Of Princes and Poisons (The Culled Crown, 2)

Of Princes and Poisons (The Culled Crown, 2)
Publisher Name
Wattpad Books
Age Range
Release Date
June 18, 2024
Once there were ten.

Ten goddess-touched girls were born. Each was blessed―or cursed―with a unique power that set them apart. As part of an ancient ritual called the Culling, they were supposed to fight to the death in the arena until only one survived. That girl would marry the prince and ascend to the throne. Now only four girls remain.

Power in her blood.

Monroe Benson is one of the lucky ones. With fire at her fingertips, she survived the arena and the intrigues of the palace. Now she’s turned her back on her destiny, choosing to throw in her lot with the rebellion seeking to overturn the Erydian rulers. Monroe has never wanted the throne. She knows that her future lies elsewhere, but first she’ll have to convince the rebels to believe her.

A traitorous heart.

Monroe thought Cohen was one of the few good things about the Culling. She believed that he would have made a good ruler, but that doesn’t mean that she wanted to sit beside him on the throne. And now, she finds herself drawn to a rebel leader. A man with secrets of his own. In the end, Monroe will have to trust in more than her power or even her heart if she’s to forge her own path and find her freedom.

Editor review

1 review
Time to Heal and Grow
Overall rating
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Brianna Joy Crump did a fantastic job building an engaging world with a realistic main character, Monroe Benson, in the first book, Of Cages and Crowns. The second book, Of Princes and Poisons, was even better. Sometimes second books fall into a slump building to a third book and while it is a hefty book and most of the action takes place in the rebel camp, there is so much going on with Monroe that I could not put the book down.
I love that Monroe’s character took time to process the trauma of being a part of the culling. The healing process of her and the other goddess-touched girls felt believable. She reflected on her relationship with Cohen and realized that outside of the insane situation where he was her one hope for survival, too many lies and trauma lay between them to develop into a healthy lasting relationship. What was such a sizzling romance in the first book was shown to have cracks in the second book and I liked that she sought to keep her options open.
I was surprised that Monroe was not openly welcomed into the rebel camp. The book starts with her being imprisoned and sentenced to death and only the leader, Callahan, disobeying orders saves her. I thought it was believable the distrust others felt for her powers and applauded the slow acceptance she earned along the way.
I liked the slow-burn romance between Monroe and Callahan. It took time to build and have a strong foundation. She is still falling for someone who has a power imbalance over her but he seems like a good guy and uses his power to keep her safe which is swoon-worthy.
This book offered another action-packed surprise ending. With so much time spent on character development and Monroe’s growth and relationships, it hit hard who died and the exposed betrayal. I hope the third book is ready soon! Overall, I am invested in these characters and wonder how they can ever recover from this ending. The author did a great job of hiding hints throughout that once exposed make the ending plausible but also surprising.
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