Cursed (Cursed Magic Series, Book 1)
Reviewed by Phoenix
The night Claire Tanith’s small village is attacked, her mother sends her alone into the cursed forest, the one she’d been forbidden to enter all her life with these mysterious words: ‘They will protect you.’ On the run from her attackers, she soon finds the forest is not as abandoned as she’d once thought. Beautiful and elegant, the elves seem to be everything the legends said they would be. But legends sometimes forget the true history of things and Claire’s eyes are soon opened to a world she never knew. One that has been kept from her for most of her life. All Claire wants to do is return home and start looking for her mother, the only family she ever had. But the elves have different plans. The mysterious mark that appeared on her arm isn’t a curse, at least not to them anyway, and before she knows it, she is whisked away on a mission she never agreed to, unless they help her in return. Now she is stuck on an adventure with the perverted elf, Aeron, and one with an attitude, Farron. But there is more to this adventure than she’d ever hoped for.
I must say I do not think the book blurb does this story justice. Yes, all the details contained in it are accurate, but it does not hook you into reading like the first few pages of the book does. I’ll admit I got this book for two reasons, 1) I thought the cover looked cool and was different from the usual fare I gravitate towards 2) it was free. (BTW, as of the date of this review it was still free!J)
The Ms. Odell does an excellent job of character and plot development. As you read you experience the transformation of Claire from a scared girl desperately searching for her mother into a semi-independent “lady” with an attitude. While this transformation is taking place the book keeps up a fast pace and there are no stalls in action or superfluous interactions. I will admit I was expecting some between the sheets action but there is none. Even the “perverted elf Aeron” is not lascivious (unless I am biased due to some of the sexually deviant characters I’ve read in the past). Even for a PG book, due to the fast tempo of action when the book ended I found myself swiping for the next page (only to find author credits). It felt like I was slammed into a brick wall; which I suppose is an excellent way to sell the next book in the series.
There are a few downers to this book. I will start with the superficial - I was unable to format the background color on my Kindle Fire to be able to read white on black. Yes, this matters to me and I realize many people reading this won’t care at all about the lack of formatting. Another area I felt could have been better was the explanation and exploration of the elf lore. Some things are explained but other areas are left wide open, which I’m hoping she develops more in the subsequent books. My final gripe is that THE BIG QUESTION (which I’m not going to tell you to prevent spoilers) is never answered which again, is an excellent way to sell more books in the series!
Overall, an excellent read especially for FREE!