ARC Review: Crystal Kingdom by Amanda Hocking

Series: The Kanin Chronicles #3
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Release Date: August 4th 2015
Book Length: 432 pages
Publisher: St. Martins Press
Source: Physical Copy, Goodreads 
Review: 3/5 *Full Review Below.

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

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

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

Ice Kissed left with Bryn on the run, she’s now on The Most Wanted List among the Kanin. With no one to trust or turn to she finds herself aligned with fellow fugitive and gorgeous bad boy Konstantin Black. Under the rule of the evil Queen Mina, the people of Doldastam are trapped under her tyranny. Together Bryn and Konstantin travel all over the troll kingdoms seeking help to over throw her rule and to save Kanin trolls, but who would listen to traitors of the crown?

So I actually requested this ARC because of the gorgeous cover but I didn't know that it was part of a series because I'm a doofus, which is why this is a little late. Just to give you a heads up, I may have a little rant later on because this should have been the best book of the lot, the ultimate climax with the trolls at the brink of war but instead I found myself completely annoyed during certain events.

This was slightly better than Ice Kissed, the drama, action and adventure was at it’s highest, not only did we visit one Troll kingdom but two and it was fascinating to see how they all live and differ from one another. For Bryn too much is at stake, her family and friends are trapped in Doldastam and if the trolls refuse to help her then there is nothing she can do.

There was an excellent twist half way through which I totally didn’t see coming and it completely turned the story on it’s head. I didn’t enjoy Ice Kissed too much because we still didn’t have any insight to the much bigger plot and who was behind it but I must say this was actually worth the wait. The book was slow paced and therefore slow to reveal it’s secrets but vengeance is a best dish serve cold in this case.

Now for my rant, which is basically on the romance. I wanted and needed more of it, throughout the series the romance has been minimal and I understand the impending doom and we technically don’t have time for it but in order for me to fully invest it I need some page space, well at least more than one or two moments.

Now for the real thing that bugged me: Konstantin Black.

People have made countless comments in their reviews about this series not having a love triangle… this is technically true. Bryn is obviously in love with Ridley and I'm all for that, he was perfect for her. BUT for some silly reason, Hocking decided to wait until the final book to spend 75% of it with lingering looks, touches, blushing and sometimes moments where Bryn and Konstantin are pressed against one another. Seriously? Why make him a love interest this late on? He is a love interest maybe not on the scale of Ridley but come on Bryn spend years of her teenage life being in love with this man and now she knows he’s innocent and he gorgeous and all the rest of it. I don’t think I would have been bothered by this if she didn’t spend 75% of the book making me fall in love with the bad boy/jackass, for them to share a kiss and then…. Well let’s not go there, what was the point? To me this was a complete waste of time and still annoys me right now, but maybe that’s because I have a problem with bad boys? Surely someone can see my point though? Argh.

Overall it was a good end to the series but just not great. We lose a few beloved characters but I think I will remember this series for the vivid world building in a brilliant fantasy world about trolls and Konstantin </3. To have the entire series published within a few months of each other in no easy feat so I think I will be checking out some of Hocking’s other work and will hopefully not be heartbroken by the male leads.

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  1. JLA made a bonus scene for Daemon and Katy from Obsidian, you have to read this now!!


  2. I've heard of Amanda Hocking before but never this series. It sound interesting and I may just add it to my TBR. I love some good plot twists. Great review!

    By the way, I nominated you for the Blogger's Recognition Award!


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