I purchased a monthly Supernatural Book Crate subscription and The Cursed Crown (by May Sage and Alexi Blake) was included.
No one was ever born less suited to ruling than Rissa, the thorn of the seelie realm-a half-fae so wild she’s spent the better part of a hundred years in the woods.
For all her flaws, she’s the last of the high court bloodline, and the southern king seems to think that’s reason enough to slap a crown on her feathered head. He needs her to unify the seelie forces. She needs him to forget about that nonsense.
In an effort to aid her people without condemning herself to a lifetime of misery, she sets off on a journey to find the one person with a stronger claim to the throne than hers: the cursed prince.
Sealed in the mountains of the Wilderness, under many spells, the heir of the first seelie queen is the only royal strong enough to protect the fae lands from their immortal invaders.
Surviving the untamed tribes and awakening a thousand-year-old prince seem a lot easier than ruling an entire kingdom where everyone hates her very nature.
And her choices won’t come without consequences. I generally enjoyed this. I liked that Rissa stood up for herself, even when intimidated or overwhelmed. I liked that Rydekar let her make her own decisions, even when he disagreed with them. (By ‘let’ I mean he didn’t try to stand in her way, not that he gave her permission. She neither needed nor sought it.) I liked the world and that the romance is fairly slow burn considering the whole fated mates angle.
Like so, so, so many such books Rissa is strong and capable. She’s the heroine of this book and it’s implied she and Rydekar end on equal footing. But up until that point, she’s the younger, less informed, less capable of the two and wouldn’t have achieved her greatness without his intercession. There always seems to be a point when the female character says or does something she later apologizes for, in such books, and there’s almost always a point when she realized the male character was right all along. The author(s) may make him more or less smug about it, depending on how much of an alpha a-hole they are or aren’t writing. But this plotting is so, so, so common. And it grates a little that this is the story we women tell ourselves so often. And The Cursed Crown is as guilty of this as any other. I’m noting it because it’s on my mind, not so much because it’s something to denigrate the book for. It is super common after all, even if I wish it wasn’t. *shrug*
I did think the pre-epilogue ending was a bit anticlimactic and the epilogue felt tacked on and unnecessary. All in all, however, I’d be happy to return for more of Sage & Blake’s books.
BOOK REVIEW: The Cursed Crown (The Darker Woods) by May Sage as Alexi Blake #EpicFantasy