Crown by Jesse Teller

Series: The Manhunters #3 Rating: 4/5
Date of Publishing: October 5th 2018 Genre: fantasy, dark fantasy
Publisher: self-published Available: Amazon
Number of pages: 328 Author’s website: https://jesseteller.com/

Quote of the Book

It crawled from one side of her face to the other, never betraying exactly what Rayph had made her into, until she reached out with blinding speed and snatched the globe up with both hands. Her face was cast in glaring light and Rayph saw her in vivid detail. She snapped her teeth shut with a slight tinking noise. Rayph stared at her crystal jaw with horror. The glass lips he had formed for her, the steel teeth all crafted together to create a monster of the woman’s bottom jaw. Her black leather tongue slipped out of her mouth to lick her crystal lips and she nodded.

“He crafted a victim with a blade and a few spritzes of healing potion.” Her voice rang with a clarity Rayph had never heard. It was a bell. A chime. “You crafted a monster with a blade and a spell.” She was mesmerizing to look upon, and Rayph shuddered at the horror of what he had done.

Blurb

Brody Bedlam, immortal source of chaos, has taken over the crime network of the oldest city in the nation, holding the mayor in his pocket and the citizens in fear. Rayph and his Manhunters move to usurp him, but the street war brings casualties Rayph cannot justify. With his crew unraveling and pressure mounting from the unsatisfied king, will this mission be Rayph’s end?

Personal notes

TBRIndr request. Thank you to the author Jesse Teller, and also Rebekah, for generously providing a copy.

 

Song of the Book

Not Gonna Die by Skillet

Death surrounds
My heartbeat’s slowing down
I won’t take this world’s abuse
I won’t give up or refuse.

This is how it feels when you’re bent and broken
This is how it feels when your dignity’s stolen
When everything you love is leaving
You hold on to what you believe in

 

Review

The third and final book in the Manhunters series finds us years past the escape of the prisoners in the first book, and the vampires’ bid for power in the second. Like the previous books we follow two groups until their journeys end up crossing paths and/or converging.

Things are going from bad to worse for Rayphe and his Manhunters when someone has started bringing back the dead and those dead are Rayphe’s enemies. There are lots of returning faces this time around (dead and alive) as The Manhunters gather to put an end to The Stain once and for all.

We also have two new faces – Roth and Tate, twins and incredibly strong, young magicians. Their journey takes them to Hell in search of one of the souled blades. I enjoyed this storyline a lot, not only do the boys have some damned cool magic, they have this rocky kind of relationship that has you wondering if they’ll betray one another for power, or have one another’s back because of the closeness that comes from being siblings. You’re just never sure about their loyalty, and that, combined with the unsettling landscape of Hell, made for some tense reading.

One of the most interesting things to me in this series, has always been the souled/living weapons that we have been getting hints about over the last couple of books. I am pleased to say that they were a larger part of the story this time around, and I loved getting to find out how the weapon’s inhabitants became trapped in the first place, and how they could possibility be freed from their prison. Also, I liked how the history of them was very keeping with the style of the book – it’s a dark and twisted story (the thorn hilt attachment is pretty inspired too).

This is a very dark book/series all around – you know how Hell gets depicted as this scary screwed-up place full of intense horror images, and nasty stuff happening to good people… well, that’s the main world in this book. So, you can just imagine what this world’s version of Hell is like – it’s grotesque with vividly shown atrocities, and horrifyingly bazaar creatures doing equally horrifying things and the author is damn good at getting those images across visually, it was almost too dark for me.

I still occasionally get a little lost with the style of writing though, there is no wading in gently with these books. The cast is large and it had been just long enough since I read the last book to have me floundering a bit trying to remember who they were. But luckily, there are enough hints with conversations etc. that they start to click into place for me as the story goes.

This is a hard rating for me because these books are a lot darker and full of grotesque horror and things that maybe are not my go-to reads, but it’s one of the most creative worlds/stories I have come across – case in point, the glass-jawed lady with the leather tongue… so messed up, but I could do fan art (you know if I could draw) for that scene right there, because it’s so freaking creative and was one of the coolest visually for me in the entire book.

If you are looking for something different, something dark and inventive, and slightly disturbing, then it’s worth you checking this series out.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go cuddle some bunnies.

This review was written by Jen (BunnyReads)

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