THESE TWISTED BONDS
BY LEXI RYAN
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.
Warning: spoilers for the first book so do not read on unless you’ve read it.
While I loved These Hollow Vows, These Twisted Bonds might be even better. We get more everything in this book, but especially more romance. It’s a true romantasy through and through.
We start up immediately where we left off in the last book. Brie has just awoken from dying after bonding herself to Bash and taking the potion of life. To say she’s upset is an understatement. She now trusts no one and has no one to turn to. She still has her powers though, which turns into a giant issue later, and uses them to escape and find herself new allies in a faerie world on the brink of war. But even as a human turned fae who one held the power of the unseelie throne, can Brie really make a difference in saving this new world she’s just been plunged into?
The writing was superb along with the worldbuilding. I always enjoy being shown a small piece of a world in the first book and then having the map unfold for us in the second. We get to explore more of faerie and learn more about how the magic works there. It never felt like an info-dump or like we were being rushed through the story. I was actually surprised to find it was a duology and not a trilogy.
Brie is such a self sacrificing cinnamon roll who has grown so much from when we first met her. A protector of those who need someone to step up and have their best interests at heart. While she may still have some sharp edges and darkness inside herself, sometimes you have to have a little wickedness to do what you must for those who cannot. She truly stepped up this book and found her greater purpose.
The romance was top notch. While the first book centered around the triangle between Brie, Bash and Finn this book focuses on the betrayal she feels after Bash’s deception and learning to open yourself up to love again. All Brie has ever wanted was a support system of family and friends which she thought she’d found with Bash but was torn away after his betrayal. Finn doesn’t exactly come out of the first book smelling like a rose though either. While he may have wanted the crown and might not have told the whole truth, he never lied or forced her hand though. Brie’s trust was irrevocably broken so we get to see her work through her feels and establish new relationships with both of them.
We definitely got the steam in this book. The sexual tension was high and smut, while obviously not Adult, was actually there. We do get some payoff in this book. I was seriously yelling at the two of them to get it on already, but I love a good slow burn with some teases tossed in.
I really enjoyed this duology and think it’s one I’ll return to many times in the future. My one complaint was how neatly everything wrapped up in the ending. It was to perfect for my tastes but was still a five star read in my book. I adore the hell out of Finn, Brie and the new characters we were introduced to, especially Misha. If you’re looking for the perfect mix of A Court of Thorns and Roses and The Cruel Prince with more romance this is definitely worth checking out.