Wyrd and Wonder: Twin Peaks

After indulging at the Fountain of Youth, my next stop is the Wyrd and Wonder Twin Peaks. This destination is all about featuring duologies. While I haven’t read that many duologies, I do love the relative brevity of them. That is, I love that I don’t have to commit to 3+ books in a series. Lately I’ve been avoiding longer series so that I can (try to) focus on my physical backlog. A description really has to grab me to start a new series.

So, with that said, let’s take a look at some duologies I enjoyed, need to finish, or want to read. The “want to read” section focuses on completed duologies.

Duologies I Enjoyed

The Shepherd King by Rachel Gillig

Two Twisted Crowns by Rachel Gillig

This is a moody, angsty, darker fantasy set in a world where you don’t want to get lost in the mist. Elspeth has a monster in her head that wants to break free. And she has to decide whether to let it or keep it at bay. Which is the right choice to save the kingdom? I have reviews for ONE DARK WINDOW and TWO TWISTED CROWNS for your perusal.

The Celestial Kingdom Duology by Sue Lynn Tan

Heart of the Sun Warrior

Although a novella comprised of short stories has since been released, there are two main books in this duology. It’s a “fantasy inspired by the legend of Chang’e, the Chinese moon goddess, in which a young woman’s quest to free her mother pits her against the most powerful immortal in the realm.” The descriptions in DAUGHTER OF THE MOON GODDESS are lovely, particularly with respect to the clothing. And it was fun to see Tan’s writing grow even more in HEART OF THE SUN WARRIOR.

The Radiant Emperor by Shelley Parker-Chan

He Who Drowned the World by Shelley Parker-Chan

This duology is such a brilliant (and dark) look at a number of things spanning gendered expectations/roles to how sex is used as power. Set in 14th century China, SHE WHO BECAME THE SUN starts with a told fate of how the eighth son of one family is destined for greatness. However, things don’t go quite as expected and the daughter of the family takes on her brother’s identity. So begins Zhu Chongba’s path to greatness. HE WHO DROWNED THE WORLD continues Zhu’s story, which I won’t get into because spoilers.

Duologies I Need To Finish

These Hollow Vows by Lexi Ryan

This is a YA fantasy romance duology that features the fae and a young woman trying to save her sister from them. THESE HOLLOW VOWS has more spice than I expected for a YA, though it is upper YA. Essentially, Abriella’s sister is sold to the fae and the only way to get her back is to enter their world. And Abriella loathes the fae. Her only choice is to vie for the fae prince’s affection to be his bride in order to gain access to the Seelie Court. But she finds herself unexpectedly falling for more than one fae.

Wilderwood by Hannah Whitten

For the Throne by Hannah Whitten

I have left this duology unfinished for an embarrassingly long time. I think it’s because I was pretty deep into requesting ARCs when the second book came out. So I never finished it. But it’s a darker fantasy with a romance sub plot, at least in the first book. In FOR THE WOLF, Red is the second daughter. “As the only Second Daughter born in centuries, Red has one purpose—to be sacrificed to the Wolf in the Wood in the hope he’ll return the world’s captured gods.”

Elements of Cadence by Rebecca Ross

A Fire Endless by Rebecca Ross

I read an ARC of THE RIVER ENCHANTED and enjoyed it enough to be curious about the next one. But I was pretty late with my review, which is why I think my request for the sequel was denied. If it’d been approved I probably would’ve finished this duology by now! Anyway, I’m pretty sure I bought the sequel on Kindle, so I’ll read it at some point. It’s about a young man named Jack who is called back to the isle of Cadence because young girls are going missing. Those on the isle hope Jack’s musical talents can be used to speak to the spirits to help find the missing girls. It draws a lot of its inspiration from Irish mythology.

Duologies I Want To Read

Letters of Enchantment by Rebecca Ross

Divine Rivals by Rebecca RossRuthless Vows by Rebecca Ross

I’ve seen nothing but good things about this YA duology. I bought the UK versions of these books because I love the cover art. The tagline is, “When two young rival journalists find love through a magical connection, they must face the depths of hell, in a war among gods, to seal their fate forever.” My understanding is it’s set during WWII and involves some magical letter writing. Iris thinks she’s writing to her brother, who’s missing from the front lines. But the letters end up in Roman’s hands, her rival at the newspaper.

The Book of Tea by Judy I. Lin

A Magic Steeped in Poison by Judy I. LinA Venom Dark and Sweet by Judy I. Lin

This is another duology I’ve seen good things about. Initially the beautiful cover art drew me in, but the magic system sounds fascinating as well. The magic system is based on tea, which is about all I know. (I avoid reading reviews of books I know I’m going to read.) The main premise of the first book is that Ning needs to save her sister’s life from some poisonous tea she accidentally brewed. To do so she enters a competition to find the kingdom’s greatest shennong-shiI, a master of the magic of tea making. The winner gains a favor from the princess, which Ning hopes to use to save her sister. I own the first book, but I’m being good and holding off on purchasing the next one until I read A MAGIC STEEPED IN POISON.

And that’s a wrap for my stop at the Wyrd and Wonder Twin Peaks! Let me know if you’ve read any of these duologies or if they’re on your TBR list!

15 thoughts on “Wyrd and Wonder: Twin Peaks

  1. I enjoyed The Letters of Enchantment duology. It is a sort of WWI setting but in a world where the gods and goddesses are real. I loved the idea of the linked typewriters and liked the characters too.

    1. Ah yes, I meant to edit the WWII to WWI before I left on vacation, but forgot amidst all the packing. Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it!

  2. I’ve realized writing for this prompt I don’t read a ton of duologies! But I’ve heard a lot of good things about the Rebecca Ross ones, need to pick that up as well!

    1. I thought I didn’t read a lot of duologies either, but once I started listing them I guess I have! It’s really nice to not have to commit to a longer series, especially when I just want to read everything! I hope you enjoy the Rebecca Ross ones when you get around to them. 🙂

  3. I still need to read Divine Rivals. I want to try Rachel Gillig’s books too. I do like a good duology, often trilogy’s have that middle book syndrome going on.

  4. I haven’t read many duologies either but I fancy they are my favourite option (ie between standalones, duologies, and anything longer). I haven’t read any these though I did DNF a couple ???? ELEMENTS OF CADENCE sounds interesting! My favourite fantasy duology is probably RAYBEARER by Jordan Ifueko.

    1. I’ve never read RAYBEARER, but I saw it floating around a lot when I started blogging. Can’t say I’ve seen any reviews for it, but I get the vague notion it’s pretty good?

  5. I also enjoyed Wilderwood. I still need to read He Who Drowned the World. I read She Who Became the Sun during a readalong and I feel that I would benefit from that again with the sequel but oh well haha.

  6. I loved Daughter Of The Moon Goddess. I’m hoping to finally reread it then pick up the sequel either this or next month. Then in definitely ordering the novella collection into the library. The other two duologies that you’ve read are still on my TBR. I must get to She Who Became The Sun in particular soon though as I’ve heard such incredible things about it.

    Out of the series you’ve started I’ve also started one and own at least the first book in the other two. Your ‘I’m pretty sure I brought the sequel on Kindle’ comment is so relatable as that’s exactly what I’m thinking about These Hollow Vows ???? although it was A River Enchanted that I’ve read.

    Divine Rivals is another that I want to read but I have read, and adored, The Book Of Tea. Like you I was drawn in by the artwork but I also love fantasy books inspired by Asian mythology. Plus who can resist the idea of tea based magic?

    I hope you enjoy all of the unread ones mentioned in your post when you get to them.

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