Crown of Bitter Thorn picks up shortly after the last book ended. Moody’s fae world continues to expand, and we are taken to new kingdoms and are introduced to new and often frightening supernatural beings and creatures. Equally fascinating is the political intrigue as Prince Brannick and Elora try to gain allies against the queen. There are so many ulterior and hidden motives that Elora and the prince never know who they can fully trust or who is actually on their side.
Elora goes through a lot in the story and repeatedly puts herself in danger to protect Brannick, his kingdom, and his people. Determined to save Faerie and all who have been hurt by the evil High Queen Alessandra, Elora’s love for Brannick and the fae world fuels her. She is a determined and brave woman, persistent in her goals even when faced with the impossible. She’s also really kind and compassionate. She has such a tender heart, and she truly cares for those she meets. Elora always wants to do better and make things better, and she is stubborn, resilient, and extremely courageous.
I love that we see more of Elora’s sisters in this book. Like the other characters in the story, Elora’s younger sisters are well-developed and interesting. They only humans in Faerie, they have more to offer the fae than expected. The detestable queen becomes an even more dynamically developed character as well, and the story delves more into her reasons for wanting Brannick and power. I found this aspect of the novel interesting, and though it didn’t make me like her character more, it definitely provided good insight into her misguided and power-hungry notions.
The love story between Elora and Brannick continues to flourish, though I did hope for a little more in the romance department, especially in the first half of the book. After what happened at the end of the last book and what Elora did for Brannick, I found his initial treatment of her a bit extreme and unusual. His actions in this first half of the book contrasted with my expectations, but I think this has a lot to do with the fact that Brannick is not very experienced with feeling such deep and strong emotions for another person. I do like how their relationship progresses, especially in the second half of the book! It seems as if they are on more equal terms in this book, and I have a feeling their relationship is only going to get better from here!
Finally, can I just say how much I love Brannick’s wolf Blaz? A fiercely loyal and intelligent companion who becomes a great support and asset to Elora and Brannick, Blaz is also so sweet and caring. Blaz, the consummate protector, has some pretty cool magical gifts too.
Like all of Moody’s stories, this story has a ton of action, suspense, and a plethora of interesting and dynamically developed characters. And that ending! She’s the master of cliffhangers!
I just... Okay, let me try to start from the beginning.
This series has seriously struck me as one of the best fae stories I've ever read. Starting with Books 1 and 2, then that perfect prequel that I didn't know existed until after book 2, and now with Book 3. Moody is a genius with developing characters and relationships that simultaneously make you swoon and curse.
What I like so much about Elora and Brannick is the way that, even though they are so, so different, they understand each other without constant declarations and signs of affection. This book does not focus on their relationship, and yet it's such an intrinsic part of who they are that you have no doubt their feelings for each other. It's so nice to read something with that kind of relationship.
This book just picks up right where the second one ends. It dives right into things and keeps you reading until the end. Brannick is such a great character. I loved learning more about him and seeing what he is willing to do to save Faerie. Elora has her own struggles in this book and it is so hard to watch but is all worth it when she finally figures things out. This series just gets better and better as you go! This one ended with me NEEDING the conclusion. Kay has a way of making you absolutely love and be invested in her charactes so you need to know how it all works out.
I was eager for this book and wasn’t disappointed. I love the way the Fae and human worlds are blended to create a magical story. And I can’t stress enough how much I love the fact that these would be a great read for all ages!
Elora has proven herself worthy of her place in Faerie. She survives the Shard when few, if any, have before. She awakes to find her sisters safely by her side and just as excited as she is to live in Faerie forever. She learns they weren’t really happy with their existence in the mortal world either. They all have a pinch of adventure-longing in their hearts. Unluckily for them, High Queen Alessandra and Ansel easily provide more than they want. The characters barely seem to sleep before a new danger arises. Would be nice if becoming fae means your magic is there, like magic! But no, Elora could not have it that easy. The cliff hanger at the end makes me glad the new book is nearly here! I plowed through the first three in two days and have been wondering nonstop what is going to happen in the final book!