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Crown of Thunder

Review

Crown of Thunder

The sequel to Tochi Onyebuchi’s BEASTS MADE OF NIGHT, CROWN OF THUNDER follows Taj and Aliya in their quest to both escape Queen Karima and at the same time save Kos. At the end of the first book, Taj is defeated by Karima and forced to flee Kos. In the sequel, Taj is still on the run as Karima uses magic and his former friend Bo to track him down. Both Aliya and Taj are discovering their new abilities and the heart of this book focuses on the beautiful world and characters that Onyebuchi has created. We meet some new characters in this book and Taj is forced to realize that sin-eaters are not all the same as in Kos. Filled with adventure and magic, CROWN OF THUNDER captures the same thrill as the first book.

"I would recommend this series to fantasy lovers who love rich world building and characters that will make you want to keep turning the pages."

I loved meeting all of these new characters and seeing how different the sin-eaters were. In the first book, the only exposure to sin-eaters we had were the ones in Kos, so I really enjoyed meeting the others, even though they weren’t on the same side as Taj and his friends in the end. I also thought the story behind Arzu, her father and Juba was so interesting. The first book touched upon Arzu’s past but in CROWN OF THUNDER it was really expanded upon.

Though I didn’t understand all of the magic concepts and what was going on with Aliya that much, I still found the magic plot easy to follow. The majority of the book takes place in Arzu’s homeland, where the tastahlik live. This new setting is so different from Kos in both leadership and people, but in the end there still ends up being an enemy force to contend with. I will admit that the tastahlik made me uneasy at first, especially from their treatment of Taj, but I never expected a rebellion to overthrow the leader!

Throughout both books, Bo’s loyalties are constantly shifting to the reader and therefore it is very hard to decide whether or not we can trust him. After the end of BEASTS MADE OF NIGHT I decided he was the enemy. At the near end of CROWN OF THUNDER I decided he was redeemable, then all of a sudden at the end he was the enemy again, and then finally he was our friend. I was a little confused on how Karima managed to control him like she did and what Taj did to bring him back to his old self, but I was so glad that his character was redeemed.

I’m pretty sure there are only two books in this series, as the ending of CROWN OF THUNDER wraps up all loose ends pretty nicely. The ending did feel a little rushed as the main conflict with Karima wrapped up very quickly, and there was a “happily ever after” feeling to the aftermath of Karima’s defeat. I would recommend this book to everyone who read the first book and overall I would recommend this series to fantasy lovers who love rich world building and characters that will make you want to keep turning the pages.

Reviewed by Ilona K., Teen Board Member on November 13, 2018

Crown of Thunder
by Tochi Onyebuchi