{Blog Tour} Review + Interview: Crystal Kingdom by Amanda Hocking

Monday, August 31, 2015

After binging Amanda Hocking's Kanin Chronicles, I'm here to conclude the blog tour for the last book in this trilogy, Crystal Kingdom, with my review and an interview with Amanda herself! If you haven't  started with this series, now is the perfect time as all books are out! You can binge this and join me with the fangirling!


Title: Crystal Kingdom (Kanin Chronicles #3)
Author: Amanda Hocking
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
Date of Publication: August 1, 2015

Cast out by her kingdom and far from home, she is the Kanin people's only hope. But Bryn Aven, unjustly charged with murder and treason, is on the run.

The one person who can help is her greatest enemy, the gorgeous and enigmatic Konstantin Black. Konstantin is her only ally against those who have infiltrated her kingdom and threaten to destroy everything she holds dear. But can she trust him?

As Bryn fights to clear her name, the Kanin rulers’ darkest secrets are coming to light -- and now the entire troll world is on the brink of war.

Will it tear Bryn from Ridley Dresden, the only guy she’s ever loved? And can she join forces with Finn Holmes and the Trylle kingdom?

Nothing is as it seems, but one thing is certain: an epic battle is underway—and when it’s complete, nothing will ever be the same.

Purchase from Amazon | Amazon (UK) | B&N | The Book Depository


Review

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Thank you to Pan Macmillan Australia for the review copy. Having received one did not affect my views of the novel.

And that is how you end a series! I am mighty pleased to tell you that I enjoyed every single moment of Crystal Kingdom. While the ending to Ice Kissed made me want to read the finale right away, the size of the book didn't. It was longer than the previous installments and I am known to shy away from those. But then I couldn't not read it, after what happened in Ice Kissed.

So with Bryn on the run, she doesn't have allies, or even an ally. Ridley is home, as well as Ember, and now, she's at the mercy of her archenemy, Konstantin Black. I, for one, loved how we FINALLY got to know Konstantin in all his evasive and elusive glory. We get to know his motivations and the real story behind EVERYTHING. ANSWERS! WE HAVE ANSWERS!

I loved how easy it was with Bryn and Konstantin and you could totally see WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN but then we all know our girl is in love with another man. Ridley was tortured back at home and when he comes for Bryn, he's distant and cold. Oh, poor bb, when he finally opened up to Bryn. I just want him to be better and with Bryn at his side, he did. And yoohoo, SEXY TIMES ARE AHEAD~

I didn't even notice that the book was 400+ pages because DAMN, THAT PLOT. Basically, Amanda Hocking leaves us at the precipice of excitement FOREVER. She moves the plot this way and you think everything will happen now but NOPE, some other thing happens and you're yet again on the edge of a cliff. I just gobbled up page after page after page of this book and I couldn't get enough. Whether it was Bryn and Konstantin teaming up together, fighting off their enemies, getting help from the ogres and the other tribes, I'm always at the edge of my seat.

Like Ice Kissed, we get to see more tribes in Crystal Kingdom. While I haven't read the Trylle series, it seems like characters from there made an appearance in here such as Queen Wendy. While I didn't feel the need to read the Trylle series as the Kanin Chronicles stands well on its own, I am curious though about the Trylle and Wendy.

Amanda Hocking employed a new storytelling trick with Crystal Kingdom where we get to know what happens with the Kanin kingdom with Ember writing letters to Bryn that she never sends out. I like those reprieve from the actual conflict although it also brings in more tension because things were getting worse and there were deaths.

As all finales do, some characters you'd rather not die died and *wails in a corner*. I felt that it would happen and I'm not saying I'm surprised but when you invested ~emotions~ on a series and its characters, it's never easy to see someone go.

What a fantastic end to a fantastic series! Action-packed, intriguing, and thrilling, Crystal Kingdom closed the story of the Kanin tribe in the eyes of our kickass heroine, Bryn. I know for sure that I will be reading more of Amanda Hocking's books!

And now, for an interview with the amazing Amanda Hocking!

Interview with Amanda Hocking

Trolls are quite rare in fantasy. What made you decide or what inspired you to write fantasy novels with them?

Part of what drew me to them was that were so rare. So many other mythological creatures have been covered that I wanted to try something different. I discovered Scandinavian folklore that described trolls as beautiful, magical, and ill-tempered, and then I started reading about changelings, and the Trylle trilogy grew out from there.

You made such a fantastic world in the Trylle universe. Did you plan on writing another book in the universe ever since or did the character and/or plot for the Kanin Chronicles just came to you?

When I finished the Trylle series, I knew there was still so much of the world I wanted to showcase. Three of the tribes aren’t even shown in that series, and Wendy only saw things from her vantage point as royalty. I envisioned the possibility of a series with Ember as a main character, but eventually I decided that I wanted a whole new character as a lead. Bryn was inspired by Gina Carano, who is a former MMA-fighter turned actress, and I wanted to write a character as tough and hardcore as she is.

If the Kanin Chronicles will be made into a movie franchise, do you have any actors and actresses in mind you'd want to play the roles?
Diego Boneta as Ridley
I don’t think there’s any character that really embodies Bryn for me, but I liked Diego Boneta for Ridley and Kit Harrington for Konstantin.

What was the greatest challenge you faced while writing the Kanin Chronicles? How did you make sure that it was different from the Trylle series?

I think that was the biggest challenge for me – trying to keep the Kanin Chronicles true to the world of the Trylle without making it redundant. With Bryn’s story, I did deliberately create similarities to her and Wendy because I wanted it be a complimentary story but told from the other side.

Kit Harrington as Konstantin
Do you listen to music while writing? What songs did you listen to while writing the Kanin Chronicles or what songs can be its soundtrack?

I always create soundtracks when I’m writing. Some of my favourite songs for this series were Lorde – “Glory & Gore,” Meg Myers – “Monster,” and The National – “About Today.” I also really loved Aston’s cover of “Bulletproof” by LaRoux. I wrote a whole scene in Crystal Kingdom around that song.

If you like <blank>, you'll love the Kanin Chronicles. What books, films, or TV shows would fit that sentence perfectly?

For books, I think if you love Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen or Sarah J. Maas’s books. For TV shows, I would say Reign or Vampire Diaries. For film, I would say The Three Musketeers or A Knight’s Tale


Who are your favorite authors and/or what are your favorite books?

Some of my favorite authors include Kurt Vonnegut, Judy Blume, Claudia Gray, Holly Black, Richlle Mead, and Neil Gaiman. My favorite books change all the time, but my all time favorite books are Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut and Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie. 

Lightning round!

Favorite pizza topping? Cheese and tomatoes.
Favorite ice cream flavor? Vanilla.
What's inside your ultimate sandwich? Lots of veggies – tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, pickles, cucumbers. 
Celebrity crush? (dead or alive) Tom Hardy.
Eye color? Gray-blue.
Favorite song? “Wonderwall” by Oasis
Favorite movie? Labyrinth or The Dark Knight

What's next for Amanda Hocking?

I’m working on a standalone novel set in the 1980 called Freeks, and it follows a travelling sideshow. I pitched it as Pretty in Pink meets The Lost Boys (minus the vampires) meets Carnivale. It will be out sometime in 2016 with my publisher.

***

Thank you so much for gracing my blog, Amanda! A bestselling author on my blog *floored*

Sigh, I can't believe how I literally binged this series, guys. It was just so damn readable and I hope you do get on it soon (more like ASAP) and join the lovin'. It was such an enjoyable ride and I'm pumped to have read my first ever Amanda Hocking books. I know that I will be coming back for more. I can't wait for her upcoming novel, Freeks!

About Amanda Hocking

Amanda Hocking is the USA Today bestselling author of the Trylle trilogy and six additional self-published novels. After selling over a million copies of her books, primarily in eBook format, she is widely considered the exemplar of self-publishing success in the digital age.

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