Firstly, huge thank you to IBPA and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
When I saw that the name of this series was ‘Hellish Fairytale’ I was immediately intrigued. I love dark takes on magical worlds and fantasy. However, unfortunately, it didn’t quite live up to my expectations.
Crowned a Traitor follows Klara, reluctant heir to Hell and the Dark Forest of Malum who has finally been called upon to take her place as High Queen of Malum after years of training. However, Klara doesn’t want to be High Queen or to rule anywhere at all. Instead she needs to run away to the Fae kingdom of Kalos where her father and vengeful guardians can’t find her…
I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about Klara, I think that her reasons for not wanting to rule and to run away to another kingdom was very believable and because of this I was on her side at the beginning. I also liked the layers of her personality and her occasional one liners. However, as the novel went on I found her confusing as she kept flip-flopping on decisions without much of an explanation. Whilst there are a lot of characters introduced in the book, we don’t spend a great deal of time with most of them. Therefore, there were only a couple of characters that I formed any connection with, which made some of the twists have less of an impact on me. Although, as this is the first novel in the series, it is likely that some of the characters we meet in this novel will be expanded upon in future novels.
I liked the way the novel opened, it gave a great sense of what the rules of the world are and the different kinds of creatures that inhabit it. I also like the scenes that were in Hell and thought they were quite funny and definitely not how someone would imagine it to be ordinarily! I also liked learning more about the world as the novel progressed, however, I found that despite having an interest in the larger world around Klara I wasn’t quite convinced by the plot by the end and found it confusing at times. I was also left with mixed feelings regarding the reveal at the end of the novel. On the one hand it perfectly set up for more books to come in the series that would be interesting, but it also felt like it disregarded a lot of things that happened during this novel.
Overall, there were a lot of aspects of this novel that have the potential to grow into a great series. I’m just not sure if, as a whole package, they were enough to entice me to read the next installment. I can definitely see the appeal of the novel, especially with Klara as the protagonist and with the worldbuilding, but it just didn’t click for me this time.