Happy Monday book friends! Hopefully y’all are ready for the week. It feels like forever since I last finished a book. It’s not even that I’ve been super busy, I’ve just been reading five books at the same time and therefore not finishing any of them. But I did finally finish the sequel to One Dark Window; Two Twisted Crowns!
I was excited for the sequel since finishing One Dark Window last year. NetGalley graced me with an e-ARC so I was able to dive in a little early. Let me say this already: this book did not disappoint! Read the content warnings below, and I’ll share some more in depth thoughts.
Two Twisted Crowns
By Rachel GilligMy Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Published 17 October 2023 by Orbit
Fantasy | Magic | Romance
In the luscious, dark sequel to One Dark Window, Elspeth must face the consequences of what she’s wrought – perfect for readers of Hannah Whitten’s For the Wolf and Alexis Henderson’s The Year of the Witching.
Elspeth and Ravyn have gathered most of the twelve Providence Cards, but the last, and most important one remains to be found: The Twin Alders.
If they are going to find it before the Solstice and cure the kingdom of the dark magic infecting it, they will need to journey beyond the dangerous mist-cloaked forest that surrounds their kingdom.
And the only one who can lead them there is the monster that shares Elspeth’s head. The Nightmare. And he’s not eager to share any longer.
Two Twisted Crowns is, just like One Dark Window, the perfect Fall read. Blunder is still being plagued by the mist, and the overall setting is incredibly atmospheric with tons of gothic vibes. I loved getting more POVs in this book. I think Elm’s story POV was my favorite. He struggles a lot with his situation and who he wants to be, so his arc was super fun to follow. There are some other characters that took a surprisingly big role in the story as well, which I totally enjoyed.
I think one of the most impressive things about this book is the relationship between Elspeth and the Nightmare. I’m assuming you’ve read One Dark Window, so you know the Nightmare has completely taken over Elspeth’s mind and body. This means Elspeth kind of has a backseat role in this book. However, reading from the Nightmare’s POV I’ve come to better understand him. I even felt sad for him at some point. And his banter with Ravyn is absolutely hilarious.
We also finally learn the full story of the providence cards, how they were made, and how the Nightmare came to be. I felt like besides getting a wonderful story, I also got a history lesson. Like I could step to a group of people tomorrow and explain the history of Blunder and its kings as if it really happened. Having lore that deep in just two books is impressive, really.
I also quite liked the ending. The buildup to the finale was quite good and I felt anxious the entire last 100 pages.
Hauth is still an asshole.