Book Review: The King of Burning Skies (The Serpents and Kings Trilogy #2)

Title: The King of Burning Skies

Author: S.M. Gaither

Pub. Date: December 20, 2019

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

War is coming to the Sundolian Empire.

Can a forbidden love between a prince and a dragon save it?

Or are they destined to bring it all down in flames?

The kingdoms are shattering.

A tyrant rules from the north.

The Dragon clan, once exiled beyond the edges of the empire, has joined forces with a bloodthirsty, opportunistic king in the south.

And the crown prince of Rooks is running out of options to keep the people and places he loves safe. His best chance to save his world and take the crown from his mad father may lie in the most dangerous of those exiled Dragons—a woman who is just as likely to ruin him as she is to save him.

Alaya is part human, part divine, and fully prepared to use her growing powers to destroy everyone that has hurt and betrayed her. The list of those people is long. Despite her pain, she still intends to find a way to bring peace to her world—but she can’t do it alone.

The high king must fall. 

What was broken must be mended. 

And somehow, both Dragon and Rook must find a way to protect each other from the dark side of the magic building within and around them…

Or else watch their world burn to ashes.

This will be a spoiler free review. I listened to the audiobook via Audible. You can check out my review for The Queen of Cursed Things here, if you’re interested.

I fucking hate Sylven. Between him and his father, I can’t remember the last time I hated an antagonist this viscerally. Like, I kept ripping my AirPod out of my ear in anger because every time that fucker was on the page, I just wanted to throat punch him.

HELL, I didn’t even hate the Rook King as much as I hate those two. They’re the absolute worst.

But here’s the thing, I also kind of love Sylven – simply because if an author can make me that reactive to a character, they’ve done their job 100% right. So, I can appreciate that. He’s still a complete and utter asshole and I’m seriously looking forward to his demise – though if he somehow makes it out of this series unscathed, I WILL RIOT.

I have no love for uber manipulative characters and he’s the worst.

Phew, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, moving on.

This book was better than the first one – and the first one was really good. In no way does it suffer from second book syndrome and that was a relief. I sometimes find with fantasy trilogies that the second book often lags. It often fills like filler until the big final battle. This book starts and it just keeps going.

After how book 1 ends, book two opens with characters divided and things are starting to happen. Kingdom tensions are rising, and lives are in danger.

Alaya is fiercer than ever and is such a badass. She never gives up and constantly fights.

Emrys is fighting his own battles and trying to figure out his feelings.

And Sade…well, you’ll just have to read to figure out what she’s up to. I like Sade, but after her actions at the end of book one, I was a little – a smidge disappointed in her arc in this book. Mainly her eventual interactions with Alaya. It just seemed a little too easy and I found myself wishing that Sade had, had to work for it a little more. I know I’m being vague but it’s all one giant spoiler.

I loved the moments between Emrys and Alaya, so much. I just love their dynamic and the roles they play. I love that they both are so defeatist that they don’t allow themselves more than a few moments of daydreaming happiness. It makes me want to shake them, shove them together and just scream kiss already! and give them a hug.

As for the plot in this book, it really isn’t lacking. So much is happening, does happen and stakes are high. Alaya is learning how to control her magic, but there’s a terrible cost. Emrys is making arguably questionable choices – even though his intentions are good. And once again, Jesse Vilinksy – the narrator knocks it out of the fucking park.

I’ve already started book 3 and so far, it’s so damn good. When I say that you should check this series out – I’m not kidding. Seriously, go pick up the first book.

5 thoughts on “Book Review: The King of Burning Skies (The Serpents and Kings Trilogy #2)

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