November 27, 2019

Short & Sweet: Bright Ruin & A Curse So Dark and Lonely

Bright Ruin by Vic James

Okay, that ending leaves me with so many questions! Spoilers, highlight to read: so it really wasn't spelled out, but Silyen awoke again and broke out of the tomb, right? And came back for Luke? And then they both went back to Far Carr, through a doorway Silyen created? Also, whatever happens with Coira???

Anyway, I feel like this book's plot moved slower than the first two in the series. There was a lot of information-gathering (that deepened our knowledge of the world and characters), but there wasn't much exciting action until the last quarter. Then towards the end all of a sudden everything was happening! There also weren't as many unpredictable twists and turns as previous books have had, but everything was plotted very smartly. I liked the introduction of a new character, that connected to the backstory of another. 

I also grew fonder of Luke in this book, as I really enjoyed seeing his relationship with Silyen grow as they spent time together. Silyen's character, too, becomes a lot clearer in this final book. 

Overall, a very solid conclusion to the series!

4 shooting stars.

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

I enjoyed this take on the Beauty & the Beast fairy tale -- I wasn't sure going into it if I would like the combination of modern and fantasy settings, but Brigid Kemmerer makes it work. Harper is a scrappy heroine who doesn't let anything get in the way of doing what she thinks is right, and Rhen, while at first coming off as a typically arrogant royal used to getting his own way, gradually allows himself to become more vulnerable with Harper as the story progresses. 

I also enjoyed seeing how elements of the original fairy tale were presented in this version. The enchantress who curses the prince plays a much more active role throughout, and the curse itself works differently (and I thought was quite clever). While the plot was fairly predictable (spoilers, highlight to read: I totally guessed that Grey was likely the mysterious "halfling" heir), and the writing itself was rather bland (I would have liked more description of the settings, to really feel like I was there with Harper), I'm interested to see where Kemmerer takes the story in the next book.

4 shooting stars.



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