I’ve been a lifelong fan of fairy tales; I find something about their rhythm comforting. While The Liar’s Crown by Abigail Owen is not explicitly based on a fairy tale, the cadence and pacing of the writing have a similar vibe. If fairy tales came with a sassy heroine and a sexy Shadowraith, that is.
Meren is a body double for her twin sister Tabra, who is next in line for the throne of Aryd. The women of her lineage give birth to twins every other generation, a closely guarded secret; the firstborn becomes a princess and heir to the throne. The spare twin’s destiny is to live in hiding, trained in the ways of royalty so that she can substitute for the queen in the event of her death. This ruse is necessary as the dominion’s King Eidolon has a nasty habit of killing the queens.
When Tabra and Meren’s grandmother dies, and preparations are being made for the coronation, Meren, mistaken for her twin, is kidnapped by Reven, the aforementioned sexy Shadowraith. Meren is terrified of her captor but even more distraught that King Eidolon will harm Tadra in her absence, and the throne will be vacated, throwing her beloved Aryd into chaos.
Although this is categorized as a Young Adult novel, there’s a lot more sizzle between Meren and Reven than I remember from the tame YA books I read in the early eighties. This is not a criticism; the relationship that develops between them crackles and steams like another 80’s favorite, Jiffy Pop.
Abigail Owen is not a new writer – she has thirty books to her name, so if (when!) you fall in love with The Last Curse, there is plenty more to sample, and book two in the Dominions series releases in May of 2023.
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