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Two Twisted Crowns

af Rachel Gillig

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
497849,221 (4.43)8
In the dark, spellbinding sequel to One Dark Window, Elspeth must confront the weight of her actions as she and Ravyn embark on a perilous quest to save the kingdom--perfect for readers of Hannah Whitten's For the Wolf and Alexis Henderson's The Year of the Witching. Gripped by a tyrant king and in the thrall of dark magic, the kingdom is in peril. 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're going to find the card before Solstice and set free the kingdom, they will need to journey through the dangerous mist-cloaked forest. The only one who can lead them through is the monster that shares Elspeth's head: the Nightmare. And he's not eager to share any longer. Praise for One Dark Window: "Enthralling from beginning to shocking end." --Hannah Whitten, New York Times bestselling author of For the Wolf "Pulse pounding, darkly whimsical, and aglow with treacherous magic." --Allison Saft, New York Times bestselling author of A Far Wilder Magic The Shepherd King  One Dark Window  Two Twisted Crowns… (mere)
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Viser 1-5 af 8 (næste | vis alle)
4.5 stars Oh my goodness wow. This duology was phenomenal! These books have easily become favorites for me. I'm still in shock after finishing them.

I cannot even begin to understand why some people do not like these books, the first book is flawless in my opinion and the second book, while ever so slightly not as good as the first book, is still fantastic. I do hear a lot of people on TikTok comparing these books to series like ACOTAR and Fourth Wing (I have read both of those series- ACOTAR through ACOSF and Fourth Wing through Iron Flame). I have no idea why the hell people are comparing the Shepard King books to ones like ACOTAR and Fourth Wing because they could not be more different. The only similarity is that they’re all fantasy books involving magic. But even still, the magic in all of these series are soooo different from each other. So perhaps that's why people aren't liking these books, they're going into One Dark Window expecting intense fae politics and fae smut every other page or horny teenagers that ride dragons, when these books just aren't about that. I’ve heard a lot of people say they expected more smut and romance in the Shepard King series because of the comparisons to Fourth Wing and ACOTAR. The Shepard King duology, while it has romance, is not just about romance and doesn’t rely just on romance. It’s much deeper. So to people that picked up these books because they were looking for something to fill the void from missing ACOTAR, Fourth Wing, or other beloved romantasy series, pLEASE try these books again with a clean slate and palette. You won’t be getting ACOTAR 2.0 from these, it’s much, much different and honestly better. And to the people who said these books were “too wordy”, kindly be quiet and go read a dictionary because apparently you never studied your SAT words well enough. To me, the language of these books was like a breath of fresh air especially having grown up reading books like Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre and especially after the overly blunt and simplistic language of most popular novels and series out there (which I admit and appreciate, do still have a time and a place!).

**MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD**

Everything from the characters to the environment to the magic system to the plot and more was so good. I loved when Elspeth and the Nightmare would squabble, it cracked me up every time. And I also loved the development of Ravyn and the Nightmare's relationship throughout the second book. I went from silently screaming at the pages whenever Ravyn called the Nightmare a parasite and whenever the Nightmare called Ravyn a stupid bird to appreciating it and loving it. As did they I suspect. I love how those nicknames went from hurtful insults to secret terms of endearment. Especially at the very end when they called each other that for the last time—ohmygod im gonna cry just thinking about it—. And even if it wasn’t the author’s intention, I loved how the Maiden card represented what it’s like to fight depression. Having been fighting depression myself and knowing lots of people who have been too, it moved me deeply. I hope it was the author’s intention though.

I also loved the prose/writing style and all of the rhyming poetry. It was so eloquent and beautiful.

The ONLY thing I didn’t like about this book was that it had more smut in it than the first book. But that’s no surprise to me since I’m not much of a smut girly, it’s just not my thing. I would have gotten over it more had the author not done that sTUPID thing that authors sometimes do where they refer to the character’s g*nitals as the character’s “sex”. EW EW EW. I HATE that. It is my biggest pet-peeve. It makes no sense and I find it just gross. But anyway. Other than that the book had more smut and that one thing that I hate so much, I had no complaints. I mean there were a couple typos in both books. But whatever I can get over that. Me too queen I’m sure there’s typos in this very review if I’m being honest.

Overall, this duology was utterly fantastic and wonderful and I love it very dearly. I HIGHLY recommend these books and will gladly recommend them to everyone. It is everything I look for in a fantasy book: dark, gothic, magical, forests strewn with mist and magic and monsters, a little bit of horror, mind control and mind games, a little touch of romance, gowns and castles, I could easily keep going. Thank you Rachel Gillig for these wonderful, outstanding books. Also, I will never look at trees the same way again hahaha ( )
  superducky800 | Apr 13, 2024 |
Series Info/Source: This is the second book in The Shepherd King duology. I borrowed this on ebook from my library.

Thoughts: This was a DNF for me. I stopped reading this about 40% of the way through. After reading the first book in this series I found the magic system intriguing and the idea of the cursed kingdom interesting, but never really engaged with any of the characters very well. This book was worse for me.

We barely hear from Elspeth at all. I completely lost any connection I felt with Ravyn as well, he seems remote and we don't hear from him much in the first 40% of the book. Instead we spend a lot of time with Elm and Ione, two characters I never really enjoyed from the first book. The first book had a dark beauty to it, this one just did not.

Ravyn is still searching for the Twin Alders card. Ione has lost her maiden card and her and Elm kind of join forces to work against the King while she searches for it. I didn't get a lot more out of this than that before I stopped.

I realized as I was listening to this one day, that I kept coming up with excuses to not listen to it because I am so completely bored by the characters and story and feel absolutely no interest or draw to them. The book focuses a lot more on the odd romance (or at least attraction) between Elm and Ione and very little page space is given to actually fixing the problems the kingdom are facing. The balance between the story and characters felt off and the pacing was inconsistent.

I borrowed this from the library and have many other audiobooks I want to read as well. In addition to that, a lot of people were waiting for the audiobook. So, I decided to return it early and start on something I can stomach a bit easier. Hopefully others enjoy this more than I did!

My Summary (3/5): Overall, this was incredibly disappointing for me, but keep in mind I liked the first book but wasn't a die-hard fan of it. This second book just went too far in the direction of everything I didn't like about the first book. ( )
  krau0098 | Apr 3, 2024 |
Excellent ( )
  vickiv | Apr 2, 2024 |
{second in Shepherd King duology; fantasy, teen romance, dark magic}(2023)

This is the second and final part of the Shepherd King's story and we discover it via Elspeth in the Nightmare's mind and flashbacks (the Nightmare being an entity who has been intertwined with Elspeth since her childhood).
But Ravyn knew better. No promise comes without payment. Blunder was a place of magic - barters and bargains. Nothing was free. 'What does the Shepherd King want?' he asked the girl-spirit. 'What is he after?'
'Balance,' she answered, head tilting like a bird of prey. 'To right terrible wrongs. To free Blunder from the Rowans.' Her yellow eyes narrowed, wicked and absolute. 'To collect his due.'
Wild magic used to exist, granted by the Spirit of the Woods. Legend says the Shepherd King tricked the Spirit into giving him magic, with which he created twelve types of Providence Cards which controlled magic so people no longer needed to make offerings to her. In revenge the Spirit surrounded his country of Blunder with a magical mist which cut it off from its surrounding countries. Children caught in the mist run the risk of 'infection' which gives them unknown, uncontrollable magic which is never the same and which usually results in degeneration, of mind, body, spirit or all three.

There are two threads to this story; one is the desperate race by Ravyn (pronounced like the bird's name), Elspeth, Elm, Jespyr and company to collect the complete Deck of magical Providence Cards (including the missing sole Twin Alders card) before Solstice, at which point of the year magic is strongest (and before Ravyn's and Jespyr's brother, Emory, dies from the degeneration caused by the infection), to free the country of Blunder from the magical mist and the other is the story of the Shepherd King and how he originally created the Cards. One Dark Window featured the attraction between Ravyn and Elspeth while in this book his cousin Elm (the king's younger son) finds a partner for whom he is willing to risk almost everything.

Though it continues straight on from the previous book, Two Twisted Crowns doesn't feel quite the same; for one thing it doesn't have the rhymes scattered liberally through it. The overall impression I'm left with is tangled tree branches in the mist (yes, like the cover). I may have read this book in a bit of a rush because I don't remember the details - I had to go back to re-read the end to remember exactly how it went - and, to be honest, I wasn't in the right mood for teen (oh, alright, they were both 22) romance - but that's just me. And Gillig seems to have taken the old adage for writers to do the worst thing they can to their protagonist to heart - so many times everything was in place for our heroes to go ahead and win the day when they were blindsided - usually by Hauth - which set everything back to naught again.
A flash of red. 'Don't move,' came Hauth's voice. 'Don't even speak.'
Salt stung Elm's senses. His mind skittered to a halt, locking his muscles along with it. He was frozen
Though the main story is rounded off and finished, I thought this book raised more questions than it answered - why, for instance, does the magic of the Spirit of the Woods come with salt and why does the Spirit come from the sea in land- and mist-locked Blunder? I also thought Brutus Rowan got a bit of a short shift; I can see why he took the actions he did but he and his descendants are made into the villains of the story (admittedly deservedly so, in some cases).

A good finish but more confusing than the first book.

(January 2024)
3.75 stars ( )
  humouress | Feb 26, 2024 |
I know I’m late to the game with this duology, but I just finished Two Twisted Crowns and I couldn’t get enough! I started searching videos and reviews of other talking about my favorite parts of this book and saw so few so I decided to give my opinion of the best part of it!

Don’t get me wrong, I was definitely counting down chapters until I got to another part of Elm’s pov and got more of him and Ione. However the character/relationship development of the Shepherd King is something I will be thinking about for a very long time. While I loved this book I felt a lot of the plot twists were pretty predictable and felt the romance of One Dark Window and Two Twisted Crowns were so similar. The one thing I was not expecting was to be crying over the Shepherd King!!!!

Also, the multiple POVs really played a part in not being able to put this book down. I kept saying “after this chapter, I’m going to take a break” just to be left with a cliff hanger and needing to get the next chapter with that character’s pov.

I do think the ending was a bit rushed, that could just be not wanting to be done with these characters and this world. The Shepherd King series is the my first time jumping back into the fantasy realm since HP, and Rachel Gillig did an outstanding job setting up this world and magic system making it incredibly easy to follow.

My only worry is that no other fantasy is going to be able to compete with this one. ( )
  bvillegas410 | Feb 14, 2024 |
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In the dark, spellbinding sequel to One Dark Window, Elspeth must confront the weight of her actions as she and Ravyn embark on a perilous quest to save the kingdom--perfect for readers of Hannah Whitten's For the Wolf and Alexis Henderson's The Year of the Witching. Gripped by a tyrant king and in the thrall of dark magic, the kingdom is in peril. 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're going to find the card before Solstice and set free the kingdom, they will need to journey through the dangerous mist-cloaked forest. The only one who can lead them through is the monster that shares Elspeth's head: the Nightmare. And he's not eager to share any longer. Praise for One Dark Window: "Enthralling from beginning to shocking end." --Hannah Whitten, New York Times bestselling author of For the Wolf "Pulse pounding, darkly whimsical, and aglow with treacherous magic." --Allison Saft, New York Times bestselling author of A Far Wilder Magic The Shepherd King  One Dark Window  Two Twisted Crowns

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