I received this book for free from Penguin - Random House in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 14 years of age due to its use of language, mental illness, sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
{Golden: Melissa de la Cruz & Michael Johnston}Golden by Melissa de la Cruz, Michael Johnston
Series: Heart of Dread
Published by Speak on April 5, 2016
Genres: Dystopian, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 272
Format: ARC
Source: Penguin - Random House
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{Synopsis} – The action-packed finale to the Heart of Dread series

In this epic conclusion to the trilogy, Nat and Wes go on a journey to find the Rift, save the source of magic and defeat the Drau, the pirates, and the RSA—but at a great sacrifice. Wes is dying, and as he’s rotting the Drau will let the rot “cleanse” the source of magic, dooming Wes forever. Nat and Wes discover that the source of the magic lies in the Drakon—the key to the Blue, the protector, the soul of the world. But in order to close the Rift, a great sacrifice is needed. Nat must decide to sacrifice her beloved drakon in order to save the world, and to save Wes. In the words of the sylphs, death is life, and now the worlds can be reborn again.

{My thoughts} – Once again we get the pleasure of the current book picking up where the last one had left off. So much happened in the last book. I suppose we can do a slight recount of the important things. We learned what really happened the night that Wes’s sister Eliza had been taken from their home all those years ago. We learned who Elia really was and that Wes and Nat were a lot more alike then we had originally thought.

Nat is going through a rough time trying to get her drakon back from Eliza. Eliza took the drakon and now Nat is having problems trying to hold onto the bond that she and her drakon have learned to depend on. Without the bound they she does not have the drakon sight and without that she feels lost, she is even more lost without her drakon’s thoughts in her head telling her what to do or reassuring her when things get iffy.

In the last book Wes and Nat and the crew were all thrown into a place where they were to be hunted by normal people. They were to be slaughtered. They were to be destroyed because they were different. They survived it all only to be attacked by Wes’s sister and then some old pals that they thought were dead. They survived it all only to watch all those that they had recued be executed before their very eyes. All that to them while out on the boat in the water appeared to be for nothing.

Wes and his crew weren’t left with much choice they had to go back into the city they were fleeing in order to hope for survival from the attack. They had to try and save as many of the marked as they could and try and stop them all from dying. They had to do something. They had no choice but to risk it all and hope for a good ending. While they were there Wes kept hearing things in his head and he kept pushing it away, eventually he gave in and they learned it was the Queen from The Blue. She portaled to where they were in an attempt to save them but not all of them, she said Nat wasn’t welcome. That Nat wasn’t a protector, that she was a pretender and that she wasn’t allowed back into The Blue.

Of course that didn’t go over well with Wes and he fought against the Queen and the Queen’s magic and he prevailed but at a cost. The Blue was left vulnerable and was being attacked by the RSA and the Queen was no where to be found. Wes had to go outside the portal to find her and drag her back and when he did she refused to help. Since the Queen wouldn’t help the only way to defeat the enemy was for Nat to call upon her darakonfire and she did, again it was at a cost. What happens next?

There was so much going on in this book that I was pulled into it from start to finish. There was so much adventure and battle and conflict and resolve. It all went hand and hand with each other so nicely. I enjoyed reading it and learning all the new things that there was to learn. I enjoyed the twists and the turns of the story. I some what wish that it hadn’t have come to end, that this wasn’t the end of the series. I feel that that could be more to the story and with the way the book ended there was definitely and opening left where the authors could have continued the story or started a new spin off series maybe, I don’t know for sure, I am sad to see it end though. I managed to fall in love with the characters and when that happens and the series ends it leaves you with a feeling of loss and right now I am feeling that feeling, I know it’s over but honestly I don’t want to accept that it is.

{Quotes I Enjoyed} –
1} He took her hands in his, pressed his forehead to hers. “I will never leave you. I give you my oath, because you are my oath. You are the one thing I would swear upon.” -Wes
2} There was no law and no mercy. Only violence for the sake of violence, and destruction for the sake of destruction.
3} You will bring death to everyone around you, death to all whom you love. If you stay with him, you will destroy him. -Queen Ninevah
4} Don’t you feel it? Like we’re on the edge of something? And everything could end at any moment? This isn’t going to last, it can’t? -Shakes
5} You can’t get rid of me that easily, although it seems as if you want nothing more, and I don’t understand why. -Wes

Final Conclusion: 5 Star Rating.