Long live Solaris.
One bloodthirsty ruler has been overthrown by another, casting the shadow of death over the Solaris Empire.
Vhalla Yarl stands upon the stage of fate, prepared to do battle one final time. Fragile alliances will be tested and new bonds will be formed as the world is reshaped. She fights as the champion of peace, but when the night is darkest will she be able to pay the price of a new dawn?
"What are we fighting for?" Vhalla closed her eyes for a moment but all she saw was blood. Blood of her allies. Blood of her enemies. Enough blood to drown in ten times over.
"What will be left when the wars are done?"
Out of the five books in this series this one is probably the one with the most bittersweet mood and in more ways than one. Crystal Crowned is the last book in the Air Awakened series, this series has put me through the emotional ringer from the very beginning but the last book surpassed all 4 of the previous books put together. This is the book where everything all fans of this series have been waiting for happens, Aldrik and Vhalla finally cement their relationship with marriage. No more threats to them being together, no more questioning whether or not they really are meant to be together. Although I never questioned their relationship is was tough at times, and the amount of angst I have experienced while reading this series was deliciously excruciating.
Although Vhalla and Aldrik are finally together, there's a lot that threatens their relationship. Victor who showed himself as their greatest enemy in the previous book grows stronger and more tainted with the power he wields with the crystals. One thing that probably killed me the most in the previous book was Vhalla losing her powers, I mean in the beginning she didn’t even want them. She even thought to eradicate her powers, but as the books came and the story progressed they became the very essence of her being. One other thing her’s and Aldrik bond being severed, that gutted me beyond repair. What more could the Mother throw in Vhalla’s way, was it some kind of test?
Her friends had become her keepers. Her husband was now overseer before being her lover. They were reduced to handlers, pushing her from one place to the next.
In Crystal Crowned as with the previous books, Vhalla’s character growth is astounding. She is the future empress, and as we all know Vhalla adapts and that’s what she did. I’ll confess that at times I did question the intensity of Aldrik’s love for Vhalla because he was one moment aloof and the next moment kneeling at her feet telling her how much he cherished her and I’m so glad that he maintained and even proved that his love for Vhalla will never fade.
This book was action packed, emotionally gripping and a worthy ending to this awesome series. When I think back to when I started this series I wish I could go back to my old self and tell myself to brace because this was one wild ride.
Long live the Emperor and Empress of Solaris.
ARC kindly provided by author in return for an honest review