THE LIAR’S CROWN, by Abigail Owen, Entangled Teen, Aug. 30, 2022, Hardcover, $18.99 (young adult, ages 14 and up/ new adult)
A crown princess’ secret twin fights to save their kingdom from an evil king in the first book in Abigail Owen’s Dominions series, The Liar’s Crown.
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. —Synopsis provided by Entangled Teen
At the center of The Liar’s Crown is Meren (the backup twin) and Reven (the Shadowraith). And while Meren is the storyteller, both are well-developed and compelling. Author Abigail Owen has done an excellent job creating a tension between the two, drawing the reader in and making them ask for more.
Owen’s worldbuilding, too, is impressive. She quickly transports readers to another time and place. The magic in her world is complex, but accessible. Readers learn alongside Meren, making it all feel seamless.
Sometimes you go into a book not knowing what to expect, but that’s not the case here. At the front of The Liar’s Crown, you’ll find the following note:
“At Entangled, we want our readers to be well-informed. If you would like to know if this book contains any elements that might be of concern for you, please check the back of the book for details.”
And at the back, you’ll find this:
“The Liar’s Crown is an addictive action-packed upper YA/NA fantasy romance; however, this story includes elements that might not be suitable for all readers, including but not limited to: violence, gore, death, kidnapping poverty, and sexual content. I trust you to know your own triggers and limits, so please take note and take care.”
After reading the book, I’d say this is fairly accurate, although the sexual content was a bit more than I was expecting. It’s steamy. Like made me, a married woman, blush, steamy. About as close to graphic as you can get without being graphic, and definitely nowhere near PG. Without giving too much of the story away, it lasts two chapters, with the second much more intense. (If you’re uncomfortable with this level of description, but still want to read the book, you can skip to the last two pages of the second of these chapters.)
Though engrossing and heart pounding, The Liar’s Crown is not for everyone. It’s not suitable for younger teens, but older teens and new adults will quickly get lost in the action and romance. The Liar’s Crown is the first book in a planned trilogy, and I am interested to see where Owens takes her readers.
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