Review: Kings of Carrion by Keri Lake (Juniper Unraveling #3)


Note: An advanced reader copy (ARC) was provided by the author.

How quickly the world will take what's given. 
Yet, we carry on, with bruised hearts and torn skin, because we love, and that's what gives us purpose. Air gives us breath. Food gives us strength. And love gives us hope. 
In a world of monsters, love makes us humans.

A five-plus-star rating simply doesn't feel like it's enough for a tale as exceptional as this. Yes, I know; I usually wait till the end of my reviews to mention how I've rated a book, but then there's nothing usual about Kings of Carrion, so why should I do what's usual for my review for it? The bar had been set astronomically high by the first two novels, Juniper Unraveling and Calico Descending, and while I knew what Keri Lake was capable of, I've borne witness to even the best authors not always hitting the mark. But then, Lake has yet to disappoint (knock on wood!), and with this series in particular, it feels like she not only pushed herself outside of her usual writing confines but she's prodded her readers and fans to step out of their reading comfort zone and dive heart first into this new world she's created. Just remember: This series MUST be read in order because of a continuing story line.

Unlike my reviews for the first two books, I won't be giving too many tidbits in this review, mostly because I'm afraid I'm going to spill the beans and mention something that will spoil the series for anyone who has yet to read any of the novels. To be fair, though, what I do often mention in my reviews is the bare minimum, i.e. bits and pieces that are already divulged in the official blurb for the book. So, let me just say that this book continues the journey that ultimately began in Juniper Unraveling, and everything comes full circle here in Kings of Carrion. When new readers are advised to read all three books in order, there's a reason for it. Trust me, you're going to want to be part of what the cast of characters--and what a fab cast it is!--will go through from the very beginning.

My heart broke while reading this third novel, and it had already formed cracks thanks to the second one. This was not an easy read, but God, what a rewarding one it turned out to be. While Cali and Valdys were, indeed, the main characters, this wasn't "merely" their story to tell. There were outstanding peripheral characters and maybe, possibly, absolutely a couple of familiar characters making their presence more than felt. I've cried over more than my fair share of books in my four and a half decades on earth, but this was the first time I shed countless tears while reading a dystopian romance. Kings of Carrion is a cut above the rest in ANY romance sub-genre. I'm not giving this a starred rating; instead, I'm giving it countless constellations. It is simply that awe-inspiring. Do yourself a favor and read the Juniper Unraveling series as soon as you possibly can. I promise, you will not regret doing so. ♥

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Read my reviews for the Juniper Unraveling series:


Juniper Unraveling (book one) - five-plus stars - My Review

Calico Descending (book two) - five-plus stars - My Review

Kings of Carrion (book three) - five-plus stars - My Review (posted above)

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Release Date: 03 December 2019

Date Read: 30 November 2019

Learn more about Keri Lake.

Purchase Kings of Carrion on Amazon | Apple Books | B&N | Kobo.

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