Book Review: The Scarecrow Queen (Melinda Salisbury)
Release Date: March 2nd 2017
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 . . .
This is one of my favourite new fantasy series and I was so excited/sad to read this final book. After reading books from Twylla and Errin separately it was great to see their stories come together as they both battled the Sleeping Prince in their own way.
Warning: spoilers ahead if you haven’t read the previous books. You have been warned!
Errin and Silas are prisoners of the Sleeping Prince, victims of his whims and forced to do as he says for fear of the other getting hurt. Meanwhile, Twylla has been left to pick up the pieces of their shattered rebellion.
Before reading this I re-read The Sin Eater’s Daughter and The Sleeping Prince and it was great to reabsorb myself in that world and remember all the events that had come before. On second reading, I didn’t really like Merek until this book. In the first book I found him a bit closed off and up himself, and I didn’t like the things he asked of Twylla. He really came into his own in this book though and I found myself hoping he and Twylla would get together, even though before I was totally Team Leif.
Speaking of which… what a frustrating character! I think some people have found his actions baffling but I kind of get it. He’s like the kid in the playground who sides with the school bully and wants to please him without upsetting everyone else too much. He’ll pull your pig tails but say sorry later. Only in Leif’s case his actions are a lot more serious and can’t be made up for so easily. I won’t say anymore for fear of spoilers but I did like his storyline, despite wanting to give him a good slap most of the time. While I was kind of over the whole him and Twylla thing, I did wish he’d help his sister out more.
The Sleeping Prince was even more wonderful in this book, probably because we got to see him a lot more. There’s a casual cruelty to him that just makes my skin crawl. The things Errin went through while living in the castle with him… *shudders* I don’t know how she stayed so strong, to be honest.
In the last book I wasn’t sure about Twylla when she just announced that she was going to raise an army and fight the Sleeping Prince. But by Gods, she went and did it in this book! I liked that she started off uncertain and got off on the wrong foot (when she started the whole thing with the chamberpots I was rolling my eyes – glad it didn’t work out for her!). She proves herself to be a worthy leader though, and while I understand her frustration at having destinies written for her all the time, she does manage to take this one and make it her own.
The ending was not as bad as I expected. And I don’t mean that in a bad way. I was expecting to have Mel drive a knife into my chest and cut a perfect cirlce and drag out my still beating heart… but it was relatively tame. It was exciting and dramatic and yes, a little sad, but it didn’t break my heart too much. It felt like the right way to end things: rebellions can’t be won without loss and pain, and there was some of that, but there was also hope and resolution and I think the balance was just right.
This has been an incredible series and is one I still recommend to friends all the time. I loved the writing and the rich worldbuilding and I can’t wait to see what Melinda Salisbury writes next.