When the newly released hardback of These Twisted Bonds, the finale to the bestselling duology from Lexi Ryan, arrived at my door just a few weeks ago I literally squealed with delight. If you were a fan of Ryan’s first book, These Hollow Vows (review available here) you’ll understand why. The final chapters were spectacular, but they left readers with many unanswered questions. Thankfully, These Twisted Bonds answers every single one whilst giving readers the satisfying ending we deserve.
“After Abriella’s sister was sold to the fae, she thought life couldn’t get any worse. But when she suddenly finds herself caught in a web of lies of her own making - loving two princes and trusting neither – things are not quite as clear as she once thought.
As civil war wages in the Court of Darkness, Brie finds herself unable to choose a side. How can she know where she stands when she doesn’t even know herself anymore? In this darkly romantic thrill ride, the more Faerie is torn apart from the inside, the clearer it becomes that prophecies don’t lie and Brie has a role to play in the fate of this magical realm – whether she likes it or not.”
The image of Abriella, newly turned Fae, fleeing from the Golden Palace after Sebastian’s betrayal, wrapping the Court of Sun in a shroud of shadows was exactly the opening I was hoping for. Brie was lied to and manipulated to such an extent in the previous book I was delighted to witness our heroine unleash her powers and fight back against the men who continuously used her as a political pawn.
These Twisted Bonds started really strong with the ambush at the child camps and the introduction to one of my new favourite characters, the charismatic and mischievous, Misha. I loved his and Brie’s witty dialogue and flirty banter and, despite clearly having his own agenda, he came across as a genuine ally. I also really enjoyed the short time she spent in the Wild Fae Lands forming new alliances and honing her abilities. Unfortunately, we soon settled into a familiar pattern of our clueless FMC being manhandled from kidnapper to kidnapper, asking a stream of pretty obvious questions and allowing those that betrayed her literally moments ago to once again cloud her judgment and dictate her journey.
That being said, Ryan did a wonderful job of shifting our affections from Sebastian to Finn and building a convincing and beautiful connection between our fiery heroine and our brooding Prince. The sexual tension was sizzling throughout and the more poignant scenes between them were more than precious. When Finn nursed her back to health by holding her contently underneath a blanket of stars and unexpectedly gifted her the cottage of my dreams, well, I was completely invested and enthralled by their relationship. I’m not afraid to admit, that love triangles are not usually one of my favourite romance tropes but I think it was handled perfectly. Honestly, Ryan is so talented she can even make feet washing sexy – trust me on this one.
Although I very much enjoyed this book, one of my main criticisms is that I don’t think we have enough time with Queen Arya, our vindictive and treacherous villain. Most of her evil-doing was conveyed secondhand and I think the stakes would have been raised considerably if we had more scenes that clearly demonstrated her wickedness before the finale. I also felt that the pace of the book was a little off. For example, we were given chapter after chapter of the visit to the High Priestess, however, the crucial plot points, such as Brie unlocking the darkness inside of her, were relegated to just a few short paragraphs.
The finale was action-packed and incredibly satisfying. The conclusion kept me guessing throughout, it just felt a little rushed considering how invested I was. I’m actually a bit bereft at the thought of my journey with Brie ending. Ryan built a magical world that I very much enjoyed exploring and created an array of intriguing side characters with stories I’d love to delve into even further.
These Twisted Bonds by Lexi Ryan is available HERE. (Affiliate Link)1