Title: Crystal Kingdom
Author: Amanda Hocking
Series: Kanin Trilogy
Release Date: August 2015
Retail Price: $16.99
Overall Rating: 8/10
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Drama, Adventure
Amanda Hocking’s final instalment of the Kanin Series, Crystal Kingdom was definitely a mind-blower. I absolutely loved this book and I think it was by far my favorite. I devoured this book up, despite my previous intentions to savour it. There are just so many unique little elements, plot devices and complications, that have hooked me into this one-of-a-kind magical world. Throughout the novel my mind was buzzing with questions and I just wanted to keep reading and reading. Some novels make you feel distance and detached from the world and its characters but this book was the complete opposite; I just wanted to jump right into the action.
Crystal Kingdom picked up right where the second book, Ice Kissed, left off and we seriously jumped right in on the action. There was no stopping the amount of action, secrets and twists this book contained. Bryn, given her choices, has to ally with Konstantin to help her avenge her kingdom from a new-found enemy. Bryn, with her selfless heart, will do anything to save her friends and her kingdom but the only thing stopping her is the authority of the kingdom. We follow her throughout the story as we discover piece by piece that the whole society is not as simple as it seems and that a price will pay to save the right people in need.
You definitely don’t want to miss out on the fun of this amazing series! It is one nail-biting, stomach churning and excitement-bringing books. So, do not forget to purchase this book, if you love a high-fantasy adventure novel that has everything from a heart-clutching romance to a strong heroine! Also don’t forget to check out my Q&A with the awesome author of this series: here! Thank you so much to PanMacmillan for sending me this series and giving me the opportunity to join this blog tour!
*WARNING: SPOILERS FOR CRYSTAL KINGDOM AHEAD*
Crystal Kingdom, was a strong ending to a powerful series. We jump straight back into the action, from where the second book left off. Konstantin is asking Bryn for her acceptance and throughout this scene I was just screaming, “No!” because my intuition was telling me that he was going to backstab her. However, he surprisingly doesn’t and he left me stressed throughout the novel for no reason. Konstantin was one conflicting, yet profound character, that I ended up really liking. Formerly, he really got on my nerves because of how much he had hurt Bryn and threatened the kingdom but as he continued to help and show compassion towards Bryn, I started to understand that he was a real person not some run of the mill villain.
I loved the depth to Konstantin’s character: his history, motifs and emotions. Amanda Hocking really played it well by unveiling the true Konstantin in the last book and because of her beautiful writing skills it didn’t feel rushed and unfinished. We really get a full scope on Konstantin. I was so surprised when I discovered that he had fell in love with the queen. I had to stop and take a moment to just take in the fact that he was blinded by love. When I read that short story, I finally understood why Konstantin acted so cold and cut off. Everything began to make sense. The only problem was the relationship between him and Bryn.
Bryn’s main love interest throughout the book was Ridley and I expected it to be Ridley throughout the series, considering there was forbidden love and they had been through much. I was really hopping that Ridley would be back by a third through the book but… no such thing happened and she developed a new love interest, KONSTANTIN. Okay, I understand that she had a crush on him but I was not expecting her to be in love with him. This is what was the big problem, for me, I never saw the love between them and I didn’t get any hints, so, when Konstantin kissed her unexpectedly right before he died; I was stunned. Originally, I was really glad that there never ended up being a love triangle because they sometimes just over-complicate the situation but for some reason, I never knew that Konstantin loved her and I was completely shocked, especially since she was dating Ridley. After that encounter, Bryn never seemed to address the situation again. I really wished that never happened because it was practically useless to the storyline but I was so glad that Bryn and Ridley got back together again by the end of the book.
Bryn’s character development really blossomed in the book and as a reader, you could really see how much she had grew since the first book. By the end of the book, she was someone I could really respect and idolise. At the start of the series, she really made some reckless mistakes but by the end she made it through and her sense of choice and authority really shone through. I love her courageousness and how she would do anything to save the kingdom, which was a topic that was reiterated throughout the novel. It really took her character to the next level and made her relatable.
The world was developed, as well, throughout the novel and I absolutely loved the fact that every kingdom was explored in a lot of detail. It painted a more vivid picture of the world in my head and I really felt like I was a part of this world but the ending was astounding. It wasn’t your average “happily-ever after”. I couldn’t believe that Ember had died and then not long after Konstantin died. I knew Ember was going to die because there was a lot of foreshadowing but the fact that Konstantine died was a huge shock. I love the epic battle at the end because it gave this sense of familiarity, as many books end with that typical major battle. I love how we get an “epilogue-like” chapter because we really get to find out the aftermath of what happened to the kingdom and how Bryn dealt with her losses.
Overall, the book was really a page-turning novel that gripped me right through the end. It was fantastic and heart-seizing novel that I will definitely recommend to anyone who asks for a fantasy. I will really miss these characters and will definitely start the previous series, Trylle!