Cover Image: Cry of Metal & Bone

Cry of Metal & Bone

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Member Reviews

4 stars

You can read all of my reviews at NerdGirlLovesBooks.

Once again we are treated with an exciting, action-packed book about the struggle of Elsira and Lagrimar, two nations that have been at war for centuries. The book starts fast and doesn't slow down until the satisfying cliffhanger. (I mistakenly thought this was the last book in the series, but no, we will be treated to at least one more book!)

It's been six weeks since the Mantle fell and Lagrimar refugees are fleeing their barren land and flooding into Elsira looking for a better life. Despite the Goddess wanting the countries to unite into one country as it once was, a faction of citizens in Elsira are dead set against Lagrimar citizens living in their country. This is the over arching focus of this book, with a few side story lines sprinkled throughout.

Between helping the new King and Queen set up their government, and his "errands" for the Goddess, Darvyn, the Shadow Fox, searches for his love Kyara, the Poison Flame. She was captured at the end of the last book by a group of people that want to use her Neathersong to power their inventions. Two characters that also play a big part in the book are Lizvette and Tai. Lizvette is a disgraced socialite who was charged with treason, along with her father. She ventures on a journey for redemption. Tai is a foreign smuggler that is determined to keep a promise he made to a dead man.

Darvyn, Tai and Lizvetter are sent on a mission by the King and Queen to try to find Lizvette's father and bring him to justice. Darvyn and Tai both have secret missions to also carry out. Meanwhile, a covert investigation is undertaken in Elsira to root out the group that wants to carve out a northern part of Elsira and force the refugees to live there.

This book is fast-paced and thankfully doesn't lag in the middle. We discover more information about the Goddess and her motives, and Kyara learns more about her power and how to harness it. This book is character driven and has interesting ones that I could get invested in. The villains are rather one note and their motives aren't clearly explained, but based on how the book ended, we may get into that more in the next book.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and can't wait to read the next one. I recommend you get into this series. It's creative, full of action and has interesting characters.

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley and St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review.
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L. Penelope is a master at telling a story that will keep you on the edge of your reading chair, at least for me she did. Plots from previous books are revealed and some still left me a bit bereft BUT listen, I am all into this series. It’s one of the better fantasy stories being told right now. And ya’ll know what’s so amazing about this story all through-out the series? Is the current world themes portrayed. Xenophobia, racism and poli-tricks are strong subject matters that remain front and center. The bringing of people and their differences together shouldn’t be so hard BUT it's never easy, is it? Our author weaves magic and fantasy with real world issues that will have its readers wanting more. L. Penelope's telling of this story is much needed.
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I liked both of the previous books, and was excited to read this one.  But for some reason I had a hard time getting into this one. I feel like it took me a lot of time and effort to reach 20%. After that it flew by and I loved it!  Not sure if it was me or the pacing, but either way I’m glad I stuck it out. Beyond that I think the way the reader was reminded of past events and characters was great. And  I enjoyed the romances that evolved. I’m anxiously awaiting the next book!
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I received an ARC from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Cry of Metal & Bone represents a bit of a switch in style for the series to a larger cast, epic fantasy feel, compared to the first two books, where things were fairly contained to the main couple and their central issue within the larger world. As a result, while those two could stand alone, I do recommend picking up the previous two books (and the novellas if you can) prior to picking up this one, as it will provide more insight into who all of the characters are, especially the ones who were protagonists in the previous two books.

And while I was initially taken aback by this shift, even being more or less familiar with everyone, I soon found myself engrossed in the story and following each of the characters. 

The new lead characters, Lizvette and Tai, were both interesting. I found Lizvette’s arc fascinating due to her story being that of a defeated claimant to the throne, and working to redeem herself following this failure, with smuggler Tai’s help. 

But they also share the spotlight very well with major characters from the previous books. I wasn’t the biggest Jasminda/Jack fan upon finishing Song of Blood and Stone, but what I’ve seen here of them as rulers has made me appreciate them more, both as characters (although I already really liked Jasminda, I had more issues with Jack) and as a couple. 

I also love that the book (and the series as a whole) sees its characters tackling real world issues like racism and bigotry, and the complexity of world politics. I like how, while the story in general tries to provide a hopeful tone, it also shows that oppression isn’t an easy thing to solve. 

I’m really enjoying the series so far, and I’m excited to see where it goes next. If you love immersive, fast-paced, culturally rich fantasy romance, then I recommend this highly.
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CRY OF METAL & BONE is a great third book in the EARTHSINGER CHRONICLES series. This book launches us forward, whereas the last two took place at the same time, this one takes place after and combines all the characters we know and love, while diving deeper on some characters we knew a bit from the earlier books. There are a lot of well-constructed characters in this series, and this book does a great job of reminding us who everyone is when it begins.

The Mantle has fallen and Elsira and Lagrimar are struggling to become one nation. People are protesting their unification, sometimes violently, and the refugees are struggling to make their way in this difficult new world. There is a lot of fear over refugees and immigration that reflect the current times.

A group has been given a mission thought to lead them to the head of the violent protest group that bombed a temple- and some of the group have a side mission bestowed on them by the awoken goddess to find Jasminda's family and bring them home safely. They venture into the world of the dangerous Physicks and their religious fanaticism of forged magic. Lizvette takes a more leading role here as she navigates her future separate from her family, trying to decide who to trust and to make herself trustworthy. I really appreciated her character growth.

There are some really interesting themes here of human nature, the cost of blind goal-seeking, politics, and fear of strangers among others. It's a faster-paced book that really takes us on an action-filled ride through the new world created after the mantle fell. I love the characters, and I appreciated the insight into those we know from the past, as well as the new stars of this book who I would love to see again (Lizvette and Tai, the Raunian). The romance is built well, and I love every second spent in this world of danger and magic- which still manages to parallel our own.

Overall, this is a great fantasy read that I would highly recommend. Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher through  netgalley. All opinions are my own.
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Included as a top pick in bimonthly August New Releases post, which highlights and promotes upcoming releases of the month (link attached).
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I really love his series and book 3 was no exception! The suspense, intrigue, characters POV and development all were amazing! This romantic fantasy has such a rich world that pulls you in and a magical realm that is full of life! I highly recommend this series!!!
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"L. Penelope's stunning epic fantasy Earthsinger Chronicles continues with Cry of Metal and Bone.

The Mantle dividing Elsira and Lagrimar has fallen. As the two kingdoms struggle to unify, one threat stands above them all.

As desperate Lagrimari flee their barren land for a chance at a better life in Elsira, a shadowy group with ties to the Elsiran government launches an attack on their own soil. With threats of more violence, an unlikely crew is assembled to investigate. Among them are Lizvette Nirall, a disgraced socialite seeking redemption for past mistakes, and Tai Summerhawk, a foreign smuggler determined to keep a promise he made to a dead man.

It’s a race against time in this world of deadly magic, secret agendas and court intrigue to discover those responsible before the next assault. And in another land a new enemy awakens - one that will strike terror into the hearts of gods and men."

I'm always down for court intrigue!
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The two kingdoms of Elsira and Lagrimar have been united after the barrier known as the Mantle has fallen; however, all is not joyous in Elsira where many refugees have taken up residence. The deep prejudices and xenophobia of the people including the wealthy, aristocratic Elsira upper echelon has caused discord and even some deadly protesting. The new king and queen, Jack and Jasminda, have a lot of work to do in order to rule with the help, if it can be called that, of their newly awoken goddess,Oola.

This story has several protagonists, most of whom were introduced in the first book, which makes it a complex read. Lizvette thought she was destined to be queen of Elsira; however, after the failure of plans with her scheming father, disgrace has replaced all hopes and dreams. Lizette is determined to redeem herself with the help of Tai Summerhawk, a Raunian pirate who is enlisted to assist in finding out the identity of the leaders running the subversive groups.

Also prominent in this story, are Daryn, Kyara, Benn and Ella, as well as several other characters introduced in SONG OF BLOOD AND STONE. The multiple POVS flow reasonably well while making this story a multifaceted read although all the characters are working towards the same goal of trying to unify the two disparate kingdoms as well as some of the characters trying to rescue those taken by one of the groups who seek to overthrow the new government. Besides Lizvette's plans for redemption, another reviled person Kyara wants to make up for all the evil she has done when working for the True Father who is currently in prison. There much work to do to foment the unification between people who are very different especially since the Lagrimari have magical talents that the Elsirians do not causing fear and prejudice in Elsira.

It is really essential to have read the first book in the series to understand all that is going on and understand who the major players are in order to make sense of all the disparate groups and their backgrounds. Ms. Penelope’s story is deeply imbued with the ideas of pride, prejudice, and the courage of those trying to bring light out of the darkness while fighting injustices and protecting the most vulnerable in their society.
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L. Penelope’s CRY OF METAL AND BONE continues the fascinating and strife-ridden world she has created as two warring factions struggle to unite. Overcoming their old animosities isn’t easy and trust is still far off as a dangerous group opposed to unification threatens to undo any progress made.

Court intrigues, political machinations, magical powers and old traditions color each scene as strong characters come together to uncover the evil cancer in a world struggling to heal old wounds. Who can be counted on to stand for justice and unity? Who can be trusted? Can an unlikely group expose and bring down the enemy of peace?

Once again, I was drawn in by the attention to detail, the melding of magic and machine and the power of L. Penelope’s pen to weave a tale rich in diverse subplots. This is fantasy with something for everyone.

I received a complimentary ARC edition from St. Martin's Griffin! This is my honest and voluntary review.
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A great end to the series. Solid conclusion, cannot recommend this series enough. Diverse cast, wonderful fantasy world, diverse m/f romance.
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I really enjoyed coming back to these characters. I felt that the plot had some interesting developments. I really liked some of the "magic" elements that were almost technologically based. It sort of had a steampunk feel to it, which was really different than what I pictured in book two. I also liked the romance elements. They didn't feel forced or overbearing; I thought they were natural. I really hope that Kyara and Darvyn get their happy ending.
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*I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks for the free book.*

Six weeks after the fall of the Mantle, the two former hostile countries are struggeling to keep up the peace amid terrorist attacks. Very different people have to work together to find out who is responsible in order to protect the fragile peace.

I couldn't really get into this one and was super confused. I didn't enjoy the main plotline and didn't like the new characters. I skim-read the majority, but I also didn't really root for any of the characters and didn't really care. World-Building confused me as well, but I'm pretty sure the majority of this was on me. I didn't remember all the details from #1 and #2 and maybe I should've reread them first. I am sorry!
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L Penelope's third installment from Earthsinger Chronicles series, Cry of Metal & Bone, was a pretty good read. I would love to read the other books in the series. 
Four stars.
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This book was a surprise to me - I thought this was part of a different series.  That said, the writing is very well done and even though I haven't read the first 2 books in the series, I really enjoyed 'Cry of Metal & Bone'. The story involves magic but also has elements of reality (cars) which is a great for a fantasy book.  The only negative was the many intersecting storylines in the book.  It was difficult to keep track of the characters and their stories at points in the novel.  However, that might be due to coming in at book 3.  Overall, the writing was terrific!
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This series has quickly become an all-time favorite series. The characters are always a stand out in her books, and this book added more fantastic characters while not overshadowing characters introduced in past books. This book does a great job of expanding not only the world but the characters introduced previously. The world itself was always the part of this series that I struggled the most in visualizing, but this book really added so much to the world that I was finally able to see more of it. This book had a lot of storylines and POVs, and that is probably my only complaint. They were all done well, but for me, some of the storylines that I expected to get more page time were left to the wayside a little. Nobody was ignored, outright not really, but there were just somethings that I thought were going to be covered in this book that aren't, or just glossed over.

  Since it's been a while since I've read the first book in this series, I didn't instantly remember who Lizvette was. And it took me a while to care about her character and to connect with her. Tai was a great addition to this series and needed foil to her character and being her complete opposite in many ways. I wish I had read the novella that takes place before the start of this book. I think it could have added just that much more to his character and understand better whey he was so motivated in his task.

I was happy to see Darvyn back, his character arc has been one of the more interesting in this series. I look forward to where it goes from here. His waining allegiance to the Keepers felt like ti was a longtime coming scenario, and I am starting to see that they might not be as altruistic as they let on. Based on the morally gray things they've already done brings me to wonder if they are going to become an antagonist for the rest of the series, however many books this is going to be. Kyara continues being a favorite character. With her backstory, and even how through a lifetime of manipulation she at her core is still a good person. I really loved reading the chapters of her in that facility. I thought it brought more to her character arc.

The investigation that Ella and Benn were doing, I wish that plotline had more focus than it was given. I am unsure how much importance the adoption plot is going to have in the next book, I hope it wasn't wasted page time that could have been given to them doing a more thorough investigation. The kids were cute, yes, but I was very interested in the mystery they were trying to solve.

Clove and Vanesse, I wish they had more page time than they were given. The race that Clove was participating in,  I assumed that it was going to have a little more importance than it seemed to. But I love those characters, and can't wait to see more of them in future books.

Oola, The Awakened Goddess, for most of this book, I was highly suspicious of her. Not really sure what her deal is. She's very much a "person out of her time" and comes across as cold and detached most of the time. I am very curious about where her story is headed in the next book.
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I hadn't read the earlier books in this series and not having researched at all, didn't even realise that there were prequels. Therefore I'm reviewing this as a stand alone book and I quite enjoyed it but then I'm a sucker for epic fantasy and that's what this was.

I thought it generally well written although the jumping around from character to character in the first half of the book got a tad annoying but as the book progressed the better it got as the storyline emerged.

If the next book in the series carries on in this vein then I'd like to see where it goes and hope that it doesn't regress to romantic fiction which would probably not be as interesting.
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Cry of Metal and Bone is the third novel in L Penelope's Earthsinger Chronicles.  The series was initially self published before being picked up by a publisher - and now before this book consists of two novels - Song of Blood and Stone and Whispers of Shadow and Flame - and two novellas which serve as prequels/sequels to the novels.  The Series is essentially romantic fantasy, with the first one being close to a pure fantasy romance at times* and the second one still featuring romance as a major part of the plot.  Perhaps more interesting, the novels feature countries with racial/nationalistic views that will feel very familiar to modern American readers and form important parts of the plots.

I had mixed feelings about the first two books.  The first novel (Song of Blood and Stone) had a lovely romance and predictable but well executed fantasy plot, but I felt the socio-political themes seemed a bit too underdone, as was the world in general really, existing mainly as a skeleton for the rest of the plot.  The second novel (Whispers of Shadow and Flame) fixed this completely - with the novel taking place at the same time as the first novel in a different setting - and made a far more real feeling, albeit just as familiar and depressing in many ways, world....but felt incomplete at the end with an unsatisfying cliffhanger.  Still I really liked the main duo of the second novel and was really interested on seeing where the plot would go forward from its cliffhanger ending, so I quickly requested this third novel on NetGalley when it showed up.

And Cry of Metal and Bone is very good and surprised me greatly and is a much satisfying if still a little frustrating novel compared to its predecessors.  The story has fully moved into Epic Fantasy here, with a cast of important characters far more expansive than we started with, and a number of competing subplots all over multiple continents and countries that we flip around between as the plot goes on, and it can't quit manage to cover all of these elements in its duration.  And yet, the characters remain excellent, the new and old romances are terrific, and the story & setting continues to hit a number of very important themes - racism and nationalism, the plights of refugees, misogyny and sexism, the corruption of power, etc. - in ways that feel really well done and very real given today's world.  I'm not sure how long this series is intended to be - it does not end here - but I'll be back for sure with book 4 after this one, and I'm glad I stuck around.

Note: Minor Spoilers for Books 1 and 2 are inevitable below:
-----------------------------------------------Plot Summary----------------------------------------------

The Mantle has fallen, and the nations of Lagrimar and Elsira are one once more.  But many of the citizens of the wealthier nation of Elsira isn't very happy with the merger - and what they see as poor Lagrimari refugees now trying to live on their land, especially given the magical power of Earthsong some of the Lagrimari possess.  But Queen Jasminda and King Jack are pushing strongly for full unification - and Elsira's almost-goddess, The Queen Who Sleeps but is now awoken and active, is demanding reunification as she travels the temples around the country.

But peace is not what some hidden members of Elsiran society wish, and a group of these nationalists detonate a bomb in a temple with the goddess and Queen inside.  These nationalists are pushing subtly also as well, inflaming the populace and threaten to overturn all the good that has been done.  And they may be being backed by forces outside of Elsira, forces with their own dark agendas.

To solve this, the Goddess and the Queen and King send a task force of disparate individuals to search for the culprits abroad.  One of these individuals is Darvyn ol-Tahlyro, the powerful earthsinging Lagrimari man desperate to save his lost love, the nethersong wielding Kyara, and who distrusts the goddess' actions.  Also among them is Lizvette Niall, the Elsiran noble who once plotted to take Jack's hand and a foreign smuggler named Tai Summerhawk, who can't help but try and needle at Lizvette's pride-bound demeanor....until the two begin to possibly feel something for each other.

But their potential romance will be up against grave dangers, as the group chase a foreign force intent on using Kyara's deadly power for their own evil means, and in the process possibly starting a dangerous war that threatens the entire world.....assuming Elsira doesn't destroy itself in civil war first.

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The first book in this series was split between two perspectives - Jack and Jasminda, which made sense, because their romance was basically a central element.  The second book was split between four characters - Darvyn, Kyara, Zeli and Ulani, but still mainly focused upon a duo (Darvyn and Kyara), on whom focused the main plot and romance.  By contrast, while this book does have a few duos (Darvyn and Kyara again, Tai and Lizvette in addition) it is a lot larger in scope, with book having no less than six point of view characters it alternates between on my first count, and it's entirely possible I've missed one or two (a mysterious antagonist also gets one every now and then I realize).  By the time the first fifth of the book is complete, the story has sprawled out in multiple directions with characters all over the place taking different actions to deal with different and not obviously all related problems.  In short, while romance is still a very important things for these novels, I'd say it's quite clear at this point that this book can now firmly be defined as Epic Fantasy in a way its predecessors (especially book 1) could not.

And this is not a complaint because this book is really great at being an epic fantasy, especially in terms of its character development and building of the setting.  The setting is really well done here, which cements in the story's themes quite nicely, especially those dealing with racism and its relation to nationalism.  For example, in a nice early touch, the King notes that nationalist propaganda was used to turn people against the building of railroads, which was of course really meant to disadvantage and keep out those of other races and lower wealth statuses.  That's uh, pretty damn exactly what we see in the Modern United States today.  Our sinister bad guy conspiracy is made up of a group which has fanned the flames with propaganda in multiple newspapers for years to ensure their anti-Lagrimari sentiment is mainstream (think white supremacists) except for one newer member who wishes instead to use more direct and open attacks (gee, sound familiar?) and is no longer willing to hide it.  The so-called nationalist racists meanwhile have suspicious ties to nationalist and racist groups in other countries as well, even as they supposedly reject outside technology and aid.

I could go on and on here, but the point is this is such a well built "fantasy" world that features foundations that people should immediately recognize and allows for Penelope to play with these themes through her plotting and characters.  And while it's not subtle, it's not overly blatant either, with faults lying also with so called figures of authority and goodness in this book as well in how they try to fight against these dark forces.

It's helped that the character set here is tremendous.  Our two central new characters, Lizvette and Tai, were both introduced in prior works - Lizvette was a minor character and antagonist in book 1 while Tai was in a novella I haven't read.  But they both get POVs here that make them very easy to empathize with - Lizvette as the noble lady who has always been talked down to by her father and discredited as anything more than someone's pawn, as she learns that not all she's been taught is true and that she has her own power and will & Tai as the young smuggler/pirate who has already gone against his mother to do what is right - most particularly in that everyone, lady or gentleman, has autonomy to do what they wish to do themselves.  Their romance is really well done, even if Tai reads quite a bit like a stalkerish asshole at first.  Our returning romantic pair, Darvyn and Kyara are also excellently done, and this book continues their storyline in a way that is much much more satisfying than it was in the last book.  And the odd wheel out, foreigner Ella has a sideplot back at home in Elsira dealing with a corrupt religion, adoption of refugees, and the conspiracy to bomb the temples which often feels a bit random, but Ella is so easy to like that it still works.

Honestly, the biggest issue with this book is that it's trying to do so much that some characters get lost in the focus.  Our secondary main characters from the last book - Ulani (and her sister) and Zeli - show up as minor characters without POV chapters and might as well be random unnamed strangers for all they're given to doing here.  Jasminda and Jack also get relegated to the background, which is a bit of a surprise given that Ella's plotline dealing with the growing resentment of refugees is clearly a long term simmering arc that the two are profoundly in the middle of.  This, as well as the large number of plot threads, leads to an ending that is far better than the last book - it does resolve enough plot arcs this time to be satisfying - but also leads to a lot of threads clearly left untouched......and that's even before dealing with the epilogue cliffhangers!  But some of that is to be expected for Epic Fantasy, which this series now clearly is, so it's hard to mind it too much.

In short, I kind of wish that the first two books were rewritten and merged into a single epic fantasy volume, so this could be book 2 of the series - a series which I doubt will end with book 4 given how the author has laid things out - and I could describe this series wholly as epic romantic fantasy.  Instead it has taken us two books to get to this point, which is a point I like a lot, but may not be something new readers are willing to wait for.  I hope they will, because few series are as interesting and more clearly connected to real world issues in the epic fantasy genre, and I am fascinating to see where Penelope takes this.
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Six weeks after the fall of the Mantle, centuries-old enemies Elsira and Lagrimar struggle to unite. The will of the goddess is that the two nations become one, but while the war may be over, peace is still elusive. As desperate Lagrimari flee their barren land for a chance at a better life in Elsira, a dangerous faction opposed to the unification rises.

When a shadowy group with ties to the Elsiran government takes responsibility for the attack and promises more, an unlikely crew is assembled to investigate. Among them are Lizvette Nirall, a disgraced socialite seeking redemption for past mistakes, and Tai Summerhawk, a foreign smuggler determined to keep a promise he made to a dead man. Powerful Earthsinger Darvyn ol-Tahlyro is sent with a secret assignment, one that Queen Jasminda can’t know about. And in a prison far away, Kyara ul-Lagrimar searches for a way to escape her captors and save a family long thought dead.

It’s a race against time in this world of deadly magic, secret agendas and court intrigue to discover those responsible for the bombing before the next attack. And in another land a new enemy awakens—one that will strike terror into the hearts of gods and men.- Goodreads

For me, this wasn't the strongest book out of the series. I thought that this was the last book, so I was looking forward to completing the series. However, I saw that there is another book coming. I am not overly complaining about this, I was just expecting something different. 

Everything within the first two novels comes together within this one. There are new characters introduced but they play a huge part in the overall story line. How easily they fit within the story-line was fantastic. As shown within the first novels, the writing style was engaging and detailed. Jasminda still took some time for me to like. She isn't the strongest character although she has gotten smarted and more confident, it still took sometime into the third book for me to feel she deserved to be Queen. 

The reason why this book was a bit on the eh side for me is because it dragged on quite a bit and it came off predictable. I loved the characters (outside of Jasminda) and loved the fact that the story is told in a different point of view but the story felt less like a fantasy and more of a contemporary that happen to have magic in it and that was my biggest issue. 

The ending of the novel leaves off in a pretty good spot but I am curious to know if the author had any initial intention to have a fourth book. Do I plan on reading it? Of course, I love and will stan this series. But for me this book wasn't as strong as the other novels. 

Overall, 

3 Pickles
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Cry of Metal and Bone is an engrossing fantasy novel. It has strong female and male characters — some of whom have magic like Earthsong, Nethersong, blood magic, Physic amalgam — and is set in a richly developed world. Airships and mechanical trinkets feel like a little nod to steampunk but are used organically in the story. Missing people are revealed, lovers are united, plots and politics unfold and unfurl, and overall this is a fresh but not too bizarre fantasy. By the age of the all the main characters and the tasteful but physical romance, I’d call the audience young adult and new adult and it’s definitely a romance as well as fantasy. Really lovely story and well-written. I haven’t read the previous novels in the series, but I’m intrigued by these people and need to find out how the king and queen met, how the stone was found, and how the war played out and ended, so I’ll be tracking them down. I’m grateful to Netgalley for a chance to read this and to introduce me to L. Penelope.
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