Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Cursed by Christina Bauer

Title: Cursed
Series: Beholder (#1)
Author: Christina Bauer
From: Netgalley
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 29th March 2016
Challenges: 2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, 2016 New Release Challenge
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

Elea never really wanted to be a Necromancer, but when her best friend Tristan becomes cursed by the new Necromancer Tsar, and that curse will transfer to her as the person he loves the most, she knows she has no choice. 5 years later, and approaching the day her curse will set in and Elea has become a Grand Mistress Necromancer with one goal; to kill Tsar Viktor and break his curse. But to do that she ends up joining forces with a Creator Mage, Rowan, and that makes things more complicated.

I read Cursed because I've loved everything I've read from Ink Monster and even having not read anything from Bauer before (which was clearly a mistake on my part!) I had confidence that this would be a very enjoyable read. And it was great!

I wasn't expecting the higher fantasy feel to this. It's not a massively long book, nor would I consider it epic fantasy, but there is a definite focus on the magic the characters have (along with a more medieval sounded setting). There were two types of magic; Necromancer and Creator, and both were explored in a way that left some mysteries but also gave a good amount of information.

A big part of Necromancer culture seemed to be the lack of touching and the lack of personal emotions, the latter of which Elea didn't seem to be very good at at all. Of course this was good for the story as it allowed her to form bonds with several of the other characters, including Rowan. But I also thought that it meant that things weren't rushed between them.

As with other Ink Monster books I've read the love story is there, but its part of the story and not the focus. If you're going into Cursed wanting an overly romantic story then you're not likely to feel you got it. There is definitely something between Rowan and Elea but because of all the other events they just don't have time to explore it that much, which is actually highly realistic!

This was a great read, I'm looking forward to reading more in the series and more from Bauer!