Review: A Tale of Two Kingdoms by Victoria Danann

Two Kingdoms Cover

4 hopelessly romantic Stars

This book is a wee bit of a caper story. A caper story with heaping amounts of political intrigue, dashing romance, humor and the true meaning of family – doing everything you can to see to the happiness of those you love. It’s also a classic fairytale story. In other words, it’s another perfect addition to the Black Swan cannon.

This is Duffy and Song’s story. Finally. We first met Duff and Song in The Witch’s Dream when they accidentally ran into each other in Edinburgh after Litha almost burned down a pub. Duffy is the Prince of the Fae. Song is the princess of the Elves. The two factions don’t get along and thus these two are plunged head first into a magical Romeo and Juliet type of romance. Except without the tragedy, thank goodness. Because Duff Torquil and Aelsong Hawking are soul mates.

Usually in love stories you get to know the characters as they interact with each other. You get to see their best and worst assets illustrated as they figure out their love and relationship with and to each other. Not here. We’ve been getting to know Song for a few books now in different ways as she’s used her gift of sight to aid in several situations and her gifts in general to add lovely dimension and humor to just about every scene she’s in. We get to know Duffy in this book as he plans his and Song’s elopement. He is methodical, romantic, driven and unbelievably charming. And the two of them together? Fairy tale. Er, Elf Tale. Ahem. Gorgeous.

The caper bits of this book let us see the playful pieces of Elora and Litha as well as get a broader view of the dimensions (used in the most obtuse way) of this world. We get a peek into the inner workings and who’s behind the curtain. And I am thoroughly intrigued. As if having multiple versions of reality wasn’t enough, now we know that there are hands pulling the strings, lining up the billiards, adjusting the rudder.

This book is written with more than Victoria Danann’s usual dose of whimsy and I could not wipe the smile off my face for almost the entirety of the book. The lovely moments between Duffy and Song made me lose focus and sail into dreamland. Watching Ram and his father erase a lifetime of miscommunication in one heart-wrenching scene brought tears to my eyes. Being privy to the orchestration that goes on behind the scenes to make sure these two lovers get to ride off into the sunset was a gift – a big, stuffed with joy, crackling with tension, humming with life, take your breath away with sorrow gift.

And now we wait. We wait for book #7 – Soloman’s Sieve. We wait for the continuation in this extraordinary world so gloriously brought to life on the page by this exceptional author. We wait with baited breath to see which characters will love and live and fall and cry as this epic series continues. I find myself always starting a new Black Swan novel thoroughly prepared to fall in love anew and I cannot think of a better way to live.

**This review was originally published for Wicked Women Book Blog.**

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