Book reviews: Lost letters and twin princesses

Letters from Brenda by Emma Kennedy and Twin Crowns by Catherine Doyle and Katherine Webber

Letters from Brenda by Emma Kennedy and Twin Crowns by Catherine Doyle and Katherine Webber - Credit: Waterstones

Twin Crowns by Catherine Doyle and Katherine Webber, reviewed by Joanna Sellick, and Letters from Brenda by Emma Kennedy, reviewed by Teresa Knight.

Letters from Brenda - Emma Kennedy

Emma Kennedy writer, performer and general good egg tells the emotional tale of her mother Brenda through the medium of the letters that Brenda sent.

Shortly after her mother passed away, a suitcase of 75 letters from Brenda were found in the attic of Emma's childhood home. Brenda was an amazing, vivid and fascinating character, joyful and funny but also manipulative, sometimes cruel and at certain times uncontrollable.

Emma explores her relationship with her mum in particular, but also her dad with a loving eye. Hilariously funny at times (Emma's footnotes to her mum's letters had me in stiches) this book has threaded throughout the cost that Brenda and her family and friends paid for an undiagnosed and untreated mental illness that Brenda faced from her childhood.

By using her letters you feel like you have “met” Brenda and this added poignancy is a central part of the book. An excellent and stunning read.

Twin Crowns - Catherine Doyle and Katherine Webber

Twin Crowns by Catherine Doyle and Katherine Webber

Twin Crowns by Catherine Doyle and Katherine Webber - Credit: Waterstones

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Twin Crowns is a new YA fantasy written collaboratively by royalty of this genre.

It follows twin princesses Rose and Wren, one raised in the palace to be the ruler of their Kingdom, the other stolen away at birth and prepared by the Witches to one day take her sister’s place.

Rose, loyal to her people and unwittingly under the thumb of the notorious Kingsbreath, will soon discover her country’s history is not at all what she thought it was. Wren, determined to outsmart the entire palace and bring vengeance on the court for the death of their parents and the ousting of the witches, will realise it takes more than extravagant dresses and winning smiles to rule a kingdom.

Neither girl is truly ready for the journey they are about to embark on, but they handle each obstacle and challenge with wit and cunning that will have you laughing and cheering them along.

The book is told from the alternating perspectives of each princess, with both Rose and Wren having distinct voices that wrap the reader deeper into the story. For those with a taste for romance, there are two handsome and intriguing love interests to keep you guessing, too!

Perfect for fans of Throne of Glass, The Red Queen and The Cruel Prince.