Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Audiobook Review: Ember Queen by Laura Sebastian

Title: Ember Queen (Ash Princess #3) 
Author: Laura Sebastian
Publication Date: February 4, 2020
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 512
Add to Goodreads

Reviews for book 1 & book 2

The thrilling conclusion to the series that began with the instant New York Times bestseller "made for fans of Victoria Aveyard and Sabaa Tahir" (Bustle), Ember Queen is an epic fantasy about a throne cruelly stolen and a girl who must fight to take it back for her people.

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.

The Ash Princess series caught me by surprise with how absolutely incredible it was. Theo, Soren, and the rest of the crew captured my heart and I loved following their journey throughout these three books. I was so excited to start the final installment so I picked up the audiobook as soon as it was available!

Ember Queen picks up directly after the ending of Lady Smoke. It took me a few minutes to figure out what was going on, having gone a year between books, but I quickly settled back into Theo's world. The relationship between Theo and Soren continues to develop throughout the final book and I really loved the layers of their friendship and romance. The rivalry between Theo and the Kaiserin was fantastic as well. I loved the back and forth between them and found Cress to be a fantastic villain.

Of course, the action of battle and the fate of Astrea was really what I couldn't wait to see in this book and I wasn't disappointed. There was a ton of political intrigue and strategy full of twists and, although there were some parts that dragged a bit for me (this book is over 500 pages, after all), I didn't find myself growing especially bored. The audiobook probably helped get me through some of the slower bits, honestly.

The world of Ash Princess, although not terribly unique, did bring some new and fun elements I hadn't seen before. The magic system was interesting and I always love to see the underdog come out on top.

Ember Queen was a great conclusion to a great series. It wasn't my favorite in the series, just because I thought it was a bit longer than it needed to be. That said, if you enjoyed the rest of Theo's journey, you don't want to miss this ending!