Review – A Twist of the Blade

A Twist of the Blade book cover


A Twist of the Blade


Shadows and Crowns #2


S. M. Gaither




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.


4stars rating

It took me waaaaaaaaaay longer to get through this book (mostly cause of a busy schedule), but I finished it and seriously, I need the third book asap!!!
Yes, it ends on a cliffhanger, consider yourself warned (but it is soooo worth it!)


What? You didn’t think Casia would be stuck in Oblivion forever, did you? No no no, in this instalment, she (and her friends) were all over the place.
Scenes and environment were well detailed and clear. It’s what we have come to expect from the author by now and she didn’t let us down.
There was a lot of information being divulged about the world and several characters within the story throughout the book, though we learned most in bite-sized bits and pieces so it wasn’t overwhelming.

Character development:

Casia had a lot going on in the first book of the series and it didn’t stop there. Struggling with her kinship to the king-emperor (who wants her dead), her strange attraction and feelings towards Elander (whos master wants her dead), she was trying to not only make sense of her powers but control them so she wouldn’t be a liability to the people surrounding her.
Her true family (Zev, Nessa, Rhea and Laurent) had their own burdens to bear as they supported her through her ordeals while Elander faced his own demons and his own heart.

Pacing & Flow:

It felt like the first half of the book went pretty slow (that said, it could have been my mindset), I had issues getting past it, but once I did things started happening… it was rock solid till the end.

The book itself:

The book itself was well written with no (noticeable) errors. There is sex described (if that is important to you).
The book is 536 pages long, spread over 33 chapters, primarily told from Casia’s POV (point of view) though some small parts in between are told from Elander’s.

Final Thoughts:

I voluntarily read an advanced reader copy of this book and all in all it was not as great as the first book, but a wild ride nonetheless! 😀
As I’ve said before, I really do need book 3 asap though, that ending just did me in.