[A quick note: This was on a curated list of six books that came from a friend on Bookstagram. I always trust his recs and this was no different! I put off reading it for almost a year, but that just means less time to wait until the release of the second. Shown here is my LitJoy crate edition.]
Parent trap meets fantasy in this story where one twin plots to steal the throne from the other! There are so many favorite tropes, like enemies to lovers, betrayal, swapped identities, witches, overthrowing a kingdom, and more. Overall, this read was just plain FUN. Sure, it was predictable. Who hasn’t seen the movie Parent Trap?!? But that doesn’t take away from the enjoyment. Besides, what YA isn’t predictable these days?
The story follows identical twins who grow up leading separate lives. Rose is born a princess. Wren is secreted away at birth, growing up among the witches. Both sisters are on opposite sides of a years-long war. Rose believes witches are evil and is set on wiping them out. Wren knows the truth, knows that witches are only portrayed as evil because of the brainwashing evil man who is manipulating the crown.
Ewww. I HATED the “Kingsbreath” with a vengeance! What an awful man! Most of the story was centered around defeating him.
From birth Wren is raised for one thing, to steal the crown from her sister and keep the witches safe. Being identical twins, Wren sneaks into the palace and swaps places with her sister, sending Rose far, far away to live with the witches (against Rose’s will). It’s here that Rose learns the truth and also falls in love with a certain, dashing warrior witch. Shen Lo was a swoon-worthy YA love interest. I adored his quick wit, his relationship with his horse, and the way he unwillingly began to care for the princess.
Wren thinks she knows what it takes when she steals her sister’s identity and throne. Turns out, having magic didn’t prepare her for court politics. Now she’s got to act like her sister, but that’s easier said than done. She’s got a wild side, and soon she’s falling for an enemy prince’s guard. Tor was a likeable love interest. But I especially loved his pet wolf.
I really enjoyed the way the story switched between POVs, alternating between each sister. Rose’s storyline arc was stronger. She grows much more, going from hating witches, to learning she was wrong. Granted, it wasn’t her fault she was brainwashed. But when she discovers the truth, she stands by it. Even Wren changes a little, going from wanting the throne to…not really wanting it all that much.
My favorite part of the story was when the sisters come back together. I loved seeing them meet for the first time and utilize their twin-ness to put their plans into action. It was a total Parent Trap situation. I always loved the Parent Trap growing up. It was a beloved movie. So, naturally, I was grinning ear to ear.
The ending came as a bit of a surprise, especially with Tor’s character! I really loved how things played out. I can’t wait to get my hands on the second book. 𝐌𝐘 𝐑𝐀𝐓𝐈𝐍𝐆: 𝟓/𝟓⭐️