Review: Cursed Crowns by Catherine Doyle and Katherine Webber

Cursed Crowns by Catherine Doyle and Katherine Webber cover shows two girls in fancy gowns facing each other with one hand each on a magic mirror.

Cursed Crowns (Twin Crowns #2)
Catherine Doyle and Katherine Webber
Balzer + Bray
Published May 9, 2023

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

About Cursed Crowns

Bestselling authors and real-life sisters-in-law Catherine Doyle and Katherine Webber join forces on a compelling YA fantasy bursting with high-stakes adventure, romance and humour. Two queens, one throne. What can possibly go wrong . . .?

Twin queens Wren and Rose have claimed their crowns . . . but not everyone is happy about witches sitting on Eana’s throne.

Cool-headed Rose sets off on a Royal Tour to win over the doubters, but soon finds herself drawn to the Sunless Kingdom. Here secrets are revealed about those closest to her, and Rose finds her loyalties divided.

Meanwhile rebellious Wren steals away to the icy north to rescue their beloved grandmother, Banba. But when she accepts King Alarik’s deadly magical bargain in exchange for Banba’s freedom, the spell has unexpected – and far-reaching – consequences . . .

As an ancient curse begins to arise from the darkness, the sisters must come together and unite the crown. Their lives – and the future of Eana – depend on it.

Break the ice to free the curse,
Kill one twin to save another . . .

Cursed Crown on Goodreads

My Review

I started this series because Catherine Doyle wrote one of my favorite middle grade series. In addition, it’s about two sisters– one of my favorite kinds of stories.

I like the pacing of CURSED CROWNS. Things happen quickly, and that kept me feeling like I wanted to keep reading to see what happened next, even long past time for me to go to bed. I also like the two sisters and their different personalities. Rose is so proper, but she uses that knowledge to wield respect and power, which is really cool. Wren has no patience for the long game of diplomacy. She acts impulsively, guided by her gut and her heart. I love that about her.

Though it’s a longer book– 499 pages– the writing is easy to read, and the chapters are pretty short. I read it pretty fast, and had a lot of fun reading it. The story doesn’t take itself overly seriously, either. Sometimes odd, even ridiculous things happen that kind of give a break from the stakes and intensity of the situation the queens find themselves in.

The first book, TWIN CROWNS introduces a romance for each sister. I felt like there was more emphasis on the romance in that book than I expected there to be. It left me wondering if the balance between the romance and the other plot elements was off.

I think CURSED CROWNS has a great balance between these two components, and it even introduces some complications to the romance that I’m really interested in following into the next book in the series.

Cursed Crown on Bookshop

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 14 up.

Main characters are white. Shen and some other minor characters are described as having dark eyes and golden-brown skin and coming from a desert kingdom.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Mild profanity used very infrequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
Kissing between boy and girl. Some vague references to wanting more than kissing.

Spiritual Content
Some characters are witches and have the ability to perform magic. One character learns of a forbidden magic that is performed using blood, but it comes at a high cost.

Violent Content
Situations of peril. Battle scenes. A faction of people with deep anti-witch sentiment threaten Rose and her party. A group of animals try to attack Wren.

Drug Content
Characters drink alcohol. One character repeatedly pines for whiskey.

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support this blog. I received a free copy of CURSED CROWN in exchange for my honest review.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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