Title: Ember Queen
Author: Laura Sebastian
Pub. Date: February 4, 2020
Princess Theodosia was a prisoner in her own country for a decade. Renamed the Ash Princess, she endured relentless abuse and ridicule from the Kaiser and his court. But though she wore a crown of ashes, there is fire in Theo’s blood. As the rightful heir to the Astrean crown, it runs in her veins. And if she learned nothing else from her mother, she learned that a Queen never cowers.
Now free, with a misfit army of rebels to back her, Theo must liberate her enslaved people and face a terrifying new enemy: the new Kaiserin. Imbued with a magic no one understands, the Kaiserin is determined to burn down anyone and everything in her way.
The Kaiserin’s strange power is growing stronger, and with Prinz Søren as her hostage, there is more at stake than ever. Theo must learn to embrace her own power if she has any hope of standing against the girl she once called her heart’s sister.
This will be a spoiler free review. But I’m kinda of annoyed, so at the end, there will be some spoilers.
This book was long.
The pacing was so freaking slow.
By the time I got to the end of the book, I didn’t really care, I was just glad that the end was in sight.
That’s not to say that I was disappointed in the final showdown…or lack thereof.
I just…don’t know how I feel. I loved Ash Princess, enjoyed Lady Smoke – even though the ending of that book killed what I thought the final show down was going to be. But Ember Queen just felt lacking. I think it’s primarily due to the pacing of this book. It’s long, it’s slow and it takes forever for things to happen.
Character development and relationships felt flat and lacking. Søren kind of got shafted in this book, and Theo was constantly trying to be more, to fill her mother’s shoes…to try and martyr herself…and poor Blaise.
I honestly don’t know what to say. This series could have been epic, but it fell so short. For how long this book was (and felt) nothing memorable happened. It’s been 2 hours since I finished reading it, and I only remember the ending. Not because it was memorable, but because it’s what I read last. The plot…or again, lack thereof, just didn’t work for me. I think my biggest complaint has got to be the pacing. If it had been quicker, I think I would have enjoyed the book overall, even if the end had left things to be desired. It was basically the slowest final confrontation you could have, without there even really being a confrontation. The stakes were sky high, but when it came down to it, they may have well be a two-inch twig stuck in the dirt.
I don’t know what to tell you. I’m kind of bitter, and maybe being a little harsh, but I’m annoyed.
If you’re like me and enjoyed the first two books and wanted to see how it ends, go for it. Hopefully this review hasn’t deterred you too much. If you don’t need to know what happens, you’re honestly not missing much. If you’ve read any YA Take Back The Throne books, you’ll know how this ends.
I’m super bummed this fell flat, but it happens. At least they’ll look really pretty on my shelf.
You can scroll down for some spoiler-y thoughts if interested. Please keep any comments spoiler free. If you want to rant along with me, you can DM me over on Twitter – @lexacourtney
I also did not understand the whole “make myself more powerful” plot line in this book. If she’s not going to go full Aelin, what the hell was the point? The fact that she isn’t even the one to kill the Kaiser, or Kaiserin…what is the freaking point? In what way does she “take back her power?” or her freaking throne for that matter. Arguably, Blaise did that.
And then to trash her and Søren’s relationship for “Queen’s don’t marry”…miss me with that shit.
You know, when I finished this book, I was bummed and a little disappointed, but now I’m just kind of pissed. The ending could have been so epic, Theo could have faced off, actually used her powers – isn’t that why she went into the freaking Fire Mines? To learn to control her power? AND THEN FOR HER TO NOT USE IT WHEN IT SHOULD BE USED?
I was pretty annoyed at the end of Lady Smoke when Cress kills the Kaiser, because wtf, that should have been Theo’s kill. And then for Theo to not even be the one to kill Cress, to give her the mercy of dying privately. Again, miss me with that shit.
Honestly, I can’t think of a single thing that I really enjoyed about this book. I’m too rage-y right now to think positively. I was so excited to read this (even more excited I was reading it months after its release instead of years) and unfortunately, it sucked as an ending. I find this happens a lot with fantasy trilogies, the ending hardly ever is satisfying enough…or at all.
I felt nothing but relief that the book was over, when Theo finally sat on that damn throne. I didn’t care about any of it by the time I got to the end.