Book Review: A Crown of Hopes and Sorrows by Nicole Bailey

About the Book:

Title: A Crown of Hopes and Sorrows

Author: Nicole Bailey

Series: Apollo Ascending #2

Publication Date: June 22, 2022

Synopsis: Two souls bound together.
But one thing threatens to tear them apart.

While tensions build and fates shift, Hyacinth and Apollo seek Zephyrus.
God of the West Wind.
Well connected among low deities.
And Hyacinth’s previous lover.

Amid political schemes and personal struggles, Apollo and Hyacinth tumble through a world verging on war.

But as jealousy flares and secrets come to light, all their careful planning may burn to ash.

This fast-paced sequel to A Veil of Gods and Kings is full of romance and twists and turns set in a dark, magical world.

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon

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My Review:

Nicole Bailey has written one of my favorite reads of 2022, and I’m so excited to shout about it today. The second book in the Apollo Ascending series, A Crown of Hopes and Sorrows made me laugh and cry and immersed me into the story from the first pages. I’m a big fan of mythology retellings, and Apollo and Hyacinth’s story continues to captivate me. I love how the author puts a fresh spin on their story while still paralleling the familiar myths.

Like the first book in the series, this one follows Apollo, Temi, Hyacinth, and Epiphany’s journey as they face their future, learn more about themselves, and follow their hearts. Each of the characters and their stories are layered, unique, and intriguing, and I like that the chapters switch perspectives and allow for all of their thoughts and feelings to be explored. Their intertwined journeys are compelling and layered.

Of course, my favorite part of the story is the romance. The love stories in this book are everything!! Beautiful and moving and so very complicated, both love stories also have their fair share of obstacles. The depth of feelings in both romances sizzle off the page, and even though I knew the ending of Apollo and Hyacinth’s story, I hoped beyond hope that they would find happiness together. They have so many loving and touching scenes together, and their deep and unbreakable feelings for each other are the heart of this fantastic story.

Epiphany’s romance seems as doomed as her brother and Apollo’s, but these friends to lovers so deserve a happy ending. Epiphany goes through so much over the course of the story, and even though Valerian feels undeserving of her love and thinks too much stands in their way, he never gives up on her. This couple has a lot to work through, but their potential for a long-lasting, love filled-relationship is so close!

In addition to the amazing love stories, there is a ton of intrigue and suspense as politics, family pressures and expectations, and power-hungry and jealous antagonists challenge Apollo, Hyacinth, Temi, and Epiphany. It’s exciting and intense, and I found it difficult to put the book down. It’s the type of story that pulls you in and doesn’t let go until the last page.

I’ve read all of Bailey’s books, and this is my favorite yet. The action, intrigue, suspense, romance, character development, mythological elements, and world-building are all outstanding, and I didn’t want the story to end. Luckily, there is another book to look forward to! Special thanks to the author for providing me with an advanced copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.


Favorite Parts:

  • The romance.
  • The writing.
  • The characters.

Favorite Lines:

I want the right to choose my destiny. And if I could pick anything in it, I would choose you.

Where I was all chaotic energy, a sun burning its way to its conclusion, Hyacinth was the steady stream of the seasons. The Warm reminder that though winter may chill and darken the world for the moment, the sunshine of spring waited around the corner.

Love isn’t just founded on respect, but also on realizing your partner is a flawed person.


Want to learn more about the series? Check out my review of the first book!

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