Monday, July 25, 2022

#Review - These Twisted Bonds by Lexi Ryan #YA #Fantasy

Series: These Hollow Vows # 2
Format: Hardcover, 496 pages
Release Date: July 19, 2022
Publisher: Clarion Books
Source: Publisher
Genre: Young Adult / Dark Fantasy

Brie finds herself caught between two princes and two destinies while the future of the fae realm hangs in the balance.

After Abriella's sister was sold to the fae, she thought life couldn't get any worse. But when she suddenly finds herself caught in a web of lies of her own making ­- loving two princes and trusting neither - things are not quite as clear as she once thought.

As civil war wages in the Court of Darkness, Brie finds herself unable to choose a side. How can she know where she stands when she doesn't even know herself anymore? In this darkly romantic thrill ride, the more Faerie is torn apart from the inside, the clearer it becomes that prophecies don't lie and Brie has a role to play in the fate of this magical realm - whether she likes it or not.

These Twisted Bonds is the finale to author Lexi Ryan's These Hollow Vows duology. The story picks up immediately where These Hollow Vows left off. Even though Abriella (Brie) has been betrayed by Sebastian for the Crown and had her mortality taken away and turned into an immortal faerie, she's broken the Queen's curse that made the Unseelie mortal and limited their magic. On the other hand, Brie’s shadow powers have fully evolved after turning Fey which she easily uses to escape Sebastian. 

She ends up with Misha and the people of the Wild Fae. Here she finds out that children are being injected with a anti-magic toxic and some are falling into a deep sleep because the courts are unbalanced thanks to Queen Arya. Without a single thought or hesitation, Brie ends up rescuing dozens of children and then avoiding capture. Misha is a character who may be more likable than Sebastian or Finnian. Even though the bond that connects her to Sebastian is still present, Brie doesn't trust anyone, especially knowing her sister Jas is still a prisoner of the Fae. 

The more Faerie is torn apart from the inside, the clearer it becomes that prophecies don’t lie and Brie has a role to play in saving this magical realm—whether she likes it or not. She's also more powerful than she realizes because of a spoiler which I won't reveal. Brie's character actually gets a bit of history when she meets the fabled Mab in the Underworld who drops a bomb on her and makes Brie realize that she has no choice but to face Arya and unite the courts before more children fall into a sleep which they won't soon waken from.  

The love triangle dynamic is still going strong in the first half but the romance does quickly shift as Brie closes in on her HEA. I would not have been unhappy if Brie had ended up with Misha. Brie grew up viewing the fae world in one way, only to realize her error and come to love this new world. She also knows that had her mother lived to see her grow to a young woman, Brie wouldn't have had to sacrifice so much just to keep a roof over her head and her sister safe from being lost to her. 

Same could be said for Oberon and his choices. She's made many sacrifices not only for her mortal life, but her fae life as well. She puts everyone ahead of herself and that could go for Sebastian and Finnian as well. Sebastian deserves a pat on the back for his actions in this book. Although it's hard to let someone you love walk away, it's better to have a friend than an enemy for life. 

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