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.
Title: These Twisted Bonds (These Hollow Vows, #2)
Author: Lexi Ryan
Publication Date: July 19, 2022
Genres: Young/New Adult, Fantasy, Romance
BEWARE: SOME SPOILERS!!
This book, while still very good, did not quite hit all the marks I’d wished for. Maybe I had high expectations, maybe I didn’t give myself enough time to process the first book, I don’t know. Still, I very much enjoyed the further unfolding of secrets, the romance, and learning more about this world.
This book picks up right where the first left off which I was so happy about. We see Brie fleeing the Seelie palace feeling betrayed and angry and hurt. The beginning of this book started out strong. Actually, I would say the plot and the pacing of the entire book were really well done.
Similar to the first book, I think Ryan did a great job of slowly unraveling secrets and clearing up lies. I think she paced these out well even if some were predictable.
Brie was slightly more frustrating to me in this book than in the first. In this book, we see a lot of repetition in her thinking and her feelings and not a lot of growth. I can see where Ryan attempted to change Brie there at the end, but it felt a little insincere and rushed. Like, Brie feels like the powers are a burden and we hear that over and over again. Also, she is so oblivious to Finn’s feelings even though he tells and his friends tell her and basically, everyone tells her, but she still doesn’t get it.
As a side note, I still love Finn. I would fight an army for this male, die, then come back to life and keep fighting. I mean, he’s so selfless and committed to his kingdom and his people. Someone needs to be committed to him and that’s me. Sign me up to be his personal protection agent. Also, there were loooooots of good Brie and Finn moments.
I’m still a bit confused by Brie’s parentage. Like, who was her mother? Was her mother her mother? Was her mother fae this whole time? Was her sister part fae? Full fae? I’m still stuck on that so if someone could please explain it to me, I would be deeply grateful.
The thing that I disliked the absolute most about this book was the lack of battle scenes. We get a couple of pages of small skirmishes, but not any full one battle scenes. I was able to put all of this aside until the very end with the queen. When I tell you Brie just walked in and killed her and that was that. Um, wth! I needed a fight! I needed Brie to be on her death bed, fighting with one arm, and bleeding from several knife wounds. I needed drama and I didn’t get it. The queen really went down without a fight. I was so disappointed and I think that’s what really lead to my star reduction. Also, slightly related, not enough people died! Argh! If you’re an avid fantasy reader, you know what I mean.
Overall, I was happy with this book. Where book 1 was a specific plot of Brie helping her sister, this book was more about Brie, the kingdoms, and the history behind it all. It gave me the answers I was seeking, the happily ever after I needed, and the story I wanted. It wasn’t perfect, but it was well worth the read.