Published on: March 2nd 2017
Published by: Scholastic
Series: The Sin Eater's Daughter #3
Genre: YA Fantasy
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This book is part of the Sin Eater’s Daughter series. You can find links to my reviews for the rest of this series below:
The Sin Eater’s Daughter (Sin Eater’s Daughter #1)
The Sleeping Prince (Sin Eater’s Daughter #2)
The Scarecrow Queen (Sin Eater’s Daughter #3)
(summary from Goodreads)
The final battle is coming . . .
As the Sleeping Prince tightens his hold on Lormere and Tregellan, the net closes in on the ragged band of rebels trying desperately to defeat him. Twylla and Errin are separated, isolated, and running out of time. The final battle is coming, and Aurek will stop at nothing to keep the throne forever . . .
Explosive, rich and darkly addictive, this is the stunning conclusion to Mel Salisbury’s internationally best-selling trilogy that began with The Sin Eater’s Daughter.
I feel like I have been waiting for the final book in this trilogy forever! I say that, however 2 weeks ago a chunky envelope arrived through my letter box (always exciting) with this book in it and I had totally forgotten it’s release day was this month so had to speed read The Sin Eater’s Daughter and The Sleeping Prince to remind myself of what actually happened pre-Scarecrow Queen so I could actually read this book!
So it really pains me to say that this book did not live up to what I had hoped it would be and I was really disappointed with how the trilogy ended. Don’t get me wrong there were some really great bits in this book, but after reading the final page I felt a bit like ‘What? That was it?’
“In every fairy tale there is a kernel of truth, and that is the truth of this one. For him, I am poison. I am his death. And I will deliver.”
The first two books in this trilogy are told in first person POV; Sin-Eaters Daughter from Twylla’s POV and Sleeping Prince from Errin’s, which worked perfectly. But in Scarecrow Queen, which is told from both Errin/Twylla POV this doesn’t really work.
One main problem for me is that the other main characters aren’t really with Errin or Twylla much in this book so they basically become background characters. I really wanted more of Silas and Leif in this book then I got. Also I struggled with the alternating POVs because instead of alternate chapters it was more like a big chunk of Errin and then a big chunk of Twylla with so much time between each characters POVs. So much happens to Twylla in the time we are with Errin and vice versa and I just felt like we missed out on so much good stuff because of this.
“I’m tired of taking people’s sins on myself.
I’m tired of running away from everything.“
The beginning of this book is deliciously creepy. Aurek is a pretty dark person and does some horrible things to Errin, which don’t get me wrong I was totally sorry she had to endure them, but at the same time I love me some bad guys who actually do bad things (rather than just making empty threats) and I love that Salisbury took it in that dark direction. However I was really looking forward to seeing Errin’s struggle to return to normal life once she was free from Aurek and has to deal with the aftereffects of the physical and mental violence that was inflicted on her. But instead she just carried on as she was. I was hoping for a little damage, some struggles and ultimately Errin’s recovery from her traumatic ordeal.
I also kinda struggled with Twylla in this book and at times she was just a bit too ‘all about me’. She gave this impressed that she just expected that everyone should listen to and agree with her opinions and do what she said and didn’t like it when they didn’t agree with her. I really liked her in the first and second books but in this book she just felt totally different, like she was turning into some of the characters she herself hated in the first book and I just found it really hard to connect with her. Plus the whole Twylla/Merek dynamic that was built up in the previous two books just kind of disappeared in this book and I found it so hard to figure out who they were meant to be to each other.
“Scarecrow queen. Nothing but a dupe, alone in a field, hoping to keep the crows at bay.”
As with any YA Fantasy/Dystopian trilogy the first two books build up the tension and then in the third book we finally get our characters fighting back and taking on the bad guy. Pretty standard right? In this book we get a whole load of build up, and then like 40 pages before the end of the book it all finally kicks off. I was literally checking how many pages I had left the entire time worrying because no way could everything that needed to happen actually happen in just 40 pages. For me it just felt a bit rushed and I felt like I was left with a lot of unanswered questions and didn’t get to see how things ended for many of the characters.
“Sometimes he sounds so wistful and lonely that I forget for an instant that he’s a monster, lulled by his soft voice and his hands in my hair. Until he turns my face to his and I see him, and I recall exactly what he is, and the look in my eyes reminds him that he might control my body, but he can’t control my mind.”
I have loved Salisbury’s world from the start. The history, the traditions, the magic… just everything. Thankfully her amazing world building skills are still in this book and I just loved immersing myself in it all again. The writing was well paced and compelling and I loved the first 60% of this book for it’s dark and creepy nature. It was just the last 40% which started to slip a bit for me and didn’t quite keep to the level of awesome that other fantasy trilogies have with their endings. I just needed more from it.
“And that, my girl, is the secret. Quake all you must on the inside. But on the outside you must be stone. And you never know; with enough practice it might become the truth.”
Ok, spoiler time. Don’t read if you don’t want know! You have been warned! View Spoiler »Ok, so firstly. That ending? After all that build up and the planning with all the troops and it just all happened so quickly, I wanted a battle but it was kind of more like a 30 second fight and then it was over.
Also I thought the whole Merek just giving his crown to Twylla, although I understood the thinking behind it, was a little strange. As was their whole dynamic through the entire book, she treats him like crap but then they still hold hands and he sleeps in her bed and then it just ends with him being like “I love you but if you don’t know if you wanna be with me thats cool” and then it just ENDS! Sure, it was great that Salisbury didn’t do the stereotypical heroine ends up with the guy that happens in most YA fantasy trilogies at the moment, but it just felt like it was left as a maybe, rather than a definite yes/no to them being together. I would have loved a ‘One Year Later’ type epilogue to let us know how Twylla was doing as a ruler, if she and Merek ended up together, how Silas and Errin were and just basically a bit of info about how everyone was dealing with life after defeating Aurek. I wanted more!!!
Also on a final note, as a massive fan of Silas I was GUTTED that he only appears for all of about 5 pages in this book. I was constantly worrying about him and just wanted to see him a bit more. There could have been some really dark scenes with Errin having to see Aurek hurting Silas and her not being able to do anything but watch it happen. I was super sad that we didn’t get more of him, he was such an important character in the trilogy and he just kind of disappeared. « Hide Spoiler
I am gutted to say that this final book was a disappointment for me, but at the same time I would definitely recommend this series. The world building is incredible with so much detail, and the story compelling and one that I couldn’t put down.
I would recommend this book to fans of: fantasy worlds, magic, rebellions, worlds with histories, worlds with legends, books with amazing world building