The Scarecrow Queen by Melinda Salisbury
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.
While this review will not spoil anything from this book, it is the third and final book in a series, so it might spoil those a bit. If you haven’t read the first two you might want to stop and not read any further, but go and read the series and then come back. You won’t be disappointed.
This was a very satisfying ending to a really good series. It is definitely one I will re-read sometime in the future, mostly because I can’t remember Leif’s main story of how he got mixed up with the Sleeping Prince to begin with. Also because the first two books show two totally different parts of the whole story, so it would be good to read them all together.
This book is also split into two different stories, for most of it, one that pertains to Twylla and the other to Errin, but eventually their two stories come together into a whole. It has been fun to watch these two characters grow and become stronger than they were at the beginning of their journeys. They both have their doubts and have gone through many hardships to get where they are going, but they hold their heads up and keep going even against the toughest of odds. I especially admire Errin for her courage when she is with the Sleeping Prince, who controls her utterly, but never breaks her.
Merek is in this book more than Silas, but are both on the minds of Twylla and Errin. I don’t remember liking Merek in the first book very much, but he does much to redeem himself in this one. I like how his relationship with Twylla changes for the better, but is not settled by the end of the book. Leif is the most interesting male character of the story. He is the main reason I want to reread the whole series, so that I can understand him and his motivations better. I really want to know why he does what he does. I think he redeems himself in the end and is truly sorry for all the harm he caused others.
We see a lot more of Aurek, the Sleeping Prince in this book than we do in the other two. While he does horrific things in the first two books, his true evil nature really shines in this book. He is even nasty and evil to those who are supposedly loyal to him, such as Lief. The way he is able to control Errin is awful as well. But like most evil and powerful people he is also arrogant and has trouble seeing what is right in front of them until it is too late.
The plot is pretty fast paced, although there are some slow spots. The romance is held to a minimum, although there were a few times I wished there had been a bit more, especially between Merek and Twylla, but it works in the context of the whole series. The world building is amazing through out the series. There is a lot going on in this world with some magic/alchemy and court intrigue added in and all of it is richly described and made the story much more interesting. The ending may have been a bit rushed, but I’m not sure slowing it down would have worked either. There are some gruesome scenes as well as painful ones but not unexpected when one is at war.
A great ending to a wonderful series. I recommend picking up this series if you haven’t yet, it will be worth your time.