x times more)
More characters
More locations
More action
More secrets

The plot-twists were crazy to the point I was mentally exhausted but it what kept me turning page after page.

It was great to be back with Poppy and co and experience a new adventure with them. This book did set the dark tone that I believe the future books will follow along with its spin-off, A Shadows in the Ember.

I'm really, really excited to see more of Nyktos and his consort, JLA said the consort will play a significant role in the upcoming books.

The romance was passionate and hot as it always been but we see more of Casteel and Poppy being lovey-dovey and domestic and I loved seeing that. Their love for one another is so intense and powerful, Poppy and Casteel would go to the ends of the earth for one another.

Kieran adds even a more special flavor to their dynamic and their friendship is so precious along with Vonetta, Delano and co.

I'm glad this book had more politics to it since both Poppy and Casteel are expected to play new roles and abide by new rules.

I am so glad I got to meet the two characters I was most excited to meet! I did not expect things to turn out that way.

My only criticism would be that the pacing was slow midway but it didn't ruin the experience for me, I might've been on the tip of my toes wanting to know what's going to happen next. I had to deduct a star because mid of the book felt it had a lot of fillers and I think most readers would agree that that's the biggest issue in the book.

There was a lot of new information that I was able to absorb and I see why JLA wants to release ASITE/Spin off books in a specific order with the remaining B&A books.

JLA takes the story and the characters to a whole new level and to a much darker route and it's grating my nerves. I don't have enough patience to wait a year for the fourth book.

I may seem calm but I am still reeling. I'm feeling a whirlwind of emotions and I'm not sure whether I should cry or grab me a cup of warm hot choco to settle me.

Keep a generous amount of chocolate or any sort of comfort food nearby. You will need it. I promise you.
Profile Image for Megi Bulla.
Author 1 book5,966 followers
February 20, 2023
Credo di essermi espressa già troppo su questo libro: il mio preferito della saga.
Temo non ci siano abbastanza parole per poter descrivere quanto io abbia amato ogni singola pagina. Riprenderlo in mano e ricominciarlo da capo è tentazione quotidiana.

"É quindi scritto meglio degli altri?" No.
"Ma finiscono i pipponi di Poppy, vero?" Non proprio.
"Ok. Il finale non sarà il solito Cliffhanger. Almeno questo dai." Ehm...
Eppure a lui appartiene il mio cuore.

E poi ci sono i draghi. EDDAI
Profile Image for Tani.
245 reviews258 followers
Want to read
October 1, 2020




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