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Book Review: The Starlight Blade (The Twin Kingdoms #4) (ARC)

Expected publication: February 2nd 2022

Author: Nancy O’Toole

The Warrior Princess

Viola Verdis would do anything to protect her family. But what can she can do against The Mage King—an ancient enemy who hides in the shadows and uses others as pawns? With the royal family scattered for their own protection, it falls to Viola to protect her father, King Valient. But The Mage King’s latest weapon has plenty of tricks up her sleeve.

An Assassin in Disguise

Rue regrets joining The Mage King in his quest to sacrifice the royal family. And now, his magic burns in her chest, tying her to his will. By day, she disguises herself as a kitchen maid, masked by her cloak of many furs. By night, she plans King Valient’s demise, armed with the weapons of her late mother, Kelvia’s most notorious assassin. Only one person stands in her way, the king’s ever-present and infuriatingly beautiful daughter, Viola. Viola draws Rue in like no one has ever done before. But following her heart is impossible when she knows what she must do.

Spill royal blood, or die. 

The Starlight Blade is the fourth and final novella in The Twin Kingdoms series. All four novellas are best read in order as this novel concludes the arcing storyline between each book. This story revolves around Princess Viola Verdis of the Kingdom of Verdia. Viola was first introduced, along with her twin brother, Victor, in the second novel, A Dance with Magic when they visited Queen Rebecca in the Kingdom of Kelvia. She was a great secondary character in that story and in Victor’s story in the third novella, The Wayward Tower, so it was nice for her to become the main character. Viola is the warrior compared to her brother and it was nice to see her skills highlighted even more. With the Mage King’s threats looming on the horizon, Viola must work to protect her family at all costs.

As this story is told from the perspectives of both main characters, the reader gains insight into the Mage King through the assassin, Rue. Her mission is to kill Viola and Victor’s father, King Valient. As she is tied to the Mage King, Rue struggles with choices throughout the story and her turmoil was well written. There are times where she thinks that she does not have a choice and the reader explores her trying to work through this mindset. As Viola is a constant roadblock in Rue’s mission, the two interact a lot throughout the story. Together they slowly build a connection to each other with their immediate chemistry. Each has difficulty trusting each other with the many secrets between them making this a very enjoyable enemies-to-lovers story.

Overall, this was another amazing addition to the series. I love how each of installment is a unique and immersive retelling of a fairy tale with this one being a retelling of “Allerleirauh (All Furs).” Unfortunately, I am not familiar with the original, so I cannot compared it to this version. While these are novellas, there is a lot packed in and the stories feel complete. This novella utilizes flashbacks, which were well integrated and helped, further develop the characters and story. Similar to the other stories, the romance does not come to the characters easily, but they try to work towards their own HEA. The series itself reaches a satisfying conclusion and I am definitely intrigued about the author’s other novels based off my positive experience with this series.

**I give a special thank you to Book Sirens and the author, Nancy O’Toole, for the opportunity to read this entertaining novel. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**

4 thoughts on “Book Review: The Starlight Blade (The Twin Kingdoms #4) (ARC)

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