Cover Image: Ember Queen

Ember Queen

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Member Reviews

Oh my goodness, I've never been happier to find out how a story ends. After the ending of Lady Smoke, I was desperate to find out how everything would play out. Laura Sebastian did such a wonderful job with character development, and pacing. It didn't feel rushed, and I though each scene was cultivated with care and brought out the best/worst in some of my favorite characters.
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Unfortunately, I did not get the chance to read this ARC prior to the book's publication, but we did end up buying it for our library collection to complete the series!
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Theo's story is at an end. Will she and Astrea be free? I let too much time pass between book two and three, okay like 3 months, but still too long and I'm mad at myself for that because a lot of the momentum I had for it waned a lot and it took me about 30% of the book to get re-invested with all of the characters again. This is a series that I feel benefits from a binge read as the timeline is fast. Not even a year has passed from book one if I'm not mistaken. So definitely binge read if possible...and you are seeing this review first...

One thing I very much appreciated about the final book was there was no repetition of events that often plagues some books, X does * then 1 happens. X does ^ then 1 happens, etc etc etc. The formula gets old after a while. If something doesn't work, the team changes tactics. And the team is still awesome, everyone enhances the others' weaknesses.

I did book 1 and 2 on audio, but also bought the e-book. I got the arc from NetGalley (thanks guys!) but of course waited waaay too long to read; instead I waited on the audio. Big mistake. For some reason I could not handle the audio of Ember Queen, even though it was the same narrator. I don't know why. So I went ahead and bought it and boom! Finished in no time at all!

And oh, it was a perfect ending. I don't mean a happily ever after ending. But one of those endings that left me 100% satisfied, and that is rare for a series. I would not have changed anything at all. And now I am excited to see what else Laura Sebastian has in store for us!
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This series was one of my latest favorites and is a highly anticipated title in m y young adult area at the library. I was very excited to get into reading this final installment and simply found that I had a hard time getting into the storyline. The beginning dragged on to me and I kept putting it aside and hoping for a better outlook the next time I picked it up. 

As I got through each chapter, the characters did begin to fall back into themselves and the story marched right along with them. I felt that the plot line was quite basic, but provided a forward motion for our main characters. The ending was predictable and didn’t add anything new to the genre, but provided a solid end to an already solid series.

I felt that this last installment lacked the energy and excitement that the first two books provided. The magic was there, but wasn’t as powerful in the storyline as is was before. This seemed like a rushed ending that followed a formula and lacked the character and plot line details that I have grown accustomed to in Sebastian’s work. 

I will still continue to recommend this series to my young adult readers as it has proven highly affective with hesitant readers.
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The third book in the Ash Princess fantasy trilogy continues the story of Princess Theodosia and her battle to reclaim her throne and save her people from the tyrannical Kaiserin - who is set not only on domination, but on total control over Asteria. Theo, the victimized princess subjected to a horrific captivity, is self-conflicted throughout the trilogy but manages to move forward in the final installment. Although angsty and somewhat cliched, fans of the genre will find  the series full of page-turning action.
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This is absolutely my favorite book in this series. It's a dark story with some surprise twists and heartbreaking moments but but it's a strong plot as we watch Theo evolve and take control of her power. I hate to see this story end but this is a fitting conclusion to Theo's story.
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Laura Sebastian does such a fantastic job of reeling the reader in and immersing them in a thrilling tale. I love this series and I loved how I felt completely after reading this trilogy. Theo is still such a strong brave female protagonist.
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Incredible finale to what has become one of my favorite young adult fantasy series! I really enjoyed seeing Thora evolve over the trilogy and finally find her true self. This one is definitely a book to stay up late reading! Looking forward to what the author has planned for her next series!
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This was an unexpected and fantastic final journey. Full of emotional reunions and twists and turns that were unexpected. This has been one of my favorite fantasy series and this final book did not disappoint.
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This was such a great conclusion to this trilogy. In all honesty, this trilogy is nothing necessarily new. We’ve seen a lot of what it does before, it incorporates elements such as a love triangle, final battle, etc... The story got pretty political focusing on themes such as morality and who is good/evil. All in all, a very satisfying and engrossing conclusion to a great series.
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"Yana Crebesti. I trust you."

I absolutely loved this series and I was so happy that it ended well for Theodosia and her people. Laura Sebastian has a way of bringing her characters to life in an interesting manner and allowing them the freedom to grow into who they are meant to become. I also found the request Theo granted Cress at the end was respectful of their past friendship. This is one of my favorite series and I am glad the author ended it well.
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This conclusion reads like the rest of the series: interesting world-building and compelling characters, but nothing much happens for the first 300 or so pages. I lost interest pretty quickly; the only thing that kept me reading (and made me pick up the third book in the first place) was Theo's relationship with Cress, whose betrayal was the most compelling part of book 2 for me. I was disappointed with how that storyline ended--I felt like it could have gone a lot deeper--but its conclusion is ultimately fitting with the rest of the series. This book does its job of tying up the series in a satisfying but suitably dark manner, but it doesn't stand out, and it doesn't do anything to make this overall series anything more than just another YA fantasy.
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With this being the third book in the trilogy, I expected to have a ton of action as the characters barrel towards their conclusions. That didn't happen as such, but I was surprised as to where it started, and how much plotting the good guys still needed to do to stop the mechanizations of series antagonist, Cress. I also enjoyed the character dynamics and that it worked to give characters their own arc.

Since I did not read the first two entries of the trilogy, it took me a while to get into the book. It is not kind to those who jump into the action, as there's a lot of plot lines that are being tied up as the showdown between protagonist Theo and Cress draws ever closer. There's some light pushing and pulling between the sides, people being hurt, and battles to be fought. All in the name of trying to find out what kind of kingdom will grow out of the conflict. There's no time for a lot of exposition, and it makes for a better book.

I enjoyed the magic system, which is a bit like Avatar's elemental system, but it combines it with gemstones that I couldn't quite grasp, but I do know that there is power in who controls the mining operations that produces the elemental gems. Each of the characters in the main group of heroes are powerful gem users, and Theo is also learning to control her new, immense powers.

The stakes are high, and some characters may not survive, others return, and each one is changed from the events in this book. I liked that, while the ending was no real surprise, there was planning for the future. Theo and her inner circle actually sat down and talked about what the new kingdom would look and feel like, and how to avoid another devastating war. I thought it was refreshing, as most stories like this basically end with the protagonist ascending the throne, and that's it.

While I had some major gripes with the story, it mostly has to do with the interpersonal relationships of the main crew, and some of the pacing that was involved in it. For example, there's a kind of love triangle that ends rather conveniently. Art, Theo's prickly cousin and personal guard (and perhaps my favorite character) reveals that she's asexual, but has a kiss with another member of the crew, but after that, it's never mentioned again. I was surprised as to how disappointed I was to not read more about that when all this other epic stuff was going on.

Overall, this was a decent conclusion that will likely have fans satisfied. I enjoyed that Theo's hard choices carried both positive and negative impacts, and the negative impacts carried weight. Theo's crew of heroes were diverse and each one had decent amount of time to end their arcs. Even with some of the shortfalls, I can see why fans would enjoy this series.

I received this ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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I received a digital copy of this book from Netgalley for an honest review.

This was a satisfying end to a great trilogy.  I really enjoyed everything about Theo's journey especially the relationship between her and Cress.  It definitely had some tropes and some predictability but overall a great series from start to finish.
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Ember Queen was everything I hoped it would be. This series was one of my favorites from 2019, and the finale was SPECTACULAR! I was lucky enough to host an event for Laura last year, for her book tour launch and I couldn’t be more excited for her. The only problem I have with this series is that it’s over and I want MORE!
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This is a trilogy I have really enjoyed and overall I would give the whole thing 4 stars. HOWEVER, I can also admit that it also isn't bringing anything new to the table. There's a love triangle, a final battle, triumphs and defeats, and some loss. I can't even say for sure what stands out about this series to me, except that I liked it. I found the main character compelling, as well as her relationship with the big bad of the series (though I wish it had been a bit more developed). I liked her inner voice, and the people she surrounded herself with were at their most developed here. I didn't mind where the romance ended, though personally I never felt like she had strong romantic chemistry with either character. There were a couple scenes in the book where I was incredibly stressed about how they were going to come out. In the end, though, while I enjoyed this series I can also admit it didn't really bring anything new to the table. But if you haven't read anything else like this, which I really haven't (no Ember in the Ashes, or Red Queen, or Throne of Glass, or countless others), you will probably find it entertaining. Groundbreaking? No? Something I will read again? Hard to say. Entertaining? Engrossing? Absolutely.
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I am absolutely obsessed with this series! This one did not disappoint and I feel like the story ended on a good note. I flew through this book so quickly and I hate that is is over! I will be buying this for our library teen section.
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for the free  copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. My opinion was not affected by the free copy.

This has to be the most unexpectedly enjoyable YA trilogy I've come across in a while. The first book did have a lot of familiar clichés and plot threads, but something about the way they were presented still felt enjoyable. The second book was arguably slow-paced and focused on the court politics. This one rounds it all off by showing not just the harshness of war, but also the prejudices against the enemy, strategy involved and a much more realistic depiction of being a leader during a war. It's been a while since I read the last book, but none of the characters felt like they were going outside their established personalities and personal beliefs, which I feel sometimes happens in YA.

Let's get the criticisms out of the way first. The biggest one I have concerns a new bioweapon introduced in this book. I'm not sure why this was added since there was plenty at stake with plenty of risk. That said, I will admit that characters' reactions to it felt pretty genuine. I just don't feel like the weapon was given a proper conclusion at the end, and believe me I was on the look-out for it. I guess it's for the readers to infer based on what they know of Theo that certain actions will be taken, but still, it makes me uneasy knowing that weapon still exists in the world when the story concludes. Maybe that's the point, but doesn't mean I like it.

This trilogy does not deal in absolutes or black-and-white morality, which I think is great. Theo does some things that are morally wrong in order to achieve freedom for her people, and some of her advisors have a "kill them all" attitude toward the Kavloxians. There is acknowledgment that there will be no perfect solution to the conflict that will make people happy, and that sometimes the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Theo is actually one of the better YA leaders I've run across: she's intelligent, tactical, diplomatic at times and blunt at others, is willing to be in battles herself, and is aware of her short-comings and the strengths and weaknesses of herself as well as those closest to her. She understands both the cost of and solution to peace, which again isn't something I see a lot of in YA. Or maybe I've just not been reading the right books.

The romances aren't the central focus in this. They certainly exist and they're referenced, but not made out to be relevant to the overall story. The relationship that does get a lot of focus is the one between Theo and Cress. Who would've thought the character who was just kind of there in the first book would grow and evolve like this? In this book, they were putting out almost a Kylo Ren and Rey vibe, and this book illustrates what a lot of people found compelling in that relationship: the two are opposing but similar, both are powerful, both have a version of the other they're trying to hold on to, there is a strange sort of understanding between them, and so forth.

Overall, I think this was a satisfying way of ending the trilogy. To me, it feels like a mature end that can almost work in an adult fantasy novel setting.
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The final installment of the Ash Princess trilogy. Princess Theodosia has been a prisioner for more than 10 years. Now, she realizes her people need a queen if they are ever going to be free from the Kaiserin, her former heart's sister. With new powers and magic she doesn't understand and needs to figure out how to use, Queen Theodosia, will need to reconcile with her past. Along with an army of rebels and friends, they will risk everything to make Astrea independent again. A satisfying ending to a wonderful series!
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Read via Netgalley in return for a fair review.

Theo and her band of misfit but loyal compatriots make one final attempt to take down the Kaserina and take back their country. Now that Theo has a little more control over her new powers, they may just have a chance.  But Theo can't do it on her own - she will need every ally she can find to make their last stand.

This is a great wrap-up to the series and gets everything tied up nicely by the end. There's plenty of political intrigue and navigating of different groups and at times it is a little difficult to follow all of the varying strategies, but in the end it all works together to complete the story.
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