Twin Curse by Rinelle Grey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Please note that I received the novel free of charge for my honest review for the author.
Rinelle paints a beautiful setting for her fantasy world, in which magic is feared and birth twins are shackled by a ridiculous and unforgiving law.
Being a twin myself, the story understandably drew me in from the beginning. The portrayals of the twins--Mianna and Brianna--are very realistic, as they both share similar qualities while have distinct, and often contrasting personalities. They butt heads, while ultimately remaining as a team.
My favorite character would have to be Lyall. He has a strong sense of duty and initially investigates Brianna because he senses her powers. When it becomes clear that she is oblivious of her own abilities, he watches over her, in a protective manner, which leads to a budding relationship. I am impressed (yet often disappointed as an anticipating reader) by Brianna's resolve to resist pursuing the romantic pull she obviously feels, remaining loyal for her sister's benefit. Ultimately, she chooses to join Lyall on the Isle de Magi to attempt to stake out a fulfilling life for herself as a mage. But her devotion to her sister wins out and she abandons love and happiness to ensure Mianna's and Eryvale's safety.
Time passes and Lyall hardens as a person, and understandably so. His change is realistic, but he is not the only one that changes. Brianna remains strong as ever, but her will to put her own desires aside for the good of her family win out, as Lyall finds out when they reunite under tenuous circumstances.
The magic in this world is a misunderstood art, yet it paves the way for the story's ultimatum--highlighting the strength (and magic) of love, both romantic and familial. Ultimately that is Rinelle Grey's brilliance in this story, love conquers all. Love for a partner, love for family and children. The underlying devotion and self-sacrifice remains the same, even in the story's villains--the rampaging trolls bent on total destruction.
It is a quick read once started that satisfies at the end. I highly recommend it to any and everyone.
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