Cover Image: Of Blood and Crowns

Of Blood and Crowns

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Member Reviews

First, thank you Netgalley for the copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. 

This book I have mixed feelings on but they lean towards positive. I liked the story and world that was created for this book. A bleak outlook of our future. 

There were some things that I think should have been made a little more clear. There are three races that they speak of the most. The Humans, the Mualites (which are humans with gifts/powers, and the Tertians, which I THINK are just humans that have merged with tech? but its not explicitly clear on that one. I wish I had more background into the other races, the actual structure of the world and more descriptions of those around them. In addition to that, when did everything take place? They meet an older woman that makes references to our time period  ex Republicans and Gun Toters, etc. I know that this is supposed to be the 2400 something but her character and what she says just seems so far fetched for this world. I get that there was recently a war that took place as the main characters mother was one of the ones that was in the war and won the thrown through it but even so, its hard to believe that it changed so drastically so quickly.

Another issue I have is with the main characters. The princess and Ryker do not speak to each other in a way that most people do. It seems like its missing huge chunks of both back story and dialogue and everything between then just seems so fast paced and sudden with no actual communications. 

That being said, the story itself, the world created, the abilities and the structure of it all kept me interested and going. I liked seeing everything around them as they went on their journey and I liked seeing the old mixed with the new. I just wish that there was more dialogue between the main characters that gave them A. more character depth and development and B. a more soundly structured and more dynamic relationship.
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I really wanted to love this book. It had an interesting plot, some unique characters, I just wish there had been more detail.   

The book starts out very quickly. I double checked on two separate occasions that I was in fact reading book 1. I started out confused, and I stayed confused for quite awhile. I needed more world building, and I really didn’t understand the magic or the different types of people. I needed more character development. I needed more development with the different relationships the characters had with each other. Things just were just happening too quickly. 

With more development and a little bit more editing and polish, I think that this could be a really compelling story, but unfortunately it just wasn’t a great read for me.

Thank you NetGalley for the free ARC, all opinions are my own.
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I really wanted to like this one. I've been looking to get back into more Dystopian/Fantasy. And this one sounded really intriguing. Definitely Throne of Glass vibes. Unfortunately, after multiple attempts to read it, I'm going to call it a DNF. Because I am a mood reader, I would like to eventually pick it back up and give it another try.
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An enjoyable fantasy romance that I read really quickly. I was engaged all the way through and couldn't put ti down
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This one was a hit or miss for me. The story was pretty decent, but the characters... lordy, I had a hard time connecting with them.
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Was better then I thought it would be, be aware it is a continuation book. I was intrigued by the different beings involved with the story. Valencia is a princess whose queen mother hates her.  Valencia goes through many trials to prove she’s not like her mother. Read the book, you won’t regret it. It is a futuristic type read.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own
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Of Blood and Crowns is a fantasy distopian young adult set in a world destroyed by war.
My favorite thing about the book is the protagonist Valencia who has made an impressive character evolution. She discovered her strength through friendship and love and became a badass.
But I found some parts of the book confusing and others boring, not to mention the cringe scenes (for example, in the middle of the battle Valencia and her love interest start kissing instead of thinking of a way to save the situation).
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I loved this book. Like so much I can't even put into words how  much I enjoyed it. I will definitely recommend and be buying a copy for myself and friends as well.
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I want to say I loved this. The premise was so promising. I love enemies to lovers, fantasy dystopia, and high stakes, but unfortunately, this book failed to deliver.

The world the author has created is interesting, but it was lacking in detail. If we could have had more world building at the beginning, which carried throughout the book, then this might not have been an issue. Valencia is the daughter of a Queen, who rules viciously. She has powers that her mother would kill her for having, so she keeps them hidden. Valencia is saved from an arranged marriage by Ryker and his sister, Emery. Valencia and Emery have a past, and Valencia thought Emery was dead because she had left Emery for dead. The shock of seeing Emery again, causes Valencia to question everything about her life, and it continues to unravel over the course of the book.

I did connect to some extent with these characters, but I wish they were a little more developed. Valencia and Ryker strike up a romance, but it is insta love and almost goes from 0-100. This book was too fast paced for me, in regards to both the romance and the plot. But for those who like fast paced books, this could be for you!

I wish I loved this, and I kept reading in the hopes that I would but I just struggled to get through it so much.
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I had high hopes for this but I struggled to get into it from the outset.

I felt like I was dropped into the middle of a story and really didn’t know what was going on. It was as if you were reading part two of a trilogy but I couldn’t work out who was who or how I came to be at this part of the story.

It was an unfortunate DNF for me.
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Thanks to NetGalley for this copy in exchange of an honest review.
This is a dystopian fantasy with devices to change your appearance and automatons. 
We have a solid plot : Princess Valencia is about to enter the council like her mother, the ruthless queen who pretty much rules over everything and loves to torture anyone who defies her, especially the mualites or “cursed ones”.
Princess Valencia is tortured for her kind heart, forced to marry a disgusting general who treats her like a slave and is obliged to endure the tamer which painfully changes her features. Until she is saved by Ryker and his sister Emeris, a mualite that Valencia thought was dead.

The premise was good and the plot interesting enough, but unfortunately I didn’t vibe with the writing and the pacing was too fast for me. It’s a personal feeling and I am sure this book could be amazing to those who love quick, action driven books.
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Thank you, NetGalley and the publisher for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Unfortunately, this book wasn't for me and I had to DNF it, not only did I feel the plot was all over the place with no beginning, I couldn't get passed the use of the word Slags. Slag in the UK is Someone who sleeps around a lot, usually, this is a woman.

If this was fleshed out a little more with a bit more of a beginning this has the hallmarks of a good book.
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Absolutely loved reading this book. Kept me pulled into it. 5 star book. Highly recommend it. Couldn't put it down. Already told a few people that they need read this book. Might reread this book later on in the year.
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I would like to thank Netgalley for sending me this ARC copy for reviewing.

Firstly what made me read the book was its cover photo. It is absolutely gorgeous. It has a unique storyline. The main protagonist has been portrayed as a very strong character and I really enjoyed reading her character development. It is a dystopian novel mixed with some Fantasy and Sci-fi Genre set in a world that is destroyed by war. Valencia  discovers her strength with the help of love and friendship. 

The romance between Ryker and Valencia was to the point and her friendship with Emery was also nice to read. Somehow I felt that I was reading the bookish version of Arcane. I enjoyed it and I will recommend this book to anyone who loves reading Dystopian novels.

#OfBloodandCrowns #NetGalley
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DNF at 42%

I really hate to not finish a book. I have a kind of OCD about it, and not finishing offends it. But unfortunately, this book is so thoroughly confusing, and the worldbuilding is so underdone that I can barely understand it and I find it unfeasible to continue.

I will say that the author does seem to have talent. I believe the author is either young or new or both, but the glimpses of this, steampunk, sci-fi world she's created are very interesting, and I believe with some refinement and better editing, some work and some polish, she could truly have something special here.

The problem with this book is that we're plunged into the middle of this world with very little explanation about anything, as if we're in a sequel, but this isn't a sequel. It's the first book. I wrote some notes here on some specific examples just to give a general idea of what the reader faces when they engage in this book (slight spoilers, you've been warned):

"But my mind kept returning to my confinement hole. The small box I'd been forced to crouch in for hours, if not days, when I disobeyed an order, or when mother was in a bad mood."
The main character, Valencia, has detailed before this that her mother was abusive. But this confinement box is mentioned for the first time in chapter ten. We never hear of it before this chapter, and it's not detailed in the trauma that she's survived up until now. In fact, in a previous chapter, she makes it sound like she was sent to a cell or tortured by doctors if she was punished. 

The secondary characters, Ryker and Emery, are also quite inconsistent. When we are introduced to Emery, Valencia tells us they were best friends, but she was too afraid to stand up to her mother and defend her when she was found to be a Mualite (individual with powers) and she did nothing when Emery was tortured, dumped from the ship and left for dead. Later, Valencia reveals that SHE was the one who dumped Emery in the middle of the desert herself after her mother beat her for trying to nurse Emery back to health when she'd been tortured. Then several chapters later, it's revealed that both girls were 12 at the time. I'm sorry, what? This seems like information that should have been given to begin with, that Valencia could have given us with a simple, "When I was much younger" or "Four years ago."

Also by Chapter 10, we're told that Emery seems to have fugues, or brain malfunctions where she tunes out and doesn't respond to people when she uses a large amount of power. However, this never happened before chapter ten, and Emery has expended massive amounts of her power before this, such as when she attempted to hold back a massive sandstorm all on her own. 

Ryker on the other hand is described in excruciating physical detail ("rippling back muscles" and such). He vacillates between hating Valencia's people, and supposedly hating her, to being inordinately attracted to her after having known her for very little time, and for no discernible reason. Every time it looks as if the pair are going to be lovers, either he or Valencia withdraw and fall back on the tired "I'm prejudiced" or "He hates me" tropes. 

These are just some examples that I encountered, and there were a large amount of inconsistencies and unexplained world details in every chapter I read, which is why I got so lost I finally had to stop. All that being said, I will repeat that I do firmly believe this story can be something special if more editing and polish is applied. The raw stone is there. It just needs a bit more time and patience to become a diamond. Thank you to Netgalley and Author Collective 20 for the advance reader's copy in exchange for an honest review.
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This book was okay, I was super interested in it based on just the summary from Goodreads. It was pretty fast paced, and at times I felt a little lost and had to go back to re-read certain passages. I did rather enjoy watching the character development throughout the story.

If you're a fan of steampunk and/or SciFi stories, definitely check this one out.

Thank you to the publisher, author, and Netgalley for allowing me to read a digital ARC
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I loved the concept but the writing had me constantly scanning previous sentences to see if I missed something. I often found myself wondering how one sentence led to the next.
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I really loved Of Blood and Crowns, it’s such a fantastic fantasy romance,  well written and such  brilliant characters. The world building is just wonderful and the interesting plot makes this book even more fun. 
Highly recommended
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I received this book from NetGalley and the publishers to read and review. All statements above are my true
opinions after fully reading this book.
I was very excited to read Of Blood and Crowns, unfortunately I felt the book fell flat. The plot was chaotic, overwhelming, and just overall hard to follow. I kept reading to see if the issues would improve, but it only felt more chaotic. I also just didn’t enjoy the authors writing style.
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Thank you to the publisher, the author Raven More, and NetGalley for this ARC. 

I want to start off by saying that I DNF’d this book at 70% despite wanting to do it at around the 30% mark - purely because I wanted to give an honest review and see if things improved. 

Unfortunately, for me they didn’t. The main issues for me lay in the writing. The plot (a fast paced, dystopian, enemies to lovers story) had potential, but ultimately was just chaotic. At no point in this read did I know what was going on. Not because the plot was difficult to grasp, but because of the haphazard writing. I was constantly confused by simple events. Because it was so fast paced, each sentence felt like a random jump. For example, the characters are travelling what is made out to be a long distance across wasteland to uncover a ship. One sentence they’ve just set off & then I swear to god the literal next sentence they’ve found it. The next sentence they’re battling random creatures and the sentence after that they’re using mind powers to fix the problem. It was all just unnecessary chaos with no real world building to steady the narrative. The book was 300 pages long but could’ve been so much longer and better had these things been fleshed out and some love put into describing what was going on. 

More on that point, I think some more thoughtful world building would’ve been an appreciated addition to this book. There was no real explanation of how the war started, all the different territories and how they interacted/sustained themselves or why some people had magic and why the mc’s magic was interacting. Some of the attempts at world building directly contradicted each other also. For example, throughout the book water is made known to be scarce, with some territories drinking watered down wine for hydration… but when the characters reach a nuclear wasteland with a lime green reactive water supply after having survived on barely any water through the desert, the destitute character that helps them just randomly has buckets full of water? 

Another issue for me were the basic spelling errors “suites” instead of “suits”, “ENR” which stood for European Mualite Rebellion (???), and also just the most cringe statements “his tongue parted my lips, I only tasted juice and paradise” and my favourite “you’re shy? I like it, you’re complicated, not obvious like the girls I usually know” 

I don’t know if this was just the scientist in me, but another phase used in the book that really bothered me and I couldn’t stop thinking about was “every nerve synapse convulsed” … how can something that is by definition a gap between two things, convulse? 

Finally, the derogatory term for certain people in the book - “slags” was an issue for me. In England that’s actually a derogatory term used to condemn women who are intimate often, so I don’t know what possessed the author to use it as every time I read it I violently cringed. 

Overall, a hard unenjoyable read.
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