These Twisted Bonds is the sequel to These Hollow Vows – a faerie story I very much enjoyed. I even reread These Hollow Vows to ready myself for the sequel and I’m glad I did, since there was so much I had forgotten and These Twisted Bonds picks up right where the first book ended.
Spoilers for These Hollow Vows! Don’t read this if you haven’t read the first book!
Title: These Twisted Bonds
Author: Lexi Ryan
Series: These Hollow Vows #2
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
It’s not often that sequels pick up the exact scene where the first book left off, but These Twisted Bonds does! Brie has just woken up after bonding with Sebastian only to discover he tricked her as he was both Seelie and Unseelie, and bonding with him caused her to die – only for her to have to take the potion of life to be brought back as fae – needless to say, she’s pissed.
A lot of this story follows Brie’s anger over Sebastian’s betrayal of her trust and her regret in bonding with him. She finds comfort with Finn, who never tried to use or manipulate her.
I always love a good love triangle which is why I enjoyed These Hollow Vows (THV) so much. This story isn’t as much of a triangle as Brie knowing she’s bonded to Bash but wanting to be with Finn and trying to figure out how to do that. This is a romance story through and through, that’s what is at the core. Brie is also learning to control her shadow powers and how to use them to her advantage – but thats difficult when the Seelie Queen, Aria, also wants Brie dead.
This story has a lot of court politics and a lot more romance than THV had – I’m here for the romance and sex, but the politics didn’t interest me as much. There’s a lot going on but it also felt like it went in circles more often than not. What I loved about THV felt absent in this story.
It’s a lot darker but also Brie is acting irrationally stupid and making the same mistakes again and again, hence why I felt like this story was going in circles. The pacing in the first half of the book lagged on, it felt incredibly slow. Then as I realized how few pages were left and nothing was resolved, the ending felt incredibly rushed. I wish the ending had been explained better. It all happened too quickly for me to really believe it and it left me disappointed.
While I generally enjoy duologies, I think this may have benefited from being a trilogy – it easily could have been and I may have enjoyed it more!
I listened to both books in this duology as audiobooks and I enjoyed the narrator a lot! I thought she did great voices for other characters besides Brie and she has a nice voice – would recommend this as audio, but you wouldn’t miss out if you didn’t listen either.
I’m giving this 3.5* but rounded down to 3, as I just can’t say I enjoyed it enough for 4 stars. I highly anticipated this book and unfortunately it was a let down for me. I’m still glad I finished this series, but its not one I plan to revisit.
If you like fae stories and are looking for good one, I would still recommend this duology as I enjoyed the first book a lot and I think a lot of others will enjoy this more than I did!