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  • Writer's pictureTabitha Tomala

The Bitter Crown by Justin Lee Anderson Book Review

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The Bitter Crown by Justin Lee Anderson book cover
The Bitter Crown by Justin Lee Anderson

The Bitter Crown Book Review

After the horrifying discovery from The Lost War, Aranok and crew have a new realized goal. But to accomplish it, they will have to face impossible odds. Readers will see a definite switch in how the team works together, and it’s much more disjointed than before. Emotions will run high as they deal with the aftermath of their choices causing conflict and infighting. And if they can’t work together, there’s no way they will be able to save Eidyn.

The Bitter Crown is a dark journey forcing characters to endure traumatizing experiences. From watching someone be fed to a reanimated child, to being coerced into committing murder in front of family, no one will leave without scars. And each fresh wound on the psyche adds up over time for the characters. This will cause moral conflict and split-second decisions influenced by emotions instead of reason. Some of the most unshakeable characters will find their beliefs in question.

There were many moments where characters did not take the expected route seen in fantasy novels. Nirea for example relied on her instincts as a pirate. Delicate situations that would usually be taken care of discreetly were instead blown wide open. It was refreshing to see new angles and the ensuing chaos created a wonderful mix of action and emotional response. While there are times when the writing slows to take a new direction, it swiftly picks back up when the conflict of that direction takes hold.

The Bitter Crown was such a fascinating journey. Seeing the characters evolve through trauma was heartbreaking to witness, but addicting to read. Many still have to come to terms with all they did in this novel. I cannot wait to see what happens in book three. Fans of high fantasy need to read this series.

To Purchase: Bookshop | Author's Website

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