Review: The Enchanted Crown

The Enchanted Crown is the fourth and final book in The Stolen Kingdom series by Bethany Atazadeh. This is an excellent book for fans of any other book in the series. As a fan of The Stolen Kingdom and The Jinni Key, I was happy to catch up with Arie and Rena for one last adventure. I was less impressed with The Cursed Hunter, but Nesrin was not featured enough to detract from my interest in this conclusion. The Enchanted Crown contains chapters from the perspectives of all three protagonists and several love interests, which keeps the story moving at a quick pace. The variety of perspectives creates a unique reading format since the story itself is a pretty traditional "final battle" narrative. I recently noticed that the subtitle for this book claims that it is a "Sleeping Beauty" retelling. That claim is a bit of a stretch, but that has nothing to do with the quality of the novel itself.

The Enchanted Crown by Bethany Atazadeh

The Enchanted Crown is the exciting climax of The Stolen Kingdom, The Jinni Key, and The Cursed Hunter. It picks up where all three of these books leave off and takes the three princesses on a quest to stop the wicked Jinni Queen from conquering the worlds of humans and Mere. Princess Arie has become Queen of Hodafez and must team up with her companions to stop the most powerful being in the realms. How and why the heroines defeat the Jinni Queen is less interesting than the antics they get up to along the way. All three princesses are tested to their limits when they are stripped of their special abilities. Prior to this book, Arie was forced to have a "severance," a dangerous procedure that removes powers from anyone blessed with a Jinni gift and usually results in death or suicide. With the way the severity of the procedure was stressed in The Stolen Kingdom, I expected Arie to be in a much worse state than she was. Rena, the "Little Mermaid" character from this series, has her necklace of spells forcefully taken from her and is thrust into the middle of the ocean without her tail. Nesrin from The Cursed Hunter must face her feelings for Malakai that she adamantly denied in her own book.

Arie's plan to reach the Jinni Queen is a little crazy, but that's also what makes it so interesting. Using Rena's magical relic, the group of renegade royals set a trap to catch any Jinn in the area and attempt to negotiate with them to overthrow their queen. The plan goes as well as you would expect a forced alliance initiated by a trap to go. Some Jinn betray the group, some deceive them, and others agree to help them. Included among the numerous Jinn who fall into the trap are Gideon, Arie and Rena's reluctant ally from the first two books, and Malakai, the cursed prince from the third book. The team thinks they have a surefire victory when they capture the prince, but just wants to get back to Nesrin, which would have been touching if they weren't the weakest love story in the series. Fortunately, the story focuses on the other couples as well. Kadin plays a vital role in helping Arie deal with the traumatic loss of her powers while simultaneously trying to stage a coup, and Rena continues to learn about the nuances of love as she navigates her newfound romance.

In spite of her elaborate plan to team up with the rest of the Jinn, Arie must face the Jinni Queen on her own in the end. By doing so, she discovers the answers to all of the questions she had about her past in the first book and learns to love and understand herself better in the process. Though it features other characters and side stories, this is ultimately Arie's book and provides a satisfying conclusion to the open ending that was left in The Stolen Kingdom. Rena is my favorite character in the series, but Arie has the most growth and achievements by far in this conclusion. She proves herself to be a worthy queen, moves beyond her shortcomings over her relationship with Kadin, and finally learns the truth about her past. All three princesses are tested in their own way, but Arie comes out as the biggest winner of all, which made the climax my favorite part of the book.

The Enchanted Crown is a must-read for fans of any of the other three books in this series. It provides a satisfying conclusion for all three princesses, especially Arie, and builds upon the unique lore that Bethany Atazadeh created with her world of humans, Jinn, and Meremaids. Arie and Rena's bizarre attempt to capture Jinn and force them to negotiate is a unique tactic that is just as entertaining as it is reckless. The shifting perspectives in each chapter keep the story interesting even when where there is not a lot happening. Fans of the first book will be especially satisfied with the resolution to Arie's story. Personally, I was happy just spending more time with Rena, one of my favorite little mermaids. Since I read an advance copy of this book, be sure to keep an eye on the Amazon page for its official release on March 23rd.


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