ARC Reviews,  Reviews

Karina Halle’s Crown of Crimson ARC Review

Thank you to Karina Halle and the team at Social Butterfly PR for the advance reader copy of Crown of Crimson, the second book in the Underworld Gods series.

After the first instalment, I was very much looking forward to jumping back into the Finish Underworld.

The next thrilling instalment in the Underworld Gods series. Perfect for readers who want high steam Hades/Persephone and Beauty and the Beast vibes with a dark Nordic folklore twist.

All Hanna Heikkinen wants is to be reunited with her father again. After all, that’s why she ventured into the dark and dangerous fantasy world of Tuonela, the Land of the Dead, in order to save his life. But this time her devotion to her father comes at a cost—her growing relationship with Tuoni, the God of Death himself, who held Hanna captive in exchange for her father’s life. The last thing she expects is to feel remorse at leaving Death at his castle of Shadow’s End without even saying goodbye, and yet he’s all she can think about.

Death has always prided himself on never trusting the living, but Hanna’s apparent betrayal has left a scar fathom’s deep. Vowing revenge on his future bride, and making sure she upholds her end of the bargain, Death sets out across his realm to steal Hanna back, which only fans the flames between them. But Death and Hanna aren’t just fighting each other—malevolent Old Gods are rising to power within the realm, magic is being poisoned, and buried secrets are brought to light, secrets that may cause Hanna to lose everyone she loves dear once again.” 

Check out my more detailed thoughts below…

  • Characters: This is a sequel and you must read the books in order, especially if you want to really appreciate the character development from one instalment to the next. Hanna has sure gone through lots of development. We pick up with her as she is running away from the altar, running back to the Upper World and to her father. As the story progresses Hanna starts to embrace living in Tuonela and identifying as its queen. Death or Tuoni saw the most development though. We open our story with him feeling betrayed and humiliated once Hanna went off with Ramus. Once he has her back he wrestles between trusting and not trusting her, confiding and not confiding in her, and loving her and not loving her.
  • Setting: This world is incredibly unique. There is nothing out there like it, even reading books based on Greek Myths, I have never read such a vividly depicted underworld. Tuonela is its own character in this story. The fantasy elements are really plentiful at the beginning when Hanna is running away you get to see some really cool things and meet magical and interesting characters. The pantheon of Finnish gods is explored much more in this instalment, readers will enjoy meeting these new characters.
  • Pacing: Karina did a wonderful job pacing this. I’ll be honest I got more invested in the story once Death and Hanna were together again. The first chunk with Hanna and Ramus was interesting but missed the sexual tension and sensuality of the latter two-thirds. I am happy with the length of the story in which Hanna and Death were separated, it was not too long or too short. This book had a lot of revelations, some more surprising others kind of obvious, but what Karina did extremely well was pacing them slowly and not all at once.
  • Romance: This couple sure is interesting. I do really like their energy together in bed, who would not? Each sex scene was incredibly hot. I can think of two scenes in particular that will join the ranks of the hottest scenes Karina has ever written. Probably one of the most iconic threesome scenes I would have ever read, and I don’t want to spoil it too much so that you’ll enjoy it. But the bedroom seems to be the only place these two get along, openly talk about things, or sort anything out. I initially thought this was going to be a two-book series so I was frustrated that this was not resolving, but fear not it is a trilogy so these two still have time to work on communication. What I loved about the more emotional aspect of the romance was how Death makes a pact at the beginning never to love Hanna. Over the course of the novel, he emotionally self-flagellates whenever she makes him feel happy. His point of view is incredibly honest, he was wounded and humiliated when she left and she needs to spend time mending that heart. He is mean to her because he is scared to lose her. Hanna also goes on her own journey of discovering the depth of her feelings for Death. I cannot wait to see this romance blossom even more in the third and final instalment coming later this year.

Crown of Crimson receives four out of five stars.

You can pick up the story below…

Amazon | Amazon Worldwide

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Thank you again to Karina Halle and the team at Valentine PR for the review opportunity. Thank you for reading and supporting my blog!

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