Saturday 11 July 2020

Book Review: How to Break an Evil Curse by Laura Morrison (Fantasy)

How to Break an Evil Curse

Author: Laura Morrison
Publisher: Black Spot Books
Publication Date: 13 October 2020
eBook - EPUB
ARC via NetGalley


How to Break an Evil Curse is the first book in a high fantasy series about a princess who may be cursed to live in darkness, but refuses to let her curse define her life. The King of the Land of Fritillary has incurred the wrath of his ex-bestie, the evil wizard Farland Phelps. Farland curses the King's firstborn to die if touched by sunlight, and just like that, Julianna must spend her life in the depths of a castle dungeon (emptied of prisoners and redecorated in the latest fashion, of course). A young woman of infinite resourcefulness, all she needs is a serving spoon, a loose rock in the wall, and eight years of digging, and Julianna is free to explore the city—just not while the sun is out! Warren Kensington is a member of a seafaring traveling theater troupe and the unwitting magical cure to the curse. When the pirate ship he's sailing on is damaged in stormy seas, he goes ashore and bumps into Julianna on the streets of the capitol. The pair accidentally set in motion a chain of events that uncovers Farland's plans to take over the throne. Julianna, Warren, and some friends they meet along the way are the only ones who can save the monarchy. But the farther they go along their increasingly ludicrous journey, and the more citizens they meet, the more Julianna wonders whether her dad's throne is worth saving. From an evil and greedy wizard? Well, sure. But from the people of Fritillary who are trying to spark a revolution? The people suffering in poverty, malnutrition, and other forms of medieval-esque peasant hardship? It doesn't take Julianna long to find that the real world is far more complicated than a black-and-white fairytale.

How to Break an Evil Curse was a quirky and fun read overall. I liked the tone of the prose, the style of the humour, and the way certain fairytale conventions were twisted and presented in a new light. Perhaps because of that style, though, I remained somewhat removed from the characters and found it hard to get deeply involved in their situation and feelings, which made it difficult to experience any real tension when they encountered problems. But the idea behind this series is great fun, and this first book concluded in a way that made me interested enough in how things would work out to want to read on to book two. As such, I am giving it 3.5 stars that I would round up to a 4 rather than down to a 3. Worth checking out if you'd like to read a fun and humorous fantasy adventure story.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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