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Book Review: The Legend of the Lakes (The Once & Future Queen #3) (ARC)

Expected publication: June 24th 2021

Author: Clara O’Connor

I thought to die that night in the solitude where they would never find me…

Cassandra stands silent upon a ravaged battlefield, watching as the druids prepare the dead for the pyres, embers drifting up into the still winter darkness. She can barely breathe through the agony of her grief, but she cannot waste another second on tears.

Because Londinium, the Caesar, the empire… all of it is still out there. The empire whose code she had followed, whose prince she had promised to marry, whose schemes she had been swept up in since birth.

They tried to use her magic against her. To silence her.

So she will use her magic against them. To silence them. Forever.

The third and final chapter of The Once and Future Queen trilogy, this epic scifi fantasy adventure set in a dystopian world where the Romans still rule will enchant fans of Sarah J Maas and Cassandra Clare.  

Legend of the Lakes is the dramatic conclusion to the Once and Future Queen series. As a word of caution, this series is meant to be read in order as each novel takes place where the other leaves off, so many events from the previous will either be spoiled or not make as much sense if you skip one or two. I am beyond excited to review this novel as it exceeded every expectation and kept me on the edge of my seat until the end. I admit that I was not the greatest fan of Secrets of the Starcrossed (#1) as it just did not grab me enough, but Curse of the Celts (#2) drew me in and I never wanted to let go. As a whole, this series is amazing and I have a new appreciation for book one as some events came full circle and now I need to go and read them back to back.

This thrilling conclusion picks up after the extreme cliffhanger that happened at the end of book two. Cass/Cat now has to find out what to do next as she has her mission/duty, but also a lot of emotions to work through. This novel handles this situation extremely well as the reader not only experiences Cat’s own situation, but see how everyone around her also has to move on. I am thrilled that there is a character like Gideon in this novel as I loved every single thing about him since he first showed up on the page. I was rooting for him since book two and loved that his amazing character shined through during this novel. I personally was never a huge fan of Devyn, as I just never thought he was a super amazing person. This is not based on how the author wrote him, as she did a great job, but just something about him I never clicked with. Immediately, I connected with Gideon (Rion, too) where I found myself loving when they were featured in book two and this feeling continued in book three. Gideon, especially, was one of the best things about this novel, among many other great qualities.

In this novel, the reader learns a lot about the ley lines that are the magical source for the world. Without them, the world would fall. It is up to those with magical abilities to maintain the lines, but, unfortunately, some might be beyond repair. The divide between magic and technology comes into play again after being address a little in book one. A lot of the story comes full circle as there was a ton of foreshadowing from the very beginning and perfectly illustrated how well thought-out this series was when the author put it together. When I reached into my memories from the first two novels, I could predict a lot of the events that occurred in this novel. I loved that nothing was obvious and instead the reader had to focus on the tiny clues to try and piece it together or go in blind to be surprised. Even if you could piece together some of the story, there were a few moments that absolutely surprised me. Essentially, this novel is a huge roller coaster of emotion as you laugh, cry, get angry, become content, etc. It is impossible to write more detailed explanations, or even a fraction of one, as it would spoil the plot and I am attempting to keep most of this review as spoiler-free as I can.

Overall, this was an excellent conclusion. The side characters were amazing as even the “villains” were well-written and you loved to hate them. Cass was a little hit or miss, which she was the entire time for me, as she is not a great communicator. She has a lot of inner thoughts, but her actions rarely reflect these thoughts, so she becomes a walking contradiction. She does grow a lot throughout the trilogy, but it is hard to say if any of it is lasting growth beyond the last page. She is the Lady of the Lake and she fit the role well. It was captivating to read about her learning about who she is and where she came from without being given the information directly. Even the Griffin was a role that never had a direct answer and had its secrets slowly revealed. I love that the series wrapped itself up well with conclusions for the plot and character that did not feel as if it was forced or rushed. All the secrets were revealed in due time and were fantastically written from start to finish. A series that I will gladly recommend and re-read without hesitation!

**I want to give a special thank you to Netgalley and the publisher, HarperCollins UK, One More Chapter, for a review copy of this captivating and enjoyable novel. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**

5 thoughts on “Book Review: The Legend of the Lakes (The Once & Future Queen #3) (ARC)

  1. I’m glad were able to enjoy this one and the others. This reminds me of why it’s always good to continue a series even if the first book didn’t captivate you! Excellent review. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have a few series that were similar where I did not like the first as much, but I continued the series. Usually, unless the first was terrible, I will try and give the rest of the series a try. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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