Book Review: A Twist of the Blade (Shadows and Crowns #2)

Title: A Twist of the Blade

Author: S.M. Gaither

Pub. Date: January 28, 2021

Pages: 548

Pub: S.M. Gaither

Genre: Fantasy Romance

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Mercenary. Survivor. Queen.

Who is Casia Greythorne?


Still reeling from an unimaginable loss and the revelation of an identity she isn’t sure she wants to embrace, Casia has one plan: Try to control something. Something like the strange magic awakening inside of her. Mastering that magic will take her and her friends on a quest through cursed lands, into the dwellings of old gods, and deep into a southern empire filled with deadly foes and unlikely allies.

Meanwhile, the foundations of the Kethran Empire continue to crumble. The king-emperor clings to his crown with increasingly bloodied hands. Monsters and soldiers alike stalk Casia’s every step, determined not to let her return to claim a throne that is rightfully hers. Still, the greatest threat to her possible rule may not lie in the king-emperor, but in a former captain of his army—a man that she came dangerously close to falling in love with.

Elander Revenmar thought he knew who he was. He had a mission, a plan, a god he was content to serve. Then came Casia. A woman as mysterious as she is dangerous. One he should have stayed away from, and whose life he never should have saved.

Because salvation always comes with a cost.

And some debts can only be paid for in blood.


This will be a spoiler free review. I read the eBook and let me tell you – I stayed up way too late reading this because I couldn’t put it down.

I thought Song of the Marked was good.

Y’all, this book is better.

And let me just start this off by saying WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT ENDING? THAT CLIFFHANGER?

After everything Elander and Cas share, I’m left with that!

I need book 3 like, right now.

With the way shit went down, I’m fucking terrified of what’s going to happen next. I need everyone to be okay, I need certain assholes to *cough* die.

I just need a happy ending, and I’m terrified I won’t get it.

I loved this book. It was so good, and it keeps you entertained. It was really fun seeing Alaya and Emrys again. I knew when the group decided to go to Sundolia, that they’d probably cross paths. Well, I was desperately hoping anyways. I love it when fantasy worlds are expanded into new series, but old faces show up – it’s one of my favorite things. You get to see a peek into the “what happens after/where are they now” and their appearance and everything that went with it did not disappoint.

Cas goes on one hell of a journey. Things happen a little too quickly and a little too efficiently at times, but you get so wrapped up in the story, it doesn’t really matter. I would like to have seen more time pass, but I also get that time is of the essence as Varen is being a little dictator bitch and needs to be disposed of. Honestly, he’s such a turd.

Cas has to come to terms with who she was born to be, but also has to choose whether or not she abides by those obligations. She can’t have one foot in and one foot out. And then there’s the whole issue with Elander, and that doesn’t bode well.

Ugh, I can’t even really talk on it, because spoilers, but I got so giddy when the reason they are drawn together is revealed. It was different than my suspicion, but I’m not mad. This adds a whole new element and it’s potentially going to be explored in the next book.

But that fucking last scene.

I just sat my kindle down and stared into space because what the fuck am I supposed to do now.

No seriously – does anyone have any tips? Because I don’t know how I’m supposed to wait to find out what happens next.

Cas goes through so much, and for that to happen?

Ugh.

This book was so good.

Cas and Elander trying to figure out how to navigate around each other. Cas dealing with her panic attacks and anxiety. I will say though, they weren’t as prevalent in this book as the first one and I’m kind of sad about that. Her coping mechanisms and how she explained it to other characters, and how Elander helped her were some of my favorite moments from the first book.

There are moments in this book, where we see Cas using her coping skills, and she talks with Rhea. I loved that scene between the two of them. I loved how it brought them closer and told them that they weren’t alone – that everyone is dealing with something. I just wish her anxiety had been a little more prevalent like it was in the first book. It almost seemed like it took a back seat and was semi-forgotten. 

I’ll say it again, this book was fantastic, and it leaves you on such a high. From the start to the end, I couldn’t stop turning the pages, desperate to find out what happens next. I have a feeling book 3 is going to be epic, and very well might enrage me, but bring it on. You need to pick up this series. You also need to pick up the Serpents and Kings Trilogy if you haven’t already. S.M. Gaiter is a genius and you’ll be instantly sucked in. Her characters are so lifelike, and you just feel for them, so much. I highly recommend reading these books.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: A Twist of the Blade (Shadows and Crowns #2)

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