Review: The Two Princes of Summer by Nissa Leder

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The Two Princes of Summer by Nissa Leder | Rating: ★★★★☆

Scarlett had always wished for more from life. More excitement. More surprises. More something. She craved new adventure. So much so, she never appreciated what she had. Now her mom was gone, and, despite her mom's fits and outbursts, all Scarlett wanted was to have her back.

OH MY GOD! I am completely enamored by the beginning of what is sure to be an epic series. The Two Princes of Summer is an absolutely perfect read for fans of Cassandra Clare, A.G. Howard and Sarah J. Maas. In many ways, this introduction to The Whims of Fae exceed even my strongest expectations and I am honestly so, so, so captivated.

The thing about this novel is that it's a very quick read and kept me pinned to my seat for a good few hours. And while there are flaws in it, it still remains as compelling as a good fantasy novel should. Not to mention, it tackles some darkness of an ordinary life beyond the veil of Fae. I loved the world-building we grew to witness and the entire concept of this realm of Fae. It felt very, very reminiscent to other explorations in the genre however the characters and writing definitely made it a world of its own.

What I loved most about this book is that I felt it truly outshines what I thought it was going to be. Is it the most unique perspective I've ever read? At this rate, no. Not a lot would be, given how much I have been reading for my twenty-something years. Were there a lot of archetypes that could have been avoided? Sure. But, as with good literature, its flaws never took away from its outline. I genuinely loved the magic of it all--the familiarity of Fae; the changes from other contemporary releases, the tangling of our realm vs. theirs--and the characters were pretty multi-faceted and easy to root for or dislike.

Leder crafts characters that could easily scatter across realms. Scarlett could be your best friend. Cade could be that boy that intrigues you but loses his novelty as his true colours come to pass. Kaelem is that guy--attractive, mysterious, very morally gray--you secretly want but will never in a million years trust. And lastly Raith showcases that juicy quality of being misunderstood and very underestimated.

(Then, there's the villains. Kassandra, clearly, being at the forefront.)

Don't even get me started on minor characters! I'm hoping that the next installment (which, in all honestly, I'm starting immediately) we get more of Scarlett's best friend Natalie and her sister Ashleigh. Scarlett spent most of the novel in the realm of Fae and now that she is back home, however temporarily, I do hope we get more of the ordinary people as the story progresses. I'm very intrigued by what shall be known about her heritage--was her mother Fae, or was it her father?--and what comes next.

Honestly, it's easy to get invested in these characters.

That being said--I'm not holding my breath for redemption when it comes to Cade's actions and can honestly say my opinion on him shifted quite quickly. I had lukewarm feelings towards him to begin with, but after that twist (see: supposedly killing not one, but two characters) I just don't know what to expect of him. There's that inner struggle but honestly, I think he is far too like his mother (Kassandra) to ever be completely redeemed and now that the line was crossed... well. I am just not feeling him.

Scarlett and Raith were definitely my favourite characters. At first, I wasn't feeling the chemistry and obvious tension between them--it felt a little forced and too TVD love triangle for my taste--but after a certain point, I can't help but to want them to be endgame. Tension is one thing. Genuine connections is a whole other nod--and they really have one.

I loved the way that both of them developed as the pages went. I'm not saying they are 100% or that their growth ends here, but looking at where they started and where they landed once the chips fell? I'm into it.

Overall, The Two Princes of Summer was magical and short without ditching out on any action and romance.

There was this sense of danger lingering beneath the magic and the self discovery and I can't wait to see what happens next! Should we trust Kaelem? What was in that pill? Now that Scarlett is home--and hopefully repairing her relationship with her sister--what is to happen to her magic? Her mental health? What's Kassandra's next move, now that Cade is making his way and bending to her will, like the mama's boy he is? When will Raith and Scarlett meet again? And what happens when Cade finds out the truth of his supposed victory and kills? 

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