Crystal Crowned (Air Awakens #5) by Elise Kova
With the empire in shambles Vhalla and company must band together to piece what’s left of it back together. The taint of the crystal caverns is spreading and Aldrik must find loyal followers to help get his throne back. With gathering forces on both fronts, the battle wont stop until only one is left for the throne.
What a conclusion! Vhalla and Aldrik continue to take blows on all sides and the heartbreak continues. I like that Elise didn’t shy away from the destruction and devastation that the magic and war causes. In fact, throughout the story a lot of the characters are described to become more weary and gaunt as well as suffer from nightmares from what they had seen. The pacing in this book was a little slower, but none the less climactic as it ultimately lead up to battle after battle.
The World Building
I really enjoyed seeing more of the west here and the culture that CiDans hail from. I think all the formality helped the show the characteristics of Aldrik, Elicia, and even Jax.
The real interesting part was how the power of the crystal caverns came alive…literally. I love how the magic wasn’t wholly manifestations of creatures, but also mutilations of people through the taint as well as necromantic power. The power of the crystals also were mirrored by the taint and destruction that they cause with their use – both the pain and power drain when using them as well as the effect it had on the land. The growth of the crystals made me think of an infection or blight.
Oh man, Vhalla gets pretty vicious in this book. She has gone through so much, but there was one scene where she straight ups says that she is going to “blow the next soldiers face off”. Now this was in the midst of a battle, but mannnnn, that’s pretty gory to think about. Anyway, the relationship between Vhalla and Aldrik is much the same like the first books, except they are a much more unified front. I love how they mutually do so much for each other, its like toothachingly sweet. The supporting characters continue to come alive for me in this book as their support becomes a huge pillar for their survival – both mental and physical. The story wouldn’t be the same without a single one of them.
ZAYN feat Sia – Dusk Till Dawn