Review: The Queen of Quintessence (Royals of Kingwood Academy, #3) by Tessa Hale


Print Length: 284 pages
Publisher: Tessa Hale (December 14, 2022)

From My list of enemies is growing by the day. People I expect and those I never saw coming. But the one thing I know is that I’ll fight with everything I have to make it back to my mates.

My charmer.
My gentle giant.
My psychopath.
And my cruel prince.
Our powers are growing as our bond deepens.

And when they figure out who’s taken me? They’ll burn the world down around them…

My Rating: 1 star out of 5

Sadly, after reading book number two, I should have just left well enough alone. But I was determined to see how this series would come to an end, and let's just say it was more disappointing than I had hoped, although pretty much what I expected. 

There are occasional glimpses of what could be, for example Aura and her men convincing the students of Kingwood Academy to work together and to train together against the outside threats they were facing. There was even a redemption arc of sorts for a few of the characters (although I'm still confused as to why one of them got one at all). 

However, I have three main problems with this book (and they are the same as I had with the second book). 

To begin with, there is no character development at all. None. We are told that Aura's bonds to her mates have deepened, but we don't actually see a reason for it to happen (unless its because of all the time they are spending together in bed). In fact, in true Phoenix form, he spends several chapters either running away from her, or pushing her away. Just like he did in the last book. Just like Riven did in the first book. And even throughout this book, Aura still doesn't believe in herself and what she is meant to do (although we do get glimpses of her doing things and actually believing in herself I would have liked to have seen her have more of a backbone than she had). 

Secondly, some of these plot lines are just ridiculous (even suspending disbelief in the first place).  Two of the kings are overly immature in their quest to keep their power, while the other two barely make an appearance (and you would think they would have been more involved up until the end knowing their own heirs lives were at risk). Add to that the way certain mean girls are continued to be allowed to ruin freely around campus spewing their hatred at Aura, it really makes me wonder. For all the faculty claimed they've been waiting for another aether, they certainly don't seem to care about her well-being either mentally or physically. And don't get me started on the amount of times she was attacked both on campus (a supposed neutral ground which later turns into a warzone) and off. I get it. There are groups of people who don't want her to exist, but damn, can we give the girl a break now and then? Maybe focus on expanding the plot and the world? Some character development? 

And finally. We once again come to the fact that Aura is prone to blacking out during pivotal moments and the reader then being TOLD what happens. First off,  let's be honest here, blacking out in the middle of a battle is not exactly helping keep your mates safe which she claims she so badly wants to do. In fact, that is taking their focus and attention off of the battle and putting it on you. But I digress. 

We are in the middle of the final battle. The battle to end all battles. And something happens that has the potential to be mind-blowing. But instead of seeing it happen in real time, Aura once again passes out, comes to "sometime later" and her mates tell her, in as little detail as possible, about the seemingly impossible thing that she did due to her status that saved one or more of their lives. Seriously? All of this and we can't even see the battle play out in full? We have to be told about it later on? 

There is also an epilogue (as well as a bonus chapter that  you can download separately, which I am ashamed to admit I did), but neither of them tell us anything that we didn't already assume was going to happen. Aura takes the throne (but we don't get to see her coronation, nor how the people react to her), and everyone (and I do mean everyone) gets their happily ever after. And still we see nothing about her life as Queen, or the changes she and her mates are making to the realms. Hell, we don't even see the two decent kings abdicate for their sons as is the supposed tradition. 

This series had the potential to be so much better than it was if there had only been more attention paid to details that weren't attacks and mean girls. I see this author has other reverse harem romances, but it's going to take me some time to decide if I want to give them another chance at this point or not. 

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