Cursed Crowns (#2) by Catherine Doyle & Katherine Webber
Published: April 27th 2023 by Electric Monkey (UK) / Balzer + Bray (US)
Rating: ★★★★½ (4.5)
Genre: Young Adult // Fantasy, Romance, Magic
Quick Thoughts: A world of astounding adventure, found family bonds and winner-takes-all twists.
About The Book:
Bestselling authors and real-life sisters-in-law Catherine Doyle and Katherine Webber join forces on a compelling YA fantasy bursting with high-stakes adventure, romance and humour. Two queens, one throne. What can possibly go wrong . . .?
Twin queens Wren and Rose have claimed their crowns . . . but not everyone is happy about witches sitting on Eana’s throne.
Cool-headed Rose sets off on a Royal Tour to win over the doubters, but soon finds herself drawn to the Sunless Kingdom. Here secrets are revealed about those closest to her, and Rose finds her loyalties divided.
Meanwhile rebellious Wren steals away to the icy north to rescue their beloved grandmother, Banba. But when she accepts King Alarik’s deadly magical bargain in exchange for Banba’s freedom, the spell has unexpected – and far-reaching – consequences . . .
As an ancient curse begins to arise from the darkness, the sisters must come together and unite the crown. Their lives – and the future of Eana – depend on it.
Break the ice to free the curse,
Kill one twin to save another . . .
I really enjoyed Twin Crowns when I read it just a couple of weeks ago, and I am so honoured/overjoyed/excited that the Publishers/PR reached out to me with this duo of dreamy novels because they’ve been great escapes (because isn’t that what all Fantasy novels are all about?!)
(Please be warned there are moderate spoilers for Twin Crowns featured in this Review.)
As we left off in Twin Crowns, starkly different twins Rose and Wren have claimed their rightful crowns. Things in the kingdom haven’t quite gone to plan, though. Not everyone is happy about witches being on the throne, let alone with all the change that has occurred. To make up for the chaos and to regain order, Rose descents on a Royal Tour. But on her travels there are more surprises than she anticipated. She finds herself drawn to different possibilities and opportunities, especially when some long-left secrets crop up that make her rethink her approach.
Meanwhile Wren, always the rebel, has drifted off to the North. But her plan to rescue the twins grandmother don’t go to plan. She reluctantly accepts a crafty magical bargain in exchange for her grandmother’s freedom, one that has devastating consequences for not only her, but stretches far further than she thought possible. The danger that was thought to be long gone is awakened, and the twins have to come back together to save not only the crown and their own lives, but the future of everyone in Eana. Only when the answers point to horrifying outcomes, it’s a high-stakes race to a cataclysmic conclusion.
Overall, Cursed Crowns swept me back into a world of astounding adventure, found family bonds and winner-takes-all twists that made me turn pages well into the night. As with Twin Crowns, I was completely absorbed by the fantasy elements, and the world-building in the second installment was nothing short of amazing. I was kept entertained the whole way through, and felt myself understanding Rose and Wren so much more this time around. I know fantasy readers will adore this book (many already do!) and I’d say it would even appeal to New Adult audiences as some of the themes overlap. A magnificent marvel of a book!
About The Authors
Catherine Doyle grew up in the West of Ireland. She holds a first-class BA in Psychology and a first-class MA in Publishing. She is the author of the Young Adult Blood for Blood trilogy (Vendetta, Inferno and Mafiosa), which is often described as Romeo and Juliet meets the Godfather. Aside from more conventional interests in movies, running and travelling, Catherine also enjoys writing about herself in the third-person. Katherine Webber was born in Southern California in 1987. She has lived in Hong Kong, Hawaii, and Atlanta. She currently lives in London with her husband, Kevin, and their young daughter. In addition to her YA, Katherine also co-writes young fiction, as Katie Tsang, with Kevin.