Monday, April 24, 2023

🍷🍷🍷🍷.5 ARC #Review of The Stolen Throne by Abigail Owen

Title: The Stolen Throne
Series: Dominions #2
Author: Abigail Owen 
Format: 460 pages, ebook
Publication: May 2, 2023
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N 
Source: NetGalley
Reviewer: Crystal
Rating: 4.5/5
My twin sister is the true queen of Aryd. She survives, hiding and clinging to life in the desert, while I reign as the false queen alongside the monstrous King Eidolon. There’s only one escape from this gilded prison: Reven. My Shadowraith. My heart. Only the shadows that he struggles to control are growing more sinister, more powerful.

It’s just a matter of time before they turn on him…and on me.

Even escape doesn’t mean true freedom, though, when we’re still on the run from Eidolon’s unstoppable armies. And when we discover there’s a traitor among us, I have no choice…I must become the queen I was never meant to be.

Because as one evil hunts me, the other loves me more than himself.

And my fate lies with both.

Crystal’s Thoughts:

“The taste of him, the feel of him, is like coming home.”

The Stolen Throne is the continuation of the spellbinding tale of twin sisters, one meant to rule, and one meant to stand in, a nefarious king set on destruction, and a shadow who was never meant to love. Following the events of The Lair’s Crown, Meren finds herself the captive of King Eidolon and once again posing as the Queen of Aryd. How much longer can she pull it off though before her sister’s husband demands more than she is willing to give? Eidolon is no fool. Meren knows that she just needs to bide her time until her Shadowraith finds her, or until she can find a way out herself. Escape turns out to be the least of her problems though when histories are rewritten, truths are revealed, treachery abounds, and lives are at stake. Meren must reach deep to find the power and the will inside her if she hopes to stop Eidolon and save those she loves, including her Shadowraith. 

What a sensational continuation of this series! The Liar’s Crown was one of my top reads of 2022, and The Stolen Throne is right up there for 2023. The story begins just a few months following the events from the first book and it is nonstop action and danger to the very end. The complex, immersive world-building that Abigail Owen’s weaved together expands from the first book as Meren’s group of rebels travel from one dominion to the next, searching for answers and a way to defeat King Eidolon. The stakes are higher, and time is running out. Not just to stop Eidolon but also to save the ones Meren calls her own. The storyline is compelling as ever, with revelations and betrayals, and a plethora of action and intrigue sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. There was a moment when Meren reunited with her sister Tabra that was so startling, my heart just about stopped. 

I honestly can’t get enough of these characters in the Dominions world, they’re multifaceted and whether I love or hate them, I empathize with them all. The growth of Meren alone from the first book to now is exponential and I can’t help but adore her all the more for it. The tension and snark between Cain and Reven were quite entertaining, though there were also some heart wrenching moments when it comes to the love both these men share for Meren. The Stolen Throne was even more angst filled than The Lair’s Crown when it comes to Meren and Reven if that’s possible. Because this is a YA, intimate scenes between Reven and Meren are not fade to black, but they are not wholly graphic either. The chapters are short, which I always appreciate. 

While The Stolen Throne had an engaging plot, it did take a little longer than usual to finish. Maybe it was the disconnect between Meren and Reven for much of the story. I love these two so much and just want to see them happy, though a certain scene in the temple had me crying happy tears. However, there was of course a question that was left unanswered there that has me on pins and needles for the next book! All in all, this was an exceptional continuation of Meren’s story, and I only see it getting better from here. I can’t wait for the conclusion, though closing the cover on a story filled with characters that have become your own friends is always difficult, I know Abigail Owen will do them justice and next April can’t come soon enough! A highly recommended read for upper young adult fantasy romance fans who enjoy mystery and magic, sensation and suspense, rue, and romance.  

“You’re mine, Mereneith Evangeline, written in the stars to be mine.”

✔️ Morally Gray Anti-Hero
✔️ Coming into Powers
✔️ Found Family
✔️ Royal Politics
✔️ Goddesses and Monsters
✔️ Strong FMC
✔️ Loveable Side Characters
✔️ Forbidden Love
✔️ Not Good Enough for Her
🚫 Slow Moving Plot 
🌶️ 0.5/5

ARC Disclosure:
*I received an advance reader copy of this title for review consideration, all opinions are my own.

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