Book Review: The Wayward Tower by Nancy O’Toole

About the Book:

Title: The Wayward Tower

Author: Nancy O’Toole

Series: The Twin Kingdoms #3

Page Length: 141

Publication Date: Dec. 8, 2021

Publisher: Midnight Tide Publishing

Synopsis: Trapped in a tower

Aria knows how to escape imprisonment. All she needs to do is to lead Prince Victor to his death. But she has no desire to become a murderer or assist the man that holds her captive. Instead, Aria discovers a possible solution in unfamiliar magic. The Wayward Paths may lead her to freedom, but they will require her to come face to face with the shadows of her past.

The foolish prince

Victor’s life is in danger. After barely escaping a deadly masquerade, he finds himself a target of The Mage King, an ancient being who requires royal blood. Not that Victor takes that too seriously. He’d rather think about Aria, the beautiful and mysterious woman that visits him in his dreams. Aria’s past holds the key to the identity of The Mage King, but will their encounters provide him with answers or result in his demise?

What dangers lie on The Wayward Paths?

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon

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My Review:

The Wayward Tower, book three in The Twin Kingdoms series, is a unique twist on the classic Rapunzel story. Some time has passed since the conclusion of the second novella, which is when Aria and Victor, the protagonists in this novella, first met. Now trapped in a tower with no hope of escape, Aria finds herself pulled into the Mage King’s plot to capture Victor and lead him to his death. Aria wants nothing to do with the plan and thinks she might have found a way to free herself. Will she be able to travel the Wayward Paths, and what will happen to her and Victor if Aria escapes the evil clutches of the Mage King?

The story makes great use of flashbacks to further develop Aria’s character and the antagonists in the series. I loved these flashbacks! They offer so much insight into the rise of the Mage King, how he gained support, and how he and others connect to Aria. Aria is a compelling protagonist, and it was interesting to see how she became so embroiled in the Mage King’s manipulations.

Victor is also an interesting character. He’s fun and carefree, a man without a purpose, and no one takes him seriously. I think this is mainly because he doesn’t take himself seriously, but as the story progresses, he seems to long for more. His character shows a lot of growth throughout the novella, and I enjoyed his arc. I also really liked the growing relationship between Victor and Aria and think this developing connection motivates Victor. He is so moved by Aria from their first meeting, and his feelings for her, even though they spend much of the story apart, are fantastic.

Like the other novellas in the series, the magic, the overarching plot, and the world-building in The Wayward Tower are super immersive. I was so intrigued by the Wayward Paths and the role they play in Aria and Victor’s story. I also love the elements that parallel the story of Rapunzel and how they blend together with the new aspects of the plot. The author meshes the old and the new so well, and it makes for such an interesting read.

I’m really enjoying The Twin Kingdoms series. It’s unique, entertaining, and a little dark, and the love stories are fantastic. I would definitely recommend the novella to readers of ya fantasy or fairy tale retellings. And if you read the first books in the series, you’ll be happy to know that characters from those stories make appearances in this story! One of my favorite characters from the first novella has a pivotal role in this story, much to my delight, and I love how he and all of the other characters contribute to the overarching plot. Thanks so much to Nancy O’Toole for gifting me a copy of the story!


Favorite Parts:

  • The magic.
  • The romance.
  • Aria.

Favorite Lines:

Sometimes, when we are afraid of how people may react, those fears, left to fester, can just grow and grow in our minds.

Just because something was smart didn’t make it the first choice.


Want to learn more about the series? Check out my reviews of the first two books!

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