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Black Crown by Raye Wagner & Kelly St. Clare

Black Crown

by Raye Wagner and Kelly St. Clare


Book 3 in the Darkest Drae Trilogy

I will not be ruled by fear.

A depraved emperor. A wasted realm. A dying race.

With Tyrrik by my side, I’ll lead the charge to remedy it all.

After discovering the rightful heir to the Phaetyn, an alliance with the healers should be easy as pancakes. But while the armies of Verald and Gemond march to the border for war, the emperor delivers a crushing blow that threatens to put everything at risk.

As I fight my father’s staggering power, I’m compelled to face evil on his terms. A twisted darkness worse than anything I’ve experienced.

Nothing could’ve prepared me for this.

How far would you go to defeat a merciless sovereign?

I’ll lie to the liars.

I’ll betray the betrayers.

I’ll kill the killers.

I will conquer my fear.


Violence Upper Young Adult Ugh.

High Fantasy



Black Crown is the third and final book in the Darkest Drae trilogy, and is co-written by Raye Wagner and Kelly St. Clare. It centers around Ryn, a half Drae/half Phaetyn who leads the charge in a war against an evil Emperor - who just happens to be her father.

Notice how I didn't put a whole lot of effort in the synopsis of this book? Yeah, there is a reason for that.

I just didn't like it.

I don't know why this happens sometimes with trilogies. They start off strong. I really enjoyed the first book in this trilogy. The second one ... not so much. Felt like 300+ pages of filler (again, seems typical a lot of trilogies). This third one ... ugh. It was supposed to be an action packed finale. A conclusion to the war. Instead, a lot of it is just boring. And cheesy. 50% in, and I just didn't care anymore. Is it original? Yes. Dragons are totally cool, and I loved the history and tradition surrounding the Drae. I enjoyed the funny obsession Ryn has with treasure. Otherwise - it just wasn't good. The story would have been fine - if I didn't have to navigate it through Ryn. While I enjoyed her character in the first book, she got progressively more annoying as the books went on, and more immature. And a note to the authors about the romance aspect - if you can't write the word sex, and instead have to refer to it as "Playing Cards" or "maypole dancing," you probably should avoid having the mated pair have sex. I gotta say, as a parent, I would much rather my teenagers read the word "sex" or "love-making" then the descriptive violent acts.

If I had to give you any advice, I would suggest you read the first book ... maybe the second, but don't bother with this one. Just read some spoilers online and save yourself some time.

  1. The giant pumpkin

  2. Lani's sex talk

  3. Tyrrik flying harder when Ryn asked if they should talk about sex

  4. "Do you like this?"

  5. The end

Ryn: "Not laughing doesn't really work when you're in hysterics in your head. I can hear you."

To everyone else, he looked like an impenetrable, terrifying monster right now. They couldn't hear him slapping his stupid thigh in his stupid head.

Ryn: It'll be worth the risk.

Tyrrik: Nothing is worth risking you.

Ryn: Yeah, well, you're probably biased.

Tyrrik: That's because you're mine.

I blinked at the vibrating conviction behind his words. There was nothing he believed in more. Nothing in the world could shake his certainty that he was mine and I was his.

Lani: "You do understand how it works, right? Do you need someone to explain where the parts go?"

Ryn: "No. Please, no, I know where the parts go."

Tyrrik: You miss me.

Ryn: If a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it, does it make a sound?

Tyrrik: Yes. But I wasn't asking. I know you miss me.

Tyrrik: Be on your guard. There's a squirrel to the east with an evil look in its eye.

Ryn: The squirrel only has one eye?

Tyrrik: I believe he lost it while killing a Drae.

Ryn: That's one fearsome squirrel

Tyrrik: Do not fear, mate. I will keep you safe.

Ryn: I can't believe I found the last trace of life in your little toe.

Tyrrik: Everyone you tell that story to is aware you're making it up.

What was most important? Draedyn hadn't known. He'd never gotten past the 'necessary' part. He'd never gotten to see that living a necessary life, void of life's pleasures, was not a life at all. Draedyn had never learned that merely surviving was just death dressed up.

I planned to live. I planned to do more than what was necessary.


Check out the rest of the Darkest Drae trilogy

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