This is the 3rd book in the series so if you don’t want anything spoiled.
The Twisted Sisters are coming home.
Prince Quin has returned to the river kingdom, ready to spearhead a rebellion and reclaim the throne. He vows to destroy Mia, Pilar, and Angelyne if they oppose him—even if he must use his newfound magic to set the world aflame.
Across the four kingdoms, the elements have been tipped askew. Volcanoes erupt, glaciers collapse, and cities sink into the western sands. After losing Angie, Mia and Pilar journey to the glass kingdom to seek help, though soon their fragile bonds of sisterhood begin to fray. Mia’s sensations are creeping back, and with them, a deep and searing grief. Pilar, terrified of being broken, once again seeks comfort in her fists. But when they hear rumors of a misty island that promises to erase all pain, they suddenly find themselves with an answer—if they are willing to pay the cost.
As tensions mount, the sisters are drawn back to the river kingdom for a final reckoning with the boy they each loved. The shattering conclusion to Bree Barton’s Heart of Thorns trilogy challenges why we grieve, whom we love—and how to mend a broken heart.
This is the third book in the series, so there may be spoilers of the first and second books.
I have to admit, I was hesitant in going into the finale of this story because the first and second books were okay reads for me. However, although not perfect, Soul of Cinder managed to wrap of Mia’s journey as well as it could. The worldbuilding was consistent, the magic system still as fabulous as ever, and there was much more character development this time around. Overall, it was decent end to a series. Soul of Cinder begins with us finding out about Mia and her sister Pilar. They are on the journey to retrieve Mia’s ability to feel emotions. Meanwhile, Quin is on another journey. Now with newfound magic and a kingdom to take back, Quin is on a mission of both revenge and the reclaiming of his rightful throne. Hurt and feeling sour about the Twisted Sisters, Quin is now a different character than we saw during Tears of Frost.
Before getting to the character, I wanted to talk about the magic system. I continued to be amazed by the birth and construction of it and it did not disappoint in Soul of Cinder. The magical backdrop world stayed consistent, which I know can sometimes be hard to do. As with the previous two books, the themes of grief, hurt, loss and healing continue to play a major role in Soul of Cinder as each character learns to heal in their own way. I enjoyed the mainstream of healing that occurred in many of the characters in this book. It gave way to have some happy ending or some sense of okay-ness for the main and supporting characters. When it came to the romance aspect of the story, I was okay with it not being a prominent part of the story and wasn’t too phased about the relationships that fizzled out throughout the story.
However, I did enjoy the complex and intriguing relationship that half-sisters Mia and Pilar were forming. It wasn’t perfect and I think that added to it feeling more real. The two were working through the emotions of finding out they were relating and while trying to build a normal foundation to work on. I was able to see this especially through their journey of helping Mia out. I may have an unpopular opinion here, but I did enjoy Quin’s character in the last book. Quin, hurt and reeling with so many emotions was handling them in the most human way he can think of. His emotions didn’t feel exaggerated or forced. It also gave way to understanding why he had the feelings about his kingdom that he did.
Overall, Soul of Cinder was a good read. The main takeaway from this story is understanding how love can be both a magical and destructive thing. Emotions are natural and many people go through it but giving those the time to heal from it is most important. While this story did not completely swoon me away, I would recommend it to readers who love morally grey characters, a feminist approach, and a journey of healing through the hurt.
About the Author
Bree Barton is a writer in Los Angeles. When she’s not lost in whimsy, she works as a ghostwriter and dance teacher to teen girls. She is on Instagram and YouTube as Speak Breely, where she posts funny videos of her melancholy dog. Bree is not a fan of corsets.