Where did you get the book from: e-ARC from Netgalley
Release date: October 26th
*WARNING* Since this is the 5th and last book in the series, it’s impossible not to talk about what’s happened in previous books, so be warned there will be spoilers from previous books and some spoilers for this book.
Blurb taken from author’s official website:
A Song of Love won her heart.
A Song of Darkness haunted her soul.
A Song in the Dance would seal her fate.
Seers had long foreseen an extraordinary destiny for Ellysetta Baristani. Already she had won the heart of the Fey King – the magnificent Rain, ever her ally, eternally her love. She had saved the offspring of the magical tairen and fought beside her legendary mate against the armies of Eld. But the most powerful – and dangerous – Verse of her Song had yet to be sung. As the final battle draws nigh and evil tightens its grip upon her soul – will Ellysetta secure the world for Light or plunge it into Darkness for all eternity? As she and Rain fight for each other, side by side, will they find a way to complete their truemate bond and defeat the evil High Mage of Eld before it’s too late, or must they make the ultimate sacrifice to save their world?
Lou: I’m so conflicted about the ending of this series. While I’m happy that there is a conclusion, I’m also sad that it’s now ended and we’re saying goodbye to a series that has felt like such a journey. The Tairen Soul series has been one hell of a ride, and what an action packed monster Crown of Crystal Flame is. The final battle between the Fey and the Eld has arrived (it so reminded me of the battle of helms deep in LOTR).
Has: I feel the same way. For me, this final instalment is an epic conclusion. In many ways it felt like it was one huge climax, and that it’s the final half of the previous book, Queen of Song and Souls. I also felt that all of the story threads came to a head. I was also surprised about the different conclusions of some characters – especially with the Queen and other certain side characters. I did not expect that at all!
Lou: I have to agree with you on this book feeling like it was the second half of the previous book. Everything did come together, but I did have a slight problem with the different narrators that were introduced, and I felt that the battles in a way overwhelmed the story. It was super busy and I had a hard time following the different narrations. With the High Mage reading for the final battle, we have multiple story threads throughout the book. We have Elly’s family lost in the mists, we have Rain and Elly themselves taking part in the fighting, and with them still being banished from the Fey, it was a chock-a-block book.
Has: Oh definitely. The action and plot threads didn’t stop, but I loved how it all intertwined and linked up. It really felt like the magical weave that the fey used. But I did have a problem midway through the book, that a lot of the side characters – which had important roles in the previous books – were totally glossed over, if not ignored. I felt like I was missing bits of information because the pace was so fast with constant action.
Lou: It was a information packed book, and while I felt it was overfilling at some point, in others, I couldn’t read fast enough to find out what would happen. We have the storyline of Lorelle and Lillis lost in the Mists, and my heart was on overdrive worrying and wondering if they would survive. And I was totally rooting for Shan and Elfeya, and was really disappointed when they didn’t get a lot of book time. After everything they had endured at the hands of the High Mage, I wanted their story to be concentrated on.
Has: Oh yes! I really really wanted to see more about them in the book. In fact I felt more interested in their romance than Elly’s and Rain’s relationship. I think because so much attention and time was spent on them, I felt that their romance was already fleshed out. I really hope we get to see more Shan and Elfeya in future books, maybe a short story at least.
Lou: Elly and Rain’s story is very much a given, and as there was no tension left between them, I felt that Crown of Crystal Flame was more about tying off other story threads, and how they would be tied. You mentioned Queen Annoura above. It was such a bitter sweet ending, but it fitted her character in a way. She wasn’t protagonist material, but she wasn’t evil.
Has: I totally agree! This book is really about the choices that the characters make and their repercussions. Talking about side characters that came into their own, I really loved Melliandra’s character. I was really engaged with the side characters like Melliandra, Shan and Elfeya than with Rain and Elly. Like you said the tension had gone and while their loose ends were mostly tied up in the previous books, the side characters have come into their own and started their own possible story thread in future books. I can’t wait to read more about Melliandra’s story. I think she promises to be one of my all time favourite characters, and I suspect she is going to be Galen’s mate.
Lou: I totally, totally agree. She was gutsy, and she had a much more compelling story arc I felt. That passage in the book when Galen notices her and sees her black sooty eye and pale skin, my romance radar went PING .
Has: So true! He’s gonna get the love bug bad LOL. And she would be a fantastic mate for him because unlike humans or other fey women, she will get him and vice versa. He also won’t baby her.
Lou: Galen and Melliandra have both seen and have done dark deeds just to survive. They have more of an edge, and I think Galen won’t be the type to go into a murderous rage if anyone dares to put a tiny scratch on her. I can see him having more personality, and some humour. But while we don’t know if they will have their story ( I truly hope they do), Rain and Elly’s story continued and it’s been a remarkable journey they have had from book one.
Has: I have to say that Rain and Elly really gelled in this book, although there was no question about their love for each other. In this book they both accepted their dark and light sides. I was also glad that Elly was more proactive in fighting alongside Rain, and the fact he accepted that side of her.
Lou: Their relationship was solid, and the reluctance to form a bond totally disappeared in the wake and magnitude of what they were facing. Elly certainly got her inner kickass heroine switched on, and I liked that Rain and Elly complimented one another, and listened to each other rather than their earlier arguments of not knowing when to back down. Also, some of their arrogance was knocked down a notch, and I didn’t feel as annoyed when their characters in previous book went into ‘I’m the bestest and most powerful’ mode. Rain also considered other people, and he wasn’t so self important.
Has: Exactly! I think it was only a matter of time accepting their full selves which was always an issue between them. I really liked how that panned out, especially since the traditional Fey were holding things back for them. I really liked the scenes with Rain and the dark Fey. I hope we get to see more of that and how the new changes and fallout from the war will affect the Fey. I suspect it wont be as plain sailing especially when you still have some of the traditionalists still fearing the dark Fey and their magic.
Lou: Oh, that was such a big welcome introducing the dark Fey – I found the elves storyline to be redundant and totally clichéd – and again, we were introduced to new characters like Sheyl and Farel who have a totally different mindset to the Fey. It puts a whole new spin on things.
Has: I really hope that C.L Wilson expands on the elves. I agree that they felt redundant – especially in the previous book. I felt like they were just a filler while more important things were happening.
Lou: I hope so too. She has created a world which has so many possibilities of new spinoffs, and while I felt that the ending was anti-climatic, I was left feeling so excited of what may come in the future.
Has: I felt that way too especially with the ending of the book. I think the pace was partly to blame because it really felt like the whole book was one huge climax. There was no build up so in a way it would have felt like that. But I agree. I really think there is so many plot threads to emerge from the events of this book. I really look forward to reading about that!
Lou: Overall, Crown of Crystal Flame was a fine ending to a truly wonderful series. Whilst I didn’t think Crown was was perfect, the whole series itself is one of the best fantasy romance series I have ever read. In a way, I’ve had a hard time reviewing this book because every book in the series fits like a puzzle piece, and it’s continuous. I definitely wouldn’t recommend reading the series out of order. Crown ties up everything neatly, and I’m so sad to say goodbye to Rain and Elly. But I’m happy that new beginnings might pop up for other characters, and I think I would actually beg Miss Wilson to do a Galen and Melliandra story . I give Crown of Crystal Flame a B+.
Has: I think this was a fantastic ending to an epic and sweeping fantasy romance. The breathtaking pace and the epic climax really felt like this book is one huge conclusion, and in many ways feels like the second half of the previous book. I will also miss Elly and Rain and most of the supporting characters, but I think their stories were told and ended beautifully. I am eagerly looking forward to the ongoing plot threads that was laid out in the book, and I too hope that we get a Galen and Melliandra story soon. I also give Crown of Crystal Flame a B+.