Review: Crystal Kingdom by Amanda Hocking

Series: Kanin Chronicles #3

crystal kingdom -amanda hockingThe kingdom she loves has turned against her. Can she save it before it’s too late?

Bryn Aven—unjustly charged with murder and treason—is on the run. The one person who can help is her greatest enemy, the gorgeous and enigmatic Konstantin Black. Konstantin is her only ally against those who have taken over her kingdom and threaten to destroy everything she holds dear. But can she trust him?

As Bryn fights to clear her name, the Kanin rulers’ darkest secrets are coming to light…and now the entire troll world is on the brink of war. Will it tear Bryn from Ridley Dresden, the only guy she’s ever loved? And can she join forces with Finn Holms and the Trylle kingdom? Nothing is as it seems, but one thing is certain: an epic battle is under way—and when it’s over, nothing will ever be the same…

4 Drink Me Potions

Wowza. And that completes the Kanin Chronicles.

That was my first thought upon completing Crystal Kingdom. Having read Frostfire at the very beginning of this year and getting to complete this trilogy by the end of it, it feels like a journey that I’ve taken with Bryn this year.

And I can’t say that her adventure doesn’t end off with a bang. Because it sure does. Right from the beginning, she’s off where we left her in Ice Kissed.

With Konstantin Black. Aka the Kanin’s #1 enemy and Bryn’s enemy (and secret childhood crush). Oh, and a total badass.

Amanda Hocking is an absolute genius when it comes to delivering epic adventures as that is what we get here with Bryn now being a fugitive on the run, stuck with an ally that is no help with getting her better connections. Written in a fast-paced sequence, we follow the two of them all around the different troll kingdoms.

Like, YES, we finally get to see the other troll kingdoms besides the Skojare. I absolutely adored their palace in Ice Kissed but there are plenty more interesting things to come here. I don’t want to ruin much beyond that. Of course, the synopsis already does a good job of implicating the Trylle kingdom. If you have read Hocking’s first series (which I haven’t, I will admit), you’ll be genuinely pleased to see some familiar characters popping up quite frequently.

And with grand adventure, there also comes grand sacrifices. Bryn was a strong and well-rounded character. She has that fight and courage in her that is found in a lot of battle-skilled/warrior-like heroines, but she also developed well over the course of the trilogy. It is here that I really saw her emotionally mature. She was always this person who relied solely on herself. Love had no place in her life. It was a distraction, a weakness. But it also showed that she could be lonely living a life like this. With love burning in her heart, she finally understood that maybe it wasn’t such a problem but rather a motivation for doing well.

However, as I said, there comes sacrifices. I won’t say what kind, but every great tale of heroism and adventure has their fair share of problems that just couldn’t be prevented. I will admit that one of those scenes had a really touching moment there. Let me just say that Hocking makes beautiful characters come alive but keeps it realistic, and I’ll leave it at that.

As for the romance, I am OVERJOYED that there was no love triangle. I honestly swear there were hints for one since Frostfire but I’m glad it wasn’t a necessary tool to add into a story that seemed perfectly fine the way it was. Ridley is still amazing as usual, but there’s some conflict between him and Bryn that they’d have to work out. I did wish there could’ve been more of him in the novel as he doesn’t pop in until mid-way. I suppose it was hard to realistically have him pop up on Bryn’s adventures so quickly, but still. My heart broke over the Ridley-less pages.

I may not have liked Konstantin at all for the last two books. Come on, how many people could’ve fallen for a guy who was known as Kanin’s #1 enemy? And Bryn hated him with a passion after what he did to her and her father. It’s fairly easy to dislike a guy with that kinda description and background. But he was always intriguing, and I think that’s where people fell for him a little. In Crystal Kingdom, he’s everywhere. And by the end of it, I wanted to be his best friend the way he seemed to be for Bryn. It was strictly platonic. She didn’t waver in her love for Ridley, but of course, there was a sort of love for Konstantin as well, just not strictly the romantic kind. And that goes to show how well-done this novel was to turn an opinion completely around.

I’m not sure if Hocking will ever come back to these troll kingdoms after having done two series with them. However, I will end off saying that it was a wonderful journey following the Kanin people and that she’s one ingenious author for creating such a captivating, mythical world within our everyday modern one. I do truly wish there would someday be more.

Overall Recommendation:
Bryn’s just been kicked out of the only home she’s ever known, but as the courageous and ever-determined heroine that she is, Crystal Kingdom follows her on a grand adventure to right the wrongs in her kingdom and set everything right once again. Allied with Konstantin Black, someone I once hated but by the end you’ll be calling him a best friend, and filled with treacherous battles and action, this fast-paced novel definitely fulfills the ideal of the word “finale”. Delicious romance, beautiful settings in varying troll kingdoms and a heart-stopping sacrifice, this is one book that you just have to read. Honestly.

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