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Blood and Ash #4

The War of Two Queens

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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Fantasy (2022)
From the desperation of golden crowns…

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

And born of mortal flesh…

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

A great primal power rises…

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

As the Harbinger of Death and Destruction.

628 pages, ebook

First published March 15, 2022

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About the author

Jennifer L. Armentrout

125 books113k 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.

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# 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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5 stars
45,368 (43%)
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Profile Image for Lucie V..
996 reviews1,613 followers
June 15, 2022
✅ Strong badass main character
✅ Casteel
✅ Relationships (yes, I’m talking about Kieran, Poppy, and Cas)
✅ Intense romance
✅ Smut
✅ Plot and pace
✅ Action
✅ Angst
✅ Draken! 🐉 (but not enough of Reaver…)
✅🆗 Kieran ( I love him so much, but I would have loved more depth)
🆗 Not much of Netta, Delano, Naill, and Emil
❗️❗️ I definitely recommend reading A Shadow in the Ember before reading The War of Two Queens.

4.5 stars I think… Please don’t hate me, and I apologize in advance for the long review.

And forever.

I think it’s the first time I’m afraid to receive hate because I loved a book. 😬
Yes, I loved it.
No, I don’t think there was any emotional cheating.
Yes, I’m all in for a throuple in the future books.
Please keep in mind that everyone has their own opinion and preferences and that we can all share it in a respectful manner.

“The pain was more than worth it. I would spend an eternity taking these bites if that meant she was safe. That it wasn’t her in this cell. That she wasn’t the one in pain.”

The very first chapter of this book is from Cas’ POV and I was SO HAPPY to finally have some chapters from his perspective. Again, I know many readers thought that the book was long and boring, but I was hooked up from page 1. As Casteel is held prisoner by The Blood Queen, Poppy is raising her army. She has the draken and wolven behind her, but she also needs the support of the Atlantians if she hopes to win the war, kill Isbeth, and save her King.

The Gods and Primals’ history and significance are more important in this book, hence my recommendation to read ASITE first. I thought that the main villain in this series would be The Blood Queen and her allies, but I realize now that I was sorely mistaken and that the war has only begun. I am so happy that I enjoyed this book when so many others did not, and I am very excited for the next one.

We can’t save everyone, Kieran reminded me. But we can save the ones we love.

This book is filled with heartache, rage, sorrow, angst, and love. The suffering Casteel endures broke my heart, and seeing Poppy and Kieran in pain and desperate to find him and save him before it was too late was painful. I do love angst, and I had a good dose of it in this book. Oh, how I wanted to see Callum and The Blood Queen die a painful and slow death. I hate them so much, but at the same time, I’m happy that I hate them because it means that I am so much more involved in the story.

I knew Cas would eventually be rescued, I also know that he would persevere and endure, no matter what because he’d rather be the one suffering than Poppy. But among all that despair and rage, there was also hope because he knew that his Queen would come for him.

“Whether she ruled over all the lands and seas or was the Queen of nothing but a pile of ashes and bones, she would—will—always be my Queen. Love is too weak an emotion to describe how she consumes me and what I feel for her. She is my everything.”

Poppy becomes even more confident in this book. The stakes are higher than ever before, and she tries her best to win a war without killing innocents or destroying cities. She also has to deal with the Atlantian generals that are doubtful about her and her ability to rule, and we could see how she hurt and how the weight on her shoulders was slowly becoming too much. Cas, as usual, was a perfect supporting husband. Never try to stop her or to tell her that she couldn’t do what she wanted to do. He trusts her completely and gives her the power over her life that she didn’t have in all of her years as The Maiden. Their love is inspiring and beautiful… And it’s also full of passion and sexy moments. 😏

“Don’t forget what he means to me, Poppy. I’ve known him my whole damn life,” he said. “We shared the same crib more times than not. We took our first steps together. Sat at the same table most nights, refusing to eat the same vegetables We explored tunnels and lakes, pretended that fields were new, undiscovered kingdoms. We were inseparable. And that didn’t change as we grew older.” His voice roughened, and he dropped his forehead to mind. “He was and still is a part of me.”

I reached over, clasping his shoulder. “We are not brothers of the same blood. We are not friends due to some bond,” I told him, and his gaze met mine. “We are not loyal to each other because of courtesy or tradition or title. We have always been above all that. And, in a lot of ways, we’re two halves of the same whole. Different than Poppy and me, but not that much different. You know that.”

Cas and Kieran’s love and fierce loyalty for each other is so wholesome and heartwarming. I love them with all my heart and seeing how much they care for each other and would do anything for each other was beautiful. This is some higher lever bromance here. I have loved Kieran from the start, but I do have one complaint here… Even though he is much more present, which I adored, he lacked a certain depth. This uniqueness that he had in the second and third books was forgotten here and he had such a Cass-like-behavior at times, which I don’t mind if it’s a few times, but in this book, while I love his relationship with poppy, I feel that his behavior changed quite a lot to mimic Cas’ behavior when he is with Poppy.

I shot him a glare. ”Would you like to help, or do you just want to stand there and watch me get yelled at by an old woman?”
“Is there a third option?”
My eyes narrowed.

Poppy and Kieran definitely get closer to each other emotionally and physically in this book. I know that some readers saw this as “emotional cheating”, which I respect, but I did not see it that way. They are both going through the same emotional pain after losing Cas and they are doing all they can, including risking their lives in crazy plans to save him. Cas himself does not mind them getting closer and does not see it as cheating, nor does he see Kieran as a threat. On the contrary, Cas is the one bringing them all together, and I truly believe that Poppy will need both of them to keep her in check in the future with her growing powers and this damn prophecy saying that she’s the Harbringer and that she will remake the realms.

Emotions clogged my throat, and I didn’t know if it belonged to them, me, or if it was a combination of all of us.

The three of them clearly love each other. Poppy and Cas can love Kieran, without loving each other less. They both love Kieran and it is heartwarming, sweet, and beautiful. I would not mind a throuple at all in the next book, because even though I ADORE Cas and Poppy, them also loving Kieran and Kieran loving them does not diminish the heartmate bond and the fact that they would do anything for each other (please don’t hate me for this). On the other hand, I would also love it if Kieran finds his own heartmate or his own special person, so I would be happy with both options.

(but seeing how every hateful readers ranted about chapter 44 on every social media, you probably already know about this mild spoiler)…

“I fought the urge to ask him what kind of love he felt for Casteel. For me. I knew it wasn’t a familial one and that it went beyond what one felt for friends. I also thought that it wasn’t the same as what he’d felt for Elashya or what Casteel and I felt for each other. But I also knew that what I felt for Kieran wasn’t the same as what I felt for Delano or Vonetta or Tawny. It was…more.”

I just love how the relationship between Cas, Poppy, and Kieran is getting deeper with each book. It is clear that Cas and Kieran have a special connection, and seeing how Poppy grew on Kieran and how she learned to rely on him and to love him was precious. I am happy that Kieran was more important in the plot this time, and that he was more present all throughout the book. We can see that things are starting to change between Poppy and Kieran, of course, her heartmate remains Cas, but she definitely feels something that’s more than friendship for Kieran. The three of them just have this symbiotic connection, and I love how it might turn out for them. I know that many people were against the idea of The Joining or against the idea of Kieran getting involved in Poppy and Casteel’s relationship, but to me, it just makes sense that they will (hopefully) find a way to make it work because they all love each other deeply. That is what a throuple sounds like to me, and I am not ashamed to say that I would love that for the rest of this series.

Now, about all those hateful and rude comments… I do believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I respect that 100%, but I also believe that there is a way to share one’s opinion while remaining civilized and respectful.

I saw many hateful reviews saying that the fact that Poppy was growing closer to Kieran while Cas was imprisoned was disgusting, that The Joining made no sense because Cas would never share Poppy and that the scene just came out of nowhere to please a few horny fans on Facebook.

The concept of The Joining was introduced in the second book. From the very start, Poppy shows that she is not disgusted by the idea of sharing blood between 3 people and maybe something more in the heat of the moment. There are also a few hints of Poppy and Kieran potentially getting physically closer (the scene where he is behind her as Cas drinks from her, when they’re all sleeping together while traveling to Atlantia, or when he was holding Poppy while she was drinking from Cas and also having sex with him in the third book).

I also distinctly remember in the second book, when Poppy awakes to find Kieran sleeping right behind her while she was cuddling Cas, she says that it was as if Cas was a magnet that drew them both. The hints were there, and the fact that they are now sharing the same anguish and pain with the temporary loss of Cas can very well explain why they grew closer to each other. Also, Poppy and Kieran developing a stronger and more intimate bond does not mean that she wants to replace Cas, or that she loves him less.

Now, concerning the comments stating that “real men don’t share”… Let’s keep in mind that Cas and Kieran share a very strong, ancient, and unique bond. They’re not just best buddies, they grew up together and they trust each other with their life, their connection is a strong one. Cas did not get jealous or angry at Kieran the few times he saw Poppy naked or had a front-row seat for some intimate moments, nor did Cas get angry or possessive when Poppy saw Kieran naked. More than once.

“Nothing and everything had changed between the three of us since the Joining. Our relationship remained as it had been, but there was an intimacy now that hadn’t been there before. A closeness. A bond we were reminded of every time I felt our hearts beating in tandem.”

I will finish this segment on the Joining by saying that I think the relationship between Poppy and Kieran was well done and it started in the second book, it did not appear suddenly in this one. I also strongly believe that there is a way for Poppy, Kieran, and Cass to love each other without diminishing the love they have for each other. Cas and Kieran have been very close for centuries so it does make sense in a way, and I do not believe that The Joining was there only to add some spice and to please some fans. It just shows how close the three of them have become and how they could manage to share everything together.


Seeing Reaver in his mortal form was already an utterly unexpected experience. But seeing him completely, absolutely naked whilst crouched on a pillar took the oddness of the situation to a whole new level.

Casteel's eyes narrowed. "And can you please stop giving Kieran the middle finger?"
"I was actually giving it to everyone, but whatever." Slowly, Reaver lowered his middle finger.

I adored Reaver and his “I don’t really give a shit” attitude in this book, but I would have loved to see more of the drakens. Reaver’s an odd one for sure, but he added many funny moments in this book, and I want more of him in the next one!

I would also have loved to have more of Delano and Netta. While I am happy that Kieran was more important, most of the book follows him, Poppy, and Cas, and we do not really know what is happening with the Atlantian army, with the other wolven, and with the drakens that stayed behind. I feel that Poppy did not have any time with them, or the generals, or the other “important” Atlantians, which would definitely help her gain their trust and know better how to organize her army.

”You’re just saying nonsense. You both are nearly the same height and size,” I said.
“I believe your vision could use improvement,” the draken responded, and I rolled my eyes.
“You could use an attitude improvement,” Kieran retorted.
“I ate a lot of ham,” I announced to Kieran before Reaver could fire back another barb. Both males looked at me. “A lot. You’d be proud.”
“While I’m glad to hear that,” Kieran began, “that was a little random, Poppy.”

“I get it. Kieran almost stepped on your tail.” I turned to the wolven. “Reaver almost bit your hand. Stop whining and get over it.”
“He almost stepped on my entire leg,” Reaver corrected. “Not my tail.”
“And he almost bit my arm off.” Kieran’s eyes narrowed. “Not my hand.”
I stared at them. “You two are… I don’t even know.”

I said earlier that while I would enjoy a throuple, I would also love it if Kieran found his own special person or even heartmate. Am I the only one that was hoping for a hate-to-love relationship to develop between Kieran and Reaver? There is definitely tension between them, and I’m not sure it’s 100% angry tension if you know what I mean. Apparently, the author already confirmed that it would not happen, but it would have been nice. I really like their snarky interactions and how Reaver just didn’t seem to give a shit about anything besides burning humans and annoying Kieran.

Also, a special mention to Malik and Millie who are both quite intriguing, Millie even more than Malik. I fully expect to see them again in the next books, and their role in this war is definitely not over. I don't want to say too much because I don't want to spoil anyone, but let's just say that there is potential for me to like these two in the next books if they make good decisions.

Overall, I did love this book very much. The last 10% were INTENSE and I am already excited for the next book. I know that many people were disappointed, but all I can say is to at least give it a chance, and not base your opinion only on all the 1-star reviews, and hopefully, you will enjoy it as much as I did!

From Blood and Ash ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Crown of Gilded Bones ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5

Fanart by Emilia Mildner
I will most definitely be looking for more fanarts in the next few weeks

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608 reviews4,661 followers
December 1, 2022
– 3.5 stars

I’ve finally read this book and formed my own thoughts on everything that happened. And while it’s my least favorite in this series so far (or more likely tied with TCOGB), it wasn’t because of the scene why everyone is giving this 1 star and the consequences. I’m shocked myself, but this book actually triggered another pet peeve of mine. 😂👀

Even though this book already got spoiled thanks to half of GR and twt users who didn’t bother to put a spoiler tag in their rage about certain things.



Disclaimer: All thoughts are my own and how *I* interpret the events in this book. If you disagree that’s fine, everyone is entitled to their own opinion about his book, if you can disagree in a civil manner great, but refrain from leaving hate comments on here. 😪


One of my biggest pet peeves are LONG SEPARATIONS between the couple. If I have a say, then the couple wouldn’t be separated for more than 15% of a book at a time. And the fact that we needed to wait til the ~52% mark to see a Poppy & Cas reunion and ~60% until Cas was free of Isbitch was just waaaayy too long. I don’t count these dream walking thing Cas & Poppy did. This series works for me because of the romance between Poppy & Cas, take that away and what am I reading for? Surely not for the complicated world building, info-dumping, 30592 different terms that are thrown in to describe (Game of Thrones meet Twilight) vampires, dragons and wolves, or the snail-moving plot. So I was sad to see that it took so long to free Casteel.

The long separation is the main reason why I didn’t love this book, cause the first half of the book didn’t feel like Poppy & Cas’ story anymore. Casteel was pretty much pushed to the sideline. But on another note, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Casteel’s POV chapters!! Been waiting 3 books for his POV and his chapters didn’t disappoint me, cause reading how much he loves Poppy always makes me feel 🥰🥰🥰. Even tho his POVs are a little one-dimentional, since they focus so much on his devotions to Poppy and how perfect she is, I didn’t mind it that much, cause there are worse things to read about than an obsessed Hero completely whipped for his queen. 🤷🏽‍♀️💅 


If you’re friends with me or have read some of my reviews then you might know that I’m #1 president of hating everything that has to do with 3somes, sharing, RH or poly relationship in books. I have nothing against them or the people who read these things and love to read about it, I just don’t want to read that in books myself, because I don’t think it’s romantic. So I’ve been ANTI-JOINING since book 2 when the joining was mentioned, but deep down I always knew the possibility it would happen was there, since there was enough foreshadowing in book 2 & 3.

Do you know what I did first when I opened this book? I looked up the word “Joining” you can’t believe the disappointment I felt when I read through all the mentions and saw it happening in Chapter 44. I was crushed, but not surprised. Before starting, I skimmed through the joining scene and YOO’ WTF THE CONFUSION?! I looked like this


what’s with all the mouths, tongues, hands, fingers everywhere?! which hand belongs to whom? whose fingers are in Poppy’s vajayjay? Did they have sex or not and if yes who penetrated her? Whose cum was on her back? WHAT IN THE NAME OF JESUS, MARIA AND JOSEPH IS HAPPENING???! I’ve read this scene three times (i’m a masochist okay) and still don’t fully understand all the mechanisms that went into this scene, cause JLA made it so fucking unclear!? She should have made the joining full on porn (so at least the ‘horny soccer moms’, as the haters say, would be happy about it) or even better not letting the joining be sexual at all, but what’s done it’s done. I’ve read this book and understand the context and why the joining happened. I’m feeling better about it & can accept it for what it is and the purpose it served, cause the joining happens for a reason, since Kieran was cursed by Callum and Poppy & Cas went with the joining to protect him and tie Kieran & Cas’ lives to Poppy. Basically when Poppy dies, they die, otherwise all of them are going to live as long as she does.

Another thing I want to talk about is “fan service” what people have been throwing around and screaming with their whole ass chest. I’ll be honest, when I saw that the joining was happening, my first thought was: “Why did JLA had to cave to the demands of the pro-joining ppl?” But after sitting on this for a couple of days now and seeing the shitstorm that this release caused, I came to the conclusion that JLA did the opposite of fan serving. I’m fully convinced that she wrote the joining KNOWING the RISK that a lot of people are going to be outrage with it and lose interest in the series all together. Her putting the joining scene in was actually a bad business move, since she’s losing so many more readers & potential readers (those who wanted to wait til the series is finish to start/wanted to wait to see if the joining is happening) and she did it anyway. Fan service would have been to not make the joining sexual at all, cause then the anti-joining/anti-sharing fraction would be happy and while the pro-joining group might be disappointed, they would probably still continue with this series nonetheless. Do I think she made the wrong decision? Hell yeah. But I respect that decision, cause it’s her series, it’s her characters and she did what she thought felt right, even knowing that it would make a lot of people upset and they might drop this series.


after reading all these 1 star reviews, it wasn’t the joining scene that gave me the most anxiety going into this book, but everyone who said there is “emotional cheating” from Poppy and Kieran.

and I’m positively surprised, but that’s not AT ALL how I felt reading this book. What might be seen by others as “emotional cheating” and “flirting”, was trauma bonding in my eyes. Poppy lost the love of her life and Kieran lost his best friend when Cas was captured. Both of them lost what might be -the most important person for them- at that moment and it’s only natural that they started to lean on each other more. TWOTQ clearly shows a huge relationship progression between Poppy & Kieran, but they ALWAYS had this dynamic where Poppy was asking a lot of question, whereas Kieran was replying dryly to them & seeming annoyed with them, but secretly loving it. In this book Kieran was less sarcastic and more playful with Poppy (what can be interpret as flirting), but in my opinion Kieran only tried to cheer Poppy up, because he saw how down she felt without Cas. Kieran slept with Poppy in the same bed, but only in wolven form, expect one time when Poppy woke up after a nightmare (I think?) and Kieran turned back in human form, but nothing about that scene was sexualised. Kieran was very touchy with Poppy, but that still felt platonic to me and how you would console your best friend. Cas was so thankful for that Kieran was there for Poppy when he could not, there was not one trace of jealousy from his side, because Kieran is the person he trust the most. There is literally no angst and everything between Poppy, Cas & Kieran is mutual.

Then the whole Poppy having feelings mess. This is where it gets complicated and messy. This is the point where I can understand the concerns of some readers, because my biggest concern after TWOTQ is not knowing where the romance aspect is going. Poppy is young, Cas is her first love and she has not much experience with love, so I kinda get that she’s feeling confused about her feelings about Kieran. But at the same time she described it as not romantic love like she has for Cas, but more than she felt for Delano/Vonetta. I just think as humans, we like to label things. So there is either platonic love or romantic love. If it doesn’t fit in neither category it’s hard to grasp, but that’s exactly what I think Poppy & Kieran have.

JLA was very sneaky with her writing that I could see it go both ways. Either 1. Cas & Poppy are staying exclusive, but having a very close bond with Kieran or 2. This whole thing is turning into a poly relationship, since it wouldn’t take that much since they already crossed the line with the joining and Kieran is already very protective of Poppy. It doesn’t help that Kieran is talking in riddle when Poppy asked him about what kind of love he feels

“What…what kind of love do you feel?” He studied me until I almost started squirming in the chair. “There are many kinds of love, but when it comes to you, it’s the kind that allowed me to make that—” He inhaled sharply, his jaw hardening. “It’s the kind of love that allowed me to make that promise to you, Poppy. It’s the same kind of love that allowed you to ask that of me.”

CAN THIS GET ANY MORE CRYPTIC BRO? I feel like I’m back in literature class and forced to analyse every single word in a poem to find its hidden meaning. 😭 it’s such a struggle and could be interpreted any way.

While I’m 75% sure that this thing is not going to turn into a poly relationship. Poppy and Cas are heartmates for fuck sake, why bring Kieran in this throuple, if the relationship would be so unbalanced? Poppy and Cas are King and Queen, where would that leave Kieran if it’s a poly relationship - the side piece? Kieran deserves his own person who loves him unconditionally and not only “more than platonic, but less than romantic, just different”. He deserves better than that. When Cas said “If Kieran were to find someone, he may want to join their life to yours. You’d have to go through the Joining again.” I’m holding onto that “IF” with my dear life. The rest of the 25% of me is scared shitless that this is going to turn into a poly relationship, cause I 👏🏽 don’t 👏🏽 want 👏🏽 that and there are hints that could go either way. I had two books to mentally prepare for a joining, that’s why I’m disappointed, but can somehow live with the joining, because for me it was a one time thing. We had three books to get attached to Poppy and Cas as a couple and including Kieran in this relationship wouldn’t hit the same. I’ve been trying to be understanding with everything that’s been going on so far and tried to all sides. I can even understand why Poppy & Kieran developed certain feelings to a point, because of the circumstances they are all in and it’s hard to not catch any kind of feelings under that kind of pressure and when so much is at stake. But I’m really really hoping that those confused feelings are getting cleared up in the next book.

I’m trying to hold off my judgement for now, cause we don’t know where this is going and JLA is getting enough hate as it is and I don’t need to add more to it. But when I’m reading Book 5 and it’s going to be a poly relationship, then I’m going to write a (respectfully 😌) rant review for sure, but until then let’s wait and see where this story will take us.


💚 I mentioned at the beginning that I’m not reading this series for the plot. I might not have understand half of what was happening here with all the name and place dumping, I still thought that the plot of TWOTQ was better and more interesting than in TCOGB.

💚 This series has two marks 1. Poppy being stabby 2. Poppy asking questions. While I thought that this was mentioned a bit too much in the previous book and was starting to annoy me, it was much better handled this time. It was still mentioned several time, but I didn’t had a feeling it was on every page yk.

💚 CASTEEL’S POV!! CASTEEL’S POV!! CASTEEL’S POV!! I love this man and his devotion to Poppy.

“From the first moment I saw you smile… And heard you laugh? Gods,” I rasped, and she shuddered, her beautiful eyes closing. “From the first time I saw you nock an arrow and fire without hesitation? Handle a dagger and fight beside another? Fight me? I was in awe. I’m never not in awe of you. I’m always utterly mesmerized. I’ll never stop being that. Always and forever.”

💚 Side character appreciation time: can we talk about Reaver for a moment or two?! I love that drakken with my whole ass heart. He is so grumpy and dry. Like come on, how can you not love him. Reaver is so unintentionally funny without wanting to be. 😭 

“I don’t know what I should call you. Queen? Highness? Neither seems fitting.” “Poppy,” I whispered. “Call me Poppy.” He bent his head, brushing his lips over the bridge of my nose as his mouth neared my ear. “I’ll call you whatever you like, as long as you call me yours.” I let out a short laugh and felt Casteel’s smile against my cheek. He’d successfully pulled me back from the edge of a panic spiral.
Reaver made a gagging sound. “Did he seriously just say that?”
“Unfortunately,” Kieran muttered.

Tell me Reaver is not a mood. 🤣

💚 MALIK & MILLICENT?! HELLO I’M INVESTED. 👀👀 I’m so curious to know why he knows they are heartmates, but she doesn’t. These two went through so much under Isbeth’s tyranny and I can’t imagine what horrors they had to witness. Also Malik staying at Isbeth’s side all these years only for Milli ugh my heart. 🥺🥺🥺 these two characters have so much potential, not only with each other, but Malik and Cas sibling relationship needs to be fixed and I hope we see some brotherly bond in the next books. Also Milli being Poppy’s sister?! Of course I wanna see some sibling relationship with them too. There is so much to explore.

💚 ISBITCH IS DEAD. All I wanted is Poppy kicking her mother’s ass and while it took a very long time, I’m so happy with the result, cause that bitch finally died a cruel death. Nothing less than what she deserved.


Uff, this was a lot of things to unpack and i’m sorry for this long review, but the negativity surrounding this book made me upset and needed an outlet. It felt therapeutic writing everything down. Thank you to everyone who made it this far. All I want to say is that I understand that people are very upset/mad/disappointed/angry about the joining and Poppy x Kieran relationship development and where it might lead, but that is not a reason to be nasty to the author. Calling her names, making threats, wishing her harm, and so much more that I’ve been seeing in the last few days. All of that, 👏🏽IT’S NOT OKAY👏🏽. You can write your 1 star review and tear that book apart in a respectful way. WORDS CAN HURT AND HAVE AN IMPACT (as the words in this book have proven more than enough). JLA is a human too with feelings. She even said in her reader’s group that she has thick skin, but is in a dark place after all these hate messages that are coming her way. The world is shitty enough right now, don’t make it even worse by being unnecessarily cruel, vile & hurtful. Be kind and respectful, it’s not that hard.


Update: 15/03/22

Alright, the hate this book receives is getting out of hand. I get that a lot of people are very disappointed right now, because they didn't want certain things in this book to happen and they did (myself included). But frankly, some of y'all who rated this book 1 star without EVER reading this series are just pathetic. You only want to jump on the hate train and look woke infront of your friends. 🤡


Pre-review 2021

Poppy kicking the Queen of Solis' ass six ways to Sunday and I'm here for it. 💅


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#1 From Blood and Ash – 3.75 stars
#2 A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire – 4-4.25 stars
#3 A Crown of Gilded Bones – 3.5 stars
#4 The War of Two Queens – 3.5 stars
#5 (...) – tbr
#6 (...) – tbr
┕━»•» «•«━━━━━━━━┙
Profile Image for Valkyrie ✨.
521 reviews516 followers
March 20, 2022
I was just going to have a good time celebrating how good this book was. But noooo, people had to be gross and piss me off. The fact that some readers are insulting and attacking “middle aged Facebook moms”… Let me be clear:

- Using “middle aged moms” as an insult is very sexist and ageist and just fucking gross.
- I can't believe I have to explain this, but here we fucking go: Women exist and have their own interests and desires and ambitions past their 30s and after having kids, too. Your mom? Yeah buddy, she is a person. Shocking, I know.
- Trying to insult someone for something they can’t change (like their body, age, sexuality…) is fucking disgusting and you should be ashamed.
- The blatant misogyny makes me sick to my stomach.
- Slut shaming women (“horny soccer moms”) is nasty. Don't pretend like we aren't all reading these spicy romance books for anything but what it is. So if those women are horny, so are you.
- And lastly: those old FB moms have better reading comprehension than you do so why don’t you show some respect, huh?

So here’s my analysis of the series for those saying the Joining and Poppy's feelings for Kieran came out of nowhere. Because, honestly? It’s hilarious to see people complaining about JLA pandering to some readers when, who do you think got the idea in our heads to begin with? This is JLA’s world we are living in, and she stuffed it full of hints and foreshadowing pointing straight to the Joining from the very beginning. Don’t believe me? Here are the receipts.


“You shouldn’t be in here, and I shouldn’t have to explain that.”
“You have nothing to fear from me.”
“Why? Because of him?”
“He would be annoyed to find me in here.” A ghost of a smile appeared. “And then he’d be…
intrigued .”
“Kieran said you dozed off in the bath.”
“Did he tell you that he came into the bathing chamber?”
Surprised, my gaze shot to his.
“I trust Kieran,” he said.”

The first book only had a subtle hint, but it was there, regardless, proving JLA wrote this series with this relationship in mind from the start.


The Joining is introduced. And it’s said the exchange of blood between the three can become very intimate, leading to sex. Poppy says she’s not repulsed or disgusted by the idea. She just doesn’t know how it would work. And she keeps bringing it up. To Casteel and even Vonetta. She’s intrigued, to quote the book.

Then Casteel has to feed and Kieran stays in the room with them to make sure he won’t hurt Poppy. JLA made a conscious choice here to have Kieran behind Poppy, touching her, while Casteel fed from her. And even to make Cas press them both against the wall, trapping them together.

“Kieran moved behind me, and then I felt his fingers along the right side of my neck. I jumped a little, telling myself not to think about the Joining.
I didn’t know how I was still standing or if Casteel or Kieran held me up.
[Casteel] pressed into me—pressed me back against Kieran with unexpected strength. The wolven hit the wall behind us with a grunt as Casteel trapped us both. His mouth moved against my neck as his hips jerked against my belly—
I didn’t know when I’d stopped thinking about the fact that it wasn’t just Casteel’s body that touched mine, it wasn’t his chest that my head fell back against.”

But the scene that made me realize we were getting a throuple in this series was when the three slept together and this happened.

“I’d turned to Casteel in my sleep. He was on his back, and I’d all but climbed halfway on top of him. [...] Heat pressed against my back. A heavy arm lay over my waist and a leg was tucked between mine.
If I had turned to Casteel in my sleep, Kieran had also turned, as if Casteel were a magnet that drew both of us.”
“[...] Casteel’s arm curled, tightening around my shoulder, drawing me closer. My breath snagged as his movement triggered Kieran. He shifted behind me, and my pulse felt like a trapped bird. A sleek, muscled thigh slid between mine, pressing in. I had no idea if it was Casteel’s or Kieran’s.”

The line about Casteel being a magnet that drew them both made me realize this wasn’t going to be just about Poppy. These two men had a connection, too. I wasn’t sure if things would be platonic or not between them, but I knew if Kieran joined their relationship, it’d include Cas too.


People without reading comprehension: Casteel is too possessive to share.
Meanwhile Casteel in this book:

“I…I tried to eat Kieran.”
“He won’t hold it against you.”
“I tried to eat Kieran while I was naked.”
“That’s probably why he won’t hold it against you.”

“I don’t think I’ll ever get used to seeing that,” I whispered.
“Which part?” Casteel asked. “The shifting, or Kieran stripping?”
“Neither,” I admitted.”

“Would you like to try a casserole?” Kieran offered. “That’s something we can share.”
“What’s a…casserole?”
Casteel looked over at me, a slow grin spreading across his lips. “Poppy…”
“You’ve never had a casserole before?”
My eyes narrowed. “Obviously, not.”
“It’s good,” Kieran explained. “I think you’ll like it.”
“Casteel tugged on a loose strand of my hair. “Especially if there’s a lot of…
meat in it.”

“You’re the only person I truly trust Poppy with. Only you.”
Casteel to Kieran.

In this book, JLA increased the tension and sexuality of their scenes together. And this scene is a perfect example. In the previous book, Cas fed from Poppy while Kieran held her. In this book, Poppy feeds from Cas while they have sex and Kieras holds her, too.

“I felt [Kieran’s] arm clamp down on my waist as his fingers pressed into the skin under my jaw. He pulled my head back [...] [Casteel] reached around the wolven’s grip, fisting my hair as he pressed his forehead to mine. Under me, he moved his magnificent body at a furious rhythm. My entire body stiffened and then lightning flew through my veins. My muscles clamped down on him, spasming. My cry mixed with his rough shout as his hips pumped furiously, and he followed me into the wild, mindless bliss that wracked my entire body. [...] I didn’t know how much time passed, but finally, the hand under my jaw eased, and one of the arms slid away from me.”

Right after this scene, Poppy and Cas thank Kieran for his help, and this intimate scene happens.

“I reacted without much thought, pitching forward [...] [Kieran] caught me [...] He folded his arms around me without a heartbeat of hesitation, holding me just as tightly as I held him. I felt Casteel’s hand on my lower back, just under Kieran’s arms, and the three of us stayed like that for a little while.
[Kieran] dragged a hand up to the back of my head and leaned away enough that his gaze met mine. “It was the least I could do.”
“But that wasn’t all you did,” Casteel said, reaching over and clasping a hand on [Kieran]’s shoulder. “You made sure we got here safely and kept watch. You did everything we needed and more. I owe you.”
Kieran lifted his hand from the back of my head and clasped Casteel’s forearm as his pale gaze met my husband’s amber one.”

Poppy is upset about the bond between Cas and Kieran being broken. They reassure her it’s okay because their relationship was more than the bond. And this foreshadowing happens:

“Most of us [wolven] have fostered friendships that can’t break. So, we just…we just made room for you.”
Made room for me.
“I…I like the sound of that,” I whispered hoarsely.
Kieran patted my shoulder, or rather Casteel’s hand. Maybe both.”

To me, this symbolizes the idea that Poppy, Kieran and Cass could love each other without diminishing the love they have for the other, and how they could just “make room” for the other.

Kieran starts to be a lot more touchy-feely with Poppy, too: “Kieran reached over, tugging gently on a strand of my hair.” / “He leaned over so we were eye-to-eye and there was barely any space between us.” / “[Kieran] reached over and tugged gently on the strand of hair Casteel had tucked back earlier”

And of course, things escalate even more when Casteel gets Poppy off while she watches Kieran getting head.

“Are they…?” I sucked in a sharp breath as Kieran’s head fell back. My eyes widened.
“Are you watching them?” Casteel asked, his voice full of smoke.
“Have you ever done that? What they’re doing under the canopy?”
“I have. […] Does that bother you?”
“You’re over two hundred years old, Cas. I imagine you’ve done all manner of things.”

Casteel: “I never found myself constantly hungering, and I believe you need that to find yourself exploring those things with someone you’re committed to.”
“Do you…do you want to do that with me?”
“I want to do everything imaginable, and things no one has ever thought of with you,” he said. “But I only need you, Poppy. Now. Always.”

Later on, Casteel’s father says they should choose an advisor and Poppy says she already knows who she wants, referring to Kieran.

“He is a good choice. For both of you.” There was a pause as he looked at his son, clearing his throat.”

What could this be hinting at, I wonder? lol

Later on, Willa even offers Poppy to answer her questions if she becomes “curious enough.” Come on, y’all. This is starting to be too obvious.


So yeah, this review turned into an essay on How JLA Planned The Joining From The Start And Filled 3 Books With Blatant Foreshadowing But Apparently Some People Don’t Know How To Read. You’re allowed to dislike ménage romance, of course. But don’t insult others and don’t lie about this coming out of nowhere. It’s that simple. You are allowed to disliking this simply because it messes with your PoppyCas OTP. There’s no need to bash the author or other readers, or to say this came out of nowhere with no foreshadowing or build up.

Saying this is fanservice and JLA betrayed her story is ridiculous. Look at the rating of this book compared to the others. In any case, it is the other way around and JLA stayed true to her vision, even though she knew the consequences would be ugly af. So many of the 1 star ratings are from people who haven’t even read the books. Grow up. Learn from those soccer moms you are trying to insult. Be a better person.

Jesus f Christ.


March 19th 2022: Apparently people think the Joining was a one time thing and there won’t be a throuple. Which baffles me because, nothing changed after the Joining because things had already started changing before it.

And I bring receipts to back this up:


We all agree Cas and Poppy are madly in love with each other. But let’s establish their feelings for Kieran and vice versa at this point in the story.

Kieran: “Don’t forget what he means to me, Poppy. I’ve known him my whole damn life [...] He was and still is a part of me [...] What he means to me has nothing to do with a damn bond [...] I need to go as badly as you do, and he needs me there just as badly as he needs you.”

Casteel: “But she has Kieran. He would be there for her. And she would be there for him. Knowing that made it a little easier to breathe [...] They had each other, no matter what.”

Casteel about Kieran: “In a lot of ways, we’re two halves of the same whole. Different than Poppy and me, but not that much different.”

Casteel on Kieran’s feelings for Poppy: “I knew his face well enough to know when he looked upon someone he cared deeply about. Those fine, barely noticeable lines of tension around his mouth disappeared. Kieran softened. He’d done that when he looked at Elashya—whenever he spoke of her. He softened in almost the same way now when he looked upon Poppy.”

The fact that Casteel compared Poppy to Elashya is monumental to me.

“I can taste [Kieran’s] blood on your tongue [...] What does his blood taste like to you?”
“His blood tastes like a fall morning.”
“I’m a little envious of that.” I slid my hand over the soft flesh of her ass, slipping a finger between the cheeks and into the tight flesh there.”

Did Casteel just ask Poppy how Kieran’s blood tastes like while butt fingering her for the first time?? This can’t even be labeled as subtext. Also, is Casteel envious of Poppy because he hasn’t tasted Kieran’s blood before?

Poppy: “[The Joining] would be intimate. Intense. Life-altering. None of us would be the same afterward in any way.”

Poppy on her feelings for Kieran: “I fought the urge to ask him what kind of love he felt for Casteel. For me. I knew it wasn’t a familial one and that it went beyond what one felt for friends. I also thought that it wasn’t the same as what he’d felt for Elashya or what Casteel and I felt for each other. But I also knew that what I felt for Kieran wasn’t the same as what I felt for Delano or Vonetta or Tawny. It was…more.”

To me, this book shows Kieran and Poppy at the beginning of feeling something “more” for each other. It’s still not the same as what Poppy feels for Cas, but it's already “more” than. And there are still two more books left in the series.

“You love me, right?”
“I love you. And you love Kieran.”
“I don’t know how to explain what I feel. Because I don’t understand it.”

If Poppy doesn’t understand her own emotions, it’s because they are “more,” like previously stated.

I’VE GOT A THEORY THAT LINKS THE THROUPLE WITH THE MAIN PLOT: Both Malik and Millie told Casteel he was the only one who could stop Poppy. But by then, Poppy had already asked Kieran to do just that if she ever lost control. And the fact that Kieran brought up this moment when she asked what kind of love he felt for her… I think it’s very relevant, because a Primal’s only weakness is love. The same love Poppy feels for Casteel… and for Kieran.

There are also several mentions of “Casteel’s and Kieran’s warmth” reaching the cold place in the center of Poppy’s chest.

And the most important scene before the Joining: “The strangest urge to reach out and stop [Kieran] swept through me. I didn’t understand where that want had come from. Or if it was mine or Casteel’s. And I didn’t know why it felt wrong not to act on it.”


The Joining could’ve been sexual without any feelings being involved. But instead, it focused heavily on their emotions and how right it felt.

Antis: “Why have Poppy and Casteel get married and be heartmates and then ruin them with the Joining?”

Meanwhile Casteel, right after fucking his best friend and his wife: “I feel honored, meyaah Liessa. Humbled [...] Awed. Relieved. Chosen. Yes, I feel chosen. Loved [...] Intrigued.”

And Poppy: “All that counted was what [...] we felt. And that was something good. Right. Peaceful. Beautiful.”


Casteel’s POV: “I only became aware of [Poppy] because my heart stuttered. I wasn’t sure if that came from Kieran or me. Because he too stared as I did.”

Why would Kieran’s heart stutter at seeing Poppy? Moreover, why would JLA choose to include that if this wasn’t heading into a throuple romance?

“Nothing and everything had changed between the three of us since the Joining. Our relationship remained as it had been, but there was an intimacy now that hadn’t been there before. A closeness. A bond we were reminded of every time I felt our hearts beating in tandem.”

Again, to me this book ends with them at the beginning of feeling something “more” for each other. So of course nothing and everything has changed, because the romance is still developing. The same way that the intensity of their relationship has escalated in each book, it will continue to do so in the next ones.

“I’m going to get what I want. You. In the armor.”
“Gods,” Kieran half sighed, half laughed.
“It’s not like you aren’t thinking it.”
Kieran sounded as if he choked on his breath.

And like I’ve always suspected, Kieran shields his emotions so Poppy doesn’t know he’s, in fact, turned the fuck on. But the fact that Casteel says this clearly opens the door for at least more sexual encounters in future books.


Let’s talk about the infamous “emotional cheating.”

It pisses me off to hear people saying Poppy cheated on Cas, when both her and Kieran were completely devoted to rescuing him. The only person who could understand what Poppy was going through was Kieran, because he was going through the same. And twisting this into something ugly, saying they cheated on Cas “while he was being tortured” is so wrong in so many levels.

It’s funny because it’s Casteel who basically tells us readers Kieran and Poppy love each other. So where’s the cheating? Casteel sure as fuck doesn’t see it. There are so many moments where Casteel is the one bringing the three of them physically together. All this imagery is in my opinion coded as romantic. Same as when both of them hold Poppy’s face at the same time, showing they are both halves of a whole for her.

They had a reason to do the Joining. But think about this: Kieran chose Cas and Poppy over everyone else. He’ll outlive his parents and sisters. This shows how much Kieran loves them.

Like Sheena said in the comments: “love isn’t a finite source.” And JLA shows this beautifully in how bright and strong PoppyCas love is before, during and after the Joining. They can love each other, and still have space and love for Kieran. And that doesn’t take from their love, only adds more. Their mutual love for Kieran is beautiful, even if it’s different. But different doesn’t mean less. In fact Poppy says so herself: “Nothing about Kieran was less.”

I present my last evidence:

Poppy: “I love you, Cas.”
Casteel: “Always?”
Poppy: “And forever.”

Kieran to Casteel: “You got me. You got Poppy. We’re both here. Always and forever.”

Poppy: “I’m safe with both of you.”
Kieran: “Always.”
Casteel: “And forever.”

In conclusion, I think the emotions were already there before the Joining and only intensified afterwards. And we are getting a throuple.

So, quoting Cas:

Brace yourselves, my Queens.
Profile Image for ✩ Yaz ✩.
486 reviews1,177 followers
November 11, 2022
3 - ⭐️⭐️⭐️


I have decided to make this a spoilery review because I have no patience and I want to let it all out.

The War of Two Queens is one of my anticipated books of the year and the fourth installment in one of my favorite series of all time.

So you'd probably be surprised by my rating, and I am too. It's the first time I ever give a Blood and Ash book a rating under 4-stars. It pains me to write this as you guys know I'm one of the biggest fans of this series.

Did I not enjoy this book? I did! It was great to return to this world and catch up with all my favorite characters.

The writing improves a lot in this book and there is less repetitiveness and internal monologue.

Many new information is revealed in this book and some are connected to Flesh and Fire series. It made me so excited for ASITE2 also known as A Light in the Flame.

I highly recommend reading A Shadow in the Ember before reading this book, several plotlines are connected to what happens in the present-day.

Moving on, I know this comes as a big surprise that I've written all of this but you'll understand where my frustration and disappointment comes from.

I had a lot to unpack under this section so here goes...

If you haven't read the book I recommend avoiding this section and giving the book a chance and to form your own opinion. Every reading experience for each reader is different and I do not want to influence yours.

Let's get to why this book got 3-stars from me:

1) One criticism and worry I had since TCOGB was Poppy getting a tad too overpowered. That hasn't changed in TWOTQ and it seems like she is getting a new identity with every book or a new discovery about who she truly is which is getting kind of tiring. I'd like her to explore her current capabilities and who she is and not have that changed with every book. I want her to struggle and dive into who she is and not have a new power or identity/title in every book. At first it was empowering, but it's becoming a repetitive plot-twist.

2) I am kind of upset that secondary characters like Vonetta, Naill, Emil, and co and even Tawny did not show up much in the book. While I appreciate the closer bond Poppy and Kieran shared, I still missed the presence of those characters. I expected more of Poppy and Delano bonding because it always seemed like they had a unique bond out of all the Wolven even Kieran. Reaver is the highlight of this book though (I can't believe I forgot to bring him up because he was a delight on every page!)

3) The ending isn't as explosive as I expected it. While I screamed when my baby daddy Nektas showed up. We haven't had a glimpse of Ires and or any knowledge about Jadis (we know she is alive but that's about it). I was anticipating more. Maybe due to the title I expected a full-scale war? I'm not trying to say it's a bad ending, not at all it was exciting and sets up ASITE2/ALITF.

4) Casteel's character felt like a blank space. I don't feel like we delved in much into him as a character beyond his focus on Poppy which truly saddens me. Don't get me wrong! one of the reasons I love him is how he worships and loves Poppy, but when that turns into his sole personality? it stripped away a lot of the complexities and personality Casteel had in FBAA/AKOFAF. Of course I do not expect him to remain the same, it's nornal for characters to change but Casteel's change did not flesh out his character—he fell into the trap of the love interest basing his personality on his lover only. There was a lot to explore with having his POV for the first time in this book, it started out great but then became repetitive. We didn't even get to see him cope much with the trauma of being in captivity again because it's definitely a trigger. A lot was going on but I still wanted to see more of that.


I have decided to rewrite the following section and try to keep my thoughts coherent. Emotions are high and the book was released two days ago, a lot of what I wrote felt heavy for me so I wanted to write something that will get right into the point. This is something I even discussed with my friends as the negativity in general is getting to me and not in a good way.

If you loved the book and you'll tell me that I'm reading it wrong or I interpreted it wrong—thus questioning my reading comprehension—please refrain from commenting and don't you dare and gaslight me.

I critique books from my favorite series and by my favorite authors, it's not an attack on JLA's person but highlighting my issues with this book. It doesn't erase my enjoyment of the books she had written before whether it's this series or her other works.

The reason most of us are feeling strongly about this is because we love this series and these characters and this world. These books saved me, that is something I will be grateful about despite my frustration about this book.

Criticism is always valid and your experience is also valid. I bet people were shocked because this is the first blood and ash book I gave a 3-stars to and one I'm writing a lengthy critique for. I don't put this much effort if it was a book or series I was not passionate about.

But let me get straight into what my biggest issue:

The new undefined dynamic between Poppy, Casteel and Kieran and the conflicting feelings Poppy started to feel towards Kieran that felt to me had confusing romantic undertones.

This is what I need JLA to clarify. This is what I have an issue with. I wasn't prepared for it and it caught me off-guard. To me, the Joining was something that was brought up and likely to happen, but then again the author made sure to mention multiple times it didn't have to be sexual. But there is a stark difference between a Joining, which is a one-time act, and making what's between Poppy and Kieran something more than "platonic" when it's been confirmed Poppy and Casteel are endgame and they are heartmates. Making them heartmates is setting expectations to the readers that those two are exclusive and there will be no third-party because nothing will equal to a soul bond.

Yes, I've always loved the bond and affection between Poppy and Kieran. I always took it as platonic but in a deeply affectionate way. Like how one would be around a best friend. Yes, you can even be attracted to your friends without it involving romance.

Also, a good point is the Joining turning sexual had no importance for the plot. People that did not sign up for a threes*me could've been spared.

It's been vague for most readers two sides are saying there had been evidence for it or there wasn't. Kieran was there during Poppy and Casteel's sexual situations. The two instances he was there wasn't because he was an active participant, those two scenes were the feeding scenes and he was there to put an end to the feeding and leave. I never interpreted it as something for him, he was their closest friend and the feeding situations are risky that they need a third person around for their own safety.

As for the beach scene, yes Poppy was getting off seeing him get a BJ but she was also looking at the threes*me and taking in everything around her and not just Kieran. It was written as an experince for her because it was a Wolven wedding and later on Cas tells her they are very open about intimacy, I never interpreted as a romantic build-up for Kieran with them. I'll put it in clear: that's not build-up because it wasn't exclusively about him.

It's something I expressed before but I want Kieran to have an identity of his own outside of Poppy and Casteel's relationship. It's obvious Poppy and Casteel will always feel for each other more than they'll feel for Kieran even if they love him "though differently" as both mentioned. The feelings are not equal. It makes for an unbalanced trio. Part of why I didn't support the joining was because Kieran was always reduced to a joining partner by some of the readers.

Yes, I knew the Joining was coming up because it was relevant to the plot and the only option besides the Heartmate Trials to connect Casteel's life to Poppy's along with Kieran. The Wolven is the connecting thread here. I was prepared for it even though I wasn't for it. I liked that it was on Poppy's terms and her choice, but the scene itself was weird. My issue here is not the Joining but it was something I was worried it would result it, but that issue took place even before chapter 44.

We've always had Poppy and Casteel being each other's "forever and always" or "two hearts, one soul" or “You are the foundation that helps me stand. You are my walls and my roof. My shelter. You are my home.” His lashes swept up, the amber of his eyes churning wildly. “As you are mine, Poppy.” or “Do you know what’s carved into our rings? It’s in old Atlantian,” he told me when I shook my head. “Both say the same thing. Always and forever. That is us.” or “You,” he said, his voice thick and tone reverent. All I ever need is you. Now. Always.” or “You are a King. My King. And you will always be my everything, but never will you be a thing.” or “You’re beautiful.” Casteel’s voice was like a balmy summer night. “And you’re mine.” or “He has been going crazy looking for you. I’ve never seen him this way.” His hands trembled slightly as they folded over the bone and root chains. “Never, Poppy.” or “No one else matters. Just you and me.”

The romance was exclusively about the main couple for most readers. So it's not out of left field that readers are surprised and upset with the new undefined dynamic. We don't even know as nothing has been clarified yet. It has nothing to do with not being open about any type of relationships. I've been rooting and invested in this couple from book 1 and now we're at book 4 and there's a change that did not feel organic.

The separation of Poppy and Casteel felt like a plot-device to develop and justify a change in the dynamic and force Kieran into it. I "loved" Kieran before this book, but Casteel will always be the main reason I'm reading the books.

In Casteel's POV, he was thinking of how undeserving he is of her and how much he loves her and on the other hand I had to read in Poppy's POV how conflicted she is about the *not so platonic and confusing* feelings she started having for Kieran? This realization just hurts because of Casteel's unconditional love for her, he would never have conflicting feelings about what he feels for her and for another person.

It's important to note that in your criticism of this dynamic, please don't disrespect or shame relationships that may not seem appealing to you.


I picked out scenes from TWOTQ that I'm still confused about and I think JLA wanted to go in a different direction but it didn't deliver what she intended. This, perhaps, might give a better idea on why readers including myself have an issue this new undefined dynamic.

“When I realized you were in my head, I changed what I was thinking about,” he said, and I wondered if those rapid, brief images I couldn’t catch was him flipping through his memories. “I thought of the beach on purpose. Figured it would shock you.”

Really Kieran? he thought of the beach scene on purpose and shown her a memory that made her sense arousal? while feeding which we know is very intimate.

Kieran grinned, lowering his hand as I fought the urge to ask him what kind of love he felt for Casteel. For me. I knew it wasn't a familial one and that it went beyond what one felt for friends. I also thought that it wasn't the same as what he'd felt for Elashya or what Casteel and I felt for each other. But I also knew that what I felt for Kieran wasn't the same as what I felt for Delano or Vonetta or Tawny. It was….more.

So my understanding is it's not romantic love because it's not the same as what Poppy and Casteel felt for each other or what Kieran felt for Elashya, the Wolven he loved long ago. But it's also more than familial and friendship? So I'm still confused here? Further proof the feelings are not equal? Maybe yes the purpose is to show its a stronger kind of love but not the same love she feels for Casteel. But it needs to be clearer.

“So,” Tawny drew out the word. “Why is it that he behaves as I would expect from your husband?” Heat crept into my cheeks. “He’s the Advisor to the Crown.” Tawny stared at me. “And a friend. A close friend—but not like that,” I quickly added as interest sparked along Tawny’s features. “Honestly, I don’t know what it’s like. It’s complicated.” “I would say,” she murmured. “And I cannot wait to hear all about this complication in excruciatingly painful detail.”

Even Tawny highlights that Kieran is acting more like Poppy's husband in his absence and Poppy blushes about it and says it's complicated. I get Poppy easily gets flustered but I felt like the tease is pointing out something.

"I'm safe with both of you."
"Always," Kieran confirmed.
Casteel's lip brushed my chin. "And forever."
A ridiculous surge of emotion swelled in my throat, and with my senses locked down, I knew the sweet rush was all mine. Tears crowded my eyes. I loved them. Both of them. In different ways and for different reasons that I didn't understand, but I really did. And that knowledge left me a little unsteady.

"In different ways and for different reasons that I didn't understand, but I really did." again, I'm confused? She doesn't understand but she understands?

I knew his face well enough to know when he looked upon someone he cared deeply about. Those fine, barely noticeable lines of tension around his mouth disappeared. Kieran softened. He’d done that when he looked at Elashya—whenever he spoke of her. He softened in almost the same way now when he looked upon Poppy.

So if he is staring at Poppy the way he did with his dead lover, does that point to him having romantic feelings for her? Does it have to equate to the kind of love he had for the Wolven he loved and grieved? It's not giving me platonic vibes.

But nothing and everything had changed between the three of us since the Joining. Our relationship remained as it had been, but there was an intimacy now that hadn't been there before. A closeness. A bond we were reminded of every time I felt our hearts beating in tandem.

I still don't understand what kind of dynamic they now have because nothing but everything has changed? It's still not defined.

Kieran said nothing as he pulled away, and the strangest urge to reach out and stop him swept through me. I didn’t understand where that want had come from. Or if it was mine or Casteel’s. And I didn’t know why it felt wrong not to act on it.
But then Casteel and I were alone, and those beautiful, golden eyes, so full of fire and love, were locked onto mine. It was just us, and nothing else—absolutely nothing—mattered.

So Poppy just got Casteel out of a bloodlust and he is back to his former self, he asked everyone (including Kieran) to leave because he wanted to be alone with Poppy. When Kieran is about to leave Poppy almost stops him and says it feels wrong to let him leave and stay with her and Casteel (that was your urge and not Casteel's) when Casteel clearly wanted to be with her alone and asked the others to leave? Her heartmate? Her husband? Who should be HER FIRST PRIORITY? Then one second later she went "it was just us and nothing else mattered" Poppy please sort out your feelings. This is why it's confusing.

“But before that, I’m going to get what I want. You. In the armor.” “Gods,” Kieran half sighed, half laughed. Casteel’s lips curved into a smile against mine. “It’s not like you aren’t thinking it.” My eyes went wide as Kieran sounded as if he choked on his breath. What I suddenly felt from him while Casteel chuckled wasn’t embarrassment. It was sharp and heavy, too fleeting for me to latch onto.

This is post-Joining and towards the end of the book. How should I interpret it?

The issue is not even the Joining even if it was a one-time thing, it's involving those "feelings" between Poppy and Kieran. What's the point of Poppy and Casteel being Heartmates? They have something Kieran doesn't unless we get a retcon in the next book that the Joining means Kieran even joins them as a heartmate, which will cheapen this whole thing to me. Once a soulmate romance is being set up, you know it's exclusively about the people involved. It brings along "true love" trope. Hell there are even poly romances written to include all three or more as soulmates to create a balanced relationship. That's not the case here and it's too late for that. Poppy and Casteel were established to be THE couple from the first book. JLA confirmed they are endgame.

So changing the relationship dynamic and the way it's executed wont be easy to digest and to be honest it's upsetting and I'll say it bluntly: I feel deceived as a reader.

If you've read all of my previous reviews for this series you'll understand how much love I hold for it. I've been invested in the series for almost two years and loved interacting with the fandom and this series pulled me out of depression and grief. It took a lot from me to write this and this review has a lot of intense feelings from a dedicated reader but should not be used as an excuse to attack the author as a person or her other works, remember that this author is a human being, I mainly have an issue with this particular book and it's my personal opinion. FBAA, AKOFAF, and ASITE remain my absolute favorites.

You can express your disappointment about things you did not enjoy about this book but some of you are being horrid in the reviews section. Especially people that have not read the book/the series. On what basis are you rating it if you haven't read it or read any book in the series? You are burying reviews with actual critique of those that have read the entire book.

I will still advise to read this book and form your own opinion on it. This is not to discourage you from reading the book it's my own opinion, I obviously didn't give it a 1-star, I rated it that way because of the things I have already addressed above.

I will still give this series a chance since I'm invested in the Flesh and Fire trilogy, but if FBAA5 takes the story and the couple on a path I'm not happy with, then I'll sadly stop there.
Profile Image for Nicole.
715 reviews1,782 followers
April 11, 2022
I was not excited to The War of Two Queens . At all. I wanted to read this book however because I grew to care a lot about the characters in the previous installments. Turns out, it is a complete mess.

I have so much to say about The War of Two Queens. I will give you a brief.
But first, I shall describe this book in a few gifs.
Also, spoilers will be hidden.

JLA writing this book; I have some cool idea. let's take it to the next level with the smut *proceeds to jump over 9532 levels*

Awesome, now let's make the world history a bit more complex

Perfect, the other books also lacked sex so you know it!

Does it make sense? Does it even matter?

Meanwhile, me:

bottom line >>> this book was a disaster; I was so bored reading it

In my previous reviews, I did a pros and cons review. However, I truly can't think of anything positive to say about this one. It wasn't even fun to read.

So here we go, the book is already 650+ pages so I'll try not to make this review too long.

I'll start by addressing the points I mentioned in my pre-review and evaluate if there were any changes regarding those matters.

Pre review
Dear Jennifer,

I have gathered a few recommendations that many readers -who enjoyed book 1 and 2 but not 3- and
I agree upon:
- Please stop repeating the questions and the "incident/inappropriate" remarks, how sssssspecial Poppy is, stabbing comments, Poppy’s favorite book...

SO MANY REMARKS OF THIS KIND. Especially "inappropriate, indecent, unseemly & co"
Stabbing comments STILL HERE. That infamous book wasn't mentioned a lot but one is too many.
Poppy is getting even more sssspecial and so are the comments about this.

- Let's also not make her overpowered? Thank you.

- There's no need to make things complex. We were enjoying the books as they were. It's obvious that this wasn't the intention (having an "advanced" world-building) in book 1.
I'm not even going to assume I understand half of the things JLA made up in this book. She just tries too hard to make things more complex and man how annoying that became.

- Or even more importantly, let's cut the fillers.
- Let's have some damn plot please in the middle of the book.
- Having a 600 pages book does not make us want to read it more... we'd love fewer pages actually. It would've made the books much better.
- Let's reduce Poppy's monologues I BEG YOU. I know them now by heart.

I won't say monologues as much as necessary words. The book was 200 pages too long.
This book was way too long. In tWoTQ more events occur compared to the previous installment but at the same time, so many filler scenes. So many scenes I could've completely done without.

- Even as a nonnative English speaker, I assure you, using lots of three dots (ellipsis) isn't a sign of good writing when used often.
I believe the writing improved in this one.

These are a few tips from someone who was enjoying immensely the books in the past and wish to continue having a fun time with those lovable characters.

Yours Sincerely,

Back to the review:
I have been in what you call a "liking books" slump. I am reading but not really connecting with the books I pick up. I don't feel anything reading other than boredom sometimes. But not annoyance. And how annoyed I was when it came to some scenes in tWoTW.

I'll start by talking about the elephant in the room. Kieran. The development of this BS relation was completely unnecessary. I used to like Kieran but the turn the events took in this book was out of character and doesn't add up to what we've seen from the characters so far. I wanted him to have his own story without intermingling in every single aspect of his life with Poppy and Casteel. But no. It's too much to ask. He had to flirt with his imprisoned bestie's wife. Think "indecently" of her. It's just ew. Many already discussed this so I won't go further. What annoyed me the most is how this new role of Kieran affected the writing of Casteel.

Cas just wasn't the same in this book. It's like what made us love him in the previous books, his character, was overshadowed by Poppy's (he mostly thought about sleeping with her, loving her) and basically his worship of Poppy which is a true shame because he is so much better than that. The writing of his character lacked effort and was superficial. My favorite thing about the series is this couple and I said in an old review that I don't think I'll get tired from reading about them but I DID. Because everything is so repetitive and underwhelming at this point since I have read so many pages about them. And since the events are only "typical" and the sex "enough already". The depth of their relationship dimmed.

Instead, JLA tried to get him more and more smutty, dirty, touching upon untraditional sexual things in this genre, and it was soooo boring. And watching this made me cringe. We had way too many sex scenes at timings that made zero sense.

For instance, this affected a particular event and made me so annoyed. HOW can people who are rulers be so stupid... there were two instances that were worse than the rest (that I remember at least):

Another thing that annoyed me is how overpowered is Poppy. I know I have mentioned this already but I need to stress how ridiculous all of this is. JUST SETTLE. Changing what she is in every book gets old and unimaginative very fast. The plot is just recycled in many aspects in tWoTQ.

Furthermore, I don't get the history thing. It truly seems to me just JLA is just making up stuff as she goes. Trying to add extra layers to her story so it's not just smut-why the books are selling (or so she thinks)- was so damn tiring because I DO NOT WANT TO READ THE HISTORY IN THE 4TH FUCKING BOOK. I am mentally prepared to read about the world's history in book 1 and even 2. Pay attention to any foreshadowing. But the freakin 4th? No. I am mentally too tired to keep up with things that aren't planned from the start. I have read enough books to spot the difference.

As for the secondary characters, I really couldn't bring myself to care about any of them. Maybe Malik but that's about it. The rest are just a blur because while JLA tried to make them relevant to the story, I simply couldn't stay focused when it came to their scenes.

Also, there was not much "War" going on. With such a title, I expected much more.

I can go on and on about some points but that's the gist of it. I didn't like this book at all and while I'll be reading the sequel, I am certainly not excited about it. I expected to at least have fun or get engaged in the story but nope. I was so bored instead and irritated regarding the way JLA handled some characters/scenes. It's a major disappointment and truly a sad thing because I always wanted more fantasy + a bit of smut books. But if I want to read fantasy where the main theme is the romance and the smut, there are better, shorter , and more straightforward books out there.
Profile Image for Cas.
95 reviews489 followers
April 7, 2022
Let me start by saying a few words to haters. The insults and disrespect you show the author just because your little fragile ego disagreed with some scenes screams VOLUMES about what a piece of kaka you are in real life.

I see people go as far as calling JLA names and cancelling the whole series, and even her as an author. When in reality reading is SUBJECTIVE. We all have different tastes. Surprised? Well now you know.

Don’t like the book? Don’t like the author? Don’t read it then. It’s that simple. You are only entitled to your opinions but never to insults.

Remember that by trashing certain things that happen in the book, you are insulting many people’s relationship choices. Not cool.
Also talking about how only middle aged moms like the joining is literally being ageist and fucking dumb.

Grow the fuck up and learn that every author gives us the opportunity to live in their world. Yes, theirs, not yours.

Now to my actual review.

!!! Spoilers ahead !!!

My man Casteel…this is my book husband. I’m biased af and don’t care. He got my heart, mind and pussy in his fingers. Which he now has minus one but hey, we still love him. His devotion and love and ever growing awe is just so adorable! He is so perfect I can’t!

Poppy. She is me and I am her just like I said in my book 1 review. In all the fantasy books, I feel the most represented by her. I understand it’s not the case for everyone but I feel lucky in that sense. She is a badass queen.
The way she changes with every book is amazing. Her personal growth was astonishing truly.

Kieran. Just like he said, he’s not a snack, he’s a whole damn meal. I want this man in all unholy ways. He is the best person to have in your life. His love for both Cas and Poppy is so admirable. He is just truly amazing.

Now, about the book overall. I read it slower than usual. And the main reason was because more than half of the book was separation between the two main love interests. Something I am not a big fan of.
Yes, we had dual POV which was great but still.

This time it was plot > romance. I have no issues with that. The story unfolded amazingly. I absolutely love the world building. It’s my most favourite one in the whole fantasy book world.

The Joining. Y’all can say whatever you want. You can like or dislike it. But it was written BEAUTIFULLY. I expected less tbh. I thought it would be smutty but no it was truly soul connecting. I am so pleased I can’t even.
The way Kieran is with Poppy, I wouldn’t mind them being a thrupple lol. They all love each other so much.

But this book, just like the previous 3, ended on a cliffhanger AGAIN and I fucking hate that I have to wait for another year.

P.S. If you’ve read my whole ass long review, I love you.
Profile Image for al128.
34 reviews
March 21, 2022
If you see me giving this unreleased book that we don’t even know the title of yet a 5 star rating, keep scrolling. I have my reasons.


Update #2: Okay so happy release day! I'm starting the book, and it feels like I've been waiting forever omg. All the 1 star reviews are really scaring me though to be honest... wish me luck!

Update #3: So… I finished it. I actually was done the day it came out but was just taking these past few days to really think about my review. I don’t mean to exaggerate, but I do honestly think I was the biggest fan of this series. I can’t even recall the amount of times I’ve reread the past three books. If I must admit, this series really helped me cling to something in life during a bad time, as cliché as that sounds. I’m going to leave my five star review for the fourth one because it lived up to my personal standards of a good book (emphasis on the "my"). To include, I’m not going to lose hope in JLA just because all my high expectations weren't met. I enjoyed most of it if I’m honest. I do think many of these comments are being brutal and rude. We’re all allowed to dislike books and authors, but some of you guys are really taking it far. I did enjoy the last three books more than this one, but as someone who’s been loving and reading this series and anticipating each release eagerly, I can’t just drop the whole series because one book didn’t live up to all my expectations. I think the next book is going to really finalize my opinion on my dedication for this series. Until then, my five star review stands. Sorry that’s a long review lol. I just wanted to be honest. If some of you want to ignore this book and treat the series as a trilogy or duology even, that’s fine, but let’s please be respectful in doing so. I’d go into a more depth review about specific opinions on the book, but I don’t want to include any spoilers. The one-star reviews were a bit terrifying, especially seeing them before I read the book, but if your decision to not read it solely comes from that reason alone, I think you should still give it a try and form an opinion for yourself. Your judgment should truly come from your own experience. Like I was for this release, I will be eagerly awaiting the next one too (JLA and her cliffhangers). Anyways, thank you all. Until book 5…
Profile Image for B.
159 reviews115 followers
March 16, 2022
i ain’t adding the spoiler button because i need to sabotage this book you guys need to know what you’re getting yourself into

literally going to read this one just to deliver my one star review and shit on this book until jla declares it was a shitty JOKE and withdraws it from the market because i ain’t accepting that threesome she’ll have to walk over my cold dead body.

do not misread my words. i dont have anything against poly relationships but it was unnecessary and straight up trash in this book especially since it seems poppy starts feeling something for kieran while her husband whom she stated she would wreck the world for is ENSLAVED somewhere? jla totally forgot about her characters just to satisfy a group of horny single moms on her facebook. fuck this shit


update #2 03/15/22
NOW she literally started gaslighting her readers (the ones who buy her books and felt PLAYED after this shit came out) going on her fb page to be all whiny and shit about US NOT UNDERSTANDING what she writes. now. WHAT. THE. FUCK.

if you think none of us apart from your horny moms on fb understood what you were trying to say then you FAILED as a writer.

"kieran and poppy were not flirting that'd be ew"

i can still read thank you very much. he purposely showed her a sex memory where he was aroused so she could feel it? other characters had started asking why was he behaving like her husband when her husband was locked away because of her? she sleeps beside him IN HIS SHIRT when he’s naked?

is it me who can’t read or maybe it’s you who can’t fucking write at this point?


update #3 03/16/22

in her latest post on fb she stated we are affecting her mental health. now i really want to ask her what she was expecting would happen once the book came out knowing she deliberately decided to prioritize a small group of horny mothers who forgot to pick up their kids from soccer practice since they were reading hardcore smuts between vampires and werewolves instead of the other readers with a brain inside their head.
i don’t want to invalidate her feelings but you’re an adult: when you decide to do something you also take consequences.

ALSO she is telling her soccer moms to STAY AWAY from goodreads and reviews. cult & LOSER behavior.
Profile Image for Sultana.
73 reviews28 followers
August 10, 2022
I feel betrayed, heartbroken and completely lied to.
There are no words to describe the anger and disappointment I feel at the moment.
I need some time to write my review so I can clear my mind.

But let me tell you something.. this book is the perfect example of how you can fuck up a magical series with a beautiful romance and heartwarming friendships by turning it into complete fanservice.. I have no words..

JLA destroyed one of the best fictional couple ever..
The series ended with this book for me.
Profile Image for jessica.
2,503 reviews30.8k followers
March 16, 2022
happy release day to the book that is singlehandedly getting me through 2022.

because guess what?

that thing that so many readers have been waiting for to happen?

it finally happens.

and it is pure 🔥🔥🔥

you are definitely going to want to get your hands on a copy of this today.

eternally thankful to blue box press for sending me an ARC!!

5 stars
Profile Image for #.
70 reviews19 followers
March 16, 2022

03/14 update

i’m not reading this shit fuck it. this fucking sharing thing was the most unnecessary. possessive men don’t share. i’m dropping this fucking series.
Profile Image for raven.
251 reviews64 followers
March 16, 2022
i wish I could give it 0 starts, but unfortunately-again- goodreads don’t allow it!

That, kids, is how you destroy your series when you care more about the money you’re getting than the fans (and I mean real fans, not the horny ppl who only read it because of the kink sex).

so… this series 📉📉📉📉 it went down really fast, uh?
it started ok, you know? The first two books are master pieces and I will carry them in my heart (and think about this series as a duology) but Jennifer had to do the fan service, she just had to ruin it all for absolutely nothing.

yes, she did that, the famous joining and it was so cringe to read about, just BAD really BAD, good God there is blood in my eyes, it was HORRIBLE, she just picked up the only good thing in the series, which was the main couple and threw it in the trash just bc her fans were horny and she can’t comity to her word? It was really bad.

But, surprisedly the joining isn’t the issue in this book. I like it? No, I hated it! But that’s not the reason this book is getting so many hate and why the rating is dropping to the floor.

Let’s talk about the issues now:

Kieran only serves as a joining character, that is his only personality trait, that’s all ppl care about him and that is his only propose in the series. His name should be Joinieran and now I despise him. He went from favorite to garbage. Hitting on Poppy and being all there trying to seduce her while Casteel was imprisoned???? Trash, absolutely and irrevocably trash person. I completely hate him right now.

Casteel was being hold prisoner, being tortured and only thought about Poppy, how he loved her beyond his life, how he didn’t deserve her but would make himself enough for her bc she was his life and while all that happened Poppy (his wife) and Kieran (his best friend) were having sexual tension? With bunches of emotion cheating??? Shy glances, light touches, erotic dreams, sleeping together, she wearing his shirt for sleep and he sleeping naked with her??? seriously flirting all the time and hitting on? Ppl asking if Kieran is Poppy’s husband bc of how romantic they were acting toward each other?? REALLY JLA???? And DARE you say “they weren’t flirting, you read it wrong” not honey, I didn’t read it wrong. It’s there, you wrote that.
That’s TOTALLY OOC and DISGUSTING. Right here is where you destroyed the series and Poppy and Casteel for me. Just ruined. It’s trash now. You made me hate both Poppy and Kieran for their sh*ting disrespectful attitude.

The way she portraits Poppy and how her powers keep growing like she is the most powerful being that ever existed instead of developed her, her personality, her sexuality or her feelings better but nooo, obviously not, let’s change her personality every book. And now she, in book four, has romantic feelings for Kieran? Her husband best friend? N O P E, this is bullsh*t and now I’m disgusted towards Poppy. Casteel deserves waaaay better than her (and that mf Kieran).

The way she blanked Casteel personality? It’s a slap in the face to compare the Casteel from book one to this doormat version. Who is this man? Where is possessive Casteel full of personality and “touch her and you will die?” “You’re mine and I’m incredible jealously of you” And the way JLA “muted” him so she could highlight Kieran and basically make Kieran a Casteel 2.0????Absolutely not, nope nope nope. Kieran is NOT the LI he is a secondary character, Casteel is the LI and one of the main characters. Stop this bs. Just stop!

The way JLA said “yes guys, maybe there is a joining but the end wil be Poppy and Casteel and Kieran will find his own love interest” and now, in f*cking book 4 they are a poly love couple? If I wanted a poly love relationship I would look for a book with that and not it happening out of f*cking nowhere in the middle of the series while the main -monogamic- couple is already 100% stabilized and developed, it just screams “I have a weak and unorganized mind and I want to please some selected ppl and make some dollars💰”.
She wanted to write about a poly relationship? That’s super nice, but put it in the begging of the series.
“Hi guys, that’s my new series, it’s an adult romance fantasy, it will have 6 books and eventually it will be a HR so be aware” but do not promise one thing to the fans and then turn around on your word bc yours horny middle age moms were salivating over d*ck and you thought about how much more money and attention you could get. How weak Jennifer mind is…
And don’t you even dare start saying “you are being prejudicial toward poly love” I’m NOT, I have NOTHING against poly love what I’m against is inconsistent ppl, like this dumb author and her dumb fan service choices.

JLA really let the fame she conquered with this series went up in the head and it’s a sad thing bc I followed her since Obsidian and I didn’t thought she would be so low and cheap like that. But I guess soccer moms salivating over d*cks wins over consistent storyline and characters.

Never going to read another book written by her, she just proved herself and proved bably.

Never to be see near this author again 👋

edit: JLA saying ppl didn’t read it right… honey, you’re embarrassing yourself, stop with it, you made a big mistake and destroyed your prime series… it s*cks, I know… but don’t start saying ppl didn’t read it right or worse “just bc some didn’t want something to happen don’t call it fan service” bc it was a huge screaming fan service and principally don’t try to say that ppl didn’t like it bc weren’t used do “not usual relationships”. This is the biggest bs I ever read. Don’t try to make it something there is not JLA, you f*ck it up trying to please your horny selected fb group and it ruined one of the most famous fantasy series (by the way, I was in the group since June 2020 and leaved it like a month ago bc I couldn’t stand how the ppl act in there so yes I pretty much know what I’m talking about bc I saw how most of the ppl acted in that group and how JLA herself act in there too and it was all disgusting).
Profile Image for Ophelia.
71 reviews
March 17, 2022
for the love of gods no threesome or joining. i adore this series and characters so much, but if i wanted to read about a threesome or a poly relationship i would've picked up a book that specifically has that. i don't need that here it would ruin the whole romance for me and i would not read anymore books from this series.

jenniferrr 😵‍💫 was very excited for this series but i won't be reading anymore, the joining was a deal breaker for me so yeah

update 16/03
i wrote the first part of this review a year ago, right after finishing the crown of gilded bones because i felt like something was off. i have screenshots of conversations with my friends and we were all like why? is? kieran? EVERYWHERE? he wouldn't leave poppy and cas alone not for a second (and by this i mean when it was just the two of them alone, or him randomly touching poppy's hair and other stuff like this) and it felt just very weird and icky i have no other way of explaining it. many other reviewers have showed the descrepancy between her saying this was planned all along and what she has been saying for years now on her facebook group. and if i may add this is the same author who once had her readers decide which couple should be endgame in a facebook poll, so if you think she had this poly relationship thing going since the beginning well you don't know her very well lol. if it was planned all along she did a terrible job at it now go cry about it under someone else's review i don't care and you won't change my mind 🧚🏼‍♀️

ok this is the last update i'm making because some of you are clearly not understanding. let me explain to you why people are upset. poppy and casteel are heartmates, they're married and their union has been blessed by the gods. their relationship has been building and building for 3 books and for 3 books it's been just the two of them, casteel has been shown to be possessive more than once throughout the books. then you get to the 4th book and suddenly poppy has romantic feelings for kieran (all this while the author was reassuring us that their relationship was sibling like, only to then change her mind and say it's not romantic but it's not sibling like, she keeps changing her mind apparently) while casteel, her husband, her HEARTMATE, her everything, is locked away BECAUSE OF HER, rotting in a cell BECAUSE OF HER, to PROTECT HER. kieran is casteel's BEST FRIEND and while he's away rotting in a cell, held hostage by the same person who once held him hostage and destroyed him completely, he's flirting with casteel's wife. their relationship is being questioned even by characters in the book, tawny is like hello what's happening why is he acting like your husband poppy? and she has the audacity to blush and say it's complicated. the joining hasn't happened yet here, but the realtionship is already ruined. then the joining happens. for a lot of people the joining was a deal breaker, but to be very honest i could've gone over it and just skipped it, but the author ruined everything before the joining even happened. was the book marketed as a possible poly relationship? no it wasn't. and i would also like to remind you that she dragged this possible joining until book 4, but she had all the time in the world to do it before, just like she had all the time and pages to establish the poly relationship since the beginning. think about it, even if she wants to go through with the poly relationship, you do understand that it's very imbalanced? or did i skip the part where all 3 of them got married? it looks to me like kieran is just there for the smut. when people in the facebook group were hesitant about the joining, she would comment stuff like oh the joining is not always sexual, it could happen or not but it's not always sexual. so so many readers, myself included, clung to that.
if you read this book and you enjoyed it and you don't think she completely ruined poppy and casteel than good for you, but don't come in my comments saying i'm the dumb one for not predicting the joining would happen. it's not that, i have been a fan of this series for years and so many other readers like me are upset so it's definetly not just a me thing. i don't like the way the author is handling this with fans, gaslighting us and telling us we misinterpreted what she wrote because if so many people are saying the same thing, then maybe you should check what you write better. that's all, go write your own review if you don't agree with mine.
Profile Image for Stephanie.
31 reviews11 followers
March 14, 2022
Nope. She lost my trust as an author…she clearly catered to an outspoken minority at the sacrifice of her characters.
Profile Image for Sol.
39 reviews4 followers
March 14, 2022
I'll pretend it ended in the third book.
Profile Image for Kat .
127 reviews8 followers
March 25, 2022
Deeply Betrayed
⚠️Spoiler Alert⚠️
YARN | Oh, the turncoat. | Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) | Video clips by quotes | 77314f48 | 紗
𝙊𝙣𝙘𝙚 𝙖𝙜𝙖𝙞𝙣 𝙅𝙇𝘼 𝙝𝙖𝙨 𝙨𝙝𝙞𝙛𝙩𝙚𝙙 𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙨𝙩𝙖𝙣𝙘𝙚 𝙤𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙤𝙣𝙜𝙤𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙙𝙚𝙗𝙖𝙘𝙡𝙚 𝙞𝙣𝙫𝙤𝙡𝙫𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙏𝙒𝙊𝙏𝙌. 𝘼𝙛𝙩𝙚𝙧 𝙧𝙚𝙘𝙞𝙚𝙫𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙘𝙧𝙞𝙩𝙞𝙘𝙞𝙨𝙢 𝙛𝙧𝙤𝙢 𝙥𝙤𝙡𝙮𝙖𝙢𝙤𝙧𝙤𝙪𝙨 𝙘𝙤𝙪𝙥𝙡𝙚𝙨 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙤𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙡𝙜𝙩𝙗𝙦+ 𝙞𝙣𝙙𝙞𝙫𝙞𝙙𝙪𝙖𝙡𝙨 - 𝙬𝙝𝙤𝙨𝙚 𝙘𝙤𝙢𝙢𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙨 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙥𝙤𝙨𝙩𝙨 𝙬𝙚𝙧𝙚 𝙙𝙚𝙡𝙚𝙩𝙚𝙙 - 𝙅𝙇𝘼 𝙝𝙖𝙨 𝙧𝙚𝙛𝙪𝙩𝙚𝙙 𝙖𝙣𝙮 𝙘𝙡𝙖𝙞𝙢𝙨 𝙤𝙛 𝙥𝙖𝙨𝙩 𝙖𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙨 𝙞𝙣𝙫𝙤𝙡𝙫𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙖𝙦𝙪𝙨𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙨 𝙤𝙛 𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙨𝙖𝙮𝙞𝙣𝙜 "𝙝𝙖𝙩𝙚𝙛𝙪𝙡 𝙘𝙤𝙢𝙢𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙨/𝙧𝙚𝙫𝙞𝙚𝙬𝙨 𝙬𝙚𝙧𝙚 𝙖𝙣𝙩𝙞-𝙡𝙜𝙗𝙩𝙦+" 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙚 𝙞𝙨 𝙣𝙤 𝙥𝙧𝙤𝙤𝙛 𝙤𝙛 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙨𝙚 𝙘𝙡𝙖𝙞𝙢𝙨... 𝙅𝙇𝘼 𝙖𝙡𝙨𝙤 𝙢𝙖𝙙𝙚 𝙖 𝙨𝙩𝙖𝙩𝙚𝙢𝙚𝙣𝙩 𝙨𝙥𝙚𝙖𝙠𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙖𝙗𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙥𝙤𝙡𝙮/𝙣𝙤𝙣-𝙥𝙤𝙡𝙮 𝙧𝙚𝙡𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙨𝙝𝙞𝙥,
" 𝑪𝒉𝒐𝒊𝒄𝒆𝒔 𝑰 𝒎𝒂𝒅𝒆 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒉𝒆𝒍𝒑 𝒇𝒓𝒐𝒎 𝒎𝒂𝒏𝒚 𝒑𝒆𝒐𝒑𝒍𝒆 𝒊𝒏 𝒑𝒐𝒍𝒚 𝒓𝒆𝒍𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒔𝒉𝒊𝒑𝒔 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒐𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓 "𝒖𝒏𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒎𝒐𝒏" 𝒓𝒆𝒍𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒔𝒉𝒊𝒑𝒔, 𝒃𝒆𝒄𝒂𝒖𝒔𝒆 𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒏 𝒊𝒇 𝑪𝒂𝒔 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑲𝒊𝒆𝒓𝒂𝒏 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑷𝒐𝒑𝒑𝒚 𝒏𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓 𝒆𝒙𝒑𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒆𝒏𝒄𝒆 𝒔𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒔𝒊𝒎𝒊𝒍𝒂𝒓 𝒂𝒈𝒂𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒊𝒓 𝒓𝒆𝒍𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒔𝒉𝒊𝒑 𝒊𝒔 𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒑𝒍𝒊𝒄𝒂𝒕𝒆𝒅 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒑𝒍𝒆𝒙, 𝒋𝒖𝒔𝒕 𝒂𝒔 𝒎𝒂𝒏𝒚 𝒘𝒉𝒐 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒊𝒏 𝒗𝒂𝒓𝒚𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒅𝒆𝒈𝒓𝒆𝒆𝒔 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒔𝒆 𝒕𝒚𝒑𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝒓𝒆𝒍𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒔𝒉𝒊𝒑𝒔... 𝑰 𝒅𝒊𝒅 𝒎𝒚 𝒓𝒆𝒔𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒄𝒉 𝒊𝒏 𝒂𝒅𝒅𝒊𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏 𝒕𝒐 𝒍𝒊𝒗𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒊𝒕."

𝙒𝙝𝙞𝙡𝙚 𝙄 𝙙𝙤 𝙣𝙤𝙩 𝙞𝙣 𝙖𝙣𝙮 𝙬𝙖𝙮 𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙙𝙤𝙣𝙚 𝙗𝙪𝙡𝙡𝙮𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙤𝙧 𝙝𝙖𝙩𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙩𝙨, 𝙄 𝙖𝙢 100% 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙛𝙧𝙚𝙚𝙙𝙤𝙢 𝙤𝙛 𝙨𝙥𝙚𝙚𝙘𝙝 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙝𝙤𝙣𝙚𝙨𝙩 𝙧𝙚𝙫𝙞𝙚𝙬𝙨.

𝙒𝙝𝙚𝙣 𝙄 𝙞𝙣𝙞𝙩𝙞𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙮 𝙝𝙖𝙙 𝙬𝙧𝙞𝙩𝙩𝙚𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙧𝙚𝙫𝙞𝙚𝙬, 𝙅𝙇𝘼 𝙝𝙖𝙙 𝙛𝙪𝙡𝙡𝙮 𝙞𝙣𝙫𝙚𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙙 𝙞𝙣 𝙬𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙨𝙝𝙚 𝙬𝙧𝙤𝙩𝙚 𝙞𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙗𝙤𝙤𝙠. 𝙃𝙤𝙬𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙧, 𝙨𝙝𝙚 𝙫𝙚𝙧𝙮 𝙦𝙪𝙞𝙘𝙠𝙡𝙮 𝙘𝙝𝙖𝙣𝙜𝙚𝙙 𝙩𝙪𝙣𝙚 𝙖𝙗𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙙𝙮𝙣𝙖𝙢𝙞𝙘 𝙤𝙛 𝙋𝙤𝙥𝙥𝙮/𝘾𝙖𝙨/𝙆𝙞𝙚𝙧𝙖𝙣 𝙤𝙣 𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙁𝘽 𝙥𝙤𝙨𝙩 𝙖𝙙𝙙𝙧𝙚𝙨𝙨𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙞𝙨𝙨𝙪𝙚 𝙖𝙛𝙩𝙚𝙧 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙗𝙖𝙘𝙠𝙡𝙖𝙨𝙝 𝙨𝙝𝙚 𝙧𝙚𝙘𝙚𝙞𝙫𝙚𝙙. 𝘼𝙘𝙩𝙪𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙮 𝙧𝙚𝙛𝙚𝙧𝙧𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙤 𝙖𝙣 𝙞𝙣𝙩𝙞𝙢𝙖𝙩𝙚 𝙧𝙚𝙡𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙨𝙝𝙞𝙥 𝙗𝙚𝙩𝙬𝙚𝙚𝙣 𝙋𝙤𝙥𝙥𝙮/𝙆𝙞𝙚𝙧𝙖𝙣 𝙖𝙨 "𝙚𝙬". 𝙁𝙞𝙧𝙨𝙩 𝙤𝙛𝙛, 𝙞𝙩'𝙨 𝙚𝙭𝙩𝙧𝙚𝙢𝙚𝙡𝙮 𝙞𝙣𝙨𝙪𝙡𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙤 𝙞𝙣𝙨𝙞𝙣𝙪𝙖𝙩𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙥𝙚𝙤𝙥𝙡𝙚 𝙘𝙖𝙣 𝙣𝙤𝙩 𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙙 𝙬𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙫𝙚𝙧𝙮 𝘾𝙇𝙀𝘼𝙍𝙇𝙔 𝙬𝙧𝙞𝙩𝙩𝙚𝙣 𝙞𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙗𝙤𝙤𝙠 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙮 𝙤𝙣𝙡𝙮 𝙛𝙤𝙘𝙪𝙨𝙚𝙙 𝙤𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙟𝙤𝙞𝙣𝙞𝙣𝙜, 𝙞𝙩 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙛𝙖𝙧 𝙢𝙤𝙧𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙠𝙣𝙤𝙬 𝙞𝙩, 𝙬𝙝𝙞𝙘𝙝 𝙞𝙨 𝙬𝙝𝙮 𝙅𝙇𝘼 𝙖𝙙𝙙𝙧𝙚𝙨𝙨𝙚𝙙 𝙞𝙩. 𝙎𝙚𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙙 𝙤𝙛 𝙖𝙡𝙡, 𝙩𝙤 𝙨𝙖𝙮 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙥𝙚𝙤𝙥𝙡𝙚 𝙢𝙞𝙨𝙪𝙣𝙙𝙚𝙧𝙨𝙩𝙤𝙤𝙙 𝙤𝙧 𝙩𝙤𝙤𝙠 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙜𝙨 𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙤𝙛 𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙩𝙚𝙭𝙩 𝙞𝙨 𝙚𝙭𝙩𝙧𝙚𝙢𝙚𝙡𝙮 𝙙𝙚𝙢𝙚𝙖𝙣𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙀𝙎𝙋𝙀𝘾𝙄𝘼𝙇𝙇𝙔 𝙬𝙝𝙚𝙣 𝙧𝙚𝙙𝙖𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙬𝙝𝙤𝙡𝙚 𝙞𝙣𝙣𝙚𝙧 𝙧𝙚𝙡𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙨 𝙜𝙤𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙤𝙣 𝙗𝙚𝙩𝙬𝙚𝙚𝙣 𝙋𝙤𝙥𝙥𝙮 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙆𝙞𝙚𝙧𝙖𝙣 𝙖𝙛𝙩𝙚𝙧 𝙬𝙧𝙞𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙏𝙒𝙊𝙏𝙌. 𝘼𝙡𝙡 𝙤𝙛 𝙩𝙝𝙚 5 𝙨𝙩𝙖𝙧 𝙧𝙚𝙫𝙞𝙚𝙬𝙨 𝙘𝙖𝙣 𝙗𝙚 𝙦𝙪𝙤𝙩𝙚𝙙 𝙖𝙨 𝙚𝙣𝙟𝙤𝙮𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙚𝙭𝙥𝙡𝙤𝙧𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣 𝙤𝙛 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙣𝙚𝙬𝙛𝙤𝙪𝙣𝙙 𝙞𝙣𝙩𝙞𝙢𝙖𝙘𝙮 𝙗𝙚𝙩𝙬𝙚𝙚𝙣 𝙋𝙤𝙥𝙥𝙮 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙆𝙞𝙚𝙧𝙖𝙣 𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙚. 𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙗𝙖𝙘𝙠 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙛𝙤𝙧𝙩𝙝 𝙗𝙚𝙩𝙬𝙚𝙚𝙣 𝙬𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙅𝙇𝘼 𝙝𝙖𝙙 𝙥𝙡𝙖𝙣𝙣𝙚𝙙, 𝙘𝙝𝙖𝙣𝙜𝙚𝙙, 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙬𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙢𝙚𝙖𝙣𝙩 𝙞𝙨 𝙣𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙧-𝙚𝙣𝙙𝙞𝙣𝙜. 𝙄𝙩'𝙨 𝙫𝙚𝙧𝙮 𝙤𝙗𝙫𝙞𝙤𝙪𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙜𝙨 𝙬𝙚𝙧𝙚 𝙘𝙝𝙖𝙣𝙜𝙚𝙙 𝙩𝙤 𝙛𝙞𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙥𝙚𝙧𝙘𝙚𝙞𝙫𝙚𝙙 𝙥𝙤𝙥𝙪𝙡𝙖𝙧𝙞𝙩𝙮 𝙤𝙛 𝙨𝙤𝙘𝙞𝙖𝙡 𝙢𝙚𝙙𝙞𝙖 𝙛𝙖𝙣𝙙𝙤𝙢. 𝙏𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙞𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙨𝙖𝙢𝙚 𝙖𝙪𝙩𝙝𝙤𝙧 𝙬𝙝𝙤 𝙥𝙧𝙚𝙫𝙞𝙤𝙪𝙨𝙡𝙮 𝙘𝙤𝙪𝙡𝙙𝙣'𝙩 𝙥𝙞𝙘𝙠 𝙗𝙚𝙩𝙬𝙚𝙚𝙣 𝙍𝙤𝙩𝙝 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙕��𝙮𝙣𝙚 𝙖𝙨 𝙡𝙤𝙫𝙚 ���𝙣𝙩𝙚𝙧𝙚𝙨𝙩𝙨 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙥𝙤𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙙 𝙖 𝙥𝙪𝙗𝙡𝙞𝙘 𝙥𝙤𝙡𝙡 𝙤𝙣 𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙅𝙇𝘼𝙣𝙙𝙚𝙧𝙨 𝙥𝙖𝙜𝙚 𝙩𝙤 𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙤𝙬 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙛𝙖𝙣𝙨 𝙩𝙤 𝙥𝙞𝙘𝙠 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙚𝙣𝙙 𝙧𝙚𝙨𝙪𝙡𝙩. 𝙎𝙤 𝙨𝙩𝙤𝙥 𝙜𝙖𝙨𝙡𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙛𝙖𝙣𝙨, 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙜𝙤𝙩 𝙘𝙖𝙪𝙜𝙝𝙩 𝙧𝙚𝙙-𝙝𝙖𝙣𝙙𝙚𝙙.
It wasnt me it was james franco GIFs - Hole dir die besten GIFs auf GIFER
⚠️【Spoiler Alert】⚠️

You know, I hung on to this series and Jen's promise to her OG fans that she wouldn't cave to fandoms and that things would get better. I'm so upset with how this book played out. It was basically TCOGB with the joining & WITH EMOTIONAL CHEATING.

The whole reason people fell in love with this series was because of Poppy/Cas. It's all trash now. All of it means nothing. Heartmates MEAN NOTHING. It's such a fucking insult too because JLA literally goes from Poppy and Cas talking about how they're 2 halves of 1 soul, only to jump into Poppy horny for Kieran with possessive Casteel cuckolded. WHY?! WHY?!!

If you're going to write a series and plan for things to become polyamorous/ rh BE CLEAR FROM THE START damnit. Also, if you're going to write a threesome GO FOR IT. JLA couldn't even commit to writing it. She knew the backlash she was going to get and yet STILL didn't go for it and made it a fade to black. I'm so sick to my stomach with the betrayal and wasted time and money that I put into this series.

There is very little substance to the actual plot until the last 15-20% of the book. I think ch 44 just tainted any revelations that were made, nothing mindblowing happened that this author hasn't done before.

Such a massive disappointment. I'm done with FB&A. What's the point anymore, really don't waste your time theorizing this or trying to piece things together because it doesn't matter. With the endless loopholes and quick patches to cover up hyped subplots, the answers given don't make sense and, at least for me, ended up being less satisfying then ongoing theories.

I really want to tear this book a new asshole, truly, but I'm so upset that I just don't have the energy to anymore.

I've lost all respect for this author. She doesn't care about her real supporters, she cares about that dollar count.
Profile Image for Mareeva.
354 reviews4,591 followers
Shelved as 'friendly-neighbourhood-rant'
March 15, 2022
People are seriously rating this 1 star (without ever reading it) to "support" their twt friends who disliked the book LMAOAOAO

This isn't a fucking AA meeting💀💀 you're not supporting shit, you're just being a hater.

Profile Image for dee.
94 reviews5 followers
March 15, 2022
that threesome scene happening made it unbearable for me to keep reading (mind you i saw the spoiler after starting and had to check it before continuing!) and sadly any prior excitement i had for this book dropped to zero, i will not buy neither this book or the next two and final copies. it’s very sad an author felt the need to caterer to certain group of fans and bring such an unnecessary scene to a book. i have absolutely nothing against poly relationships however, it’s very obvious that after the own author’s statements about how poppy and kieran maintained a “siblings-like” relationship and how their character arcs developed during the first two books, that this wasn’t her original intention at all. having cas captive and poppy developing feelings for his best friend? reuniting with him and thinking about kieran instead? just overall very sad and disappointing.

note after the author’s recent statement: we’re not queerphobic because we rated this book one star and because we’re pointing the absolute utter failure it was don’t be daft jla we do not lack in the reading department, you however do lack in the writing one.
Profile Image for sofia.
108 reviews2 followers
March 15, 2022
i loved this trilogy!! but don’t know why jla added this weird ass novella, anyways poppycas only had 3 books in case anyone was wondering!
Profile Image for ☾.
17 reviews
March 15, 2022
i have never in my life yelled at a girl like this. when my mother yells like this it's because she loves me. i was rooting for you, we were all rooting for you! how dare you! learn something from this!
Profile Image for ani..
2 reviews2 followers
March 15, 2022
giving bad ratings is not enough i need you to stop writing
1 review
March 24, 2022
This is where i part with fbaa

Edit: Some people really need to understand that some people might disagree with you and that is ok.
Profile Image for Natasha.
298 reviews280 followers
March 14, 2022
I was waiting for this book to drop all month, started reading asap to read a spoiler that there's a joining scene at the end???

Did i skip 300 pages and went straight to that scene? Yes i did and i couldn't even finish reading it.

I love this series mainly bc of Cass and Poppy bc if i'm being real here the world building is a mess. Since the first book i only cared about their relationship, everything they went through after 3 whole books AND she decided to do the joining in the 4th fucking book after well establishing them as soulmates, once in a lifetime love ??

I do not want sharing in my books but my personal preferences aside if she wanted to write the joining she should've done it in the first two books and maybe establish their poly relationship?

I guess this is what happens when you try following the fan service😤

Why did she ruin the whole series with this, why😭😭😭

I'm not even finishing now, they could all die i couldn't care less.

I wish i could give her 1 star for every book she's written, i'm that mad.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for bri.
4 reviews
March 14, 2022
I'm a fan of rh but this doesn't make any sense. Cas is so possesive and so does Poppy and you'll add Kieran to the mix? Also, Poppy was never sexually attracted to Kieran. Sure, she called him handsome and some praising stuff but it never went that deep like with Cas. I'm so upset. You ruined a three books sailing ship with this 😭 This is ridiculous. What happened to your Q&A that you see Poppy and Kieran as siblings and Poppycas is the endgame? Is this fanservice?
Profile Image for Sam.
18 reviews
March 15, 2022
Never reading a book by her since she literally ruined her characters just for some h*rny middle age women, poppycas you will be missed 💔
Profile Image for Ashlee » libraryinthecountry.
771 reviews628 followers
March 22, 2022
Apparently, my full review is twice as many characters as what Goodreads allows for reviews. Oops. So, I am going to post the full review to my blog here and here on Goodreads, split the review into the main review body and two comments. If you want to continue reading the review, you can continue in the comments.

Apologies for any typos. I'll try to go back and fix any I catch!

Initial Review 03/13/22:
Yep, y’all definitely need to read A Shadow in the Ember before reading this. 😅😍

That said, OH DAMN. This book. I WAS RIGHT … AGAIN. That last ten percent was just blow after blow after blow. And Kieran was even more 🤤🥵🙃 in this. Review coming tomorrow!

Also, just thinking about how someone told me I was totally off with one of my theories a few months ago. Not to be petty, but I’ll be sleeping well tonight. 🤣

Full Review 03/21/22 (Part 1)

I’m going to split this review into three parts. The first part will be spoiler free and touch upon the story overall and aspects I enjoyed and those I feel could be improved. The second part will be in the comments and include spoilers and will address the elephant in the room that led to the inundation of negative early reviews. The third part (let’s call it “bonus content” 😅) will also be in the comments, also include spoilers and is just my thoughts on some of the stuff I’ve seen going around since release in regard to reactions to TWOTQ and stuff I’d like to point out.

I do want to start the review by saying a couple of things first.

Based solely out of personal enjoyment, I loved TWOTQ and that is why I have rated it five stars. However, I do have several critiques that align in some ways with folks who didn’t enjoy the book. That said, I felt like the story went in the direction I have been anticipating it would go, and it has me even more excited for A Light in the Flame and the eventual sequel to this book. Some of my theories were confirmed, and I felt the book was especially an improvement on TCOGB (which is my least favorite of the series). Further down, before I get into the spoilery part of the review, I’m going to link to two other spoilery reviews (with opposing views) that I think are worth a read and very thoughtful.

Secondly, I have always been Team Don’t Care Either Way on the Joining. As someone who purposefully seeks out books with ménage and poly relationships because I feel represented in them, I was excited at the possibility of it happening when it was first brought up in AKOFAF. But beyond that, had no preference nor skin in the game as to whether it happened or not (I just want Kieran to be happy, okay?? 😅). So my enjoyment of the book has zero to do with where I stood on the Joining prior to going into it (or perhaps it did, because I didn’t care whether it happened or not).

Third, I read an ARC and finished it a few days before TWOTQ released. I knew the moment I finished that this would be a polarizing book and mentioned that to a couple of other ARC readers. That said, I had zero spoilers going into the book (though I did do a spicy word search when I got the book, because a girls got to know what she can expect 😏), and I feel like this was the biggest benefit to my own reading experience (re: no spoilers). I also saw a few folks dismissing my thoughts around the book simply because I was an ARC reader and want to make clear: I have read a number of ARCs that I flat out disliked (and negatively reviewed) and receiving an ARC has zero weight on whether I enjoy a book (in fact, my favorite reviews to write are negative ones). I’ve been reviewing ARCs for almost five years now and have learned enough about my reading preferences that I simply won’t request or agree to read an ARC if I feel like I won’t enjoy the book. There are far too many books out there to read, for me to waste my time on something I won’t enjoy. I would have been reading and reviewing TWOTQ whether I received an ARC or not.

I mention these last two things only because I’ve seen folks claim the only people who liked this book are pro-Joining people and the “JLA stans” and can tell you I’m neither—though I have enjoyed most of Jennifer’s books that I’ve read and this one is no exception.

Finally, you should absolutely make sure you’ve read A Shadow in the Ember before reading The War of Two Queens. My recommended reading order is to read it after The Crown of Gilded Bones, but before this book. It is not simply a prequel story set in the same world—the events in that book are key to the plot of this one.

Spoiler free part:

Overall, TWOTQ is up near AKOFAF as my favorite book in the series. I loved AKOFAF because it was romance and tension heavy. It was like candy for my fantasy romance loving soul. On the other hand, I loved TWOTQ because I felt the romance versus action sides of the plot were fairly balanced—which feels like a natural progression of where the plot should be at this point. Remember in TCOGB, when it seems as though Poppy and Cas are in their room at Jasper’s house for what is like half the book?? Okay, it isn’t half, but it is definitely around a quarter of the book. That jarred me so much while reading TCOGB, it felt like work to push through those chapters, because the conversations they were having were being continually rehashed over and over again. That said, the pacing in TWOTQ is by far an improvement upon TCOGB and any repetition felt natural and necessary to that point in the story. The book had solid momentum and I always had a good sense of what the next step would be for the characters and story.

One of my favorite aspects of TWOTQ is the way it ties into ASITE (as I said, you need to read ASITE first!), and I was internally screaming when several of my theories on how the series tie together were confirmed. When I reviewed ASITE I was told I was wrong on my interpretation of how I thought the stories would tie together—and the petty side of my soul definitely did the “Disaster Girl” meme face when it turned out I was right. 🙊🌝 If anything, those developments blew my mind, and I’m even more excited to read A Light in the Flame now, to see just what the hell happened to bring us to this point. (Also, *whispers* Nyktos > Casteel … don’t @ me)

Next, can we just take a moment—or five—to appreciate Reaver and his apple eating attire? Do we have fan art of this yet? My inbox is open, just saying … thirst activated. (Although he’s little Reaver Butt in ASITE, which makes that weird, so maybe deactivated lol) I *loved* Reaver’s character in this though. I mean, I suspected I would, but he played a very present role throughout the story, which pleasantly surprised me! Plus, the humor between him and Kieran gave me life. (And hey, I’d still be down for Reaver/Kieran …) Reaver is the disaster child this series needed, and we deserved.

That said, Kieran has always been my favorite in this series (sorry Reaver, get in line), and my heart was singing every moment he was present in this book. I love the way his relationship with Poppy grew and seeing him singled out and given more focus in this installment is something I’ve been hoping we would get for awhile. We definitely could have gotten more, too. I was really touched by the way he and Poppy bonded over their shared grief while Cas was imprisoned, and it only served to show (IMO) just how much Cas (and his separation from them) means to both of them. My love for Kieran may cloud my judgment on some scenarios in the book, and I know others may have different feelings on this, which I’ll address in the spoilery part of my review.

And TAWNY! I have missed Tawny so much. Without giving too much away, I was so glad to see her back in the story again. I have a Poppy level amount of questions when it comes to Tawny (I definitely think there is some stuff going on there and we’re going to be in for a surprise in future books) and am excited to see where her story goes.

Also: Malik! Malik! Malik! Okay, I did not expect to like Malik as much as I did, especially after TCOGB. He was one of the most compelling characters in this for me, and I’m so glad we finally got to spend some time around him. Especially after what happened with Ian in the last book. Also, seeing him interact with Cas and Kieran was intriguing, as this was a relationship we’d only ever been told about and had never seen. Considering his situation was a catalyst for so much of this story, I felt like a number of things came full circle with his storyline.
I connected with Millie’s unpredictable personality so much and can’t wait to learn more about her. In her IG live last week, JLA mentioned she has plans for a book about Millie and I internally screamed when I got that news, because she fascinates me. I loved the scene between her and Cas while he’s imprisoned. I definitely related to Cas’s WTF face. 😅
Also, side note: Delano? Emil? Niall? I was STRESSED. And then I was not. Whew.

Oh, and am I the only one getting some daddy energy from Valyn? And not just because he’s Casteel and Malik’s father. Not that kind of daddy. 🤣

There are a few things I was meh about in this, and some of that is spoilery, so it’ll be included in that part, but I do think its fair to point out that Casteel’s character feels sidelined a bit at times. If you love PoppyCas, you might be disappointed in that alone (and that might compound thoughts on other parts of the book). However, I thought about this for a few days and realized … of course he feels like he’s sidelined. Casteel is not in a location to be present for the bulk of the action in this book, but he does have a regular recurring POV (which I loved, mind you), and we learn quite a bit in that POV. Was I disappointed that his character seemed sidelined? Sure. But looking at the structure of the story overall, it made sense. If there was an even balance between Poppy’s POV (where most of the action is occurring) and Casteel’s POV, I personally feel folks would see his chapters as dragging and slow (because it would create an imbalance in the pacing). In fact, lengthy separations are usually something I *hate* in a book (seriously, its an instant way to guarantee I’m going to want to nitpick every part of the book I dislike), but never once in this did I feel as though that separation was taking too long. I always felt as though Poppy, Kieran and crew were progressing toward rescuing Casteel and there’s enough of Casteel’s POV (and ) that I wasn’t missing him too much.

I also believe there could be more explicit and clearer indications of relationship dynamics, but nothing relationship-wise in TWOTQ surprised me and I fully believe the writing has been on the wall since AKOFAF (and even the later chapters of the first book). I’ll dive more into that in the spoilery parts of my review, but I think seeing the foreshadowing in earlier books depends upon how folks read specific lines of dialogue and actions that simply put, WERE vague. From an authorial standpoint, it’s a double-edged sword. There’s this desire to not make things TOO obvious in one’s writing, while also trying to sprinkle in enough foreshadowing that a future point of the plot doesn’t seem like it’s come out of the woodwork. I do think this has suffered a little from that—and clearer foreshadowing seems to be something a lot of folks (who disliked the events of this book) wish they’d received. I don’t think the plot would have suffered had these things been clearer.

Despite this, I am more than happy and satisfied with this book and where it takes the story. There has been so much focus on the romance aspect of this book (and the story overall), but there is far more to this book and series than that. TWOTQ was a great reminder that this is a fantasy series too. We get a good balance of fantasy action as well was more progress in the world building and progression of the larger Atlantia vs. Solis plot throughout TWOTQ.

Next time though, more battle scenes, please. It is titled The War of Two Queens, after all.

Please note that these are JUST my opinions and I believe it is completely valid to dislike a book and give your honest (and hopefully respectful) opinions on why you disliked it. If you have not read the book and have gotten to this point, I recommend reading it and deciding for yourself with as little influence of other’s opinions as possible.

The place to find the most genuine reviews, from people who have actually purchased (and likely read) the book, is on Audible. You cannot review a book on Audible unless you’ve actually purchased it (whereas, you can review without purchasing on the regular Amazon listing for the other formats). So, again, if you feel conflicted on what to believe and aren’t sure if you want to read the book, I recommend checking out those reviews.

There are two SPOILERY reviews on Goodreads that I recommend reading, that have opposing viewpoints, that I feel did a great breakdown of the series and this book. Giving thoughtful and comprehensive comments on what they liked and disliked about the book.

The first, Valkyrie’s five-star review, breaks down the foreshadowing they saw in earlier books, that point to the events in this book. This is all the foreshadowing I felt was a clear indication for what happens in TWOTQ.

The second, Yaz’s three-star review discusses their disappointment over the events of the book in a thoughtful and respectful way. Yaz has been a pillar in the FBAA fandom since the beginning, and they take the time to mention that while they enjoyed the book overall, it fell flat for them in a few areas, and why.

These are fantastic reviews if you don’t mind spoilers, and I highly recommend reading both of them!

Review continued in the comments (with spoilers!)
Profile Image for eddie.
21 reviews20 followers
March 17, 2022
giving it a one because negative stars are not possible. not even a zero unfortunately. what the fuck was this shit. if i wanted to read about two people flirting while their husband/best friend was being tortured i’d simply hit my head against a wall repeatedly just so i could go to HELL.

and please don’t even come with that bullshit “ah but it wasn’t intended that way” because if you honestly think that you’re just as fucking stupid as the author when she thought it was a good idea to throw away all plot and development from previous books to satisfy thirsty fb soccer moms who have nothing better to do. i’m fucking fuming right now. zero professionalism, zero coherence, zero fucking quality. i felt like i was reading a completely different series because, again, WHAT THE FUCK

i genuinely don’t know how you FUCK UP a series THIS BAD AND THIS GODDAMN FAST???? does she not have an editor?? or common sense??????

i said it even before tcogb came out that a sexual joining should not happen, not because i have a personal vendetta against threesomes, but because jla is not an author responsible enough to write it without fucking up everything else. and surprise surprise i was right. you wanna tell me this bullshit of a book was trauma bonding between poppy and kieran?? MY FUCKING ASS. they were so fucking flirty and cozy that even other characters noticed it WHILE CASTEEL WAS STARVING IN A DUNGEON SITTING ON HIS OWN FILTH??? completely ooc for poppy and kieran, and i genuinely cannot stand both of them right now. casteel deserved better than this bullshit, and so did the fucking readers

someone should genuinely take seranyktos away from her so she doesn’t ruin them too. horrible. just absolutely horrifying, unprofessional, and 100% disappointing. i’d also complain about the plot BUT THERE WASNT ANY
Profile Image for crazyyummy.
503 reviews
March 15, 2022
Justice for every single PoppyCas lover out there!! You guys don't deserve this shitty ass book.
Profile Image for Sunny.
5 reviews5 followers
April 4, 2022
WHAT THE FUCK WAS THIS??? This isn’t even funny or cute. I am heartbroken 💔 I got the Kindle version. I REFUSE to buy the book. FUCK THAT.

Why, why, why did you take this route JLA. I get that you’re the author but where the fuck is the build up. Poppy & Kieran get close in a very toxic way because suddenly these two motherfuckers honestly forgot that Casteel is ENSLAVED AND BEING TORTURED. FUCK!

RIP PoppyCas 2022 figuratively & literally
Heartmates my fucking ass.
Kieran is reduce down to a Joining partner & nothing more

Was it the bond b/t wolven that made Kieran suddenly have “feelings” for Poppy? Was it the fact that Casteel, your HEARTMATE, was gone that made you have these weak moments for Kieran? It’s like somehow Poppy & Kieran believed in having feelings for each other equals Casteel’s returned feelings and that’s not how that shit works. It’s not cute.

God forbid Casteel leaves again and Poppy develops feelings for someone else. 👀 Fucking cheater. I really do believe that Casteel was pushed to like this more so just to make Poppy happy. That doesn’t help him with his low self esteem of feeling unworthy of Poppy.

Casteeeeeel! This book did not do you justice. My heart squeezes to point to pain. In TCOGB, Casteel explains multiple times how much Poppy means to him to point where it got annoying. We know that Poppy is Casteel’s everything. But I feel as though we don’t have that in return from Poppy. That’s heartbreaking.

Poppy has the nerve to say all these things for Casteel: friend, betrayer, lover, heartmate, husband, king. My everything. So why the hell are you catching these intense feelings for Kieran? Having a heartmate, husband wasn’t enough so therefore she has this relationship with Kieran that’s more than a friend but less than a lover. That’s a disservice to Kieran.

Whenever it’s asked “what are these feelings”? THE SHIT IS NEVER EXPLAINED. THATS WHY SO MANY PEOPLE ARE SO CONFUSED.

I was a fucking fool to believe there was a possibility that this unnecessary Joining wouldn’t happen. 🖕🏽🤡

“The Joining doesn’t have to be sexual. It could happen or it couldn’t happen” I clung to this fucking quote for dear life. I thought that if it does happen maybe it won’t be sexual. Why the fuck would you tell us that REPEATEDLY? I felt like false hope was given out.

Did Kieran really forget that Poppy is married to Casteel, his best friend???? Wtf is this man doing sharing a bed with her. Why was Kieran used as some kind of sex toy. Kieran is like Casteel where he doesn’t have a personality nor does he have a character arc. I WANTED MORE FOR KIERAN. Was it too much to fucking ask for that he gets his own love interest? I DO NOT want him with anyone else. KEEP HIS ASS WITH POPPY AND CASTEEL CAUSE LORD KNOWS HE DOESNT EXIST OUTSIDE OF THEIR RELATIONSHIP.

Even Tawny points that shit out:

“So,” Tawny drew out the word. “Why is it that he behaves as I would expect from your husband?”

And can Poppy stop petting the wolven like they’re some damn dogs 🙃 FUCK! A lot of people were worried that Poppy would be “over-powered” lmao JLA saw that and was like “fuck y’all, I’ll make her as powerful as I want”

Casteel wants to pick and choose when to be protective. That shit is suffocating. Like, i can’t breathe. I thought he was losing his personality in TCOGB but SHIT it’s completely gone now right along with Kieran. If the roles were reversed, Casteel wouldn’t dare be with some other female. And Poppy insecure ass should know that.

WOULD SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAIN THIS “RELATIONSHIP”? This doesn’t make even fucking sense. Why on earth are their “feelings” involved???? I thought that I was fucking confused before. SHIT I don’t know what this relationship is now. Poppy can’t even explain this big mess. This was so unneeded. And the fact that it was dragged out until book 4 already let’s me know that JLA was dragging readers all along.

At first, I was really excited that this series was expanded from 4 to 6 books. But now, fuck can we get to the point already??? Plot, yeah that shit is non-existent. Unfortunately, this fandom is going to tear each other apart. FUCK!

Casteel and Poppy are heartmates. That’s the strongest bond that a pair can have. Kieran is NOT part of this. Was it too much to ask that he gets his own person. Kieran, you don’t have a heartmate, nor a lover. Are you going to spend the rest of your life by their side? While they start a family, what will you do?

And the thought of if Poppy goes down then Kieran & Casteel will go down WITH HER CRACKS MY FUCKING HEART. This is the main reason I never wanted the Joining. It’s like I’m holding my breathe. I have such a deep visceral reaction to that. 😩😩

It hurts deeply because is that how you see black/brown characters?? As some kind of sex toy and nothing more. It would’ve been bomb asf to have Kieran have a character arc. I know the Joining was the only thing he was made for and that shit hurts. I believed that JLA wouldn’t be the type of person to do fan service, FUCK! I was wrong. She catered to a portion of the fandom that didn’t even pay attention to the original plot or characters. She traded quality storyline for smut??? THAT WASNT EVEN FUCKING GOOD NOR CLEAR ENOUGH.

Please don’t ever in infinity & beyond put the blame on readers that they misinterpret the book. Everyone knows what the fuck they’re reading. And if THIS MANY readers are saying the same thing, it’s probably goes back to how it’s written. And fuck you for claiming that 🖕🏽🙂

This lady killed off 16 fucking drakens. TAKE THAT SHIT BACK!
Profile Image for bubs.
309 reviews62 followers
March 15, 2022
DNF at 63%

Man, I'm so disappointed. PoppyCas have been one of my favourite ships ever since I read FBAA. The fact that this book managed to ruin them for me says it all.


Where to begin? At the end of TCOGB I was genuinely excited about TWOTQ because the narrative of a vengeful badass Poppy doing about anything to save Casteel was extremely promising - instead I got a repetitive, boring Poppy who keeps using her powers, awing everyone around her and feeling bad about it seconds later. Was it really that hard to try and go a little further in that department? Not to mention the fact that the vengeful badass Poppy was literally nowhere to be seen. All I got was Poppy ~kinda~ trying to save Casteel while playing house with Kieran.

The overall plot is a repeat of the last 2 books - same conflict, same dilemas, same solutions, same jokes... With the promise of a war this didn't exactly feel eventful.

And don't even get me started on the whole PoppyKieran thing. I always knew the joining was a possibility but whatever the f*ck happened in this book went above and beyond f*cked up. Seriously? Why create unnecessary sexual tension between two characters who should be worried about the fact their husband and best friend is literally locked away in a cell, lying in his own flith, starving and being tortured? I had more content about Poppy and Kieran holding hands than I had POV's from Casteel. It was like JLA was deadset on making us forget Poppy is married to Casteel and not to Kieran.

And these characters? I've loved Casteel, Poppy and Kieran from day one but whoever the hell was in this book was not them. Their decisions, their manners, their RELATIONSHIPS, everything felt off and weird to the point it made me nauseous. I genuinely don't know what happened in this book but I hardly see myself pick up the rest of the series after this absolute sh*t show.

JLA really managed to ruin an entire series in a single book because she was more interested in a threesome than in the actual development of the characters and the plot. Will forever be bitter about this bs.
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