Tuesday, August 23, 2022

#Review - The Liar’s Crown by Abigail Owen #YA #Fantasy #Romance

Series: Dominion # 1
Format: Hardcover, 448 pages
Release Date: August 30, 2022
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Source: Publisher
Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy / Epic

Beauty and the Beast meets Snow White in this upper YA fantasy where a black heart is disguised by beauty, the purest soul is hidden within a beast, and a gift of hope is laced with death.

Everything about Meren’s life is a lie. As a hidden twin princess, born second, she has only one purpose—to sacrifice her life for her beloved sister if death comes for her. Meren has lived under the guise of a poor, obscure girl of no standing, slipping into the palace and into the role of the true princess when danger is present.

Now the queen is dead, their dominion under threat of eternal winter, and the sinister King Eidolon has sent her sister a flower. The first seen in a thousand years. With that gift, he seeks to wed her. Untrusting, Meren does what she was born to do and secretly takes her sister’s place on the eve of the coronation.

Which is why, when a man made of shadow kidnaps the new queen…he gets Meren by mistake.

As Meren tries to escape, all the lies start to unravel. Not just her lies. The Shadow Ranger who took her has secrets of his own. He struggles to contain the shadows he wields—other faces, hideous faces, that terrify her.

Winter is at the walls. Darkness is looming. And the only way to save them all is to kill Eidolon. But to kill the king is to destroy the king, including the only good piece of his soul left—the Shadow Ranger who has stolen Meren’s heart.

The Liar's Crown, by author Abigail Owen, is the first installment in the authors Dominion series. Dominion is an upper YA fantasy series with a twist on the Beauty and the Beast and Snow White fairy tales, with a nod to the sisters of Snow-White and Rose-Red. In this world, there are six dominions: Aryd, Tyndra, Wilderness, Savanah, Mariana, and Tropkis. 18 years ago, twin sisters were born. One (Princess Tabra) was born to become Queen. One (Mereneth) was born to be raised in obscurity and used as a stand-in when necessary. 

One child was born Enfernae, the other Hylorae. Hylorae can control tangible, physical elements like sand, water, and plants. Enfernae control the intangible like souls or a persons mind. For as long as he has been King, Eidolon has been stealing and murdering the Queens of Aryd. In Ayrd, the Queens have been unique in that they have a set of twins every other cycle. For 18 years, Meren has lived life in poverty raised by her Omma. Her best friend is Cain who is a Wanderer, but wants more from their relationship. Things quickly change when Meren notices that she's being followed. 

Then, the Queen of Aryd dies which makes Princess Tabra the new Queen. If that weren't enough, Eidolon sends Tabra a pendant as a gift. The first seen in a thousand years. With the gift, he seeks to wed her. Meren decides to take her sisters place at the coronation and unwittingly puts herself in the sights of a shadowed kidnapper named Reven. As Meren struggles to gain her freedom, she learns that there are more lies to unravel than just her own. This is definitely a story that falls into the enemies to lovers category.

While Meren is learning more about Reven, she discovers that she may be the one person who may be able to stop Eidolon and his brutal regime that seems never ending because of her powers. She also gets introduced to a cadre of characters who have made a new life for themselves away from the Dominions. Meren was raised in the desert and that made her strong, brave and compassionate towards her people. She was also forced to hide her power to control sand since childhood. She only came out of hiding when Tabra was put into dangerous situations.

Though she has one purpose in life, she longs for so much more, and her epic journey, both emotional and physical, we see the real Meren. Yes, it is fair to say that this book ends on a cliffhanger. If 2023 allows me, I will likely request the sequel from the publisher.    

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