Friday, September 2, 2022

Today's read... The Liar's Crown by Abigail Owen

I've been looing forward to today's read for quite some time but couldn't squeeze it into my schedule earlier. Which does work out fine since it was just released a couple of days ago. This one promises political intrigue, evil beyond the imagination, romance to dig into, and darkness. So much darkness. So yep, I was all in to get my fingers on this one.

Ready to see if you should pick it up, too?

Dominions, #1
by Abigail Owen
Entangled Teen
Young Adult Fantasy
448 pages

Some shadows protect you…others will kill you in this dazzling new fantasy series from award-winning author Abigail Owen.

Everything about my life is a lie. As a hidden twin princess, born second, I have only one purpose—to sacrifice my life for my sister if death comes for her. I’ve been living under the guise of a poor, obscure girl of no standing, slipping into the palace and into the role of the true princess when danger is present.

Now the queen is dead and the ageless King Eidolon has sent my sister a gift—an eerily familiar gift—and a proposal to wed. I don’t trust him, so I do what I was born to do and secretly take her place on the eve of the coronation. Which is why, when a figure made of shadow kidnaps the new queen, he gets me by mistake.

As I try to escape, all the lies start to unravel. And not just my lies. The Shadowraith who took me has secrets of his own. He struggles to contain the shadows he wields—other faces, identities that threaten my very life.

Winter is at the walls. Darkness is looming. And the only way to save my sister and our dominion is to kill Eidolon…and the Shadowraith who has stolen my heart.


Note: There is a steamier moment or two toward the end.


Shadows and darkness lurk in every corner and around every bend, shrouding not only the truth outside but that within.

Meren is the secret, second born of a set of twins. Her sister is destined to rule the kingdom, while she is fated to be the body-double and protect her sister at all costs. Meren's life is hidden from the world, and she's become an expert at hiding in the shadows, enabling her to have, at least, a bit of life outside a closed home. When her mother, the queen, suddenly dies, it's her sisters time to take the throne, which means Meren's true task begins, but with the first threat and Meren's first duty, she's kidnapped and dragged far away. Somehow, she needs to find a way to escape because while she's in danger, her sister has stepped into a deadly trap, which will put the entire world under an evil hand.

Reading this one reminded me a tiny bit of Shadow and Bone with bad guys to swoon over, powers as birthrights, and, for all things, shadows at every turn. The read grabs, does keep the tension high, and presents a complex world and characters to blossom and bloom through the series. It's well-written, flows at a steady pace, and offers many unexpected situations to make it impossible to see where the story is truly going...and so fun to guess what the path will be.

Meren is an intriguing character, who longs to have her own life...somewhat but not really. She does adore her sister from the deepest depths of her heart and is willing to fulfill her role, even if a part of her isn't always excited about that aspect. She's been pruned and taught to take her sister's place, and yet, is almost a street girl with some fighting skills, tons of spunk, and grit (?). Her largest concern is the people around her, and trust is something that needs to be earned. Or until she meets Reven. 

There is so much to love about this read and the world, so I do recommend it highly...although it wasn't my personal favorite for a couple reasons. While some aspects of this book were amazing, others were neglected, especially on the relationship end. We meet Cain, her first love interest, who disappears after the first chapters completely and is barely thought of again (I expect to see much more of him and his people in the upcoming novels, though). Her sister, who she adores, is nothing more than a brief encounter, leaving the love between them like a faded whisper. Her nanny is never fleshed out. The grandmother's supposed cruelty never is more than a rumor or a left basket of food for supposed suffering civilians, which we never really get to see. The political end, around which the entire tension sits, is also without much background, base, or building. Even the evil is said to be evil, but the threat remains a tale most of the time. However, I'm assuming much of this will build in the rest of the series because there is a lot going on in this first book. And at over 400 pages already, only so much can be packed in...and what is there, is fun to read.

There is romance. Lots of it. While Meren's heart supposedly belongs to Cain in the first chapter or two, her kidnapper and his voice perk her interest immediately, leaving Cain in the dust. It's hidden instant love but drawn out enough to try to seek cover as a building one of sorts...which works for the YA realm. Reven is definitely captivating and has a heart of gold...and that's where this goes weird because while rough and gruff, in the beginning, and supposedly very evil himself, he's kind. Glimpses of his deadliness are here and there but disappear faster than the shadows themselves. I'm sure many readers will love this, and I'm going to wait with my judgement to see where it goes during the rest of the series because I'm not quite convinced or hooked, yet. But it is the first book, and I do want to see what happens in the second. So, that says enough right there. 

It is more than worth a read and is a great start to what could be an exciting series.

1 comment:

Abigail Owen said...

Thank you so much! I'm so glad you enjoyed it! :) Definitely more to come in books 2 & 3!