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REVIEW: Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennifer L. Armentrout

In the previous book, Poppy is wounded but now when Cas takes a step near her, the wolven growls and does not like it. Cas’ mother, Queen Eloana explains that the bonds between the Elemental Atlantians and the Wolven have broken due to the fact that Poppy is a descendant of a deity. All of the wolven are bound to her and feel that she was in danger and so went to protect her. Poppy orders all the wolven to not hurt Cas but even Kieran admits that in those moments, he wanted to rip Cas’ head off for endangering her. This is when they both realise that Beckett is missing and that he might be the reason why Poppy was Ambushed.

A few minutes later, Alastir causes chaos when he is banished and causes the guards to attack Poppy, Jasper, Kieran, Cas and the King and Queen. Fueled with pure rage feeling nothing from them, Poppy kills all that comes near them and then blacks out. Poppy wakes up in a crypt surrounded by deity bones that weaken and drain her of power. Commander Jansen appears and tells her that he transformed into Beckett to trick her and that he actually killed Beckett before the group left Spessa’s end. Later, Alastir appears and tells her that once the deities were unpredictable and knowing that she is one, she needed to be stopped. He plans to give her over to the ascended. He tells her that her parents confessed to her that she had powers but realising that she was a descendant of King Malec, left her for the dark one, who was not Cas. He left her in the inn under the assumption that she would be killed but alas, was not.

As the trade to the ascended is about to begin, she is rescued by King Valyn, Kieran, Cas, Jasper, Delano and Niall. Poppy kills Jansen but one of the descenters shoots a bolt through Poppy’s chest at the same time. Poppy starts to bleed out and Cas has the brilliant idea to Ascend Poppy. Brilliant being sarcastic here because everybody warned him against it. The area is in utter chaos, the sky turns into a storm. Kieran pulls out the bolt from her body and just as he does so a blood tree grows and the roots wrap around Cas and Poppy. Kieran breaks through the roots and Cas ascends Poppy.

When she wakes up, she finds that Kieran can still feel her notam link with the Wolven but she is very hungry. She tries to snap at Kieran but Cas intervenes and says he would rather have the honour. Upon looking, it is noticed that her eyes are still green and she has no fangs. The only difference is that she is more powerful and that she has bloodlust. They realise that she has not ascended however. In full on rejoice mode, Cas and Poppy have sex against Kieran as a just in case if she loses control of her bloodlust. Poppy gains control and Kieran leaves. They are so happy and she tells him how much she loves him. He admits that he has no idea of what she is now but she is definitely not mortal.

Poppy explains exactly what happened to her at Scion’s cove and that Jansen disguised himself as Beckett to lead her away from the others and that she has trouble believing that she is a deity. She talks about how she fears Alastir is right about the deities, but Kieran and Cas tell her that is a lie, they grew old and cold due to being alive for many years.

When they eventually meet up with King Valyn, he knows what she might be but ultimately decides not to tell her until Queen Eloana can explain as it is her story to tell. As time goes on, they travel throughout the country and it is revealed that Poppy can communicate telepathically with each wolven individually if she can distinguish their bond from the others. She tries this out on Kieran and it works. Eventually, Poppy, Cas and Kieran visit the King and Queen. This is where the Queen tells Poppy that she must be the child of King Malec which is also impossible because Queen Eloana entombed him over four centuries ago. She explains that King Malec was Nytkos grandchild making Poppy the great grandchild of the Gods’ so there was no way she was ever mortal.

At Spessa’s end, Ian with a bunch of the Ascended want to talk to Poppy. So Poppy, Cas and the gang head to Spessa’s end. Poppy declines Ian’s request to talk alone and offers a message from Queen Ileana that she has requested a meeting with both Cas and Poppy. They hug due to not wishing to start a war and Ian whispers in her ear that he knows the truth and that she must waken Nyktos as his guards are the only thing that can stop the blood crown.

Cas and Poppy arrive back at the palace where it is revealed that they will take the crown. The council of Elders are already at the palace due to the upcoming war and so King Valyn and Queen Eloana decide that this is the best time to do so. Fearing the worst, Poppy answers all of the council’s questions about being raised by the ascended and puts the council at ease. They then ascend the thrones and become King and Queen. They ask Kieran to be their advisor as their most trusted person. Because they are now King and Queen, Valyn tells them of the caves that lead to Illesium, where the Gods are resting. Cas reveals that he and Kieran used to play in these caves but after some time they used to turn back to the palace having no idea why. This was because of Illesium. Poppy uses her eather to enter illesium and Poppy touches a draken statue which thus begins to crack. The statue shows the way to Nyktos. When they arrive at his temple, he threatens to kill all of them but Poppy says no. He informs her that she is his grandchild. Poppy asks him for help against the Revenants but he tells her she always had his help.

From here, they decide to go to meet Queen Ileana but decide that they must go via a way which would lead them undetected. While travelling via the underground passage, they stumble upon a cave cat in a cage of deity bones. Once the cat is touched, it transforms into a man and back again into a cat. They are eventually seen and taken to Queen Ileana, where we see Ian and Tawny. It turns out that Tawny did not ascend but another person is with them. Malik.

Queen Ileana reveals that Poppy is her daughter and that she planned for her to marry Malik. However, when Cora found out about this plan, she hid Poppy away. Ian confirms that Poppy was never Cora’s and Leo’s daughter but were tasked with raising her as their own. Ileana reveals that she is Isbeth, King Malec’s mistress and heartmate. Queen Eloana poisoned her and Malec saved her by using his blood. This did not make her ascended as it was the blood of a God. Malec was a son of Nyktos and a God. Malec set out to kill all of the ascended and then come back to her but he never did. So to find out what happened to him, she pretended to be ascended and married Jalara who eventually became King. Isbeth then realised that her son and her beloved were dead. A fight ensues when Isbeth demands that Poppy give over Atlantia to her and in order to save Poppy, Cas surrenders himself. Isbeth gives a wounded tawny to her daughter as a sign of good faith.

On the way back to Atlantia, Poppy realises that she is a God and thus it makes sense what Nyktos had said to her. They visit Nyktos who asks her, does she finally understand, she replies yes. She asks him for the aid of the Draken. He replies that they will follow you when you find your father, Ires, the twin of Malec. This is when she realises that the cave cat that she had seen was indeed her father, Ires. Poppy agrees and the draken follows her into the mortal realm. Poppy meets with King Jalara, a revenant and royal knights. Poppy beheads King Jalara and tells the revenant to go back to Isbeth with a message, that she will burn every revenant that stands between her and Isbeth and that Isbeth’s survival hinges on Cas’s wellbeing.

Wow. This book was a hell of a ride. This series is one that I absolutely adore and makes me want the next book instantly after reading the last. All I can say is, no wonder this series is so hyped up because of all the steamy scenes mixed with the action packed. I simply adore Jennifer L Armentrout’s writing. I want to read more of her books and I cannot wait to see what she does next with this series.


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