Book Review: A Tournament of Crowns (A Trial of Sorcerers #3)

Title: A Tournament of Crowns

Author: Elise Kova

Pub. Date: February 24, 2023

Pages: 428

Pub: Silver Wing Press

Genre: YA Fantasy Romance

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


A Royal Tournament. Thrilling Magic. Deadly Mysteries. Slow-Burn Romance.

Last night, Eira killed a man.

However justified her actions were, many now regard her as a cold-blooded murderer and a heretic who extinguished their hope. But there’s no time to explain herself. She barely has a chance to wash the blood off her hands before the Tournament of Five Kingdoms begins.

Sequestered with the other champions for the duration of the tournament, Eira must now navigate the games, her competition, the enemies who hunt her head, and — somehow worse than all the rest — being stuck in close quarters with the man who broke her heart.

All is fair in love and magical tournaments, and Eira is ready for the fight of her life.

Get ready for twists you never saw coming in A Tournament of Crowns. This series is perfect for readers who enjoy young adult, epic fantasy full of elemental magic, slow-burn romance, found family, and battles for the futures of kingdoms set in a world you’ll never want to leave.

Don’t miss a single book in the A Trial of Sorcerers series. Readers should start with A Trial of Sorcerers, and then A Hunt of Shadows, before reading A Tournament of Crowns.

This will be a spoiler free review. Thank you to Elise Kova for giving me the chance to read it early. I’ve been a fan since Air Awakens and everything she writes is always so good, and this book is no exception.

Before we jump into the review, if you’re interested – you can check out my reviews for both A Trial of Sorcerers and A Hunt of Shadows – the first two books in this new series. And if you’re interested in reviews for the Air Awakens Series and the Vortex Chronicles Series, all are available on my blog as well.

When I got the email that I was getting an eARC of this book I was a bit surprised and extremely excited. I’ve been such a fan of this world and all the characters since the beginning, and following Eira’s story has definitely been memorable and fun so far.

This third installment takes place right where book 2 leaves off, and oh boy. The drama in this book. The flirting. The high as fuck stakes.

But the flirting.

Can I just digress and gush about how much I loved the attraction in this book? How good the sexual tension was? The pining. My god.

Also, the jealousy?

The way Elise had me rooting and rolling my eyes – I loved it.

Each book in this series has been so great, but when I tell you I inhaled the first 25% of it in one sitting and had I not had work the next morning, I probably would have stayed up all night. I broke my reading of this book up over a few days, and I wanted to inhale the rest of it each night, but those early wake up calls are a killer. What I mean to say is – be prepared to not put this book down. It’s so good and so much happens plot wise. Be ready.

Now, there are certain aspects that I’m always trash for in books, and competitions are one of them. I’ve been looking forward to this part of Eira’s story for ages, and it’s finally here and I enjoyed it. I do wish it had been a little more drawn out, but the fate of the world is at stake, tensions are brewing and everyone is one wrong move away from the whole board imploding. So I get it, there are more important things – like the flirting.

I can’t wait for y’all to read this, because very rarely does Elise make me want to switch my loyalties, but oooo damn. I’m conflicted.

But back to the point, the tournament! I liked the tasks, and I loved the competitors. I thought that Elise created a great cast and having finished the book I’m really interested in seeing how they continue to interact with each other. I’m so damn excited for the next one.

I liked that we got some background knowledge on the different kingdoms and characters and that really helped to flesh them out and make them more important than just these throw away competitors that we don’t really need to care about. And we see a lot of this through Eira’s newfound maturity, and her willingness to bridge divides and support the treaty. Because again, the whole worlds at stake, and if they don’t come together, well everything will be fucked, won’t it?

Besides the flirting Elise expertly wove into this book, and the tournament, my favorite part had to be Eira and her character growth. She had some really, really good moments. She’s on high alert, lowkey terrified and knowing it’s only a matter of time before shit really hits the fan. Between the tournament and everything else going on around her, she’s a bit stressed, understandably. But in light of the events of the last two books, understanding about how dangerous it all is really starts to sink into her skull.

I don’t want to say she’s less impulsive, because let’s face it, you kind of have to be when the world is at stake. But there’s definite moments of “let me think before I act” and “how will my actions affect those I care about”.

She spends more time reflecting on how her actions make others feel, and in turn also reflects on how actions and inactions initiated by those around her impact her. She does a lot of expressing in this book, in ways I found very healthy. How many heroines tend to bottle their emotions until they explode?

And as this review is getting rather long and I’m running out of things to say that aren’t outright spoilers – I’ll end it with this.

I was not ready for the ending. I wasn’t prepared for everything that happened and the unknowns and the freaking shock of it all. I know whenever I finish an Elise Kova book I’m going to be dying for the next one, but dammit. I NEED the next one. I need to know what happens next. I have CONCERNS. I also have questions that need answered! I need to know if the flirting pans out or not. Because I think I have a new ship in this book and to be perfectly honest I want it to sail so badly.

If you’re like me and you’ve been a fan of Elise’s books and the Air Awakens world in particular, you need to pick this book up. Though, go read books 1 and 2 first. And just my personal recommendation, go all the way back to Air Awakens and start with Vhalla and Aldrik.

***You totally don’t have to read the previous series set in this world, each series does stand on its own, but you will be spoiled for some minor stuff.

A Tournament of Crowns is out today, so make sure you go pick up your copy! And enjoy!

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