I’m not going to summarize this book as it would give away spoilers from the previous two books, The Sin Eater’s Daughter and The Sleeping Prince. I’ll just say that this is the conclusion to the series, involving war, rebellion, alchemy, folklore, and sacrifice.
I’ve been looking forward to The Scarecrow Queen since I read the first two books in the series back in the summer of 2016. First I heard it would be published in March this year. Then the publication was pushed back to Halloween. Then Halloween came and went, and while the book finally appeared on store shelves, no audio version of it popped up on Audible. I’ve loved the audio editions. Amy Shiels is fast becoming one of my favorite narrators. But sadly, no audio has ever appeared. I don’t know if perhaps one isn’t being made, if perhaps the series hasn’t sold well enough to have one (boo!!), but I finally gave in about a week into November and bought a copy in print.
My reading of the book was a bit fragmented, for two reasons. First, it had been well over a year since I read the first two books, and I’d consequently forgotten some of the events, characters, and setup. It didn’t take me long to piece it all together. Salisbury does a good job of bringing readers back up to speed without the book feeling like info-dump. Second, I’d only ever listened to the books, so some of the words/names were new to me until I figured out how the spelling correlated to the sounds. Not to mention I really just missed having an audio version. Shiels really made this story come alive.
That’s not to say that this one wasn’t alive though! It started slowly for me – mostly because of the two reasons above – but picked up quickly. I loved watching Twylla’s growth over time, and once again I especially adore seeing an awkward, introverted, passive person as the primary hero of a novel. I also loved Errin, Merek, and Stuan, and the way the characters all figured out how to fit together in a mash of colliding personalities and leadership styles. Then there was Lief, one of the most ambiguous characters I’ve ever read. While the villain of the book – the Sleeping Prince – is pure evil on the level of Voldemort (something I tend to find less interesting in characters), Lief can’t be easily boxed and labeled. One of the best things about the series is that there’s no clear-cut answer about him and his motives.
The Scarecrow Queen was a very satisfying book and end of the trilogy. I really wish more people would read the series. I especially recommend trying out The Sin Eater’s Daughter on audio for a unique and well-executed story.