The war of two queens

Gepubliceerd op 14 juni 2023 om 15:00

Title: The war of two queens

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Series: Blood and ash, part 4

Genre(s): Fantasy, romance, NA

My rating: 5/5 stars

TW: Murder, (Emotional) abuse, Torture, Childmurder/Torture

CW: Sexscenes

Other books written by this author: A lot, on the author's website you can find all the titles.

Find Jennifer L. Armentrout here:

The story:

The War of Two Queens is volume 4 in the Blood and Ash series, and best read after volume 1 of the Flesh and Fire series (A Shadow in the Ember). So there may be some small spoilers in this review for the previous books, so I recommend you read those books first and then read this review.

Casteel is imprisoned by the Blood Queen and must fend for himself there while the Blood Queen does all sorts of things to him. He finds out more information about the Blood Queen, but also about Poppy. The person he misses the most. Poppy is working on a plan to free Casteel and is willing to do anything to do so. They go into the fight, but along the way Poppy also finds out things she didn't know about herself. Her own encounter with the Blood Queen turns out very differently than she had thought beforehand.


The characters:

Of course, you have known the main characters in this story for quite a long time, since this is book 4. Now as a reader you grow with the characters in their own roles. All of them are getting to know who they really are and what powers they have, at the same time as you learn that as a reader. This makes you feel connected to the growth they go through and you build a real bond with them. In this story, we also see more (or less) of certain side characters, some of whom were already pushed more and more to the foreground throughout the previous books. You also see certain characters from "A Shadow in the Ember" now in a slightly different role, than in that book. Which is incredibly fun to see. The characters are fun to follow and each character really has their own voice. Some you like better than others, but no character is really flat. They all go through things and also grow into their own stories. It's a lively bunch together and the "enemies" are super well put together as well.

Oh, and in this book we get to see Malik for the first time and he is different from what was shown in the previous books.


My opinion:

Ever since the first book, I have loved this series so I couldn't wait for this fourth volume to come out. Especially after reading A Shadow in the Ember, I couldn't wait to continue Poppy and Casteel's journey as well. The writing style immediately took me back into the story.

Immediately I remembered which character was who and where the story had stopped last time. Well I already loved Reaver in A Shadow in the Ember, but it only got better in this book. I really think he is a super awesome addition to the story and I could read a book about him. He really is one of my favorite characters in this book. I did expect to see a little more of certain side characters in this book, mainly some wolven, but that was not the case. To my mind, they were kept too much in the background when they could have been more involved in the story. As a result, I missed some depth with those characters, but every time we saw them, they were immediately clear characters with a real will of their own.
I also really liked the fact that there was now a pov from Casteel, so we also got to see his imprisonment and the things that happened there. I sometimes found his pov a bit flat and I missed some depth in his thoughts and character. Now I am curious if his pov will stay in the next books, because it really is an incredibly nice addition to the story.

This way we also saw the Blood Queen come to the fore a lot more and although I think she is really terrible, her character is well portrayed. She comes across very strong and is really an enemy with depth. Not an enemy that is there just so the main character can fight someone. Well I did expect a little more action between this Blood Queen and Poppy because of the title, but most of it was done through words, which I found a little unfortunate. I would have liked to see some more spectacular fights between these two though. Although that one fight at the end was incredibly nicely put together.

I do find it quite confusing that Poppy turns out to be something different in each book, now I understand that they are just figuring it out too. But there's not really room to get to the bottom of her character and understand her powers properly. Since it all keeps changing. I hope that it stops here now and so we can really focus on getting to know Poppy well and there isn't some kind of plot twist coming up again with her being something else after all. Well it does sit believably twisted that Poppy is what she is. The history of certain things was much better covered in this book and as a result certain things made a lot more sense.

In the beginning of the book you can also see very nicely that Poppy and Kieran grow a little closer because of the lack of Casteel and they are able to express that to the other. This makes their friendship a lot stronger. From the moment that Poppy and Casteel are together again, the romance is also really brought back into the story and you see their relationship together also develop again. Furthermore, Kieran and Reaver are really great together and the friendship between Kieran and Casteel is also very nice to read about.

All in all, I thought it was another incredibly enjoyable book and I can't wait to continue with this series again. I love reading about the main characters and I'm also curious to see how all the relationships between them will develop in the next book. Oh, and I can't wait to read more about Reaver again and the other draken and wolven. Just this whole world.



The war of two queens is a real fantasy for anyone who already loves this series, or is still getting into it. It is not inferior to the previous volumes and a lot is also revealed in this volume that you had questions about before. The world is a lot clearer again and other vague things are also cleared up. As a reader you fly through the story and even though it looks like a thick book, it doesn't feel that way. This is definitely a recommended read for anyone who has started this series.


Let's finish with one of my favorite quotes from the book:

"To speak her name is to bring the stars from the skies and topple the mountains into the sea."

- Jennifer L. Armentrout, The war of two queens


{I received this book as a review copy, wherefore I thank the Dutch publishing house from this book, but this doesn't influence my opinion on the story}

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