Book Review: Twin Crowns (Twin Crowns #1)

Published May 17th 2022

Authors: Catherine Doyle & Katherine Webber

A high-stakes fantasy rom-com about twin princesses separated at birth—one raised as the crown princess, and the other taken as an infant and raised to kidnap her sister, steal the crown, and avenge the parents’ murders.

Wren Greenrock has always known that one day she would steal her sister’s place in the palace. Trained from birth to return to the place of her parents’ murder and usurp the only survivor, she will do anything to rise to power and protect the community of witches she loves. Or she would, if only a certain palace guard wasn’t quite so distractingly attractive, and if her reckless magic didn’t have a habit of causing trouble…

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?

I was very excited to read Twin Crowns, especially after receiving the gorgeous FairyLoot edition. The cover and sprayed edges are amazing, and I love that the novel includes an excellent map. The story follows twin sisters, Rose Valhart and Wren Greenrock, who were separated at birth. Each chapters featured one of the sisters and is told from one of their POVs. When this novel was first announced, I thought it was a standalone, but I looked at Goodreads and it now looks like it is a duology. This

Rose has been raised as the heir to the throne of Eana while Wren has been raised among the witch community. Rose was told that witches were responsible for the murder of her parents and is unaware of Wren while Wren knows the truth. Wren is sent to switch places with Rose to protect the witches from the crown. To do this, Rose is kidnapped by Wren’s friend, Shen Lee, and sent to the witch community. As she is sheltered and naïve, the world outside the palace is completely unknown. On the other side is Wren, who is more confident and has a lot of expectations on her to succeed. The story begins with introducing the two characters and worlds and becomes more complex when unexpected dangers are presented.

Rose is very unlikable by comparison to Wren at first. Rose is sometimes entitled and wants those around her to treat her like a princess. While she does come across as annoying, there is a lot more to it once you look past these qualities. On the other side is Wren where she has a little more growth but can be a little stubborn in her ways. Both characters do go through some development as the story moves forward, but not as much as I expected at the start. The romances of the story were cute, but a little underdeveloped for me.

The pacing of the story is slow where it seems that the story is set up as a duology. It then speeds up a lot and gives an ending where this could be a standalone for some conflict but has room to expand in the sequel. Since I think was initially published as a standalone and then a sequel would be added depending on the success of this novel, it makes a lot more sense why the pacing is the way it is currently written. I think this is where it goes wrong as the authors potentially drafted a duology, but the publishers had them change everything in case this ended up as a standalone. Now that is a duology, the authors now need to figure out how to better explore everything and create a satisfying conclusion. I could be wrong in my guess, but this is how the story read to me.  Overall, this story was okay, although I still love the amazing edition.

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