If you’re looking for a lighthearted fantasy series, you want to try the Twin Crowns books!
I’ve been reading Twin Crowns and the sequel, Cursed Crowns, this year and they’re such pretty books! The style of fantasy gives me both fairy tale and Disney vibes–you’ll get all the drama and romance and banter you could ask for, with some feelsy moments as a bonus. I appreciate that they’re written with a younger-YA feel, which is so needed, because a lot of YA fantasy seems pretty aged up these days. This would be perfect for ages 12+ teens.
Twin Crowns, book 1, introduces us to two sisters: Rose (queen) and Wren (witch). They’re twins, separated at birth, and while Rose is “ruling” under manipulative guidance, Wren has been training with her witch powers to someday steal back the throne and release the kingdom from its oppressive rule. Wren knows Rose exists…but Rose has been left in the dark to the fact she has a sister. The story is part court-politics and part adventure-fantasy-romp as Rose gets kidnapped by Wren’s witchy people and taken back to their town, while Wren impersonates Rose for the crown as part of her scheme.
The sisters are both very dynamic characters. Rose is toffy and posh, definitely your classic-style princess, while Wren is bitter and impulsive. She will dive into danger. She will swim in it. Cannot be stopped!!
The books are quite long and not fast-paced, so readers who enjoy books that take their time will love this style. And of course there’s plenty of magic, witchy machinations, and a little romance as Rose develops feelings for her unwilling kidnapper, Shen, (aka Wren’s BFF) and Wren starts getting heart-eyes for a guard.
Cursed Crowns takes off pretty much straight after book one finishes. Now that the girls have things “sorted” and are in the castle together, they’ve got a lot of clean up from everything that went down in the finale of the last book to figure out. They’re still learning how to mesh together as estranged sisters, since their personalities are like ice and fire. There’s also pain to deal with, allies and people they love now gone or taken, and there’s still unrest in their kingdom. Everyone has been taught to believe witches are evil and must be stamped out, so now it’s up to Wren and Rose to change public opinion considering they are both, well, witches. And trying to rule here.
The story ends up splitting up the sisters again for separate quests, and I do wish they’d stayed together so we could’ve seen how they grow and develop. But there was a lot of ground to cover in this one. I appreciated Shen got more of a plot line too (love Shen!) and Wren takes off to do a bit of necromancy and get thoroughly out of her depth in the enemy kingdom. The tone is still light though, with plenty of banter and quips. Lots of girlpower and sister bonds and it leaves everything wide open for book 3.
A fun series with all the well-known fantasy tropes and quips, perfect for those who love both adventure and queens and sisterly bonds in their fantasy books.
Thank you to HarperCollins Australia for the review copies!
Princess Rose Valhart knows that with power comes responsibility. Marriage into a brutal kingdom awaits, and she will not let a small matter like waking up in the middle of the desert in the company of an extremely impertinent (and handsome) kidnapper get in the way of her royal duty. But life outside the palace walls is wilder and more beautiful than she ever imagined, and the witches she has long feared might turn out to be the family she never knew she was missing.
Two sisters separated at birth and raised into entirely different worlds are about to get to know each other’s lives a whole lot better. But as coronation day looms closer and they each strive to claim their birthright, the sinister Kingsbreath, Willem Rathborne, becomes increasingly determined that neither will succeed. Who will ultimately rise to power and wear the crown?
published may 3rd, 2023