Wow! I can’t believe that this trilogy has already reached its conclusion. The Scarecrow Queen was such a fun read that I powered through, and is a really satisfying conclusion to the series. I feel like this series has been such a journey. After a rocky start with The Sin Eater’s Daughter, I grew to really enjoy this series while reading The Sleeping Prince, and this book was absolutely brilliant! I’m gutted that the trilogy is over, and hoping and praying that Melinda decides to return to these characters soon!
Beware, this is a review for the third and final book in the series so, while there are no spoilers for The Scarecrow Queen, there may be some for the first two books in the series.
One of my favourite things about this book was that the plot progressed steadily, and unlike some other books that deal with wars and revolutions, we don’t have to deal with huge amounts of information, politics, or military tactics that can be hard to trudge through. Salisbury instead switched perspective from Twylla and Errin, the two narrators of the series so far, and uses time jumps so that you get to read the best parts of each story, and skip the long, drawn-out process of planning a revolution, which, although I do enjoy reading, I was glad to have a bit of a break from. However, this doesn’t mean that the plot was too simple at all, just that it was clear to understand, which makes it all the better. You’re never confused, or distracted from the story because you’ve forgotten what the characters are doing or what they’re planning, and so you’re never bored. There are still plot twists and surprises, mysteries and questions that you’re dying to find out the answer to, but things move quickly, which is refreshing. Apart from this, The Scarecrow Queen offers a genuinely satisfying conclusion to the story, and Melinda Salisbury ties together all the loose ends about the different aspects of the story, and yet the ending leaves me wanting so much more – in a good way! I don’t want to let these characters go, and I really hope that we see more of them.
The book also focused on the characters and their journeys as individuals, which I loved to read. Both Twylla and Errin are in completely different situations than we’ve seen them in before, and I liked that the book didn’t get bogged down with technical details so that we could really see the individual characters’ stories. I have always liked Errin’s character, her determination and resolve, but it’s Twylla who I really loved in this book. Although I didn’t really take to her in The Sin Eater’s Daughter, I couldn’t get enough of her in this book, and now I can see properly the full journey that she has gone through, which makes her even more interesting. In this book, Twylla is leading the fight against Aurek, The Sleeping Prince, so we see her having to do something that she isn’t very used to – leading people and making decisions. I loved that we saw her training to fight, which is miles away from the dainty Daunen Embodied from the first book, but even more than that, I loved that we saw her reaching for what she wants, and it was great to see her go from being indecisive and scared to knowing exactly what she wants. I also really loved the relationship between the main characters and the way that we see them engaging with characters that we haven’t seen before. I particularly enjoyed the relationships between Twylla, Errin, and Merek. For a while, I suspected a cliche love triangle, but Salisbury made it so much more interesting. Each of the characters shares a genuine friendship and camaraderie with each of the others that was so wonderful to see. Romance played a part in the book for several characters, but it wasn’t cliche, and it didn’t overpower the main storyline or the characters’ individual development.
Finally, more than in the previous books, I found Melinda Salisbury’s writing to be a real pleasure to read. I’ve found it to be quite simple at times, which is not a bad thing necessarily, but isn’t always my style. However in this book, I feel like she really managed to evoke atmosphere and emotion through her writing in a way that I hadn’t really felt in the previous two novels. A perfect example is the initial chapters that show us Errin’s imprisonment with Aurek. These were so creepy that they made my skin crawl, and I loved the way that Salisbury didn’t use the character’s names, which made it feel even scarier. There were more descriptions in this book than in the previous books, which I loved, and more in-depth insight into the characters’ thoughts and feelings.
Overall, I’m quite surprised that I’ve given this 5 stars. It wasn’t even until I sat down to write this review that I realised that there wasn’t anything I didn’t like about this book, but then, every book in this series has surprised me in some way. I’m so glad that I stuck with this series. I felt like there as so much more to tell about the world and the characters after The Sin Eater’s Daughter, and I was thankfully proved right. This series was so much fun to read, and I definitely recommend it to anybody who is a fan of YA fantasy!